Ten Easy Ways to Minimize Food Waste in Your Business

In Food Waste by Diane WheelerLeave a Comment

Is your business incurring huge losses due to food waste and mismanagement?

Have you tried your best to minimize food waste in your business without tangible success?

Do not be a statistic!

Many companies are incurring huge losses as a direct result of food going to waste. 

According to a report by the National Restaurant Association, about 4 to 10 percent of edible and inedible food purchased by restaurant businesses goes to waste. If left unabated, the losses incurred can be unimaginable.

The good news is that this does not have to be you! Waste Control Inc provides the best ways to minimize food waste, helping your company save costs and become more sustainable.

With a significant portion of the globe going green, you need to follow suit and implement the necessary measures to promote sustainability. 

This includes minimizing food waste in your business and making the most of modern food safety procedures.

Below is an outline of what this post covers:

  1. Produce according to demand
  2. Utilize excess food
  3. Recycle
  4. Compost
  5. Store food more effectively
  6. Feed leftovers to animals
  7. Donate excess food
  8. Train your staff on minimizing food waste
  9. Reduce packaging
  10. Use reusable items

Here is a look at the top 10 best and most effective ways to minimize food waste in your business.

1. Produce According to Demand and Spot the Difference

Food waste refers to the non-reusable items in food storage and handling, as well as unused surplus food.

Overproduction is one of the leading causes of food waste, with many businesses using it as a way to save time and money. But then again, this leads to a lot of food going to waste.

Most restaurants cook food in huge batches to cater for their customers, who in some cases, don’t finish the food. To prevent this in your company, ensure that you only produce the right amount of food to meet the demand.

Even better, you can adopt the “cooked to order” system in which you only cook when a customer places an order because the demand for food can vary on different days and times of the day. 

This can prevent overproduction, and minimize food waste in your business.

Alternatively, you can prepare food in smaller batches and wait until it is finished before you cook another batch. This will help minimize the surplus food that goes to waste due to low demand.

In case you’re running a business other than a restaurant, you should also avoid the overproduction of food for your employees in case you provide lunch at work. 

For instance, instead of cooking the same batch size every day, ensure that you count the number of employees present in the morning before preparing lunch for them to avoid food waste.

2. Utilize Excess Food & Save On Costs

Regardless of how hard you try to limit overproduction and cook only when there is demand, you will find yourself with leftover food at some point. So, what do you do with it to avoid food waste?

There are many ways of utilizing leftover food in your business, including heating and re-cooking the food in a microwave. 

Some types of food will remain in good condition longer than others at room temperature. For example, fruits, vegetables, and baked foods can remain safe for several hours, even without refrigeration.

That said, you should make the leftover foods safe for consumption by heating or re-cooking them to revitalize them, instead of throwing them in the bin.

Since some foods don’t stay safe for long. Avoid using them as they may cause health issues, such as stomach upsets.

3. Why Recycling is an Effective Way to Minimize Food Waste

Recycling remains an effective way of avoiding wastage of resources while promoting sustainability in the business. 

Since it may be difficult or even impossible to recycle real food, you should consider recycling the non-edible portions of the food. These include, among others, bottles, tins, paper, and other forms of packaging.

Recycling will not only save money but also promote a sustainable environment on your business premises and minimize food waste. 

To make this easier, install different bins and label them depending on the type of litter you want to be placed inside. For instance, you can have a bin for plastic bottles and a different bin for paper products.

If possible, you should have a unit on the premises that recycles non-edible food products. This will save outsourcing costs and lower your overall production costs.

4. How Making Compost is a Good Way of Reducing Food Waste

As you recycle other food waste products, take note that some waste will neither be recyclable nor reusable. This means you will need a different way to utilize such waste. 

For instance, fruit peels, seeds, vegetable stalks, and food remains on plates cannot be recycled.

To make good use of them, consider making compost for further production of food in your business garden. 

If you are running a restaurant business, you will probably have a lot of food remains, as well as organic materials that can be useful in the garden.

Composting is a good way of using food remains to make organic fertilizer and use it to grow other vegetables. It is safe, economical, and sustainable.

5. Store Food More Effectively

Poor food storage is among the leading causes of food waste around the globe. The damage can occur anywhere from manufacturing, packaging, transportation, and storage. 

For example, poor storage methods allow microorganisms to penetrate and contaminate the food, making it unsafe for consumption.

Similarly, exposing some foods to the air creates a conducive environment for the invasion and multiplication of microbes. 

That’s why you should be careful when handling food at all points along the production and supply chain.

More specifically, different foods require specific environments for optimum storage. For example, cow’s milk can stay below 45 degrees Fahrenheit for long hours without fermenting.

This means that you should know all the storage requirements of all the foods you have in stock, and provide the optimum storage conditions to avoid spoilage.

In case you handle more perishable foods, such as meat, vegetables, and fruits, you should have refrigerators in place to provide safe storage space.

Also, canned food should be in airtight containers and stored for no more than three years from the date of manufacturing. 

In other words, you can prevent food from going bad by simply storing it in the right conditions and for the required length of time.

6. Learn How to Turn Leftovers into Yummy Animal Feed

Sometimes, leftover food that is harmful to humans can be safe for animals and birds. 

For example, you may get a stomach ache if you eat cold food cooked the previous day, but your chickens will celebrate the delicacy and suffer zero effects.

This means that, instead of throwing away leftover food, you can consider feeding your animals, if you have any as part of the food recovery process.

Pigs are an example of animals that will happily eat human food, and feeding them leftovers from your office is a great idea.

If you have pigs and other animals as part of your business, you can feed them the leftovers from the dining room.

Otherwise, you should liaise with nearby pig farms and supply the remains to the farmers at a cost. Farmers who rear pigs and other animals have a high demand for leftover food, and they will be willing to pay for it. 

This means you will get a chance to dispose of your surplus food and earn some money from it.

7. Donate Excess Food and Find Joy in Feeding the Less Fortunate

Sometimes, you can have surplus food that is still in good condition and is safe for human consumption. Since it may be difficult to find someone to buy all of it, donating it will be the next best option.

Thousands of poor people go for many hours or even days without food. Besides, some people have access to food, but the food is either inadequate or unsafe for consumption. 

That’s why many children suffer from malnutrition while others get food poisoning from consuming spoilt food.

Instead of watching your surplus food go bad, you should consider donating it to those who can’t afford it.

For instance, you can donate it to a nearby shelter, orphanage, foster home, or any charitable organization. This will help feed a hungry child somewhere and minimize food waste.

Take note that surplus food does not only mean cooked food. Therefore, you should donate any food that could go to waste if not consumed within a short time. This includes cooked food, fruits, vegetables, and milk.

8. Train Your Staff on Minimizing Food Waste

As you probably know, your employees hold significant responsibility for ensuring that food does not go to waste. In other words, you can implement measures to minimize food waste, but unless your employees cooperate in this cause, you won’t have any success.

With this in mind, you should educate your staff on the importance of minimizing food wastage, and train them on the best ways to avoid this.

Food forums, such as corporate dinners are the best places to teach your employees about food waste. If you have a restaurant business, then this kind of education can occur at any time of the day.

With your staff enthusiastic about saving food and minimizing waste, you will find it easier to maintain this attitude as a culture in your business. 

For instance, you can organize weekly donations of food to the less fortunate, or ask employees to compost leftovers in groups.

Besides, you can offer rewards to employees that prove to be efficient at minimizing food waste.

9. Reduce Packaging to Prevent Additional Waste

Most of the non-edible food items, including wrapping papers and packaging boxes, contribute to a lot of food waste in your business. This can be worse if the packaging is made of non-degradable materials, such as plastic. For example, plastic bottles, tins, and cans are harmful to the environment and are obviously non-sustainable.

Researchers have linked plastic materials to some lifestyle diseases, such as cancer. Therefore, it’s worth noting that such materials are not only harmful to the environment but also to you and your employees.

To minimize the usage of such materials, try to eliminate packaging as much as you can. Alternatively, use safer and degradable materials such as paper products to package your food and minimize food waste.

Paper can be recycled and reused without posing a danger to the environment or yourself. You can also modify paper products to make packets that can store liquids, such as milk and soda.

10. Use Reusable Items for Serving and Storing Food

Apart from the recycling, reusing items is also an awesome way of saving costs and promoting sustainability in the business. Most bins are full of items that cannot be reused or recycled and are expensive. 

For example, disposable plates are an excellent cheap option for a birthday party of one of your employees, but the long-term costs are high.

Basically, sustainability involves cutting the long-term costs, focusing on the bigger picture and not just on the one-time cost, such as a birthday party. 

This means, to avoid long-term food waste, you should consider stocking your kitchen with reusable utensils, such as glass, metal, and wooden plates and cups.

This way, you can use the same utensils over and over without having to throw them in the bin.

On the contrary, plastic plates and cups are also reusable, but they are not safe and sustainable. That said, you should try to minimize their use in your kitchen and utilize safer materials to store and handle food.

What’s the takeaway?

Did you know that if we save 1/4 of food lost we can feed 870 million people?

It’s worth noting that minimizing food waste is crucial to your business operations and something that you should strive toward. 

In most cases, you could have the enthusiasm to minimize food waste, but you don’t have the means to make it successful. That’s where professional services come in handy. 

If you need help creating a sustainable environment in your business, hire Waste Control Inc to save your time and costs, and minimize food waste.