Waste has always been an issue in commercial kitchens of all sizes because of high volumes of food. Commercial kitchens have many stations that focus on different types of food, which means different styles of preparing food and ultimately should minimize food waste. But that is not the case. A large amount of waste disposal is related to food waste. Leftover after food preparation as well as what is left on customers’ plates after they have dined. Tons of food waste is produced by the food industry each year and restaurants are a major part of it. Restaurant consultants can help you with strategies to minimize waste with proper planning.

The First Step: Awareness
Many restaurants are now getting better with time at reducing the food waste that is discarded, but a lot more can be done to reduce the amount of food waste that goes in the garbage. Restaurant consultants at HPG can assist with making your restaurant or commercial kitchen much more efficient and eco-friendly when it comes to food waste and waste disposal.

The following are five steps you can take to optimize commercial waste disposal at your commercial kitchen:

Creating Strategy: Start with a commitment to reducing your facility’s food waste. Hold a meeting with management to brainstorm what you and your staff can do in the short and long term to meet this goal. Take professional advice from a restaurant consultant to get an assessment of what can be done to reduce and address your waste output. Reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible.

Monitor Produce Use: The mismanagement of purchasing produce and inventory can lead to food waste as well as wasted revenues. If the items in inventory spoil, they cannot be used and should be discarded. Make a concerted effort to monitor your productivity levels and usage. Place orders accordingly so that you don’t order too much.

Manage Temperatures: When the food is not stored at the optimal temperature, it is deemed to be wasted. Keep a check on the storage temperatures of your refrigerators, and freezers to ensure that all food will retain its freshness for as long as possible.

Recycling Program: Being more mindful of recycling in all other aspects of your business can be of help. Bulk produce and other supplies often come in large boxes and containers. Check if these are being recycled properly? Cans and bottles should also be rinsed and recycled in the correct manner. Recycling instead of discarding as much as possible helps to reduce waste and improves your establishment’s carbon footprint.

Educating Your Employees: Once you have developed a plan for optimizing commercial waste disposal, it is advised to set up a meeting to inform all of your staff about your recycling strategy. Once every member of your team is on board and aware of your plans, your strategies will be far easier to implement. Restaurant consultants can help you train your employees.

Participate in Composting: Composting is a great method of reusing food parts that are used in cooking. Any part of raw vegetables can be composted, as well as stale bread, the skin of fruits, and eggshells. With composting, any food scraps can be put off to the side and later into a compost bin that will break down the scraps and turn it into soil that can be used for gardening or taken to a compost plant where it will also be broken down and reused.

Donate Leftover Food: Many restaurants now donate leftover food to programs to help feed the hungry. Shelters accept food that has not expired, to be redistributed to households that need it or used to make meals in various shelters and kitchens. There are many organizations with missions to find and make connections between kitchens and shelters that can use leftover food.

Food waste and other types of waste are a reality of doing business, but optimizing commercial waste disposal can make your establishment far more eco-friendly. Implement these tips, and contact restaurant consultants at HPG to learn more.