Food Waste Action Week, which runs from 6th – 12th March, is an annual campaign coordinated by the Waste Resources Action Programme, WRAP, to highlight the importance and numerous benefits of reducing food waste.
Now in its third year, the campaign continues to highlight the urgent need for businesses and individuals to act, with the aim to reduce the amount global greenhouse emissions from food waste which are currently estimated to be around 8-10%. This year we also find ourselves in a cost-of-living crisis with inflation causing food prices to soar whilst at the same time food waste is costing the hospitality industry £3 billion each year according to WRAP.
Thankfully there are clear steps that businesses can take to reduce their costs and prevent food going in the bin whilst making a tangible difference to their bottom line.
Firstly, you cannot manage what you do not measure. If you are not already measuring your food waste, now is the time to start! Use separate bins to measure the waste from spoilage, preparation, plate waste and buffets. Using this information you will be able to identify waste hotspots and making these areas a priority, you can investigate the appropriate steps to reduce the waste in these areas. It is important to engage your whole team in this process in order to have the best chance of success.
Secondly, keep track of how many ingredients you need to purchase, you may be able to use the same item for several dishes to avoid wastage and reduce receiving and storage costs without boring the customer with the overuse of one item.
Hold the minimum required levels of stock and ensure the oldest items are used first. You can also devise your menus to use seasonal ingredients which will be fresh and available at the best prices. Removing less popular dishes from your menu and offering portion sizes and side dish options will also help to reduce plate waste.
For more information and resources to help your business prevent food waste, visit the Guardians of Grub website.
We can develop a bespoke course to help your business manage food and beverage costs, to find out more contact us at [email protected].
arena4finance regularly provide training support for recognised industry bodies including the Institute of Hospitality, the MasterInnholders, TUCO and the European Clubs Association. Debra Adams, founder of arena4finance and a qualified accountant (CIMA), has been involved with the hospitality industry for almost 30 years and has delivered courses and training to numerous organisations in the hotel and restaurant sector including world renowned hotel schools such as Ecole Hotelier Lausanne and Glion Institute in Switzerland. She is the author of the highly acclaimed textbook 'Strategic Management Accounting for the Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Industries'. She is also a regular speaker at hotel conferences and business seminars. Debra leads the team at arena4finance, who have had many years of experience developing and delivering one day, online and more extensive courses in hospitality finance for both finance professionals and operational heads of department in hotels, restaurants and leisure facilities. Our courses are powered by our online learning community resources at www.finance4hospitality.co.uk. For more information about arena4finance, email [email protected] or visit our website www.finance4hospitality.co.uk
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