The issue of food waste has been a hot topic for many years. Environmentalists are learning just how damaging it can be to our planet, and research has brought to light how much waste comes from restaurants. Once upon a time, restaurants might not have had food waste on their radar, but shocking statistics have led to some great information as to why restaurants should take notice and take action.
According to the USDA, the restaurant industry loses 162 billion dollars every year to wasted food. This is the result of a plethora of issues, from poor training to a lack of education. While some restaurants may not think twice about food waste, it is definitely something every restaurant owner, operator and manager should educate themselves on and look into how much money they could be saving by adhering to a few small changes. Implementing new strategies can seem daunting and time consuming but when you see how much is being wasted and how you can save your restaurant a considerable amount of money, making some minor changes will seem like a walk in the park.
Store Food Properly
This strategy shouldn’t throw a huge curveball in your day to day operations, but it is very important to store your food properly. You want to have a back-up plan in place for when one of your freezers or refrigerators goes out or for unforeseen power outages. Investing in a bluetooth temperature sensor to store with your food can save you from a food waste catastrophe. This will give you time to get to the restaurant before your food goes bad and needs to be thrown out.
Educating staff on why it is important to reduce waste and setting up a clear system to make sure everyone knows how they can play a role in being part of the solution is a great way to engage employees and get them on board. Look at every aspect of your kitchen and see where you can reduce waste. Make sure those who are prepping food know how to trim, cut and properly portion plates. Talk to those employees who are taking orders to reinforce the importance of getting the order right the first time. It costs a restaurant a lot of money to remake an entire plate and can result in a large amount of food waste that could have possibly been avoided. Reading the order back to the customer and confirming what they do or don’t want on their burger will help reduce the number of wrong orders.
Utilize Third Party Solutions
Last week on our blog, we wrote about the importance of being able to visually see reports on how your restaurant is doing. You want to see actual usage versus ideal costs and be able to compare trends through the days, weeks and years. Using a third party solution gives you the accessibility to see what you bought and compare it to what was used so you can accurately track your food waste and make adjustments accordingly. Software out there today can even set up automated daily email reports. This gives managers the upperhand to be able to tackle problems quickly, reducing the chances for waste more than ever before. These third parties also offer detailed plate costing so you can help with issues like improper portioning and waste. Inventory management is another benefit from this software that can help keep food waste at a minimum. The reports you receive will help you accurately order. There are many advantages to implementing restaurant software service that will assist your restaurant in staying out of the red and reducing food waste.
A restaurant’s highest expense is food cost, so you want to make sure that you are spending money on food that won’t be wasted. Start with small steps and work your way up however it best fits in with your restaurant. In a short time, you will begin to see an increase in profits and will be doing our planet a service as well!