Food wastage at buffet dinners

Why is Food Wastage More Common at Buffet Dinners

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Buffet dinners are one of the many reasons individuals get excited to dine out. Hotels gain popularity when they offer travelers buffet dinners at low prices, and many company dinners also seek out restaurants where buffets are organized so that people can eat according to their preferences.

As a result, you will find colorful plates of vegetables, fruits, meat, salad, and loads of dessert on each person’s table. By the end of the meal, most of the plates will be left semi-full, and where does all that wasted food go? You guessed right- it goes into the trash.

Food Wastage at Buffet Dinners

Food wastage at buffet dinners

Food wastage is a huge problem all over the world that comes with detrimental environmental effects. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, one-third of the food is discarded or spoiled before it can be consumed. Because of this, 800 million people go hungry every day across the globe.

Nineteen percent of the waste in landfills is wasted food, which causes the production of methane and other greenhouse gases. Since 1974, the per capita food waste in the US has increased by 50 percent, and the waste continues to increase by 220 pounds every year with every generation.

At a buffet dinner, you will find an abundance of food displaced. This food will be of every color and shape you can imagine, so the prospect of taking a little taste of everything is exciting. To ensure that the food does not run out and all guests have plenty on their plates, dishes on the buffet are replaced before they are even empty.

This means that not only does the food get wasted because of the restaurant, but since food safety requirements only allow 10 to 15 percent of leftovers to be donated, the rest goes to waste.

Why is Food Wastage More Common at Buffet Dinners?

Before the buffet service starts, contract caterers and hotels get a rough estimate of the number of guests who will attend the dinner. The kitchen uses this information to forecast the volume of food needed.

Usually, extra food is made because chefs are unaware of each person’s appetite. Moreover, they always keep extra in case guests arrive at the last minute. Their mindset is that having more food is always better than running out of food.

How to Reduce Food Wastage at Buffet Dinners

Buffets are great but aren’t the best when it comes to food wastage. We would recommend completely shutting them down. However, when too much food is displayed, it can go untouched, causing it to become stale. Instead, restaurants can cook the food live during the service each time someone orders. This will keep customers interested and allow them to interact with the chefs. Moreover, it will lower the amount of food wasted.

Another way is to give guests smaller plates, so they get up for seconds. At buffets, people tend to pile their plates high with so much food because they want to justify the money they are paying or just get excited at the sight of so much delicious food. However, if guests are given smaller plates, they will not be able to put too much food on their plates in the first place. Hence, they will have to return for seconds if they want more food.

A trick to help deal with food wastage is to make the buffet look full without actually heaping it with food. This means using serving dishes that are not as deep or reducing the size of these dishes so that they can store only a specific amount of food. More attention can be paid to the decoration, so the buffet looks appealing to guests. This way, the management will have to replenish the food each time it finishes, and guests will also enjoy fresher food, lowering the amount of food wasted at the end of the night.