No one feels good about throwing away food, especially organic and sustainable restaurants. If you’re making the commitment to sustainability, that applies to what happens to your extra food as well. Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to prevent food waste from happening. There are even ways to ensure that surplus restaurant food goes to a good place.
Take a Look at Your Inventory
The best way to ensure that you don’t have surplus food is to evaluate your inventory and see if you have anything that sits around for too long. If you notice that certain food or ingredients are going bad before they can be used, you’re probably ordering too much of them. Adjust your orders and try to prevent a surplus from happening in the first place.
Properly Store Everything
Make sure that everything is properly stored so that you don’t have an issue with food or ingredients spoiling prematurely. It also pays to keep everything organized and accounted for. A poorly organized inventory could lead you to think that you’re out of something. You order more, and then you find out later that you had what you needed all along! This can easily lead to waste. A bit of preparation and effort can save you a significant sum and prevent surpluses and spoilage.
Offer Employees Meals
If you have some ingredients left, but not enough for the next dinner service, make meals for your staff. A free meal is a perk that any worker will appreciate, and this is a far better use of food that may have been thrown out instead.
If you have fresh items that you are somehow unable to use, consider donating. Food banks and other organizations may be able to take that food off of your hands and get it to people who need it. You can also see if these groups need prepared meals and whip something up so that your ingredients do not end up going to waste.
Talk to a Local Farmer
Certain types of food scraps can actually be used in animal feed. Connect with a local farmer and see if they need food scraps for their hogs or other animals. This is a great way to make use of food waste while helping out the local economy.
Reduce Customer Waste
There are many ways to do this. Make sure that each item is described accurately by the menu so that you lessen the chance of something being sent back because it didn’t meet customer expectations. Keep track of what’s popular and consider removing items that customers tend to order less or neglect to finish. Also ensure that portion sizes are adequate, but not overwhelming. If a meal is frequently not being finished, despite its popularity, the portion simply may be too big!
Also, encourage diners to take leftovers home with them. Most won’t turn down the chance, so just make sure that you have the take out containers and doggy bags needed to accommodate them.
For More Sustainability Tips
If you’re interested in making your restaurant into a beacon of sustainability, we can help. Visit the Organic Restaurants website and blog today and find more helpful tips. With just a bit of effort, you can make a huge difference.