Food waste is a huge problem faced by many restaurants and hotels around the world, and it is something that can eat away into your profits as well cause severe harm to the environment.
Many restaurants try their best to reduce waste by implementing standards and policies, and while some have succeeded, some have not, because such efforts need to be done efficiently so that it does not hamper the day-to-day operations of the establishment, but still reduces waste from every possible aspect of its processes. Reducing food waste is usually the responsibility of all kitchen staff, but it is the head of kitchen who will be help responsible by management to reduce costs in their department. The head of the department may be the one wearing the chef apron, coat and toque, but he is also the person who needs to work out better ways of reducing waste in his division.
Restaurants use many methods to reduce waste in every possible way, in addition to food waste. They use more durable uniforms such as those made of high-quality fabrics or denim aprons, as well as ensuring that guests amenities are used in a proper way within their premises.
However, as the biggest problem and biggest expenses they face is food waste, here are few tips pf how a restaurant can reduce it.
- Measure food waste – Keeping a track of food waste can help any restaurant or hotel to identify areas where they can scale back on their processes without hampering the supply to their customers. Incorporating an inventory for it can help you know exactly where your food waste is greater so that you know what to do to cut down on it.
- Predicting orders – Have a system in place where you predict the food orders per day, so that you can prepare for that exact amount, instead of over-prepping and wasting.
- Training staff – Training staff who handle food and engaging their help to reduce food waste is a very effective way in which you can control it, since they are the ones who are regularly preparing and arranging the food, and they will be able to provide better more innovative ideas for reducing wastage.
- Proper stock control – Efficient ordering and stock rotation is very important in your endeavors to reduce waste, by not over ordering on things that may spoil after some time and thus result in greater wastage. In addition, all food items should be stored in a proper manner in clearly marked containers and packages, which will include the date purchased. Practicing a proper food order rotation means you will always serve only the freshest produce, rather than old frozen stock.
- Excess food – While it is sometimes inevitable that you will have excess food, you need to have a proper plan on what you do with it. Most restaurants and hotels practice donating such food to homeless shelters or soup kitchens to feed the needy, rather than waste it. On occasions when you have extra ingredients, you can find alternative ways to use it, and perhaps make some extra profits at the same time.
- Composting – One of the major disadvantages of food waste in the environmental impact it has, and a way to reduce this is by composting the biodegradable items. If you have your own fruit and vegetable gardens, as many establishments now do, then this compost can serve as a natural fertilizer for your crops.
- Recycling – Certain things like paper, plastic, glass etc can be given for recycling, once again reducing the negative impact you have on the environment. You should have clearly marked separate bins for disposal of recyclable waste, so that you can do it more effectively and efficiently.
Many establishments these days are more environmentally conscious, taking extra efforts to reduce the negative impact they have on it with sustainable practices. Increased food waste means more garbage and landfills, causing a huge problem, and reducing such waste can help you not only save the environment but reduce your costs as well. Effectively working towards reducing waste can improve your profit margins since you are not spending on unnecessary food which you will ultimately throw away. Plus, as we said efficient reordering means you are serving only food made from fresh ingredients, improving the taste and quality of your food.