Up to 40 percent of the food in the United States ends up as food waste. Not only is this a major waste of resources, it’s a major waste of money! According to the Save the Food, reducing food waste in your restaurant can save up to $1 per person served per day. As an added bonus, decreasing the amount of waste that your restaurant produces is a great way to show customers that you’re a sustainable business — one of the leading industry trends for 2019.
With a little creativity and planning, there are countless ways your restaurant can work to reduce waste and save money. However, it can be hard to know where to start. Luckily, our restaurant experts have recommend three easy, money-saving changes that restaurants can make to help the planet and their bottom line:
Maximize Produce Use
One of the easiest ways to reduce food waste is by getting the most out of your produce before it goes bad. Cooking up a side of broccoli? After cooking the head, try spiralizing the stem to add texture to salad greens. Have fruit that’s overripe? Squeeze it into fresh juice or blend it into a smoothie. Have a mix of veggies that you need to serve up stat? Serve them to customers in a special “garden frittata.”
Bring In the Bread
Maybe your last batch of bread got burnt, or maybe yesterday’s loaves have gone stale. Either way, stop yourself from tossing those beloved carbs in the garbage! Stale and burnt bread can be frozen and re-toasted for use as stuffing, breadcrumbs, and croutons.
Be a Soup-er Saver
When cooking meat and fish, be sure to hang onto the bones: bone stock can easily be cooked and frozen for later use in soups and stews, similar to vegetable stock. Leftover meat, veggies, and pasta can also be saved and served to next-day customers in a special soup du jour.
There are countless ways to reduce food waste, and these ideas are just a start. As long as you aren’t serving anything you wouldn’t eat yourself — food poisoning is always a liability — don’t be afraid to get creative and take risks. Happy saving!