Tips for Restaurant Waste Management and Reduction

December 3, 2019


Food waste becomes an issue, so it is time that restaurants learn to manage and reduce food waste. Restaurant waste management and reduction will not only help you in cutting the food cost but will also help in increasing your revenue, saving your business money, and help the environment.

Here we have compiled a few tips to help you with smart waste management and reduction in your restaurant.


What are the types of restaurant waste?

Restaurant waste is the waste that either the restaurant or the customer throws out.

Mainly, the food waste produced can be segmented into three types:

1. Pre-Consumer Food Waste:

This food is generated during the preparation of any dish or beverage within the restaurant. It is any spoiled, expired, improperly cooked or spilled food. It might be raw food products such as potato peel or roots from vegetables.

2. Post-Consumer Food Waste:

This waste is produced at the level of consumers. It comes from food and leftovers customers leave on plates to be thrown away by restaurants.

3. Disposable:

This type of waste does not come from food. It includes packaging, napkins, paper plates, and plastic utensils.


How may a restaurant produce waste?

1. Food Overproduction:

Some restaurants may overproduce food for menu items so that they always have dishes available for consumers. Nevertheless, if they don’t sell this food, they would have to throw it out.

2. Trimming:

Trimming happens when the chef prepares food to get rid of the inedible parts of the food. For example, trimming the fat or part off of a piece of chicken. To avoid this, train your staff properly on how to prepare different kinds of food.

3. Wrong Portion Size:

Avoid putting too much food on a customer’s plate so that the customers would be able to finish all of their food in one sitting.


Tips for restaurant waste management and reduction:

1. Monitor and evaluate your inventory:

Start by knowing the ingredients you already have in your inventory. The right restaurant POS system is a significant tool you shall use to easily keep track of the present stock and consumption using POS systems made especially for restaurants.

You need to evaluate the already existing stock before using a fresh purchase. Food wastage happens when you order the stock in large quantities but not consume it before its expiration. Try investing in the lean restaurant inventory management system. It gives you visibility into the number of ingredients you have in stock. Moreover, in the purchasing process, the inventory management system helps you buying adequate ingredients, in the right quantity, at the accurate time, and at the best cost. As well as, it orders to buy what you predict to use until the next delivery so that you will not end up with deteriorated or wasted food.


2. Correctly store your food:

You need to store foods under the correct conditions to preserve their quality and prevent pathogenic bacterial growth, which can lead to food waste. Ensure that fridges and freezers are operating at the right temperatures. In addition, make sure to store low-risk foods on higher shelves than high-risk foods and keep food storage areas clean and tidy.

Additionally, make sure to clean fruits and vegetables properly before placing them in the refrigerator. As well as, it is advisable to label items with their date of purchase, and store them in a suitable container.

Consider applying the First in First out (FIFO) strategy to ensure that the raw materials, which have been purchased earlier, are consumed first.


3. Conduct an Audit:

You need to identify the amount of waste and the kind of waste your restaurant generates by conducting a waste audit. Find out the sources of waste and then start planning ways to reduce it. Consider explaining to your team the reason you are conducting the audit and the advantages of this program for the restaurant.

You also need to conduct audits while receiving the Stock Items from the supplier. You have to check for damaged items and monitor the manufacturing date and the expiration date of every item.


4. Create a Team Responsible for Managing the Restaurant Waste

The right people for this job are those who are already involved with cleaning and washing dishes. That is because they have a basic idea of the quantity and the type of garbage.
You may also create a team of those who are involved in the preparation of meals. They are familiar with the amount of specific ingredients that are used when preparing certain dishes.

Selected people for this task need to have analytical spirit rather than those who are good with numbers. Such employees will have better insight into the actual state of your garbage.

Not to mention that you need to train this team about the methods of reusing and recycling.


5. Make a Restaurant Waste Management Plan:

Think about what waste goals you have for your restaurant and how you would like to improve your restaurant. It can be easier to make an action plan for what you want to achieve when you have a specific idea or goal.


You would rather save yourself all this effort and upgrade to the right management system. The lean restaurant management system is designed to streamline your restaurant operations while saving your time, money, and effort.