Food waste is an ongoing issue for restaurant owners and managers. In an ideal world, you would order exactly the right amount of ingredients from your suppliers, sell perfectly portioned meals to your customers, and report zero net losses.
In the true sense of it, however, this is never the case. Fortunately, there are several strategies available today for calculating and reducing food waste.
How do you calculate wastage in restaurants?
Everything should be measured. Diligence is essential. The sooner you establish proper tracking protocols for food waste and inventory calculations, the better off your restaurant will be in the long run.
A simple food waste audit is described below:
This will provide you with an accurate picture of how much food is wasted in your restaurant, where it is coming from, and how much it is affecting your bottom line.
Establish a trial period for calculating food waste
Rather than committing to a complete overhaul of your restaurant’s inventory and food management system, it’s easier to track your waste for specific time periods.
To get an accurate picture of your restaurant’s food waste, we recommend starting with at least one month.
Put all food waste in the following bins
Food spoilage, customer plates, and food prep all contribute to restaurant food waste.
To determine where your waste is coming from, you must separate it while your restaurant is open for business.
Purchase three separate garbage cans, one for each source of food waste, and instruct your employees to place all waste in the appropriate bin.
At the end of each shift, weigh the bins.
Weigh each of your food waste bins with an industrial scale at the end of each shift
Then, to organise your results, enter all of the numbers into a spreadsheet or your inventory management platform. At the end of the month, you’ll have totals (by weight) for each waste category of food waste.
Compare results to inventory
To get a clear picture of where you stand, compare your food waste totals to your inventory and sales numbers.
According to research, restaurants waste 4-10% of all inventory purchased, so your goal should be at or below 4%.
Engage Your Employees
Before beginning your food waste calculation, inform your employees about the significance of the endeavour.
It will ensure that the restaurant thrives in the future while also contributing to a lower environmental impact.
If you want to accurately calculate food waste in your restaurant, you’ll need the full support of your staff.
Make your intentions known and include them in the process. Because your employees are immersed in your restaurant’s daily operations, they frequently have the best ideas for how to improve efficiency and reduce food waste.
Increasing the Size of Your Food Waste Calculation
Once you have preliminary food waste numbers from your trial month, further break down your waste by categorising all of your wasted ingredients as meat, fish, dairy, and so on.
This will reveal the source of your waste. You may discover that one of your dishes is frequently returning to the kitchen with unfinished salmon on the plate, indicating that the salmon portion is too large.
Most restaurant owners are often surprised by the amount of inventory that ends up in the dumpster every month when they calculate their food waste for the first time.
Don’t get too engaged in the numbers. Instead, concentrate on what you can do to help the situation.
Post-Consumer Food Waste is an important factor in the calculation.
The PCFW and food waste indicator values are multiplied by six other sub-indicators in the fresh equation,
each reflecting an aspect of the food service procedure and many of which are synonymous with the highest determinants of food waste.
Recommended: Causes Of Food Waste In Restaurants
Conducting a food waste audit is an important step toward a more sustainable future.
Understanding where your food waste is coming from allows you to make long-term changes that will improve your restaurant’s efficiency and profitability over time.
Reduce food waste in hotels and you’ll run a smarter business, save thousands of dollars per year, impactfully reinvest that money, and set your restaurant up for long-term success.