Food waste: It’s been a concern ever since your parents admonished you for not cleaning your plate. As a decision-maker for a restaurant, you don’t have parents sitting across the table telling you not to waste your food anymore. Instead, you face the pressure of the market—and that’s a lot harder to bear. Food waste is one of the biggest expenses a restaurant encounters, and you need to cut those expenses to stay alive in a challenging marketplace. Go over some of these ways restaurants can reduce food waste.
No kitchen ever wants to run out of food. This is understandable, but it leads to overpreparation. When restaurants bake far more bread than they need, for instance, they can’t do anything with the stale bread but toss it out. Audit your food waste and check whether you could reduce quantities. Adjust your supply to meet demand accordingly.
Smart Freezer Storage
Wasteful restaurants turn their freezers into untouched time capsules by losing track of what they’ve put away. Not realizing they could retrieve supplies from the freezer, they let purchased and preserved food sit frozen while spending money elsewhere. A disorganized freezer could even allow perfectly usable food to go to waste because no one can find it. Keeping your freezer well-organized allows you to make the most of your supplies.
The first-in-first-out organizational method is more familiar to accountants than to cooks. Under this system, bookkeepers record the oldest inventory as selling before newer arrivals. Adhering to this system helps with assumption of costs and financial transparency, even when the inventory in question may not have left in this order. However, when it comes to the food in your kitchen, you should take first-in-first-out literally. Use up time-sensitive ingredients such as meat, bread, or produce before using new ones. Just take care not to use anything that’s gone bad in the name of waste reduction.
One of the best ways restaurants can reduce food waste is by being mindful of the numbers behind the waste. Without measurable goals, it’s hard to devise a plan. On garbage day, weigh your waste and determine what makes up the most of it. Use the previous strategies to reduce your waste by weight each week. Getting these numbers down should get other numbers up.