August 2, 2023



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How food waste reduction helps restaurants fight soaring food prices

Rising food prices is attributed to the persistence of inflation, which shows no signs of abating in the near future. Food prices keep rising. While restaurants hesitate to raise menu prices, they are also wasting surplus ingredients abundantly.

Fortunately there are Five Tips below to help your restaurant reduce waste and increase profits. Stop throwing away expensive ingredients purchased with real money into the trash bin. 

Tips 1. Investigate the Source of Waste

To reduce food waste, the first step is to accurately identify how much food is being wasted and the sources of waste in your restaurant. Conducting regular audits of kitchen waste can help restaurants pinpoint the origins of food waste, enabling them to find ways to minimize it. Restaurants can track waste sources over daily or weekly periods for several cycles, making the conclusions drawn more generalizable.

When measuring food waste, two main factors need to be considered. You need to take into account how much food is wasted and how many people visit your restaurant. By collecting these two data points, you can better understand the primary sources of waste.

Tips 2. Controlling Variables

In the process of investigating the sources of waste, using the method of controlling variables can be more effective. Some variables that significantly impact restaurants include weather, weekdays/weekends, holidays, and so on.

For example, the restaurant can record food waste on two weekdays with similar customer flows but different weather conditions to test the influence of weather on food waste. Different weather conditions might reduce the restaurant's dine-in occupancy but simultaneously increase the number of takeaway orders. By controlling variables, one can gain a more precise understanding of how each variable affects the level of food waste in the restaurant.

Tips 3. Set Goals

Once the restaurant knows what is being wasted, it should promptly engage with the staff and attempt to come up with improvement methods. What is the most significant factor causing food waste in your kitchen? Why is it being discarded? When reviewing the data, you should ponder these questions. A simple approach to consider for the next step is to categorize your waste into two types: kitchen waste and customer waste.

Kitchen Waste: This includes excessive food preparation, which is waste caused by the restaurant itself. There are many factors that restaurants can control when ordering, storing, preparing food, and handling surplus ingredients.

Customer Waste: Refers to waste that occurs after serving the meal when customers are unable to consume all the dishes, leading to waste that is often less controllable. Restaurants can reduce customer waste by monitoring or adjusting portion sizes, encouraging customers to take leftovers, and implementing other strategies.

Tips 4. Turning Waste into Treasure

Of course, even if we truly understand the root of food waste, waste is often unavoidable. What restaurants can do is turn these surplus ingredients into treasure.

For instance, they can try to reprocess the leftover ingredients, ensuring the quality while finding another way to utilize them. Fresh bread that can only be stored for a day can be processed again into bread chunks that can be preserved for several days. Some creative chefs can transform surplus ingredients into daily specialty dishes.

Tips 5. Choosing a Smarter POS System

It is said that the restaurant industry is a demanding one, and many restaurant owners have to be personally involved in their establishments, leaving them with limited time and energy for record-keeping. Selecting an intelligent POS system can help the restaurant address all these issues more easily and efficiently.

MenuSifu's POS system can assist the restaurant with real-time inventory monitoring. When an order is placed in the front of the house using the POS system, the system will automatically update the relevant ingredient inventory in the kitchen after the dish is prepared.

In addition, MenuSifu's POS backend can generate inventory data reports from multiple angles and dimensions, helping you gain a better understanding of the restaurant's stock cycles and avoid wastage due to excessive stocking. Restaurant owners can monitor the backend reports anytime, anywhere and restock on a timely basis to ensure ingredient freshness.

All inventory reports are presented in simple and understandable visual data, complemented by carefully crafted data charts. Owners need not be concerned about their ability to understand the reports. Through these data reports, they can understand the restaurant's bestselling and slow-moving items, enabling them to restock timely and enhance the dining experience for customers.