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6 Ways to Reduce Food Waste

In restaurants all over the country, food is being wasted. Restaurants waste a massive amount of food every day, for several reasons. Spoilage, unsold food, and improper preparation are the main culprits. A lot of this can be prevented. Here’s how.

Training and apprenticeship

We’ve been to many restaurants where the phrase ‘trial by fire’ was quite literal. However, this type of training can lead to a lot of food waste. Teaching people how to prepare food with a minimum amount of waste early in their training will keep costs down.

Weighing and Tracking

Weighing and tracking that food waste has been shown to significantly reduce food waste. Make a challenge among your prep staff to see how little they can waste.

Maintenance for all restaurant equipment

If a cooler goes bad or a fryer is too hot, you’ll lose your product. Maintaining equipment like commercial deep fryers, walk-in fridges, and ovens is key to preventing spoilage mishaps. We recommend that you have a trained professional take a look at your equipment on a regular schedule.

Label Your Food

Food spoilage is one of the most preventable types of food waste. How many episodes of Kitchen Nightmares have you watched where Gordon Ramsay tossed the contents of entire freezers because he didn’t know what was in them? If proper food storage techniques are used, like labeling, food waste can be reduced.

Check your orders

Sometimes spoilage happens because too much food gets ordered or the wrong kind of food gets ordered. Make sure that your delivery orders are correct! This is another way to save your restaurant a lot of money.  We understand that it can take a bit of time to inspect all deliveries, but catching one mistake can save you hundreds.

Make sure that your portions are right

Finally, you could have food waste from your customers. This is very common. Offering to-go boxes sometimes isn’t enough. Cutting down on portion sizes is a sure way to save costs throughout the restaurant. More isn’t always better!

You can save hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars a year by reducing the amount of food waste that you have in your kitchen.  By employing some of these practices, you can not only increase your bottom line but help the planet.

Thanks go to Nick Saltmarsh on Flickr for the Creative Commons use of his picture.

2014-08-26 00:00:00
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