According to the USDA, food waste costs the restaurant industry approximately $162 billion every year! If you focus on reducing food waste in your restaurant, you’ll save your business money in the long run.
Tips for Food Waste Management
- Store food correctly
Ensuring your refrigerators and freezers are running at the correct temperatures is a huge way to make an impact on reducing food waste. You’ll also want to make sure foods are stored correctly and the area is kept clean to reduce bacterial growth.
- Make sure you are rotating your stock correctly
Follow the “FIFO” rule – first in, first out. You always want to make sure to stock the newest items behind the older items. This ensures that the older item is used up first and will reduce waste.
- Keep track of inventory
Every restaurant should have a detailed list of all of its stock including “use by / expiration” dates. This not only ensures that your inventory doesn’t go to waste but also helps in the re-ordering process.
- Keep a close eye on portion control
You may notice that there is almost always food left on customer’s plates after they are finished eating. The top two uneaten items include potatoes/fries and salads. Consumers often see these items as an “add on” to their dish and are more likely to discard these items than the center of the plate items. Keep an eye on those portions and not only reduce waste but save yourself some money.
- If you have a buffet or self-service counter, don’t offer trays
Customers are more likely to practice portion control on their own if they are only able to carry a plate at a time rather than a tray with several plates. When customers are offered a tray, the old phrase of “your eyes are bigger than your stomach” reigns true. They will often pile on more food than they can eat.
These 5 tips are a great start in the right direction to reduce food waste in your restaurant, saving you money in the end. At JD Food we’re passionate about providing you with the best quality food, at affordable prices to help you run your business more successfully and profitably.