Food waste is a real issue worldwide. Only in Singapore in 2017, the total amount of food waste reached 676,800 tonnes*! Restaurants can highly benefit from cutting the quantity of leftovers by finding innovative solutions. Recent studies have shown that it can significantly increase their profits.
#1: A reliable inventory system to prevent waste
Analyze your purchasing habits thoroughly by establishing an efficient inventory system and hence make sure that the quantities ordered are the correct ones. With figures in hand, you could change the menu to optimize the amount of leftovers or order more frequently in a smaller volume.
#2: Collect feedback from your guests
Asking for the opinion of your guests regarding the food is the best way to improve your dishes and to adapt the quantities according to their feedback. Too much in your plate? Too salty? Too spicy? The best solution to figure out is to ask! Prepare a quick survey and ask them kindly at the end of their meal to fulfill it in return for a coupon on their next order.
#3: Offer to-go boxes
If your guests did not finish their meals, offer them to take the leftovers home in a to-go box. It is a smart way to advertise your restaurant with branded boxes and bags while promoting food waste reduction. Your guests will appreciate the gesture for sure! Note that you can find sustainable cutlery and boxes to avoid plastic.
#4: For all-you-can-eat buffet: Pay what you don’t eat policy.
Educating people on food waste is the number one step towards waste reduction. The more efficient way to do so is by getting to their wallet. Apply a “pay what you don’t eat policy” in all-you-can-eat buffet places is an intelligent solution that many food establishments have already adopted to cut food waste.
#5: Create innovative recipes to make full use of ingredients
Every week, track all the products that will expire quickly and turn them into creative recipes that combine them all. Advertise the dish at a special price to make it more attractive and voilà! You avoided food waste and brought more variety to your menu all at once.
The goal of the National Environment Agency (NEA) is for Singapore to become a Zero Waste Nation. Although it is a tough objective to achieve, if Singaporean restaurants find new ways to make the best out of their resources and apply a smart inventory system, this goal is undoubtedly reachable!