Industry Insights
May 11, 2023
7 min read

Six Cool Tricks Restaurants Use to Tackle Food Waste

Industry Analyst

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, about one-third of all food produced in the world is wasted every year. The restaurant industry is no exception, as food waste can happen due to overproduction, spoilage, or improper storage. However, many restaurants are taking innovative steps to reduce food waste and make the most out of their ingredients. Here are six cool tricks that restaurants use to tackle food waste:

#1 Nose-to-tail cooking: Many restaurants have started using the entire animal or vegetable, from the nose to the tail, to reduce waste. This approach requires creativity in the kitchen, but it can result in unique and delicious dishes that use all parts of an ingredient.

#2 Root-to-stem cooking: Similar to nose-to-tail cooking, root-to-stem cooking involves using all parts of a vegetable, such as the stems and leaves, which are often discarded. By using these parts in dishes, restaurants can reduce food waste and add new flavors and textures to their menu.

#3 Composting: Instead of throwing away food scraps, many restaurants are composting them and using the resulting soil to grow fresh herbs and vegetables. This closed-loop system helps reduce waste and promotes sustainability.

#4 Donation programs: Some restaurants donate unsold food to food banks or charities, ensuring that perfectly good food does not go to waste. This approach also helps restaurants give back to their communities and support those in need.

#5 Portion control: Overproduction and oversized portions can lead to food waste. Many restaurants are now implementing portion control measures to ensure that food is not wasted unnecessarily. This approach not only reduces waste but also saves money and improves the bottom line.

#6 Menu engineering: By carefully analyzing their menu, restaurants can identify which dishes have higher waste rates and adjust their offerings accordingly. For example, if a dish requires an ingredient that spoils quickly, restaurants can consider using a similar but more shelf-stable ingredient instead.

Using an app like Mr. Tomato can help restaurants maintain these practices by providing staff members with the necessary training and tools. The app's AI-powered checklists can ensure that chefs and kitchen staff follow proper portion control and storage procedures, while the in-app messenger can facilitate communication between staff members to ensure that food waste is minimized. Additionally, Mr. Tomato's analytics can provide managers with insights into which dishes have higher waste rates, enabling them to adjust the menu and reduce waste further.

In conclusion, reducing food waste is not only good for the planet but also for the restaurant's bottom line. By implementing innovative practices like nose-to-tail cooking, portion control, and menu engineering, restaurants can reduce waste and offer unique and sustainable dishes to their customers. And with the help of apps like Mr. Tomato, restaurants can ensure that these practices are maintained consistently and efficiently.

Industry Analyst
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