Restaurant Waste Management

Restaurants could save money from cutting waste

A picture of a chef cutting vegetables in a restaurant kitchen.

A new study, conducted across 12 countries, has found that for every £1 of waste cut in restaurants, £7 could be made.

Carried out by Champions 12.3, using data from 114 restaurants, the study makes the case for reducing food loss and waste in restaurants.

After implementing a formal reduction programme, 76% of food outlets recouped their investment within 12 months and 89% did so within two years.

Ikea has also given an update on how it has reduced food waste in 420 stores across 52 countries and has saved the equivalent of three million meals from being thrown away in just less than three years.

Michael La Cour, Managing Director at KIEA Food Services said: “These figures confirm what we have seen at IKEA: reducing food waste goes hand in hand with reducing costs. We view fighting food waste not only as an opportunity to create a better world, but also a great business opportunity.”

He continued, saying that: “We’ve been able to significantly reduce food waste in our restaurants by setting short-term, actionable goals. It’s a strategy everyone can do, and if more food businesses take on the challenge, they can see similar results.”

Some restaurants reported that they had cut food waste by up to 50% or more.

The UN estimates that global food waste costs around £770 billion per year in economic loss, while accounting for 8% of global greenhouse emissions.

The group has given five actions that can help restaurants reduce food.

  • Measure – Generate an inventory of wasted food to identify how much and when it is being lost.
  • Engage – Work with staff to help prevent food waste and provide guidance from the top down.
  • Reduce – Identify where food is being overproduced and consider changing practices that lead to waste.
  • Rethink – Analyse purchasing practices and examine inventory management.
  • Repurpose – Have an alternative plan for safely repurposing food.

Dave Lewis, group chief executive of Tesco and Chair of Champions 12.3: “The only way we can halve food waste by 2030 is if restaurants and other businesses along the supply chain step up their action. Every part of the food industry has a responsibility to reduce food waste.”

Andy has worked as a freelance journalist for a number of years and has been published in some of the UK’s top newspapers. He is now the editor Commercial Waste Magazine and contributes to a large selection of headlines and blog articles on the site.

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