MANAGING FOOD WASTE IN THE HOSIPTALITY INDUSTRIES
The following action plan would serves as a guide in the hospitality industries for food waste management:
- Planning the grocery shopping and designing the menu : Over-stocking and over-supplying is almost always a certain road to throwing the excess food that the kitchen could not use in the designated time. Thus, following the restaurants’ needs and planning the shopping accordingly is the way to go. Similarly, designing the menu based on previous experiences (side note: asking the guests to review is an excellent way to get valuable info) and reducing the portion sizes will be economical for the business and practical for the food waste.
- Storing and handling the food materials : After purchase, storing the food is the most vital part, as depending on the kitchen practices, the food will either go bad sooner or stay fresh longer. FIFO (first-in-first-out) is a common formula that many establishments follow. Along with FIFO, kitchen staff should ensure that they regularly maintain the fridge and freezer and that the packages preserve food effectively. When preparing the vegetables, the chef and the management should instruct the staff not to peel the vegetables more than necessary and, according to the reduction plan, to use the extra prepared food and trimmings for other meals.
- Educating the staff : Education and training of the entire team is the fundamental component of managing food waste in the hospitality sector. Introducing ways to minimize the scraps from the food and using every part of the, say, vegetables can significantly impact overall food consumption and food waste. For example, a single carrot could be used without any scraps, just like zero-waste chef Tim Ma suggests. Such innovative solutions can create a unique and exciting style of the restaurant and make it recognizable among customers.
- Donation of excess food : The hospitality sector is opening up for more and more collaborations with charities and food donation associations, which is a commendable move for any establishment. With constant surpluses in food, the foodservice industry has a vital role and immense potential to decrease food waste by relocating leftovers or pre-prepared food to those who need it the most.
- Recycling the food waste : Eggshells, coffee grounds, banana peels – everyone thinks they are of no use and automatically throws them into a bin. Nonetheless, they become a tremendous nutritional value for the garden soil through composting. Although it requires more effort and planning, restaurant kitchens are encouraged to make a small garden to have their own resources and become self-sufficient. Creating an organic waste recycling for vegetables means taking care of every step of the food waste management. If the lack of restaurant space doesn’t allow planting vegetables, making a small pot for, at least, herbs can already bring about the more positive direction.
As a business owner in the hospitality industry, if you minimize food, water, energy, and packaging wastage and focus on recycling, you will naturally control the four biggest triggers of waste. Make waste management a unique selling point in your portfolio, and add value to your services. Fortunately, clients love sustainable practices.
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