Waste can be a very costly problem for foodservice businesses, and with the large amounts of food needed in a commercial kitchen it is hard to completely avoid wastage. Sometimes a dish won’t be as well received as anticipated or some stray vegetables may get lost in a crowded fridge and go to waste. It’s important to try to minimise waste as much as possible, not just because it’s good for the environment but also because it can save you quite a lot of money! Here are 3 things you can do to help minimise your wastage.
Rethink your stock
Sometimes your food waste comes down to not ordering the right products and produce in the first place. You should be keeping track of your waste, not just the volume but what in particular is making up the most of your waste. Is it a dish that is just not moving, or is something consistently being ordered and then not used? You need to be aware of these things so that your menu and ordering can be adjusted.
Avoid overbuying fresh produce and instead look at ordering products with a longer shelf life. Even better look for products that are frozen so they are only cooked when needed and will keep longer.
Bread is a prime example of a product that does not have a particularly long shelf life, and if not used will become unusable within a few days. Using pre-baked or frozen bread will mean that you don’t have to worry about wastage, you only bake or thaw what is needed, and the rest can be used later.
This doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on quality. Abbott’s Village Bakery’s range of rustic flavours (like Farmhouse Wholemeal, Rustic White and Country Grains), for example, can be purchased frozen and only thawed when needed.
Choosing the right products for your commercial kitchen will go a long way to helping you reduce waste and save some dollars.
Downsize on packaging
While it might seem like you’re saving money by purchasing some things in bulk, in the long run you often end up wasting a lot of that product because it spoils or you just don’t use it.
Choosing products that come in small convenient boxes rather than large ones can save you space. By downsizing on packaging, you also reduce the risk of having to order excess of something simply because it only comes in bulk, and then having it take up space that could be used by a different product.
A product like the AGB Garlic Slices come in small cartons of 144 slices separated into four trays, making them more convenient for using only when in demand and not getting wasted or taking up too much space.
Recycle or reuse your leftovers
Before you go to throw out any food that hasn’t yet been used, it’s worth thinking about whether it is still usable in another way. If you’ve got an ingredient that either hasn’t ended up being used in the originally planned for meal or you just have too much of it, get creative and repurpose it into different dishes, maybe create a new special to help get the food moving or get experimental. Who knows what you could end up with?
If you really can’t get it moving but it is still edible then you might want to look into donating your leftovers to people in need. There are a number of services that can help with this.
And lastly, if you have leftover food scraps, instead of just binning them, you should set up a composting system, or if you don’t have the space in your kitchen, just like with the food donations, there are services that will help and take your food scraps to a compost plant.