Despite the world producing enough food to feed twice the present world’s population, food wastage is ironically the reason behind billions of people struggling to have a meal a day. It is crucial to look for easy ways to cut food waste in your restaurant. Food that can be served to millions has eventually figured out an enormous space in the waste bins. According to the Food Waste Index Report 2021, a staggering 50kg of food is thrown away per person in India every year. The report states that food waste substantially impacts the social, environmental, and economical realms in a broader range.
While this signifies a need for proper food management at a global level, small eateries and restaurants must take measures towards waste management. This isn’t solely for benefiting the economy but also helps in reducing food costs and overheads.
Here are the 5 most practical and easy techniques you can implement at your restaurant to reduce food wastage and save your business money in the long run.
1. Follow the FIFO method
“FIFO” stands for “First In, First Out” and is an effective way to organize perishables to avoid food wastage. According to the FIFO storage system, the newly bought food or groceries are placed behind the products with the soonest date of expiry. In simple terms, products with the nearest expiry dates are kept in the front row of the storage/refrigerator followed by the freshest and durable products at the back. Products like meat, dairy vegetables, and fruits are the best-fit categories to adopt the FIFO food storage system. This storage mechanism not just lessens food wastage but also ensures better food safety with improved customer satisfaction.
2. Use Common ingredients
One of the creative ways to reduce food wastage is by designing your menu with dishes you can make with similar ingredients. Restaurants can store seasonal key ingredients that go in common for most of the recipes cooked. Purchasing common ingredients in a bulk quantity delivers a sense of food security as you can use them eventually. This reduces the risk of food wastage and helps management track ingredients and the storage system better.
3. Pay attention to orders
Another effective way to refrain from tossing food into the trash bin is by evaluating your orders. If you often buy ingredients that you can use for dishes that you order the least. Make sure you avoid buying them in bulk. Instead, you can replace such dishes with the ones that you consume the least or similar dishes that are in high preference of your customers. You can do this by analyzing the dishes that people order the least at your restaurant with the help of your waiting staff. Apart from helping in wastage reduction, this also helps you understand your customer preferences and improve your business.
4. Donate the extra
The most effective technique to avoid food wastage is by donating the extra cooked or leftover food to the needy. According to the Global Hunger Index report, India falls under the ‘serious’ hunger category scoring 27.2. This proves an alarming need of addressing the issue. With enough willpower, restaurants can help to solve this efficiently. For example, you can team up with any local NGO/social organization and donate food in an event of excess food. Brands can also partner with food banks and aid the unprivileged to receive meals. This ensures that your food goes to a good home rather than piling up in the landfills.
5. Ask for a doggy bag
It’s not an uncommon scene to see diners leave a lot of food after a delectable meal. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) estimated that almost 40% of food produced in India is wasted every year due to an unorganized food system. It is great to politely ask your diners if they prefer to pack the leftovers and take them home. Restaurateurs say that customers, especially pet owners, prefer a doggy bag to give away the leftover meat pieces to their pets. This can be a win-win situation for the restaurants and the diners.
This is one of the easiest way to get your restaurant a good brand recognition. You can also read our blog on how you can turn your restaurant business into brand here https://blog.yumzyx.com/how-to-evolve-your-business-into-a-brand/ Creating a “green restaurant” can be unsettling initially. However, the results yielded are not just individual benefitting but also the economy on the whole. We hope you found the ways to cut food waste in your restaurant useful. Got some more creative ideas to reduce food wastage? Let us know in the comments.