And Run a Better Business
Each year, 30-40% of the country’s food supply winds up in landfills. That’s around 119 billion pounds of food, enough to feed the world’s undernourished population four times over. This problem can only be mitigated by taking action at every link in the supply chain. Next to labour, the biggest expense operators face is food. Reducing waste can profoundly affect the bottom line while creating an environmentally responsible business that’s good for everyone.
When you know where waste is occurring, you can take steps to stop it. Losses occur in three areas: kitchen, packaging, and plate. If you find that you’re ordering too much food or not using a first-in, first-out system, you should adjust your ordering habits to use more pre-cut or bulk items and review storage practices.
Your team also plays a role in reducing waste. Cut down on refires by training servers to ask about allergies and preferences with each order and educate kitchen staff on maintaining a waste-free environment. Take advantage of seasonally available items and always repurpose food that’s still safe to eat but past its prime. If you offer a buffet, identify items that are regularly discarded and get rid of them.
Establish relationships with local food recovery partners to donate excess food you would otherwise toss. They can help you create a schedule for pickup, educate staff on best practices, and supply you with the appropriate tax documents to track your donations.
Less frequently ordered or uneaten dishes should be eliminated from your menu and consider adjusting your recipes to include more multi-use items. Plate-sharing, reduced portion sizes, and off ering environmentally friendly disposables like Sysco EarthPlus® biodegradable and recyclable containers are more ways to help mitigate food waste.
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