Restaurant owners do everything they can to curb food waste because it significantly impacts their profit margins. According to a study, 4-10% of food is wasted before it gets to the customer due to spoilage. That means if restaurant owners can take the proper measures, they can curb food spoilage significantly.
Some of the common causes of food wastage in restaurants include overbuying, spoilage, and overproduction. Strategies such as accurate forecasting of consumer demand via food data tracking software can help mitigate inventory overbuying. In addition, training staff on food safety and the proper techniques to achieve that can minimize food spoilage and increase food safety.
That said, here is a profound look into common causes of food waste in restaurants and how to mitigate them.
You are likely to overstock food items without proper inventory management, resulting in excessive food wastage. Overstocking can also be caused by improperly managed inventory, especially when the staff is not trained on how to manage it, which leads to them ordering more food items than necessary. An efficient food inventory tracking and management system can significantly minimize food wastage and save you more money.
Even if you are not overstocking food, spoilage is also a risk of running a restaurant, but it is preventable. If you don’t carefully inspect the food items coming in, you risk accepting spoiled products. Additionally, if you don’t have a food temperature control system in your storage room, you risk food spoilage. Remember that you must comply with food safety regulations for restaurants, so ensuring the freshness of your food is mandatory. Adopting a restaurant temperature monitoring system and using the first-in, first-out (FIFO) storage method helps mitigate food spoilage.
Poor portion control
If you notice a large amount of untouched food on guests’ plates, your portions may be too large. Therefore you should practice effective portion control to minimize food wastage. Effective portion control means standardizing your food measurements for every dish to prevent too much food from ending up in the trash bins. But do not sacrifice the food quality.
Another common cause of food wastage in restaurants is overproduction. In this case, you find that the chefs prep and cook too much food to avoid a shortage, but it eventually ends up being wasted. Ensure you monitor sales periodically to know when to cook more food and less food, depending on the season. You can even eliminate dishes that are not moving fast enough or cook them on orders. Also, create efficient batching levels.
Misfires can significantly impact your bottom line. Misfires happen when the chef prepares the wrong dish, maybe because of misreading a ticket or a server forgets to include an allergy note. Active restaurant management and proper staff training can help reduce misfires and mitigate food wastage.
Restaurant food wastage can significantly impact your bottom line. Although it can be challenging to completely curb food waste, you can reduce it drastically by taking the proper measures.