Restaurants and Hospitality

Prioritizing best practices in your restaurant can reduce and prevent food waste and save you money. Beyond best practices in your kitchen, it is vital to also establish the sense of importance of not wasting food in your restaurant. Your customers will appreciate your efforts as well. In a recent study by Unilever, they found that 72% of U.S. diners said that they care about how food waste is handled, and 47% are concerned enough that they would be willing to spend more money to eat at a place that actively tries to reduce its food waste production.

Ways to Reduce Waste in Your Restaurant:

  • Conduct a food waste audit to find out how much waste and what kind of waste your restaurant is producing. An easy way to complete this is to use a waste tracking system, such as LeanPath. You can also use the Whole Earth Calculator from Rock and Wrap it Up to convert your pounds of food diverted into carbon dioxide and food donations into meal equivalent.
  • Talk to your staff and try to think of ways to improve.
  • Break your waste down into three categories: Pre-consumer waste, Post-consumer waste, and Disposables.
  • Ways to Reduce Pre-Consumer Waste:

    • Evaluate inventory
    • Find ways of repurposing ingredients
    • Train staff to reduce waste
    • Keep your stock organized with the “first in, first out” system
    • Offer staff meals if there is just enough ingredients left that won’t be enough for another dinner service

    Ways to Reduce Post-Consumer Waste:

    • Monitor portion sizes
    • Make sure your staff can explain every item on the menu and answer questions that customers may have to reduce the chance of a dish being sent back to the kitchen
    • Track the popularity of each dish
    • Encourage guests to take their food home with them

    Ways to Reduce Disposables:

    • Offer a discount to customers who bring their own to-go mugs or containers
    • Try compostable products

    Reducing trash disposal, reduces your cost as well. This is the cost savings of a restaurant in Nashville, TN over the past 3 years!

    Donate Surplus Food

  • Check out our Donate page for more information and to find a location near you that accepts food donations.
  • Recycle Food Scraps

    • Recycle food scraps by composting them. Find a composter in your area!
    • Donate or sell food scraps for animal consumption