Catering Food waste

Food Waste in the Catering Industry

Food Waste in the Catering Industry, is this a problem and how can the amount of food waste be reduced?

With the Co-op announcing it will start selling food past its “best before” date for just 10 pence this week as it looks to tackle the issue of food waste, what could the effect be on the catering industry that has a similar issue?

The stop wasting food trend is something that is growing all over the world, lately with food waste supermarkets and food waste restaurants. The consumers are soon made ready to buy the “rescued food” products.

If we take a look at the food service and catering industry, a lot of “wonky” produce can be put into good use. When you eat your salad, it doesn’t really matter if the vegetables were perfect or odd looking to begin with – it’s all gets chopped and ends in a salad bowl. A local hospital can make a deal with a local farmer to buy the farmer’s “wonky” produce, probably at a reduced price. The farmer cam earn money on the produce which he previously tossed away, the hospital can make delicious meals to its patients and can brand itself by being a green hospital, which supports stop wasting food.

Catering Food waste

Recently in National Geographic and the BBC, Denmark has been crowned as the leading country in the EU in the fight against food waste. Within five years, Denmark’s national food waste has been reduced by 25%. That’s quite something. Which is a good start.

Many Danish supermarkets are starting to sell good food, which is near to its expiry date, at reduced prices. That means that supermarkets waste less food and earn money on the food, which otherwise could have been tossed in the bin, and customers can buy food at a reduced price and thus avoid food waste (Makes Sense huh!!). Many Danish supermarkets brand themselves on these initiatives, labelling them “Save Food” of the “Stop Food Waste” bargains. This trend has become quite popular, and perhaps the international supermarkets should take a closer look at the model for Danish retail industry.

Today, restaurants, especially with buffets, can get the food waste apps such as the Danish Too Good To Go app, counting over one million Danish and international users, which makes it easy for the customers to buy a takeaway box from the restaurant’s buffet at a cheap price. Thus, the restaurant avoids food waste, the customer gets good, cheap restaurant food and the food waste is avoided. Another Danish app, YourLocal, concentrates on the surplus food from the supermarkets, and highlights the good local offers, helping the local supermarkets avoid food waste and earn money on the food, which otherwise would have been wasted. Both apps have recently received substantial financial funding counting several millions of DKK.

Food for thought maybe – In June last year I read an article that said Virgin Atlantic airline were using behavioural science research to train pilots to save fuel. The study found that pilots used less fuel when they were told their usage was being monitored, a striking example of applying behavioural science techniques for real-world impact. The intent was to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere from their planes, but the impact of the study was a huge bonus, it meant that money was also saved on fuel. Virgin Atlantic said pilots in the study, conducted in 2014, saved 6,828 tons of fuel, savings at the time worth £3.3 million. In environmental terms, it reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 21,500 tons. WOW!!!

Economists from the University of Chicago and the London School of Economics and Political Science broke up the Virgin Atlantic pilots into groups, giving some of them fuel consumption goals, some of them feedback, others reports, and telling some simply that they were being monitored. Most of the cost savings came just from a captain’s “awareness of being monitored,” the airline said. The researchers said that sending pilots by mail to their homes fuel savings targets and feedback on their progress was the most cost-effective tactic “improving the fueling accuracy, in-flight efficiency measures and efficient taxiing practices by up to 20%.”

Could a restaurant, hotel or catering company be monitored on their waste? Is it possible? Would it help? Or are some already doing this??? We want to know!!! Send us a message on if you are.


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