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Tired of losing money? Here's 6 ways to tackle food waste

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The food industry produces 3,415,000 tonnes of waste per year. It's bad for the environment, for our conscience and for your bottom line. So let's make a change in 6 easy steps.

1. Stock Purchasing & Portion Control

Put simply, order what you need. Know your menu, know your customers and know how many meals you serve per week. This will help you avoid over-purchasing ingredients.

Portion control also plays an important role. Leave your guests satisfied, not sickeningly full with a plate full of leftovers.

For those items that often get discarded, such as a lemon in a coke, or a tomato in a burger, why not ask the customer first if they want it? Many may be too shy to ask or simply be unaware of the problem of food wastage.

You'll be surprised how many people will decline the offer, saving your ingredients for someone who wants them!

2. Storage

Around 21% of food waste is caused by spoilage. So what can you do?

Clean your fridge, freezers and storage boxes to prevent the growth of bacteria, and make sure machines are running at the perfect temperature. Fridges should be 1-4°C and freezers below -18°C.

If food needs to be reheated, heat it up for 2 minutes at 70°C (minimum). Adequate holding temperatures are above 63°C (hot food) and below 8°C (cold food).

3. Labelling & Sealing

Ensure stored ingredients are labelled for allergens, date information and clearly named.

One quick glance should tell you everything you need to know, reducing the chances of incorrect serving or the food being kept too long.

Sealing also ensures freshness.

We've all seen Kitchen Nightmares. Each episode features Gordon Ramsay inspecting a neglected fridge and finding rancid, gone-off ingredients. The horror! Fortunately, it's not hard to avoid this.

Keep a detailed list of all the foods in your storage areas alongside their use-by dates.

Organisation and regular checking is key.

> > Check out our Guide to Food Labelling for more advice < <

4. Compost waste

Compost bins turn your food waste into, well... compost!

This reduces the amount of landfill and the bin pick ups needed, while giving the earth natural soil free from chemicals.

Reduce waste, lower costs on collection services, help the environment!

> Here's our guide on how to be a more eco-friendly business <

5. Technology & Donations

The war on waste is waging through technology.  Through an app called Food To Go, food businesses can sign up to offer food at massively discounted rates. Greene King and Toby Carvery have hit the headlines recently for selling would-be wastage, with Toby Carvery offering a full roast for just £1.

Be sure to promote this on social media to spread the word about your initiative.

If this isn't for you, you could always donate to your local food bank!

6. Takeaways

Over 25% of people don't finish their meal when eating out, and 34% of food waste is what diners leave on their plate.

So why not let your customers take their leftovers home in an eco-friendly takeaway box?

Have your waiter offer a doggy bag when collecting plates, as we Brits are far too polite to ask.

Portion sizes are difficult to manage. Everyone wants value for money, but with 900,000 tonnes of food waste a year in London alone, we need to do something about it. Plus, everyone's appetite is different.

Leftover takeaways are a quick, easy way to reduce wastage.


> > What to read next? Find out how to reduce the costs of running your business < <

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