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Food waste – a global problem

Food waste – a global problem

Food waste has become a global problem. The European Environment Agency estimates that about a third of world food production is wasted.

When you know that there are a billion people who are hungry every day, and that the value chain for food and drink are the cause of 17% of our direct greenhouse gas emissions, and 28% of the raw material consumption, there is really good reason to focus on this.

Fortunately, restaurants and hotels are good at handling this and according to statistics cause only 4% waste. Nevertheless, there is reason to continue and constantly try to reduce the waste. Not least for our environment, but also for the business’s profits and operations.

Whether you are a restaurant, hotel, canteen, catering or institution, which makes and serves food, there are several things you can do to help the problem.

  • Use smaller plates on the buffet. This makes people load less up per serving. Thus less ending up in the trash bin.
  • Keep regular meetings with staff and review what food is being thrown out every day.
  • Make lists of popular dishes and place them at the forefront of the buffet. This may in many cases mean that the less popular dishes are not required to be made up in as large amounts as before.
  • Consider the ongoing sales of the individual dishes. This way you get an overview of your customers’ preferences, and you can judge which dishes should be made enough of and which tend to not be eaten up. Create your own statistics and diary, which may also help new staff.
  • If pre-prepared meals are done, then use a guest call system outside the busy times. It is clear that between 11 and 13 around lunchtime there must be enough prepared food in self-catering restaurants, but many underestimate that guests actually want to wait for fresh food. If as example, the steak or fish is sold out after 13:00 o’clock (which is optimal) and the cooking staff are present, then give the guests a guest pager and let them wait for the few minutes it takes to fry the fresh steak or fish.

In addition to Discover System’s contribution with a guest call system, there are a number of companies working with technological solutions for the larger restaurants so that they can measure and organize their food waste.

Fortunately, there are many organizations, both European and worldwide, who are working to reduce food waste every day. Right from the EU and the UN to an large number of private initiatives