As much as 65 per cent of food waste in the hospitality industry occurs back of the house and 30 per cent is left on consumer’s plates.
Not only is wasting food bad for the environment, but it’s also costly.
It’s estimated that 600,000 tonnes of food waste are generated every year with 400,000 tonnes of this food waste is avoidable had it been better portioned, managed, stored and prepared.
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Here are our top tips to help chefs reduce waste and start saving money:
- Don’t let your eggs go off – Got excess eggs nearing their best before date in the kitchen? Don’t bin them; crack, whip and freeze them to use at a later date. This will extend your egg’s shelf life by 9-12 months.
- Think of veg offcuts as an extension of your larder – Don’t throw out leftover celery leaves; use them to make celery salt. Likewise, leftover potatoes can be mashed and used as a pie topping or turned into soup. Find out more.
- Offer a choice of portion sizes – Research by WRAP has shown that a third of consumers leave food on their plate when dining out of the home. Cut down plate waste by offering a variety of meal sizes – small, medium and large.
- Audit your plate waste – Make a note of what’s coming back from the dining room and think about what you can do to reduce plate waste. Simple swaps can not only reduce waste but save you money too. For example, swapping to curly leaf lettuce for garnish means you can use less and still achieve good plate coverage.
- Don’t store fruit and veg together – Fruit gives off high levels of ethylene (a ripening agent) that can prematurely ripen and spoil surrounding produce. So, keep your avocados, tomatoes, mangoes and melons apart.
- Put a lid on it – Try to use reusable storage containers with airtight lids – instead of expensive cling film. This will also help reduce your waste allocation.
- Digest your food waste – Get your food waste collected for anaerobic digestion or composting, opposed to being sent out to landfill. This can save chefs thousands of pounds every year, especially if landfill taxes are in place.