The U.S. Has A Devastating Food Waste Problem and You’re Contributing to It.

“Every year, 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted”

In the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30-40 percent of the food supply. 84.3% of unused food in American restaurants ends up being disposed of, while 14.3% is recycled, and only 1.4% is donated. In most of the restaurants, a lot of food is wasted due to poor infrastructure and difficulty with storage and refrigeration. American consumer behaviour, lack of culinary education, and high aesthetic standards are the main reasons behind food waste.

“If we could stop wasting food, imagine how many more people we could feed!”

Let’s work it out together! Restaurant food waste management is a must for every big or small restaurant. Reducing food waste make good business sense! The cost of food is the second largest expense in the restaurant industry. And it’s a high time now for restaurants to start including smart kitchen waste management on their priority list.

1. Create a team of responsible people for this job – People who will participate religiously in the activities. It is better to hire the people who are already involved with cleaning and washing dishes because they have a basic idea of the quantity and the type of garbage the restaurant produces on daily basis. It’s very important to educate the people about methods of recycling and reusing. The team should be able to manage the mess and how to tackle the mess in the restaurant.  

2. Track and analyze the waste in a restaurant – It important to analyse the waste that your restaurant produces. Put it in subcategories like pre-consumer waste or post-consumer waste, particular dishes getting wasted or maybe waste of appetizers. Learn the reason of customers wasting the food, is it the bad quality, taste, or their likes and dislikes. Is it in large portions or delay in orders. Based on your analysis you will make improvements in your next move.

3. Evaluate your inventory – Conduct inventory frequently in order to compare purchase and quantity of garbage. Evaluate the existing stock before purchasing more because a lot of stock is wasted if ordered in huge portions. Check for spoiled food items, and always keep a track of the manufacturing date and the expiration date of each. Always remember, cross-utilization will lower the number of items in your inventory.  

4. Add Daily Specials to Your Menu – If you have a surplus of any ingredients, innovate delicious daily specials to use up your inventory. Your customers will appreciate the pleasant change in your menu and you will reduce food waste at the same time. It’s like killing two birds with one stone!

5. Donate Unused Food to Local Charities – According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, approximately 13 % of American households face difficulty in providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources. Many restaurants are taking a step towards donating food to the local charities. TasteM8 is one such app which gives you great deals on your meals and at the same time helps you to donate to various charities. TasteM8 is also passionate about solving community hunger and you can be a part of it. How? It’s easy! TasteM8’s allows you to donate a part of your earnings to any of your favourite food charity, while you’re enjoying restaurants at discounted prices. Check here – 

6. Recycle everything that can be recycled! – The EPA and USDA Food Waste Challenge work with many restaurants to increase their access to composting and recycling options for those foods that can’t be reused or given away. Recycling food is a good option for restaurants as a big chunk of food is wasted every day. If you don’t have room for storing discarded bottles and cans then it is best to serve fountain or draft drinks.  

By doing this you will not only notice a huge difference in saving food, but it will make an impact on the creation of a positive image of your restaurant. It will improve food service practices and equipment. It will give a positive impact on employee morale.

It’s both disappointing and puzzling to see how much food is wasted in a year. Together, we can control wastage of food that is happening around us. When it comes to waste in your restaurant, always remember the old saying: reduce, reuse, and recycle! Your revenue, profit, and business will reflect well on your efforts to reduce food waste.