Food wastage is a significant challenge faced by the restaurant and hospitality industry, impacting both the environment and the business.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), roughly one-third of all food produced globally is lost or wasted each year. Business Waste estimates that specifically the foodservice industry in the UK alone produces more than 400,000 tonnes of avoidable waste each year.
In restaurants, cafes, takeaways, pubs etc, this issue can be addressed through strategic measures aimed at reducing waste throughout the supply chain and operations.
In this blog post, we'll explore ten effective ways to minimise food wastage.
1. Implement accurate inventory management systems
Accurate tracking of inventory is crucial for identifying overstocked items and minimising wastage. Leveraging modern technologies, such as Hubl app's wastage and inventory monitoring features, can provide real-time insights into stock levels, expiration dates, and consumption patterns.
This kind of technology allows for data-driven decisions, reducing the likelihood of overordering and ensuring optimal stock levels.
2. Optimise portion sizes
Review and adjust portion sizes to match customer preferences and minimise plate waste. Conduct regular evaluations of customer feedback and consumption patterns to refine portion sizes accordingly.
By offering flexible portioning options or encouraging sharing, restaurants can reduce plate waste and enhance customer satisfaction.
3. Implement a first-in, first-out (FIFO) system
FIFO is a simple yet effective method for inventory management. By organising products so that the oldest items are used first, businesses can prevent food spoilage and ensure that perishable items are consumed before reaching their expiration dates.
This method helps in reducing both kitchen and inventory waste.
4. Train staff on waste reduction practices
Ensuring that staff are well-trained on waste reduction practices is essential. Conduct regular training sessions on proper food handling, storage, and preparation techniques.
Educate kitchen staff about the importance of minimising trimmings and utilising all edible parts of ingredients. Well-informed staff can significantly contribute to reducing overall food wastage.
5. Collaborate with local food banks or charities
Establish partnerships with local food banks or charities to donate surplus food. By redistributing excess food to those in need, businesses can contribute to community welfare while minimising environmental impact.
Ensure compliance with food safety regulations and coordinate with local organisations to facilitate seamless donations.
6. Monitor customer feedback for menu optimisation
Pay attention to customer feedback regarding menu items. Analyse which dishes are frequently left unfinished or receive negative reviews due to portion sizes or taste.
Use this valuable input to optimise the menu, ensuring that it aligns with customer preferences and reduces food wastage.
7. Implement sustainable sourcing practices
Adopt sustainable sourcing practices by purchasing locally-produced, seasonal ingredients. This not only supports local farmers and reduces the carbon footprint associated with transportation but also ensures fresher ingredients that are less prone to spoilage.
Sustainable sourcing aligns with customer expectations for eco-friendly dining experiences.
8. Invest in smart kitchen equipment
Upgrade to energy-efficient and smart kitchen equipment that optimises cooking processes. Smart appliances can help control cooking temperatures, reduce cooking times, and improve overall efficiency.
This not only saves energy costs but also contributes to minimising food wastage during preparation.
9. Promote leftover management for customers
Encourage customers to take home leftovers by offering reusable, eco-friendly packaging or promoting a discount for those who bring their own containers.
This not only reduces plate waste but also fosters a culture of responsible consumption among patrons.
10. Regularly analyse wastage data
Continuously analyse data from wastage and inventory monitoring systems, such as Hubl’s food waste feature, which consists of a personalised checklist that automatically feeds through to a spreadsheet and can be easily filtered. This in turn highlights valuable information such as most wasted items and value of waste.
Regular evaluations help identify trends, areas for improvement, and potential cost savings. By staying proactive and data-driven, businesses can implement ongoing strategies to minimise food wastage and optimise operations.
Minimising food wastage requires a multifaceted approach that involves both operational and cultural changes.
By implementing the strategies outlined above, owners can not only contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly industry but also improve their bottom line through reduced costs and enhanced customer satisfaction.
Utilising advanced technologies like Hubl can play a pivotal role in achieving these goals, providing real-time insights and actionable data to drive positive change in hospitality operations.
For more information on how Hubl can help your restaurant in wastage and inventory monitoring, contact us directly.