Before we delve deep into food waste management, let’s take a look at some alarming statistics:
- According to a 2104 EPA study, we throw away almost 38 million tons of foods every year—equivalent to the weight of 104 Empire State buildings!
- According to a Guardian report, about 50% of all produce in the USis thrown away.
- The most important reason behind growing food waste is that it is much cheaper in the US.
- Countries like France are managing food wasteby banning supermarkets from throwing it away, instead they are required to donate it.
But is that the only way to food waste management? Particularly when you own food service operations in the form of a restaurant or delivery service? Here’s what you can do:
Dedicate a team to food waste management
Depending on the scope of operations and the capacity, your food waste management team could include a single person or more. It would be perfect if these people are also involved in the preparation of food. These people are familiar with the process and would know better where they can cut down.
Conduct A Food Service Waste Audit
There are two types of food wastes in restaurants:
- Left before consuming food
- Left after guests leave
Waste left before would include peels, leaves and bones. This is where almost 10% of uncooked food ends up. This can prove to be a loss but you can turn it around by devising creative solutions—consider donating it.
Now consider the waste left after guests leave. Paper cups, bones, left meals all fall in this category and are typically triggered by our urge to advertise larger meals. Consider assessing the quantity of meals cooked in your restaurants and how you can cut them down.
Sort And Weigh It
The easiest way to sort different sorts of food waste is by using separate containers. This waste can be divided into categories like one that is recyclable—paper cups, plastic bottles. Another category would be organic waste.
Make sure that rules on waste categorization and management are clearly specified in the employee handbook.
Making informed purchases can dramatically reduce food waste. Consider cutting back on food inventory that you barely use and need to throw away because it expires. If you don’t have immediate access to those materials, consider purchasing them in smaller packets.
Invest In Good Quality Kitchen Equipment
All equipment used for preparation and serving should be of top quality. Use special knives for filleting, peeling and cutting. While this may seem like a simple change, it can noticeably reduce the quantity of food waste. In the long run, you will see your profits climb and a reduction in your impact on the environment.
Why? Mostly because the US food service market is focused on marketing larger meals and larger portions to attract customers. Consider switching to smaller plates and reducing the serving sizes to minimize food wastage.
Conduct Inventory Checks Religiously
Using simple order management software, you can keep a clear check on inventory, and quickly access the items you need. This also allows you to find out what you need on a daily basis and time your purchases.
How does this minimize food waste? Think expiry dates. Fortunately, restaurant management software is also able to cut record expiry dates, letting you know which foods you need to use early and faster and which foods you don’t need as often.
If you have recently started realizing the importance of online food ordering systems for waste management, don’t fret—we can help. With easy integration across your supply chain and with streamlined food service ordering solutions, OrderTron is your one-stop to efficient food service management.