4 steps to reduce waste and save money for hospitality and food service businesses

Typically food waste comes from 21% spoilage, 45% food preparation and 34% plate waste. Compare this with your own measurements taken in Step 1.

Now you know how much food you throw in the bin, you will need to identify where you can make the most savings and work out which actions to take forward. This step focuses on:

  • Identifying improvements
  • Prioritising actions and developing a plan
  • Training and communications

 Identifying improvements

  • Discuss with the team what can be done to meet the targets 

  • Collect staff ideas on how to cut down waste  

  • Focus on your priority areas 

Consider the food and drink waste hierarchy

The food and drink waste hierarchy shows the options you can take to reduce food waste. Prevention, the option right at the top, will save you the most money and give the biggest environmental benefit. Businesses must consider the waste hierarchy as part of their Duty of Care obligations. Explain the principle of the waste hierarchy when speaking to staff and when you prioritise actions to take forward, consider these against the waste hierarchy.

Click on the links in the table below to find ideas on what you can do to reduce the amount of food that you throw in the bin. Use these tips and ideas to help you identify improvements.

Identify where food waste could be reduced and packaging waste
can be optimised
Purchasing and ordering
Portioning and plate waste 
Managing packaging 

Take a look at how other businesses have cut food waste and saved money

Prioritising actions and developing a plan

  • Work out the costs for each idea that you want to take forward
  • Consider which ideas support other plans within the business (such as changes to the menu).
  • Set your goals - setting goals will help to focus waste prevention and recycling efforts. An example company goal:

    We aim to reduce our food waste from two 240 litre wheelie bins to one 240 litre wheelie bin a week by 31 August 2015.
  • Agree which actions to take forward
  • Make individual staff responsible for specific actions and support them as needed
  • Monitor progress regularly

    Make sure that you have everything in place to break old habits and kick-start change. Be prepared to change your approach as attitudes and behaviours change over time.

    Before taking action, consider how you will explain to staff what you need them to do, enable them to do it and encourage them to make changes. 

Training and communications

  • Identify who needs training and who will train them
  • Think about who else you need to talk to  (other staff, suppliers, contractors, customers)
  • Identify the main messages and the best way to communicate them 

Now take a look at Step 3: Taking action >>


View all our supporting resources 

View all our supporting resources for Hospitality and Food Service businesses including guides, reports, case studies, videos and online tools.
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