Takeaway restaurants remain open, but consumption patterns have most certainly changed. Unpredictable demand, amongst other factors, has led to an increase in food waste.
Takeaway operators surveyed reported throwing away £148 worth of food per week since lockdown began, compared to £111 in December 2019. This has cost the sector £16.7m during lockdown.
Working with Just Eat, we have created specific guidelines for restaurants who may be experiencing an increase in food waste and are serious about fighting it. Our toolkit can be found here.
Our survey results revealed…
ACTIONS FOR RESTAURANTS
- Manage your stock to ensure you are using the oldest produce first – remember to think ‘FIFO’ (first in first out)
- Add dates to your food so you always know how fresh your produce is
- Offer special deals on dishes that use food close to its use-by date
- Monitor your appliances to ensure your fridges and freezers are the correct temperatures
- Ordering and deliveries: speak to your suppliers and ask about ordering less, with more frequent deliveries
- Avoid leftovers by preparing your meals, and ordering ingredients, in line with how much usually sells of each dish. This will be tricky during and after lockdown, but monitoring sales may help you spot patterns in demand.
- Reuse excess ingredients – regularly wasted food could be used in other dishes or to create a brand new one
- Donate surplus food to causes or charities.
We have our own food redistribution resource available here.
DON’T FORGET YOUR CUSTOMER
Before COVID customers reported wasting 9% of food – just as the recent research found that customers were saving. To help:
- Reduce portion sizes of commonly wasted ingredients
- Consider using smaller plates when serving food
- Provide tips on how to store and reuse leftovers on leaflets and packaging (we have created some great leftover recipes which you can see here
- Ask your customers if they would like extras rather than offering them as standard
FOOD WASTE BAD TASTE
Food Waste Bad Taste is a 6-week online programme supporting hospitality businesses across the country to Target, Measure and Act on food waste in their business, as per WRAP’s latest framework, with our guidance.
The programme provides a collection of materials, tips and guidance to help your business reduce its carbon footprint, save money and contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 – cutting global food waste by 50% by 2030.
The next cohort begins on 23 March 2020 – spaces are limited to businesses with 250+ employees
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