July 25 2018 – Robert Fiumara
7 Tips To Potentially Reduce Waste In Your Kitchen
Environmental awareness is everywhere, and there is plenty that restaurants can do to play their part. Each day, most restaurants end up throwing away massive amounts of food that customers do not eat. This is not only an expensive practice, but it is extremely wasteful. There are many things that restaurants can do to help. Try these tips to reduce the waste in your kitchen.
Make a Team to Track Your Waste
Working in a kitchen is a hectic job. It is unlikely that many of the workers can take time away from their priorities. We suggest finding one or two people who can spare some time and put them in charge of tracking and managing your waste. It is ideal if they work with the food in some way, as they will have a better idea of what and how much the staff uses in various dishes, etc.
Identify the Waste
Once you have a team analyzing your waste, you can begin gathering information about the largest source of garbage. Generally, food waste occurs in the kitchen before the food arrives at the customer, or after the customer has finished eating. Separate the waste into these two categories.
Talk to employees and ask them to dispose of the garbage in specific containers. Have them record any findings to determine more specific information about which foods you are throwing away most frequently and other useful data.
Adjust Your Menu
Once you have identified the most wasteful parts of your menu, you can make changes to reduce it. Try making the portions smaller. This will save you money and make it less likely that you will have to throw out as much. If the smaller portion does not fix the problem, consider the dish, itself. There may be something about it that is keeping customers from wanting to finish the entire meal.
It is also a good idea to potentially make your menu smaller. If your menu has a wide variety of things, you will need to purchase more ingredients. With a small menu, you can focus on a specific group of meals and reduce the chances of food going bad.
Be Careful About How Much You Purchase
One of the largest culprits for waste production in a kitchen is food that goes bad. Take note of the ingredients you are throwing away frequently because they have gone bad, and order smaller shipments in the future.
Start a Garden
Depending on your location and the type of food you serve, you could start a garden. Although not ideal for some, there are numerous benefits to having a garden. It will give you access to fresh ingredients, and many customers are more likely to eat at a restaurant that grows its own produce, herbs, or other ingredients. Additionally, you can compost some of your food waste and use it to introduce more nutrients into your garden.
Food waste is not the only waste issue that restaurants face. Packaging is also a serious problem. Due to the extensive packaging that accompanies most ingredients, many restaurants find themselves with an overload of packaging. Do not make the mistake of simply throwing it all away. Sort out anything that you can recycle. Some suppliers also allow you to return packaging back to them, so they can reuse it.
Educate and Train Your Staff Thoroughly
Make sure your staff understands the importance of waste reduction. Explain why it is important and get them invested in the cause, so they are willing to take the extra steps to make less food and packaging waste.
Training is also important. Some waste comes from issues in the kitchen or on the floor, such as dropping dishes of food, spilling drinks, or knocking over bowls of food. Make sure your employees are careful about everything they do so that unnecessary mistakes do not increase your waste production.
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