Posted by Tara Webber
In a simpler time, deciding what restaurant to go to was a matter of choosing what kind of food people liked or what they were in the mood for. And while quality and individual preferences are probably still large factors in determining where people go to eat, let’s face it, eating out is about so much more than food.
People, of course, often eat out simply to make a social statement. Some people want to see and be seen, others want to try new culinary trends, and some just want to see what all the buzz is about when a new restaurant opens up.
Among the younger, more environmentally conscious diners, however, sustainability is also a factor.
How to reduce food waste at your restaurant
To make it easier to reduce food waste, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has outlined a hierarchy of actions restaurants can take to become more proactive about managing food waste.
Taking measures to reduce the amount of food that is thrown away is, of course, the number-one thing restaurants can do to cut back on food waste. This can be achieved by implementing a sophisticated ordering system and carefully tracking which foods are thrown away most often. It takes some smart planning, but ultimately this strategy reduces both costs and waste.
Feed hungry people
With apps and services like Food Cowboy, restaurants can easily arrange to have excess food picked up and donated to homeless shelters or soup kitchens.
Food that might not be fit for human consumption may be perfectly fine for animals. If you work closely with local suppliers, you may be able to work out a deal in which you get a discount on meat products, such as pork, in exchange for feed for their animals.
Many industries rely on excess oil, grease and fats for their operations and will provide free pickup and storage containers for restaurants to use.
If your food waste can’t be used in any of the above scenarios, composting is an option that can keep your waste out of the landfills. Plus, if your restaurant grows some of its own food, this practice can produce potent fertilizer to help you grow more veggies and fruits.
Sometimes, you have no option but to throw your food away.
For more guidelines and ideas regarding how you can reduce your food waste, check out this handy guide from the EPA.
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