Restaurant Tips: How To Reduce Food Waste

Properly operating in the food service industry involves numerous moving parts. One area that many proprietors often overlook is how to reduce food waste. Restaurant food waste is approximately 33 billion pounds, resulting in 162 billion dollars annually in America alone.

Reducing food waste is a serious issue. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. With an increased understanding of reducing food waste in the food service industry, restaurateurs, proprietors, and food service workers can all do their part to help solve the challenge. Read on for tips to reduce food waste from our team at Nutritionist Pro.

Begin with a Food Waste Audit

Reducing food waste begins by determining where your business creates waste. The best way to do this is by auditing your processes over a determined time, accounting for all front and back-of-house. Include wasted items, weight or amount, how the company wasted the item, date, and time.

Once you gather this information, you can compare the information you gathered through your waste tracker with your inventory report to find the origination point causing your food waste. 

Consider Sustainability Changes

Sustainable food service practices benefit consumers, the environment, and your business. With more individuals maintaining concern over the ethical quality of the companies they patronize and the foods they put into their bodies, implementing environmentally-friendly and ethical practices at your company should represent a crowd-pleasing transformation.

Moreover, training food service workers on proper food preparation techniques is an easy and efficient way for your business to ensure good food doesn’t become restaurant food waste.

Don’t Over Prepare

Your company’s inventory needs will vary depending on the weekday and the specific time of year. Tourist locations will likely keep more food on hand during the summer months and on weekends as patrons flock to these areas for sun and fun. Alternatively, food service companies in metropolitan business districts will likely need increased inventory to handle the busy weekday lunch or breakfast hours.

Proper reporting forecasts how busy your restaurant is at different times during the day, enabling you to prepare for this accordingly. Leverage this information to help you avoid overpreparation which can lead to increased food waste. If you do it right, you won’t need to throw out any extra ingredients or dishes you prepared during prep.

Managing recipe yields in your food service kitchen is essential in calculating plate costs and maintaining correct, consistent portion sizes. Recipe management software like Nutritionist Pro can help you create and manage your recipe yields.

Nutritionist Pro provides easy-to-use tools in our software suite, including recipe scaling for production. You can quickly and easily scale recipes based on your needed serving sizes or number of servings. The software displays the automated nutrient value in live time, efficiently importing crucial data into reports and displaying various recipe yields.

Convert your ingredients to the units of measurement your staff prefers when cooking while correctly calculating optimal yields for each dish. Recipe management with Nutritionist Pro helps you share recipes across multiple locations to ensure each dish your kitchen produces is the same size, flavor, and consistency no matter where or when customers consume them.

Properly Store Your Food

You can play Tetris with your refrigeration units and meticulously stock everything your cooks need. Unfortunately, no organizational commitment will save a food service company’s food from going bad at the wrong temperatures or due to improper removal and storage processes. Ensure your staff stores all food items in appropriate containers and at optimum temperatures.

Maintain diligence with your staff about following food removal and storage procedures. Create a backup plan for what they should do if things go wrong. It would be best if you had an answer when questionable situations arise, such as how to handle food during a power outage.

You can reduce food waste further by labeling perishable products with receiving dates, expiration dates, and the number of servings in each container. 

Nutritionist Pro’s software tools enable you to easily create nutrition and allergen labels with automated data importing, a powerful ingredient and recipe database and label printing directly from the software suite.

Develop Multi-Use Menu Items

A final tip to reduce food waste is determining which ingredients to use across multiple dishes—choosing to stock items you regularly use in large quantities ties into assisting with inventory management in your food service kitchen. Doing so can help you take advantage of cost savings for buying in bulk. Additionally, you can help mitigate spoiled ingredients and reduce food waste from ingredients you may not use often enough.

Manually accounting for recipes and ingredients can pose challenges when identifying your multi-use items across several menu entries. Software automation like Nutritionist pro can help you streamline the activity, making large and small menus much easier to manage.

Nutritionist Pro’s ingredient database enables you to search for and sort recipes and their ingredients, helping you quickly determine “like” ingredients while managing your inventory procedures more efficiently.

Rely on Nutrition Software

Nutrition and technology have come a long way. Nutritionist Pro works to help empower food service professionals no matter their position in the industry. Utilizing nutrition software can help you determine and track your food waste while implementing repeatable processes to help you reduce wasted food from spoilage and spillage to errors within the inventory and production process.

Nutritionist Pro makes controlling food waste easy and effective, guiding you toward making ethical choices and optimizing recipes while highlighting what works best for your company. When you choose our software family, you gain a partnership and personal experience brought to life by dieticians and nutritionists who designed, developed, and currently operate Nutritionist Pro.

Contact our friendly, professional team today to learn more about Nutritionist Pro, tips for reducing food waste, and how our meal planning software can help you minimize loss.