With all the challenges of managing a restaurant, sustainability is often an overlooked topic. Over one billion tons of food is wasted around the world each year; with about 520 million tons of this food coming from restaurants. Landfills are overflowing with food which has been needlessly wasted, there are no winners, only losers in this situation. Today, preserving the environment is more important than it has ever been. Let's take a look at how your restaurant can become more sustainable through reducing food waste.
1. Buy only what you require
Buying in bulk is often cheaper than buying at lower volumes, However, often buying in bulk leads to food being wasted, food goes past it used by date and simply gets thrown away. Apart from the detrimental effects this could have on the environment, it also means you lose the money you are spending on food which never touches a diner's plate. When buying produce, only purchase what you can believe you are realistically going to use that week.
2. Donate surplus food
Why should you throw away all the delicious food when you can donate it? Considering the large number of charities that are around the United Kingdom, it will not be difficult to find a charity that will gratefully accept the donation of unused food. Restaurants are a huge contributor to food waste and if just a few restaurants donated their excess food many hundreds of lives will be impacted. At the end of the working day, you may also want to consider asking your employees if they would like to take the unused food home. Provided that the food is safe to eat, your employees I'm sure will be glad to have it. Donating surplus food does not just reduce food waste, but it increases overall employee happiness and raises your reputation with your diners.
3. Consider composting
Food wastage is not good for the environment or to the restaurant's budget. Instead of throwing the food into a regular bin which will most likely end up at a landfill, put it into a compost bin. You can then use the compost to farm some of your produce.
Considering the high demand for organic foods, this will give your restaurant an upper hand if you use your marketing channels to advertise that you dispose and grow your own produce. Growing some of your own produce always is a topic for conversation with your diners, they will love the fact you've gone the extra mile to reduce food waste and produce food locally.
Reducing your food waste is actually very simple and more to the point you can not only save a few pounds, but you can help the environment and change lives through food donations. Evaluate what happens to your food waste and use the tips mentioned above to help cut down on the amount you are throwing away.