15 Tips for effective food waste management in restaurants

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15 Tips for effective food waste management in restaurants

Earth Week 2023 Series

Food waste management in restaurants is the process of reducing, recycling, or repurposing food waste generated by the restaurant to minimise the environmental impact and save costs. Food wastage is a significant problem in the restaurant industry, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and wasting natural resources. Adding to this, food wastage can have a significant impact on a restaurant’s bottom line. Wasted food means wasted money, as restaurants are paying for food that is ultimately thrown away. This can lead to increased costs and reduced profitability.

Here are 15 tips for food waste management in restaurants:

  1. Conduct regular food waste audits to identify areas for improvement and monitor progress.
  2. Train staff on proper food handling and storage techniques to minimise spoilage and waste.
  3. Use portion control measures to reduce over-portioning and excess waste.
  4. Offer smaller portion sizes or sharing options to encourage customers to order only what they need.
  5. Use a first-in, first-out (FIFO) system to rotate food and ensure that older items are used before they spoil.
  6. Consider donating unsold, edible food to local charities or food banks.
  7. Use creative ways to utilise food scraps and leftovers, such as making soups, stocks, and sauces.
  8. Implement a composting programme to turn food waste into fertiliser for gardens or farms.
  9. Implement a trayless system in self-service areas to reduce plate waste.
  10. Encourage customers to take leftovers home by offering reusable containers or discounts for bringing their own containers.
  11. Monitor inventory and adjust ordering practises to reduce overstocking and excess waste.
  12. Regularly review menus and remove items that are frequently wasted or not popular with customers.
  13. Use reusable or compostable plates, cups, and utensils to reduce waste from single-use items.
  14. Use energy-efficient equipment to reduce energy consumption and costs.
  15. Display signage in the restaurant to encourage customers to reduce waste, such as reminding them to order only what they can eat and to take leftovers home.

Additionally, educating staff and customers on the importance of reducing food waste can also help create a culture of sustainability within the restaurant industry.

Read our article on why restaurants should record wastage.

Find out more about Capcon’s services designed specifically for the hospitality sector to streamline operations, reduce wastage, improve customer satisfaction, and boost profitability. From inventory management to staff training and menu engineering, we provide end-to-end solutions that cater to your unique business needs and goals.

Also in the series:

Food waste management in UK hospitality industry 

The primary causes of food wastage in the hospitality industry 

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