How Cutting Your Food Waste Is Simple, Necessary and Profitable
A third of all food produced globally goes to waste every year. That is 1.3 billions tons annually; with a retail value of $1 trillion according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN. With almost 1 billion people going hungry, many of the resources used in food production (such as labour, water, energy and land) goes to waste while also increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Clearly, it is a big problem.
In the UK, restaurants, bars and hotels collectively produce 600,000 tonnes of food waste annually; much of which is avoidable.
Food waste cost the restaurant sector £682 million each year including food procurement, labour, utilities and waste management costs according to WRAP. Other than the obvious social and environmental benefits, why should a restaurateur care? It turns out that reduicing waste is also good business practice. £0.97 can be saved per meal served simply by adjusting your food waste management and practices. That is 97 pence that add directly to your bottom line.
How do I tackle my food waste?
- Follow the guidelines, tips and procedures to cut waste for your sector outlined by WRAP.
These include: changing the way you manage your stock (especially with low shelf-life products), training your staff (especially chefs) on waste management, reuse packaging, implementing recycling practices.
- Use technology and smart solutions
- New technological solutions can be implemented easily to assist your operation with leading companies such as Winnows and LeanPath offering systems and services to assist. Installing Smart meters gives you the data needed to ensure you are making the best use of your raw materials, purchasing the right quantities, and improving portion sizing.
- More and more apps are being developed to tackle a part of this big problem. One popular app is the To Good To Go app, which makes your surplus food (normally wasted) available for collection at a low price before your restaurant closes for breakfast, lunch or dinner service.