The cost of food waste for the U.S. restaurant industry is a staggering $162 billion annually. Reducing waste in a restaurant is an important step towards cutting costs and minimizing environmental impact through wasted resources and energy that goes into food production. Here are some ways that restaurants can reduce their waste:
- Implement a food waste reduction program: A food waste reduction program involves tracking and analyzing food waste to identify areas where waste can be reduced. This program can help restaurants identify where to reduce waste and develop strategies to minimize it. It can also save the restaurant money by reducing food costs.
- Use sustainable packaging: Think about all those single-use plastic items used in restaurants for both the consumers and for food prep—forks, knives, spoons, lids, containers, and straws. Switching to eco-friendly packaging options such as biodegradable or compostable products can reduce the amount of waste generated by the restaurant. Reusable containers for takeout and delivery orders can also help reduce waste.
- Compost food waste: Composting food waste can divert it from landfills and turn it into nutrient-rich soil for gardens and farms. Many municipalities offer composting services, or restaurants can start their own If you’re in North America, here is a handy resource for finding a composting facility near you: findacomposter.com
- Use energy-efficient equipment: Energy-efficient equipment can reduce the amount of energy used in the restaurant, which can help lower operating costs and reduce the restaurant’s carbon footprint.
- Donate excess food: Donating excess food to local food banks or charities can help reduce food waste and provide food to those in need. You may even be eligible for tax credits under the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.
Keeping food waste to a minimum will reduce your carbon footprint and cut costs. It’s a win-win! Read more ways to increase your sustainability.
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