Food waste has long been a problem for back-of-the-house operations. But things are starting to change. Many restaurants are trying to reduce how much food they waste during prep, cook time and service.
Jeff Clark, our sustainability manager, shares three ways to reduce your kitchen’s food waste:
- Re-evaluate the value of your food
Food is a lot cheaper now than it has been in the past. That’s why it’s easy to disregard how much we throw away. The financial impact is minimal. Visit your local farms and talk to growers and purveyors. See what it takes to produce the food you buy for your restaurant. It could change your perspective. Changing the thought and dynamic of what food is and where it comes from is the first step.
- Track the amount of food you waste
If you record the food you purchase, use and end up throwing away, you’ll better understand how much you waste. That will go a long way to reversing the process. Our research indicates that if you record the data – through systems like LeanPath – you could reduce your food costs by 2 percent to 6 percent per year.
- Donate your unused food
Give your wholesome, unused, prepared foods to those who need it most. It’s good for the community and your business. While some may be afraid of donating their leftovers for fear of being sued or hurting their reputations if someone gets sick, you should know that the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act protects restaurants against those kinds of liability claims. Don’t worry; you will be protected, and you’ll even be eligible for tax credits for your donations.
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