According to NRDC, restaurants generate more than 33 billion pounds of food waste yearly. Food waste is a massive problem for the industry, let alone more than 50 million people in the United States experience food insecurity. It was 35 million before the Covid-19 pandemic. So, the pandemic added a whopping 15 million people to food insecurity.
The situation is doom and gloom for most restaurants and other businesses in the food and beverage industry due to supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine war most recently.
However, the good news is that restaurants can implement evidence-based methods to reduce food waste and play a crucial role in overcoming the issue. Let us discuss how restaurants can curb food waste through the following methods.
Implement Eco-Friendly Practices
Sustainable preparation is integral to restaurant food waste management strategy. It aims to create eco-friendly and sustainable methods/practices and streamline restaurant operations.
Although sustainable practices can overcome environmental issues, most restaurant owners ask: “How do they benefit businesses?” Let us answer this question based on research findings. Research shows that people in the United States make food and beverage choices based on sustainability. Findings conclude that there has been a 23% increase in consumers’ food choices since the pandemic, and most people prefer food safety and eco-friendly packaging.
Therefore, implementing eco-friendly practices at your café or restaurant is essential to streamlining business operations by providing customers with satisfactory experiences. Examples include focusing on food freshness, safety, and portion size. Likewise, technology can help you understand consumers’ needs and preferences, allowing you to modify your menus and satisfy your customers.
Avoid Food Over-Prepping
Over-prepping is one of the leading causes of food waste, costing restaurants hundreds of thousands of dollars every month. Your specific inventory requirements vary depending on the season.
For instance, if you run a restaurant on the beachfront in a tourist destination, you will require more inventory items in summer. Most tourists visit beaches on weekends, meaning you must have enough inventory to streamline processes. On the other hand, if you run a restaurant in the business district, you can increase sales during weekday lunch hours. We recommend using a cutting-edge cloud-based system like KEXY to optimize inventory management.
KEXY helps you generate valuable insights by analyzing real-time data. The purpose is to forecast how busy your establishment will be from time to time. Thus, you can clearly understand how to run operations efficiently, prepare food accordingly, and reduce food waste by controlling over-prepping.
Improve Inventory Management
Waste is not only a problem for restaurants, but it also affects bars. Research shows that spilled or wasted liquor equates to 23% lost sales. That’s why restaurants and bars must implement an inventory management system.
For instance, KEXY helps you optimize inventory management and ordering. It enables you to ditch traditional methods, such as phone calls, clipboards, and spreadsheets, to avoid errors.
You can reduce costs by analyzing historical data and learning how to minimize dead stock. KEXY gives you peace of mind and improves your business’s bottom line by allowing you to track inventory, orders, and deliveries in real time.
In addition to implementing KEXY, you can leverage the power of the FIFO method to rotate your inventory. It helps you bring older items/ingredients to the front of the storage areas, ensuring chefs use these items first before utilizing freshly sourced ingredients.
So, this can help you use ingredients before they spoil. Label all ingredients with use-by dates to maintain food safety and understocks or overstocks. You can use an inventory management platform like KEXY to stay organized and optimize processes, leading to better customer satisfaction.