What can be done to reduce food waste?
Whilst having zero waste is practically impossible in a commercial kitchen, there are a number of things that can be done to radically minimize that waste. Food waste comes from three core hospitality actions:
- Over-purchasing driven by the fear of not having enough to feed everyone.
- Over-producing because you need to ensure that everyone has more than enough to eat (and have lots and lots of choices).
- Over-serving because you’re in the hospitality business and need to be seen to be generous.
To start reducing food waste, the following seven actions are good starting points:
- Measure how much is wasted. This will help identify where most waste is coming from.
- Monitor what is wasted. This will help answer the “why” behind the waste volume.
- Offer different portion sizes and don’t over-serve at serving counters. 1.Offer fewer excellent choices rather than a mass of OK ones. Quality rather than quantity.
- Informally or formally question your staff and guests about their food preferences (preferences, portion sizes).
- Develop clever delicious re-purposing recipes for excess stock and left-overs.
- Make sure that your staff are educated about food waste; including its environmental and operational impact.
Reducing food waste is a process. And a journey. It will not happen overnight. But it shouldn’t take forever. Key is to start. And then measure the impact on your bottom line.