Food waste in the US

The restaurant industry faces a huge issue in the form of food waste. According to Waste 360, there is more food than any other material present in US landfills. Unfortunately, the American restaurant industry is a large contributor to this waste: over 80% of unused food in restaurants around the country ends up as waste. This has led to over $2 billion in lost profits, as well as environmental issues and lack of safe-to-eat surplus foods to communities that may need them.

Ways to fight food waste

Fighting food waste is an integral part of increasing your restaurant’s overall profitability. You may have to get your hands dirty: one of the best ways to combat waste is with a waste audit. Every day for a short period of time (around a week or two), have a team open your trash bags and sort your trash into paper goods, plastic, produce, animal products, etc. Weigh each of these products on a scale, and multiply each of these weights by 365 (the number of days in a year). This should give you an idea about how much waste you should anticipate for the year, and more importantly, your specific problem areas. This will not only give you insights into how much food you waste, but maybe which of your menu items may be less of a hit with your customers, if your prep cooks could be more thorough with their cuts, or other helpful information.

You can also train your staff to be more mindful about food waste. Teach your prep cooks cutting techniques that can help produce and meat last longer. You can also show them techniques that help yield the most amount of product from these items. The more of these items your team can use, the less of it ends up as waste. Be watchful of over-prepping, and change prepping options accordingly. This will not only reduce waste, but help you optimize labor costs.

Consider adopting the FIFO (first in, first out) method in your kitchen. This way, the oldest items in your kitchen will always be used first. The FIFO method may mean longer loading times from shipment, but it’s worth it. It will cut down on food waste as a result of spoiling and guarantee you won’t waste food because of the order of consumption. Once you receive your food and stock it according to this method, make sure you store it properly—that is, in an appropriate container at an appropriate temperature. Label all perishable products the day they are received, and the amount of servings within the container. Run weekly specials so that you can quickly repurpose unused food before it spoils and becomes waste.

About Doral Food Distribution

At Doral Food Distribution, we are proud champions of proper food disposal. By helping deliver correct and appropriate inventory, we serve your bottom line, before the food even gets to your facility. We offer a multi-faceted work environment, motivated management, effective human resources, and vital expertise about both food production as well as the operators involved. Others focus only on food and marketing, and while those factors are critical, we keep our customer relations at the forefront of our efforts. Our dedicated hands-on service puts the finest flavors in the kitchen and on the shelves while committing ourselves to you, setting us apart from others. Our website makes it easy for you to start experiencing the difference. Order today!

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