Hospitality and Food Service - getting started on waste prevention

Simple ideas to cut waste costs

Hospitality and Food Service Online Resource Centre Kitchen
  • Staff buy-in is critical.

    Setting goals and explaining the benefits to everyone will help them to understand the reasons for the changes. Why not get the team to help develop a waste policy? If they own it, they’re more likely to make it work.

    An example of a 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"

  • Waste that is not prevented, re-used or recycled, will end up in landfill sites across the UK.

    Find out how to reduce food waste and recycle more and visit this web page for guidance on on-site treatment of organic waste.

  • The weather, sporting events, even Mothering Sunday!

    Getting food orders right can be challenging for seasonal events. Use a simple purchasing table to help you track what's in stock and what is needed to avoid wastage.

  • Reducing avoidable food waste will save time and money.

    Consider reviewing WRAP’s Food Waste Collections Calculator to find out if there are viable alternatives to sending your unavoidable food waste to landfill.

  • A well-planned fridge can save both time and money.

    Using shelf plans and a clear labelling system can help to monitor use-by dates and get the best out of food. Being more organised will also help to make better use of leftovers.

  • Organise storage effectively to ensure that products are used in the order they are bought.

    A simple way is to put new products at the back of the shelf and older ones at the front so that the older products get used first.  Also, consider discussing opportunities for reducing packaging with suppliers.

  • Prepare food to order rather than in advance - it isn’t wasted if it’s not used.

    When planning menus, make the most of ingredients by using the same ones in more than one dish. Consider using frozen, dried, bottled or tinned products as well as fresh goods. Tailor stock orders to the menu, and only buy in what is needed.

  • Getting the portion size right can save money, reduce waste and keep customers satisfied.

    Try using standard size spoons and ladles for each dish. Consider offering a choice of portion sizes for everyone, including children at different ages, and older people.

  • The customer experience is likely to be even more positive if waste reduction is a priority.

    Consider replacing single portion packs of milk, sugar, condiments and soap, with refillable jugs and containers. 'Re-use' is a great way to help the environment and save money.

  • Look at what’s regularly being left uneaten by customers.

    If it’s usually the salad that’s left on the plate, perhaps waiting staff could offer customers the choice of a different side order?

The hotspots in the kitchen above show you where you can start looking to cut waste.

.................................................................................................................................
One wheelie bin of food waste a week will cost your business over £10,000 a year - money you could be saving if you did a few things differently.

Your business could be saving thousands of pounds every year - but where do you start? Have a look at our top tips below for some ideas.
.................................................................................................................................

Top tips to reduce waste 

Measurement and monitoring

  • Measure your waste to understand the scale of the opportunity for savings.
  • Separate food waste into three bins; storage, preparation and plate waste.
  • Measure and monitor food waste at each of these stages.

Purchasing and ordering - menu design

  • Bulk-buy non-perishable items.
  • Use core items across the menu. A good example is tomatoes that can be roasted, made into soups, used in salads and as a garnish. Consider what other items you can use in a similar way.
  • A ’Special Dish of the Day’ is a good way to use stock approaching its use-by date.
  • Create menus that use fewer ingredients to reduce the risk of any going out of date.
  • Use seasonal ingredients where possible.

Storage

  • Handle stock carefully to avoid damage and unnecessary waste.  Always send back any damaged goods received from suppliers.
  • Continually rotate stock by putting the newest product at the back of the shelf so that the oldest automatically gets used first.
  • Consider grouping items to correspond with supplier's purchasing list.
  • Consider vacuum packing some items to extend shelf life.
  • Revise shelf/storage plan frequently to ensure it reflects your menu.

Preparation

  • Avoid excess trimming of fish, meat and vegetables and get creative with unavoidable trimmings and excess to make pates, soups and stocks
  • Consider offering vegetables with skin on so that no peelings are thrown away.
  • Follow the 20/20 rule: 20% extra buffer on a busy day and another 20% frozen for contingencies.
  • Freeze excess berries for coulis or smoothies.
  • Make breadcrumbs or croutons from leftover bread.

Portioning and plate waste

  • Keep portion sizes consistent - use standard spoons and measures
  • Offer different portion sizes to suit customer.

Reducing packaging

  • Can your suppliers take back empty containers such as egg boxes and trays?
  • Ask your suppliers to deliver produce in reusable packaging such as collapsible crates or trays that can be taken back and used again.

Re-use

  • Use washable napkins, tablecloths and towels.
  • Use refillable containers for cleaning products and buy them in bulk.
  • Using reusable jugs, dishes and plastic plunger style dispensers can help to reduce waste from small single use portion packs, such as cream, milk, sugar, butter, jam and condiments.

Recycling

  • Keep your waste cooking oil separate as this can often be collected.
  • Clear bin labels means everyone knows what should go in each bin.
  • Investigate options for food waste recycling.
 .................................................................................................................................

Want to know more? Download our 'Taking action on waste' information sheets - click on the links below to access the one for your business.

Pubs | Restaurants | Hotels | Quick Service Restaurants | Staff Catering | Leisure | Services | Healthcare | Education

.................................................................................................................................

Get started on your waste prevention programme

Now that you have an overview of food waste prevention we invite you to find out more about how to reduce waste for your Hospitality and Food Service business








Click here to go to the step-by-step guidance. 

Click here to find out more about the Hospitality and Food Service Agreement (HaFSA). You can also email us at hafs@wrap.org.uk or sign up to the HaFSA by completing and returning this letter on your company’s headed paper.