Food wastage is one of the leading concerns in the F&B industry. The amount of food being wasted every day in restaurants is shocking. In fact, food wastage is one of the leading causes of rising food costs and declining revenue, which eventually leads to the shutdown of many restaurants.
It is crucial to monitor your restaurant’s food wastage on daily basis by doing proper food planning and efficient inventory management in order to cut down the wastage marginally.
5 Salient Food Waste Management Tips For Restaurants
It is practically impossible to totally eradicate food wastage but measures can be taken to reduce it. Try these helpful restaurant food waste management tips and see how your restaurant blossoms.
1. Purchase Right
It is advised to check your existing stock properly before going for a fresh purchase. Always consult your inventory report before buying stock, and avoid overbuying especially fresh produce. One should also prefer getting seasonal products rather than stocking everything at once to reduce wastage.
The best way to reduce food wastage is to adopt a minimal stocking approach, especially for perishable items. Almost every kitchen operation has its own set of purchasing procedures. However, there is one rule that should always be followed,
Purchase only what is expected to be required until the next delivery.
This will ensure that food remains fresh and lead to a high inventory turnover. All foods deteriorate over time, some faster than others. It is the purchaser’s responsibility to ensure that only those quantities are purchased that will be used immediately or in the near future.
2. Control Your Portions
Portion control is basically knowing and managing how much of what ingredients go into each dish or on each plate. It also helps in maintaining consistent serving sizes, which improves the overall dining experience for customers. Portion control implies wasting less food and saving more money.
Serving the quantity of food that customers are unable to consume results in waste and, ultimately, higher food costs. Exercising portion control helps eliminate this problem.
Portion control can be done better by using,
- Standardized Recipes: A standard recipe states clearly the quantity of each ingredient to be used, equipment and utensils to be used, recipe yield and the size of the portion of be served. Enabling you to know how many portions can be served with prepared quantity beforehand.
- Right Plating: Like standard recipes, plating instructions are equally essential. It is important to list them up and put it out for the staff. Having the right plate makes it easier to avoid overflowing your plate.
- Right measurement: The most important part of portion control is using right measurement tools like cups, spoons, ladles, and jiggers for preparing and serving the dish. It is also advised to invest in a good measuring scale for your commercial kitchen.
3. Proper Storage
The majority of food is wasted in restaurants because the raw materials are not stored properly or at the right temperature. Which leads to their decay and cross-contamination of fresh food.
WRAP estimates that 21% of restaurant food waste is due to food spoilage.
All ingredients have a limited shelf life. Hence, it becomes imperative to practice stock rotation regularly and manage the shelf life of perishable products. You can try adopting FIFO (First In, First Out) approach, where the raw materials that are bought first are used first.
4. Use A POS Software
Your POS software is your best friend when it comes to reducing food wastage.
Petpooja’s POS allows to manage inventory, raw material, get live food costs. Raw material management helps create purchase orders, enter inward stock receipts, manage stock transfers and add wastage, essentially getting a full view of the entire supply chain. Additionally, set re-order levels for each stock item. Alerts can be set to remind you to replenish your stock when it reaches a certain level.
POS also allows you to configure recipes into the software, and automatically deduct the correct amount of raw materials upon billing for an item. The system is flexible enough to incorporate multi-stage recipes, allowing you to manage even semi-prepared items.
Furthermore, with Purchase Order Management raise purchase orders to suppliers or your central kitchen directly from the Petpooja POS dashboard. This saves you from having to buy extra stock and also saves you the embarrassment of running out of certain menu items.
5. Food Recycling And Donations
Restaurants throw away heaps of food every day, while millions starve. So why not have a plan for excess food. If you have food that will spoil in a day or two and have more than you can sell, donating it to someone is a better option than letting it rot in your freezer.
There are many organizations that work to reduce food waste and can be contacted if you want to donate food. There’s no better charitable work than this!
Another way is to recycle the food. For the food scraps, you can’t use, consider if composting is a viable option for your restaurant.
In the case of bakeries and cafes, the previous day’s food can be sold at half the price under the name “A day olds.”
Food waste management is directly proportional to reducing food costs and, as a result, lowering the restaurant’s overall expenses. If your restaurant learns how to reduce food waste, not only will you help the environment, but you’ll also save your business money in the long run. As you reduce food wastage, your restaurant’s profitability increases; it’s a win-win.
Implement these food waste management tips in your restaurant and let us know how it goes in the comments!