The amount of food being wasted every day in restaurants is shocking. Lack of proper storage and over-purchase and overproduction of food results in a monumental amount of food being wasted. Statistically speaking, wastage is one of the leading causes of escalated food costs and diminishing revenue, which leads to the eventual shutting down of restaurants. Smart food waste management involves proper planning and efficient inventory management, which can help you cut down your food wastage marginally.
Essential Food Waste Management Tips for Restaurants
Food waste management is directly proportional to reducing food cost and hence reducing the overall expense of the restaurant. Try these handy tips for the proper food waste management in restaurants and see how your restaurant blossoms.
1. Right Purchase
It is essential to monitor the existing stock before going for a fresh purchase. Always consult your inventory report before purchasing stock, and avoid overbuying especially fresh produce. It is also advisable to buy seasonal products to reduce food wastage. The best way to prevent food wastage is to adopt the minimal stocking approach, especially for the perishable items.
While accepting stock from vendors, make sure you check the raw materials for stale or spoiled food items. Keep track of the manufacturing date and the expiration date of each item.
2. Portion Control
Keeping a check on the portion size of your menu items is critical, as it not only helps to control your food costs; it also helps in food waste management at the customer’s end. It is vital to use portion control equipment such as scoops and ladles while plating the dish. Portion size gives an idea of the number of raw materials consumed while preparing the dish. For example, you can get 4-6 portions of potatoes per kg. This way, you can calculate the number of raw materials you need to order on the basis of the number of orders you get in a day.
Standardization of recipes helps to keep the food costs in check. The recipe management software tells you exactly how much ingredients are required for each dish. This article will show you how Portion Control reduces food wastage and checks food costs.
3. Proper Storage
The majority of food wastage in restaurants happen when the raw materials are not stored properly, which leads to their decay. Thus, it becomes imperative to prevent cross-contamination of fresh food. You must also store food at the proper temperature.
Managing the shelf life of perishables is also essential. Each item in the inventory has a designated shelf life and should be consumed during their shelf-lifetime. You can try adopting the First in First out (FIFO) approach, where the raw materials which have been purchased earlier are consumed first.
4. POS Software
When it comes to reducing food waste management, your POS software is your best friend. Integrated with inventory management and recipe management, your POS gives you advanced reports about what to purchase, when to purchase, and how much to buy.
POSist allows you to set re-order levels for each stock item. You can set alerts that remind you to purchase a fresh stock when they reach a particular level. This prevents you from buying extra stock and also saves you the embarrassment of running out of certain items on the menu.
Proper inventory management allows you to control stock wastage, as you can keep track of the number of items required to prepare a particular meal, which further helps you in proper food waste management.
5. Food Recycling and Donation
In a restaurant, it is not possible to completely eradicate food wastage; some of it is bound to be spoiled or left unused. Every day, restaurants throw away heaps of food, while millions starve. However, you can ensure that food does not go to the garbage bin. If you have food items which can go bad in a day or two and have more than you can sell, donating it to someone would be a better option than letting it rot inside your freezer. There are a lot of organizations which work for food waste management, and they can be contacted to donate some food items.
In the case of bakeries and cafes, you can sell the previous day’s food at half the price under ‘ A day olds’ name.
Every restaurant wants to reduce the hidden expenses that are bleeding the restaurants dry. And, generation of waste is one of those hidden reasons. Implement these tips for efficient food waste management in your restaurant, and let us know how they worked out for you, in the comments below!