10 Ways to reduce food waste in restaurants

How to reduce food waste in restaurants

It has never been more important for hospitality businesses to be environmentally friendly and a large part of this comes down to reducing waste. This article reveals 10 simple ways for hospitality businesses to reduce food waste.

10 Ways to reduce food waste

  1. Avoid excess stock

Make sure you purchase ingredients that you know your business will use. Utilise technology and data to understand demand, enabling you to buy in bulk where suitable, without purchasing large quantities of ingredients that will go to waste.

  1. Label your food

One of the best ways to save time and reduce food waste in restaurants is to label food clearly. This makes it easy to spot which ingredients you have, or are running low on and helps you to use it before it goes out of date.

  1. Have an accurate stock inventory

Keep a detailed list of all foods and their expiry dates up to date, so you know exactly what you have and can use ingredients before they become unusable. This is a great way to reduce food waste, as well as saving time on having to do full, manual stock takes on a regular basis.

  1. Take stock rotation seriously

The ‘FIFO’ or ‘first in, first out’ approach to ingredients is a great way to reduce food waste in any type of hospitality establishment. This means you should keep older stock at the front, making sure it is used first, before it has the chance to perish.

  1. Temperature control

Temperature control is not only for food hygiene and safety; it can also help food items to last longer. Ensure staff are fully trained on the correct storage temperatures and techniques.

  1. Portion control

Inconsistent portion sizes are one of the most common reasons that restaurants end up with leftover stock, or run short. By having consistency with portion control, you are able to predict requirements more accurately and reduce food waste.

How to reduce food waste in restaurants
  1. Be efficient

Some ingredients can be utilised to a greater extent, for example, vegetable peelings or animal bones can be used to create soups or stocks. Think about the potential uses of any ingredients that you regularly throw away.

  1. Offer takeaway boxes

Ask your customers if they would like to take their leftovers home in a container, reducing the amount of food waste, offering more value for money and leaving customers happy.

  1. Offer alternative sides

Side dishes are often one of the most wasted parts of a meal. Offer multiple options of sides to increase the likelihood of customers eating them and reduce food waste.

  1. Donate to a local charity

If you have leftover ingredients or meals, there are many charities and organisations such as Fareshare where you can donate food to those in need. This is a fantastic way to benefit others, as well as helping you to reduce food waste in hospitality.

Reduce food waste FAQ

How can I reduce food waste?

You can reduce food waste by predicting requirements accurately, being as efficient as possible, offering takeaway containers and much more. If you’re wondering how to reduce food waste in your business, read this article for 10 tried and tested methods.