Running a restaurant is like one long balancing act between reducing food waste and a quality menu. Not only is food waste putting a huge burden on our planet, but wasted food can be a huge burden on your restaurant budget. Reducing food waste in your restaurant can save you money, save the planet, and make your kitchen more efficient.
Reducing waste in the commercial kitchen
It is estimated that in a full-service commercial kitchen, approximately 11.3% of the food will go to waste. That’s a lot of food. If you implement changes to properly manage the food waste in the restaurant and take steps to minimize waste, then you can save a lot of money on food and preparation.
Waste management in a restaurant
The first step to reducing waste in the restaurant is to take inventory of what you buy, what you serve, and what gets thrown out at the end of the day. The second step is to make changes to how you purchase food, utilize food, and alternative ways to use the leftovers. Dedicate a few members of your staff to be responsible for managing your waste, and coming up with creative ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Yes, you can reduce, reuse, and recycle food.
- Reduce – Buying too much food, to begin with, is often the first mistake that a commercial kitchen makes. By properly tracking and analyzing your food needs you can more easily make reductions when you purchase food. Reducing food waste begins with your initial shopping list.
- Reuse – There is so much food that goes to waste because it doesn’t “look good.” We understand that your food needs to look good and consistent from plate to plate, but, you need to get more creative with your menu. Anything you cut away and don’t use on one plate can be repurposed on another plate or in another dish.
- Recycle – When you are down to the last scraps of food that cannot be used, don’t toss the food in the garbage. Create a composting program so that food scraps and waste can be recycled and reused as fertilizer and nutritious dirt for a vegetable garden.
Make food waste reduction part of your menu
Having a green waste management initiative at your restaurant can be a big draw for consumers. Environmental consciousness is becoming increasingly important, so use your waste reduction initiatives to draw in more customers. Create weekly dishes that support your efforts, like a delicious left-over stew, soup, or scramble. Turn your waste management program into delicious meals and turn your food waste into profit.
Sunrise Sanitation provides waste management services in West Virginia and Garrett County, Maryland. For curbside pickup at your restaurant or place of business, contact us about our services.