Food waste is a significant issue in commercial kitchens. It’s estimated that up to 40 percent of the food prepared in these kitchens goes to waste. There are a few reasons for this high level of waste:
- Food tends to spoil quickly in a commercial setting, so it’s often tossed out even if it’s only a little past the expiration date.
- Restaurant kitchens produce a lot of scraps and leftovers that are difficult to reuse or recycle.
- Many kitchen workers are unaware of the best ways to minimize food waste.
When opening a commercial kitchen, it’s essential to be aware of these issues and take steps to reduce food waste as much as possible. Here are a few strategies to get you started.
Proper Staff Training
Every ingredient and food-related product will go through the kitchen staff’s hands, which means they will have control over how much waste will get produced. As a result, their expertise will be necessary.
In any kitchen, it’s essential to have well-trained staff who know the best ways to minimize waste. In a commercial kitchen, where the stakes are high and every scrap of food counts, it’s even more critical.
Training your staff on proper food handling and storage is one of the best ways to reduce waste. Ensure they know how to identify spoiled food and properly store perishables. Teach them about menu planning so they can order only what they need and avoid waste due to overproduction. And remind them to take advantage of every bit of food – nothing should go to waste.
With the proper training, your staff can help you make your commercial kitchen as efficient and sustainable as possible – which means less wasted food and resources.
To reduce the amount of food that goes to waste in your commercial kitchen, you must plan your menu carefully. A well-planned menu will help you avoid overproduction, minimize spoilage, and streamline ingredient ordering. Here are a few tips on how to do it.
One way to reduce wasted food is by planning your menu weekly instead of monthly or quarterly. This allows you to be more reactive to changes in stock and customer demand. If you notice that a particular dish is being ordered more often than usual, you can adjust the recipe accordingly instead of having new ingredients at the end of the month.
Using seasonal ingredients is another great way to reduce waste in your kitchen. Not only are they cheaper and easier to come by, but they also tend not to spoil as quickly as out-of-season ingredients. When possible, try incorporating local produce into your dishes – it’ll be fresher and support your community.
Finally, make sure to involve your staff in menu planning. Chefs will be cooking the food, so they’ll have valuable insights into what dishes are popular and which ones tend to get sent back. Asking for their input will help you create a more efficient and waste-free menu.
Food Scrap and Compostable Recycling
There will always be food waste in any kitchen – inevitable. But what you do with that waste is up to you.
One option is to send it to a composting facility. This is a great way to reduce your environmental impact and turn food waste into something useful – nutrient-rich compost that you can use in gardens or farms.
Another option is to recycle your food scraps and other compostable materials. This can be done through an industrial composter, turning your food waste into animal feed or agricultural fertilizer. Or, if you have the space, you could start your compost bin in the kitchen. This is a great way to reduce waste without having to go through the hassle of finding a recycling facility.
Cooking oil will be necessary for almost every dish on your menu, making it necessary to recycle. Fortunately, you can find a company that provides used cooking oil (UCO) recycling services.
No matter what option you choose, ensure to recycle your food waste properly so it doesn’t end up in a landfill.
Kitchen Tool Upgrades
In any kitchen, it’s essential to have well-maintained and up-to-date appliances. Outdated or malfunctioning equipment can lead to increased energy consumption, decreased productivity, and – worst of all – wasted food.
That’s why regularly upgrading your kitchen appliances and devices is essential. Newer models are more energy efficient and often come with features that make food preparation easier and faster. They also tend to be more reliable, meaning less downtime for your kitchen staff.
If your budget allows, consider investing in newer models of popular kitchen appliances like ovens, stoves, and dishwashers. Not only will they save you money in the long run, but they’ll also help reduce the amount of food waste in your commercial kitchen.
There are many ways to save money and reduce food waste in your commercial kitchen. Following the tips above, you can make your kitchen more efficient and sustainable, benefiting your bottom line and the environment.