Food waste is one of the problems that is seen in many places. Restaurant Food waste management with a schematic work process can be made easier to handle. Every year, almost 40% of the total food waste is produced by consumer-based food businesses. Food waste is one of the main reasons for the blockage of the water that is used in agriculture. Food waste causes methane gas, occupies landfills, and contributes to the climate crisis. Food waste is a bigger problem than visible, especially in restaurants. According to WRAP, the restaurant sector loses 682 million pounds each year.
Restaurant Food waste management has to be organized and planned in the restaurant sector. Otherwise, it will cost you and the envoy greatly. Reducing food waste requires proper management, categorizing the wastes, installing correct equipment, and ultimately, creating a system for waste reduction.
1. Use Commercial Grade Garbage Disposer
Installing a commercial food waste disposer and using it properly is the first step in restaurant food waste management. While buying a food waste disposer, check for the motor power, the volume, and the capacity of the food waste disposer. You should always buy disposers of above 1HP that can run continuously.
2. Planning Groceries
Restaurants should fill up their stock meticulously. Planning regular groceries is best to be done in the presence of the chefs. The manager should check the pantry regularly. Though restaurants require huge stock, overstocking is never a good thing, especially that of meats, fish, eggs, and vegetables. Having a flow of regular stock is best to avoid losses, produce better food, and reduce waste.
3. Avoiding Over-Buying
Buying extra, especially while trying out new menus, setting up new restaurants, or having losses will affect not only the means of the waste but also financially. Restaurants should always keep track of their sales to estimate the buying capacity and necessity.
4. Stock Inventory
Checking your stock and organizing them regularly is very important for preventing waste. Using labels for best-before dates, preparing checklists every day, and keeping track of all the stock will reduce chaos and waste.
5. Correct Storage Process
This step is extremely effective for busy and hot restaurant kitchens. Organizing the foods in your freezer will be the first thing to do. Older foods should be on the upper shelves and the newer ones in the lower ones. Try to use a stock rotation process or what is called the FIFO approach, i.e. First In First Out. It will ensure that soon-to-expire materials are being used first and the quality of food is up to the standards.
6. Separate Storage
Not just storing things in order but also preventing them from cross-contamination helps in increasing the usability of products. Meats and vegetables should be stored separately and so should raw meat and cooked vegetables, fruits, or meats to prevent their contamination by bacteria.
7. Labeling Food
Restaurants are hectic and hence for a smooth work process, labeling food with their basic information makes work easier. If foods prepared beforehand are stacked in containers and packages they should be neatly labeled with information about allergens, expiry date, name and description, and purpose. It reduces wastage caused by a mere lack of knowledge of the food present inside.
8. Temperature Control
Temperature control is quite necessary for dairy products, milk, eggs, beef, pork, lamb, fish, shellfish, and poultry. Without a proper facility for temperature control, restaurants may produce wastes every day. Assess the menu and allot separate fridges or units for different kinds of storage.
9. Donate Food To Local Communities
One of the most generous ways to ensure the prevention of wastage of post-cook food is tying up with local NGOs and communities that distribute excess food. In India, more than 50% of people get to eat just once. Donating food is a better way for restaurants to reduce landfill and feed people.
10. Sell At Cheaper Price In The Late Hours
There are many mobile apps that allow you to upload your restaurant for selling food at a sale price after the main hours of a sale. This way, you will get more customers and can ensure that you at least avoid losing the production cost of the food and reduce waste.
11. Staff Meals
Providing staff meals will always be a good thing because your consumers are not going to meet your estimated sales every day. Only a small amount of food will be delivered to the staff. It is not only a nice gesture to the staff but it also makes sure that food is not wasted.
12. Increasing Menu Choices
If the dishes at your restaurant come with sides of salads or chips you should design the menu so as to give your customer more choices. Mentioning the vegetables, seasoning, and ingredients in the menu and giving flexible choices to the customer will reduce the wastage of food.
13. Control Portions
Studies have shown that more than a quarter of the diners at restaurants tend to leave food on the plate. Controlling potions or giving more choices of portions will help the diners to choose according to the number of accompaniments and their appetite.
14. Repurposed Ingredients And Special Menus
The more variety of ingredients you have on the menu the higher the chances of creating food waste are. Hence, creating a menu that ensures that all parts of the material are being used will be effective. Creating a specialized menu also helps in repurposing wasted parts.
15. Good Quality Kitchen Tools
Invest in decent quality chopping boards, good quality non-stick pans, woks, and bent knives that are specially designed for restaurant kitchens. That way you will burn or waste less food and process the foods more efficiently.
16. Compost Food
Restaurants are the best places to do food composting. If your restaurant grows herbs and flowers freshly, doing garden food composting can be the best way to use the peels, scrapes, rotten, and expired food.
17. Conducting A Waste Audit
Conducting a waste audit will point out the primary kind of waste which your restaurants produce. For example, meat-oriented restaurants will produce meat fats, unused portions, and some vegetable scraps. Finding out how much and what kind of wastes are produced will help you to develop a system to handle the waste in the best way.
18. Categorizing The Waste
An effective way of reducing waste is by categorizing waste. You can separate the waste into dry, wet, and recyclable or non-recyclable and food wasted by customers – whichever way you want to. Once you have categorized the wastes it will be easier to build a system to handle them.
19. Checking Ordered Items
Whenever any order arises keep a supervisor to properly check and ensure the quality and the quantity of the food to keep things orderly and systematic. Enable precise ordering of items and create a menu around similar ingredients to reduce waste.
20. Responsible Team And Ethics
To reduce food waste, create ethics and rules for the segregation and the disposal of wastes in the correct way. Brainstorm ideas with your team for waste reduction and season them to be like-minded. Communicate openly with the staff to remind them of their duties.
More than Rs. 484 crore worth of food is wasted every day in India. Food wastes don’t just create problems in the ecosystem. They also create problems in society. Food is not correctly distributed to the needy. Proper restaurant food waste management tends to reduce food costs, generate capital, and increase profit by positively avoiding harming the ecosystem and reducing pollution.