The business case for reducing food loss and waste: Catering

25th June 2018

Prepared on behalf of Champions 12.3, a new report finds a compelling business case for action on food waste prevention in the catering industry.

Key Points
The first-of-its-kind analysis for the industry found caterers saved $6 for every $1 invested in reducing food waste.
Around 80% were able to keep their total investment in food waste reduction to below $10,000
64% had recouped their investment within just one year

Food loss and waste: a global challenge  

One third of all food produced in the world is never eaten.  This has tremendous economic, social and environmental consequences.
In this new report, co-authored by Peter Mitchell, WRAP and Austin Clowes and Craig Hanson from the World Resources Institute (WRI), we demonstrate how reducing food waste for food service operators can be a large financial opportunity to reduce costs, increase revenues, and engage staff and customers.
It demonstrates how caterers made a range of investment in food waste reduction programmes, including measuring technology, staff training and redesigning menus. The financial returns came from reducing purchasing costs, increasing revenue from new menu items developed from unsold food and reduced management costs.

“We have made great progress, particularly in the business sector, in building reduction of food waste into its DNA. But there is still a lot of work to do if we are going to reach the UN SDG 12.3 target to halve food waste by 2030. This report is yet more compelling proof for business that you can provide great customer service, and a great customer experience, while reducing costs and the impact of food waste on the environment.”
Marcus Gover, CEO, WRAP. 


Written on behalf of the Champions 12.3 network – the coalition of nearly 40 leaders from government, business and civil society - it calls upon caterers to “target, measure and act”.  

Through doing this, caterers can realise the business case for themselves. And they will be making a significant contribution to the global effort to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 to halve food waste by 2030.