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Reduce Food Waste at Your Restaurant, Increase Your Profits

By Leslie Radford

Key Takeaways

Waste Audit Train Your Staff Prep the Right Amount

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. 


Here are some practical ways to reduce food waste in your restaurant:

1. Conduct a Food Waste Audit

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.

2. Train Your Staff to Reduce Food Waste

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.

3. Stop Over-Prepping

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.

Be Diligent

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.

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