At times when your produce vendor has huge and attractive sales, there is the temptation to purchase more than you actually need. If you end up buying more than you can use before it spoils, the result is food waste instead of money saving, which is what you intended initially.
All food preparation products should be properly stored to avoid cross-contamination. Use a well-designed standard food box or packaging wrap to do this. Additionally, ensure that they are kept in the right temperatures, with frozen foods at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Refrigerated foods should be stored at 41 degree Fahrenheit or below.
Keep note of what is coming from the dining room and think about what you can do to reduce your plate waste. For example, you can do simple swaps such as swapping to curly leaf lettuce for garnish in order to serve and use less while still attaining the same plate coverage.
A waste audit will enable you to see the full scale account of how much waste your restaurant creates. It also plays as an eye-opener for how efficiently your money and inventory is used. You can opt to use professionals for the audit or just do it with a team of in-house staff.
Keep track of all the food waste that is being put in the trash daily. If you notice a certain menu item is coming back to the kitchen with plenty of it left on the plate, consider down-sizing its portion. Also, if a certain ingredient is going bad before it is fully utilized, order less of it.
If you are anticipating that a certain item will go bad before you can sell it, consider creating something like a special pricing offer to help you sell the item and still make a profit from it. Always being on your toes helps you anticipate potential food waste and avoid that in time.
Related: 101 Ways to Deal with Food Cost
Inspect all food items you receive to ensure they are in good state. Inspect items randomly to obtain a conclusive report on whether that batch is in good state to avoid waste and losses.
Research shows that most food waste in restaurants is a result of consumers leaving food on their plates. You can cut down this food wastage by offering your customers a variety of meal sizes, for example small, medium, or large; for one to choose for themselves what they can finish.
You can encourage your customers to take home leftover food they do not eat. Ensure you package leftovers in a proper manner.
To control food waste, the whole industry needs to work together. Ask your suppliers what they are doing to control waste and how they can help you to minimize your restaurant food waste.
And as a bonus No 11:
This can make every aspect of your inventory process much simpler. You should find a solution that is compatible with your invoice, recipe and ordering systems so that you are able to easily monitor you costs of goods sold, inventory trends and inventory valuation.
Reducing the amount of food waste that you experience will help to lower your operational costs in regards to spoilage, overstock and theft and is something that all restaurants should invest in.
Now it’s your turn. Any more tips? How do you reduce wastage in your restaurant? Share with us below.
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