Food wastage is a common theme in all restaurants and is one of the biggest culprits to landfill usage along with general depletion of resources. India alone loses up to $14 billion dollars a year in food wastage, according to a report from the Wire. It takes a lot of resources to even process wasted food! As commercial kitchen planners we therefore constantly look into ways where food wastage in commercial kitchens can be reduced, reducing a burden on both the operation as well as the environment. Here’s our guide to identifying the causes of food wastage, the areas where a commercial kitchen planner like Kilowa can help reduce the wastage and what you can do with it once you do end up with it.
Identify Causes Of Food Wastage
The first thing to do is identify where and how food is getting wasted. As produce goes through multiple iterations before finally hitting the bin. Right from sourcing material to deciding how much of it you want to store in what containers, then to the cooking phase and eventually how much of it ends up on the customer’s plate and how much they consume. There are wastages at every step here, most of which can be in your control.
This is one of the first steps that go a long way towards maintaining food waste: Make sure you are not procuring more than you need. Often, commercial kitchens and restaurants tend to buy more anticipating a higher demand on certain days/occasions like festivals etc. But these are unpredictable. You will either have a lot of customers that will enable you to utilize everything or you won’t. AI is one tool that can actually help in this case; You can consult with AI vendors to establish an AI system that lets you estimate these requirements based on diner history, what’s available in the market and so on. Commercial kitchen planners can help you consult with these vendors!
One extremely important issue when it comes to dining is the portion size. It’s hard enough to serve the right portion to serve one person, but it becomes a question of immense resource drain when consumers waste their portions due to excess sizes. Portioning your food helps customers to not overeat and also lets customers enjoy a more holistic experience with multiple dishes at a time, letting them sample the true flavors of your restaurant.
Learning To Use What You Have
It also helps that you use what’s available sustainably instead of going out of your way to procure things based purely on diner preferences. Introduce new and exciting things on the menu with seasonal ingredients or local ingredients and you will have customers returning for sure. How exactly does this help reduce waste? By sticking to what’s available you ensure that items move quicker and you do not have stale produce lying around waiting for procurement again.
In case you do end up having more food than you intended, donating is always a good way to contribute back to society instead of throwing it away. Most food thrown away is in fact perfectly fine for consumption and does not violate any health codes. France for instance mandates that supermarkets hand over unsold food to charities. There are a multitude of NGOs in India that deal with food wastage and charities. Commercial kitchen planners can possibly help you connect here too and help you contribute to a greater cause.
What To Do With Wasted Food
And finally if there is food that simply cannot be utilized and has to be thrown away, consider practices like categoric recycling, segregation or composting. Kilowa is a commercial kitchen planner that can help you implement all of these in your design when working out how to tackle waste in your commercial kitchen, so do browse for the appropriate commercial kitchen plan on our website.