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6 Useful tips for preventing food waste in restaurants

The restaurant industry in the UK is worth millions. If you own a restaurant or a pop-up restaurant, you’ll know all about the hard work and effort it takes to keep it running.

Of course, one of your considerations is the profits you make and you’ll definitely want to ensure that there are no leakages in your finances.

Unfortunately, with the nature of restaurants, food waste is a common problem that can lead to lower profits, waste and ultimately losses.

Keep reading to find out six tips on how to prevent restaurant food waste to benefit your business.

1. Do an inventory of your stock

Knowing how much stock you have at any particular moment is a crucial aspect of reducing food waste in your restaurant.

You’ll also have a good idea of when was the last purchase of stock you made, when its sell-by date is as well as the best time for preparing the food so that it doesn’t go off. 

2. Apply the FIFO principle

The FIFO – or First in First Out – principle is crucial in restaurants. With it, you’ll ensure that the food you put in the fridge gets used up as efficiently as possible.

You’ll not only ensure that older stock gets used up first, thereby leading to better stock usage, but you’ll also reduce food being wasted without it being used properly.

3. Train your staff

Training your barment, waiters, kitchen staff and chefs on food waste is another important element to reducing waste.

By helping them understand the benefits of recycling food and scraps, they’ll be better involved in the process.

After all, your restaurant’s staff are the key elements to keeping it running and if you educate them well, you’ll reduce food waste.

4. Use different sorting bins for food wastage

Food waste is a very broad term in the restaurant industry.

It can range from plastic packaging to scraps such as potato and banana peels to actual ready made food that your customers didn’t finish when ordering their meal.

Sorting the food waste into different bins will help you eliminate waste.

Some of the bins you could have could include ‘plastics and packaging’, scraps, whole food, and others. 

5. Reduce portion size

Large portion sizes are an important marketing trick to get your customers to visit your restaurant as they are drawn to the meal size when contrasted with its price.

However, in this situation, your customers rarely finish their entire meal and food like salad and chips are often left behind.

To solve the problem of unfinished food, offer your clientele the opportunity to take their food home with them or simply reduce portion sizes.

Serve smaller portions and place this on a plate that is placed within a larger plate to create the illusion of a bigger meal.

You don’t have to cheat your customers, however, and still serve reasonable servings to them. 

6. Contribute to social causes

Our final tip relates to your contribution to social causes.

With the serious problem of world hunger, there are many people who go without food on a daily basis.

Some charities and NGOs have created agreements with restaurants to use their leftover food and serve these to the homeless or the needy.

Find such a scheme in your city and do good for society.

Food waste doesn’t have to be an unsolvable problem

With these six tips on reducing food waste, you’ll be able to identify and stop financial leakages in your restaurant and benefit from higher profits and a better food turnover rate.

Moreover, you’ll have well-trained staff who uses the recycling bins in your restaurant effectively, all while you contribute to a bigger social cause of reducing hunger.

We hope these tips will help you in your restaurant business!

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