How Can You Reduce the Food Wastage at Your Restaurant?

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A restaurant’s most significant expense is likely to be its food bill, especially given the rising costs of several restaurant staples. While there are various tools at an operator’s disposal for keeping food prices down, limiting food waste is essential for maintaining a healthy profit margin in the industry. Your restaurant’s bottom line will thank you when you cut down on food waste. Each party benefits from the arrangement.

How Can You Reduce the Food Wastage at Your Restaurant?

The following are some practical ways to reduce food wastage at your restaurant:

1. Perform an Audit

No one can know how much money can be saved or how much trash is being thrown away from the restaurant’s current procedures without conducting a waste audit. You’ll have to get dirty (literally) and rummage through garbage to find what you need. Have a group of people go through your trash for a week, opening bags each day before you put them out for collection. To complete the process, you can also opt for promotional materials, paper napkins, flyers, and other paper products.

Be wary of foodstuffs for takeouts, such as cups, plates, containers, produce, fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, and plastics. Don’t ignore other items, such as aluminum foil, broken plates, etc.

Feel free to modify these groups to suit better the food, services, and trash generated by your eatery. When you’re done sorting, you can use a scale to record the weights of each pile in a spreadsheet. The annual waste in each category can then be estimated by multiplying the weights by the number of days the restaurant is open. Examine the findings after completing the grunt work involved in performing a waste audit.

If you want to focus on improving waste management, look at the categories with the heaviest weights. For instance, finding that you throw away a lot of meat or produce could mean that the dishes currently on the menu aren’t selling as well as you’d like them to, that your prep chefs aren’t being thorough enough in their cuts, or that you’re receiving low-quality supplies from your distributors.

The results of a waste audit can have far-reaching effects on your restaurant’s operations by illuminating where and how to make improvements.

2. Compare all Shipments against the Order’s Requirements

Don’t take more than what you ordered when a delivery comes to your restaurant to cut down on food waste. If food is brought at the wrong temperature, it will spoil quickly and have to be thrown away. Therefore, it’s best to refuse anything that looks spoiled or damaged.

3. Check Your Serving Sizes Frequently

Avoid ordering meals with enormous serving sizes and extra-large sides. Many diners admit to taking leftovers home, with chips being the most frequently abandoned dishes. Customers often throw away edible sides like fries, vegetables, and salads because they were included with their main dish at no extra cost.

4. Establish Waste-Reduction Measures

Some eateries have adopted “zero waste” policies to cut down on trash and save money. It is more practical to take baby measures in every kitchen area to reduce food waste on a larger scale.

Composting is a viable option for surplus materials that have no practical use. If you’re lucky enough to have some outside space, you can utilize food scraps to make nutrient-rich compost for your very own herb and vegetable garden. Preventing food waste is a process with multiple steps.

For instance, prep chefs need to know how to properly cut, clean, trim, and portion food. Servers should always ask about customer preferences and allergies to avoid reorders. A restaurant’s food waste can be significantly reduced with well-trained staff.

Food wastage at a restaurant

5. Increase Sustainable Preparation

Promoting eco-friendly practices in the kitchen and striving to run a green establishment are also helpful waste management strategies for restaurants. Sustainable methods primarily benefit the planet. Eco-friendly restaurant practices are likely to be well-received by customers.

6. Train Your Staff

An easy and practical approach to prevent perfectly delicious food from being wasted is to train your staff on correct meal preparation techniques. Save water by rinsing multiple items in one go or using a thaw rack instead of running water when defrosting frozen foods. Educate workers on waste prevention techniques.

All those who work with food must undergo food safety training to comply with the law. This training should include instruction on how to maximize efficiency and minimize waste. It is essential for the personnel to be trained in proper food storage techniques, cooking methods, hygienic workplace practices, and the prevention of cross-contamination.

7. Reduce Waste and Reuse

Ask yourself if composting is a practical solution for the restaurant’s unusable food leftovers. Compost from commercial kitchens can be a fantastic natural fertilizer for landscaping and can be used to improve the soil in fruit and vegetable gardens. Composting helps you save money on garbage collection and lessens your environmental footprint by diverting garbage from landfills.

On the other hand, most trash in restaurants can be recycled, including paper, cardboard, cans, bottles, and other containers. Your food business can benefit the environment and save money on waste collection by putting these things in designated recycling bins. If you don’t want trash and recyclables to get mixed up, ensure the recycling containers at your business are correctly labeled and utilized only for recycling.

8. Avoid Bad Food Storage Habits

If the restaurant’s food is kept at the incorrect temperature, your refrigerator won’t be able to save it. Keep your fridge at 40 degrees or lower to prevent wastage. Don’t let perishables, such as leftovers, lie for longer than two hours. Foods that are meant to be frozen should be kept at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the fridge and freezer at the appropriate temperatures. Have a plan B ready for when something goes wrong, like a power outage.

Final Word

You can save money by reducing food waste in your restaurant without the help of a group of food experts and multinational corporations. The cost of food and drink is among the highest for most eateries. It’s essential to keep track of how much you use the food and how much you throw away to keep track of money.