Tackling food waste boosts food and drink sector profits

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) in association with WRAP Cymru, the food sustainability experts, have announced that their food waste reduction campaign ‘Your Business is Food, don’t throw it away’ has proven successful in informing target businesses on how best to combat food waste.

The pilot scheme, conducted at seven restaurants and hotel businesses across Wales from Llandudno to Tenby, aimed to increase resource efficiency in the food and drink sector by using the Your Business is Food tools and resources to ultimately help businesses reduce food waste and increase profits.

The main source of waste, according to the pilot, was leftovers on the plate, caused by excessive portion sizes and unwanted extras.

According to Dr Lisa Ackerley, Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner and BHA Food Safety Adviser, the UK wastes an estimated £2.5bn of food each year in the hospitality industry

Hugh Jones, Programme Area Manager, WRAP Cymru, comments: “Tackling food waste within a business has real returns on the bottom line, and usually requires simple refining of existing working practices to have results.”

Here are six ways to save food*:

1. Smart ordering
Check your stock and buy only what you need. Buy smaller portions of fresh produce, order more often. Support local – you’ll get fresh seasonal product that lasts longer.

2. Savvy storage
First in, first out! Store newer items at the back to ensure older items are used first. Label and date new supplies as they come in. Use airtight containers or cling film to keep ingredients fresh – or freeze them.

3. Smart menu
Explore ways of using the same ingredients for different dishes. Use cooking methods for meats, fruit and vegetable and herbs that make the most of ingredients. Be creative using left over ingredients and offcuts.

4. Essential skills
Empower staff and train them on how to throw away less food safely. Review preparation schedule and food handling procedures. Remove less popular or time-consuming dishes from your menu.

5. Right portion sizes
Offer portion size and dish options as well as takeaway doggy boxes.

6. Engage customers
Let your customers know about the work you are doing to save food from being thrown away and ask what they think. Find out what food they don’t like and leave it out of their meal.

For any business who would like to see if they can reduce their food waste, the ‘WRAP Your Business is Food’ materials are available to download from the Your Business is Food Hub.

At Beavis Morgan, we have extensive experience of working with clients in the hospitality sector and our professionals are acknowledged experts in issues affecting pubs, bars and restaurants.

Through our partner businesses, BM Structured Finance and BM Advisory, we are able to help with sourcing and restructuring debt finance for SME businesses, as well as assisting with resolving issues which can impact on business performance and success, and finding innovative solutions for businesses and individuals in distress.

Contact Matthew Burge or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner for further information about how we can assist you and your hospitality business.

* Source: British Hospitality Association – http://www.bha.org.uk/business-food-dont-throw-away/

Further reading: Adaptability is “the new competitive advantage” for hospitality businesses