Reducing Food Waste? Here Are 6 Steps to Achieve It

February 5, 2021

In the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30–40 percent of the food supply. Unfortunately, the restaurant industry is a vast contributor to this problem.

It is a problem not only for the environment and the people who could benefit from surplus food, but it also hurt restaurants' profit. The cost of meal preparation is the second-largest expense in the restaurant industry, right after personnel costs.

With these steps, you can reduce the avoidable food waste cost by up to 10%.

An infographic about ways to reduce food waste in restaurant: conduct waste audit, avoid over-buying stock, store food correctly, practice the FIFO rule, control portion size, train employees on how to reduce waste.

#1 Conduct waste audit

Conduct regular audits to know how much food your diners left and how many ingredients are thrown away on a daily basis. The insights you will gain from a waste audit will help you manage food waste responsibly and sustainably.

#2 Avoid over-buying stock

Think carefully about how much food your restaurant needs to prepare in advance. Your kitchen will be able to predict busy shifts or which particular items in need of a restock. Only ordering what you need and conducting the weekly audit will save your restaurant money on food costs in the long term.

#3 Store food correctly

Store all food items in an appropriate container with efficient temperature control. Label them with required labels and the date of storage. With proper storage, you extend the food’s time of use.

#4 Practice the FIFO rule

First In, First Out. FIFO systems work for all types of food. Organize inventory and rotate it so that the oldest items in your kitchen will be used first, cutting down on food waste due to spoiling. 

#5 Control portion size

Plates and glasses with smaller volume will reduce portions. Simple tricks such as using smaller plates or giving your diners the option to opt-out of side dishes can help you reduce your food waste drastically.

#6 Train employees on how to reduce waste

Educate both fronts of the house and back of the house staff about easy implementation to reduce food waste. Teach your cooks how to prep food items for extended use and yield the most amount from certain food types.

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