Restaurants prepare and serve food every day that they’re opened, and if the restaurant is a popular one, they are producing a lot of food. As a result, restaurants also have a lot of food waste, whether it be unordered food that was already prepared or patrons that do not finish their meals.
One of the smartest things restaurant owners can do to make their business more successful is to have a waste management plan that helps reduce food waste in their food establishments. Many owners have probably implemented some of these practices in their day-to-day business already, but there is always room for more improvement and identification of better process by waste cost reduction experts. The more a restaurant can decrease their food waste, the more profits an owner can expect.
Whether it’s plates being scraped by the dishwasher or food in the kitchen that can’t be used for any reason, it’s important to monitor food waste. For instance, if you see a ton of leftover sour cream being scraped from guest plates, you may want to reduce the amount served to prevent the amount that is being thrown away.
Monitoring waste may also help cooks and management determine a better way to prepare certain dishes to reduce waste and also reduce your food waste hauling costs.
Compare Ingredients Purchased to Ingredients Used
How often are ingredients purchased being compared to ingredients used? When trying to reduce food waste, it’s vital that a complete inventory of what is purchased is compared to what is used. Furthermore, it’s even more important to compare what is used to what is wasted.
Only after an inventory of food waste is completed can management better assess what is being purchased. During comparisons, management should seek out alternative purchase arrangements such as changes in size, storage, and frequency of deliveries.
After an analysis of what is being used, wasted, and purchased is completed, it’s time to look at the menu. While doing this, consider mainstreaming the menu to use similar ingredients or reduce the menu size if you find that there are many items that NEVER get ordered. Menu options that include expensive ingredients or ingredients that spoil quickly should be compared with sales to ensure owners are making a profit. If not, the item should be considered for removal from the menu because it is likely that it is being wasted.
By creating a successful waste management plan, restaurant owners can reduce waste and increase profits. Overall, a well-thought out way to deal with food waste from restaurants will create happier employees and allow the business to run more smoothly.
About the Author
David Fahrion serves as the President of Waste Control after a 40-year career in the waste and recycling industry. Prior to joining Waste Control, he worked exclusively for CR&R and its affiliates since 1986 serving as the President of the Solid Waste Management Division. During his career, he worked on all facets of the solid waste management business from dispatching and routing to contract negotiations and state facility permitting.