It’s unfortunate that the number one item to end up in landfills happens to be food. A study by the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA) found that 84.3% of unused food in American restaurants ends up as waste.
Food waste is costing restaurants serious cash– to the tune of $2 billion per year. Controlling food waste is one of the biggest opportunities your restaurant has to increase its profits.
Do you know how much of what your restaurant is throwing out? You can keep a log of everything that is thrown out on a daily basis and evaluate where you need to cut back on things like paper goods, takeout products, produce, meat, etc.
Encourage staff to jot down descriptions of items that are disposed of. Over time, your restaurant’s waste log will enable you to track your progress and assess whether your efforts have put a dent in reducing waste in your restaurant.
Educate both the front of house and back of house staff about ways to reduce food waste, and teach them tactics they can implement.
Teach your prep cooks cutting techniques that keep food items fresher for longer, as well as techniques that yield the most amount of product from a cut of meat, chicken, fish, vegetable, or other produce items. The more of a food item you can use, the less of that item will end up as food waste.
If your restaurant’s waste journal is telling you that you are throwing out a certain type of food every two days, it’s pretty obvious that your kitchen is prepping too much of that item.
Forecasting using your waste log will help your kitchen predict what they may need to stock. Accurate prepping will save your restaurant money on food costs and labor needed to prep that food.
Of course, these are just a few ways you can reduce food waste and help increase your profits. A little diligence and awareness go a long way. Southwest Restaurant Equipment wants your business to be successful and is always here to help keep your professional kitchen running efficiently.