The cost of food is rising and will probably continue to rise each year. Therefore it’s important for company canteens, school dining rooms, college and university canteens and restaurants to ensure they don’t waste this valuable resource.

By following these simple guidelines to reduce food waste in restaurants you’ll be on the road to good food management:

  1. Only buy fresh produce when you need it. Avoid over-ordering fresh food even if your suppliers are having a discount sale. The chances are you’ll buy more than you need, so it won’t be used and then spoils so your attempt at saving money has resulted in food waste as well as fiscal loss.
  2. If you want to save money by taking advantage of your fresh food supplier’s sale or multi-buy offers ask the suppliers to send you the food in different stages of ripeness so you can use all the food you buy over a longer period of time. Thus, no food waste.
  3. To prolong the life of food and to reduce waste, store products properly depending on their type i.e. meat and dairy produce in fridges, ambient products in dry storage and frozen products in freezers.
  4. Ensure your refrigerators and freezers are maintained and keep the correct temperatures. You can invest in fridge and freezer thermometers to help you regulate the temperatures.
  5. Avoid cross contamination of foods.
  6. Keep all food labelled and dated to clearly and easily identify important details for example; what the item is, when it arrived and when it must be used by.
  7. Ensure you use the oldest dated foods first, otherwise you may be in danger of leaving them somewhere at the back of a shelf to spoil, which will result in avoidable food waste. This avoidable food waste isn’t just the item of food but all the resources used to get it to you in the first place, i.e. water, barrels of oil to make the plastic packaging (and all the resources that go with that), man power, fuel for transport, etc. as well as, of course, lost revenue and profits.
  8. Anticipate and get creative. If you think you may not sell a certain type of dish before it spoils, then create a temporary pricing special to help you make use of the food, avoid waste and still make a profit.
  9. Use local seasonal food to reduce the carbon footprint of those foods (thus reducing the level of consumption of world resources). Using your culinary skills you can help educate your customers in what local seasonal food is available and encourage them to buy local too.
  10. Get professional food management and catering management help from our Food Service Consultants to guide you and keep your organisations food waste down.

Read our 10 Tips to reduce food waste for more help.