Reducing food waste allows catering businesses to take a step towards being more sustainable while also saving money. But although this sounds simple enough, it’s often easy to forget just how important it is to properly manage food wastage when you’re busy with other responsibilities. From commercial kitchen teams to catering providers in the healthcare industry, Rob Henry, Head of Culinary Solutions and Compliance at EF-group has provided key tips that can help reduce food waste and boost your operational savings.

Review your customer preferences

One of the best ways to manage your food waste is to keep reviewing what’s popular and what’s not. Whether you do this by surveying to uncover their preferences or by assessing your meal uptake each day to find out which of your offerings is chosen more often, this is an important practice to make sure you’re not wasting ingredients on meals or products that customers aren’t choosing. It’s also important not to overdo it with the menu choices. Keeping things simple and only offering more popular options can keep stock at manageable levels and prevent unnecessary waste.

Regularly check expiry dates

Stock management and stock rotation are essential for making sure that you’re not wasting excessive amounts of food simply because it goes out of date before it can be used. Although it can take time, it’s worth checking expiry dates as often as possible and making sure stock is rotated regularly to prevent this.

Repurpose ingredients

Before discarding something as waste, think about whether it could be repurposed for a different meal. By allowing your catering team to be creative with leftover ingredients rather than throwing them away, you could come up with a tasty new product or meal that could be offered to customers.

Control portions accordingly

Food scraps left on a customer’s plate must be thrown away which can lead to food wastage building up, so if you find that most of your diners aren’t polishing off their plates, it’s likely that your portion sizes are too big and you need to cut them down. Smaller portion sizes also mean that you don’t need to buy as many ingredients or food products, which can lead to cost savings.