Why worry about food waste
Food waste is an enormous issue that modern businesses can’t afford to ignore. The
United Nations Environment Programme’s 2021 Food Waste Index has found that an
estimated 931 million tonnes of food go to waste every year, 26 per cent of which comes from foodservice. This incredible volume burdens waste management systems and is a major contributor to climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution and food insecurity.
In addition to the (weighty) environmental argument, there are other, more immediate reasons why it’s smart to slash your food waste:
● When food goes unused in your kitchen, you’re wasting good money on
disposal — on top of the costs incurred by ordering, prepping and cooking.
● Today’s customer is concerned about climate issues and more discerning
in choosing which businesses to support. Installing a thorough food waste
policy shows that you care, and is a positive selling point you can shout
How to cut kitchen waste
The best way to deal with food waste is to prevent it from happening in the first
instance, maximising financial and carbon savings by preventing raw materials being
used unnecessarily. Read on for advice on how to achieve a real reduction in the
amount of food waste produced in your kitchen.
● Perform a waste audit. Monitoring and measuring is the first step. The
‘three bin’ approach is an easy way to accomplish this. Install labelled bins
to collect food waste from three areas: kitchen prep, spoiled food and
customer plates. Monitor how much waste is collected in each bin over a
specified period of time — say, one week of service. Once you’ve identified
where your biggest problems lie, you can introduce targeted measures to
● Get staff involved. Emphasise the importance of reducing food waste and
ensure that employees understand how it should be segregated; you might
also appoint a designated food waste manager or team to encourage
ownership. Empower staff to reduce waste wherever possible and offer
incentives for doing so. Be sure to ask for feedback — some of the most
innovative ideas can come from kitchen and front-of-house staff.
● Practise stock rotation. Use the ‘first in, first out’ method when storing
food, placing newer stock to the back to ensure that older items are used
first. Check use-by dates often.
● Careful menu design is one of the most effective ways to reduce waste.
Rationalise the size of your order by ensuring certain ingredients can be
used across a number of dishes. Introduce a daily special, specifically
designed to use up ingredients that might otherwise go to waste. Review
your menu regularly and remove dishes that aren’t proving popular.
● Predict food orders. Having a system in place to help you predict orders
— whether manually or with the help of digital technology — means more
accurate data, a better understanding of order patterns and more control,
which ultimately leads to less waste and more money saved.
● Exercise portion control. Be wary of oversized food portions — quality is
more important than quantity. If your menu has items that are consistently
left unfinished, it’s time to reduce those portions to prevent waste.
● Donate. Ensure that anything you can’t use goes to a good home. Partner
up with OzHarvest or a similar enterprise, or link with a local food bank to
donate leftover meals and/or ingredients.
Nutritics’ software helps businesses unlock the hidden value of food data, to manage recipes, create labels, plan meals, order and publish menus.
With a dedicated office and support team in Australia, we are trusted by industry
leaders like Compass Australia, YouFoodz, AAFCANs, Foodco and more.
If you’re interested in how an automated stock management and ordering system can help reduce kitchen waste and cut costs effectively. Book a free consultation with our experts today!
Click here to learn more.