Whether it’s dining out at a fancy restaurant, grabbing a coffee and pastry from your local café or ordering takeaway from your favourite pizza shop, many of us remain acutely unaware of the amount of food waste generated by the hospitality industry on a daily basis. Unless you work within the industry, or even if you do, it is easy to ignore the implications of the amount of food waste that is ending up in landfill each year. Many food business owners understand that food waste impacts the profitability of their business, but not all may be mindful of the impact that it has on the environment.
According to a study by RMIT University, 250,000 tonnes of food waste is thrown out each year by food service establishments. It is important for cafes and restaurants to consider food waste reduction strategies, as not only will this make for better profit margins, but ultimately it will make for a better planet for future generations.
Perfectly edible food going to waste is not the only issue with food surplus in the hospitality industry. The water, energy and resources used in food production must also be considered as wastage. When food waste ends up in landfill, it rots and produces methane gas which is fatal to the environment and 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
Below are some basic tips on how to reduce food waste in the hospitality industry.
Donate Leftover Food
Some cafés and restaurants choose to give any leftover food at the end of the day to charities. Rather than edible food going into the bins, these organisations will collect leftovers from food businesses and redistribute to those who need it.
Careful Menu Planning
Understanding supply and demand, and what food items are popular with customers, can help to avoid ordering unnecessary stock. Taking the time to menu plan and assess the popularity of dishes can assist with reducing the amount of stock that gets thrown out. Should you have an oversupply of a certain ingredient, consider including it in a daily special.
Follow Food Safety Guidelines
Avoid food spoilage by ensuring your staff follow food safety guidelines. Make sure all foods are stored at the correct temperature and that fridges and freezers are well-maintained and monitored frequently.
Control Portion Sizes
While everyone loves a generous portion, it can lead to leftover food on the plate which ultimately ends up in the bin. Avoid unnecessarily large portions by controlling the size of plates dishes are served on. Customers will leave full and without wasting food. If there are leftovers, offer environmentally-friendly packaging for your customers to take their food home in.
If you would like more information on how to manage food waste in your café or restaurant, or detailed advice on how to implement a recycling solution in your food establishment for organics, contact Solo Resource Recovery. As an industry leader in waste management solutions for businesses of all sizes, we can assist with creating a food waste management plan that fits your needs. Contact us today on 1300 GO SOLO or visit our website for further information.