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Food Wastage and How Restaurants Could Influence a Circular Future

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According to Reset Editorial, an estimated 1.3 out of 4 billion plenty of food is wasted globally every year. Therefore, an estimated one-third of all the food produced within the world goes to waste. While the food goes to the landfills and starts to rot, it produces methane. This greenhouse emission could be a greater threat than carbonic acid gas. In step with World Wild Life, about 11% of all the gas emissions are produced thanks to food wastage alone. When looking at the present dinning industry, you ought to ask yourself, ‘How much food is wasted in restaurant establishments?’. While conducting research supported this subject, it's come to my attention through Foodprint that, “US restaurants generate an estimated 22 to 33 billion pounds of scraps each year” (Foodprint, April 15, 2020).

In order to form a change towards a circular dining experience, we must first understand the explanation for all this wasted food. Generally, restaurants would like to abate on their waste percentages so as to keep up higher profit margins. This is often also the rationale for the classic FIFO (first in first out) system. Restaurants that adopt the FIFO system will make sure that the inventory to be organized and permit for correct rotation of the products. this permits for the oldest items in their inventory to be used first, which is able to ultimately weigh down waste matter by to reducing spoilage rates. This technique has been around for an awfully very long time but, isn't the answer to the ever-growing food wastage problem. A circular shift within the dining industry must be made so as to tackle food wastage on a bigger scale. There are currently restaurants opening round the world with the only purpose of reducing waste material by being sustainable self-sustainable, transparent and circular. Also, there are restaurants collaborating with other companies to seek out solutions towards repurposing their wasted food.

The dining industry could have a good influence over changing the final public’s mindset towards waste material, which makes room for innovations and solutions for this particular problem.

Wastage Within the Food and Beverage Industry

Restaurants are big contributors towards the food wastage dilemma that the planet has been facing for countless of years. Speaking out of 10 years’ experience while working within the industry, I’ve seen lots of food being fed to the trash. The food being thrown out wasted wasn’t just from guests not finishing their courses, but most of the waste generated was because of overbuying, mal preparation, not repurposing trimmings byproducts, punching incorrect orders (over producing), lack of care awareness, not properly using the FIFO system (spoilage) and overall poor management. To my surprise, it's been shown that these being the foremost common reasons for food wastage in restaurants when conducting research regarding the subject (aside from my very own knowledge and experience). According to BigHospitality, “For every meal eaten during a UK restaurant, nearly half a kilo of food is wasted through preparation, spoilage and what gets left behind on the diners’ plates. Waste costs UK restaurants around £682m each year, which adds a financial slant to an environmental problem that seems too simple to repair in spite of everything, mostly made-up things like potato peel, carrot tops and chicken bones” (Bighospitality, Georgia Bronte, 11 December, 2017).

What Is Currently Being Done to Combat Food Wastage

Restaurants are finding ways to combat food wastage altogether forms, some being logical, more innovative. The way restaurants are combating wastage has a tighter overview of the present supply chain. By ensuring proper sales forecasts, restaurants can reduce wastage by ordering precise amounts portions which lowers the possibility of spoilage caused by overstocking.

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Donating food has also always been a preferred option. Food that's near expiring might be donated to charity. In step with Lavu, “Of the 1.3 billion heaps of food wasted every year, roughly 520 million tons are from restaurants. Nowadays, more and more charities are stoning up nationwide that allow restaurants to donate unused food. There’s even a law protecting restaurants from being sued for donating unused food if it makes someone ill (there also are no documented lawsuits of this type), provided there was no intentional misconduct or negligence when handling the food” (Lavu, By Julia Mullaney, June 9th, 2017).

Giving uneaten leftovers to employees helps the cause. Let’s say there’s a special happening but it's not selling that well. Sometimes charities are note able to receive certain donations thanks to strict guidelines they may have regarding the character of the donation. At now the special may well be given to employees to enjoy either during their lunch break or reception. This manner the food doesn’t get spoiled and you've got happy employees, this may be a win scenario thanks to increasing the staff happiness and loyalty and not wasting any food. This principle could even be used for unused products nearing their expiration date.

By engaging teaching, the restaurant’s employees, you're creating more awareness towards the difficulty, which could give them crucial foresight in ways to stop food wastage. Consistent with FoodHero, “Good restaurants get the full staff on board to assist reduce waste matter. Whether it’s being conscious of portion sizes, proper storage or perhaps turning out with great ideas, everyone involved during a commercial kitchen contains a role to play. And it’s the identical for your ‘staff’. Whether you reside with family or roommates, get the entire aggroup to hurry on what you’re trying to accomplish. If you don’t think they’d want to be involved, try approaching it in a very way that’s asking them for ideas and support rather than assigning a chore. The more people involved, the better!” (FoodHero, 28th, October, 2019).

Other Measures Being Taken to Chop Back Waste

  • Storing food correctly: food storage in the right conditions will prove to be vital for preserving the quality and prevent pathogenic bacterial growth, both of which could quickly end in waste.
  • Practice stock rotation regularly: this ensures that newer stock is routinely placed behind older stock, and also the older stock will always be exhausted first before it's chance to go to waste.
  • Temperature control: good temperature control is crucial for food safety because it prevents the expansion of harmful pathogenic bacteria.
  • Correct labelling protocols: by tracking the restaurant's stock by keeping it organized makes it much easier to oversee what the restaurant has in stock and what needs to be used, preventing unlabeled containers from being thrown away by accident or because not knowing what’s in them.
  • Keep a stock on inventory: this means keeping a close list of the foods altogether of your storage areas, including their use-by best-before dates, that you just simply can easily consult with; this avoids foods getting forgotten and visiting waste.
  • Paying attention to use-by dates: it’s essential that you simply just simply have a reliable stock management and stock rotation system (FIFO) in situ so as that food doesn’t spoil or venture out of date before they are often used; use-by dates should be checked on a on a day after day.
  • Incorporate leftover and use food efficiently: for example, vegetable peelings and animal bones are often accustomed make stocks and soups, while day-old bread is formed into croutons or breadcrumbs.

New and Innovative Ways on Tackling Food Wastage in Restaurants

There are many new ways that could help the prevention of food wastage such as incorporating farm-to-table dining experiences. Farm-to-table is an efficient and clean way to produce food and reduce waste by building the menu on a seasonal base. What the concept entails is that restaurants with a farm-to-table working environment will only source their products from local farmers or will have their own farms the begin with. This allows the restaurant to reduce its waste by purchasing the produce that don’t look cosmetically adequate enough to sell in grocery stores. Believe it or not, this is an ongoing dilemma. Food that does not op-hold to certain cosmetic standards will most likely not be purchased by most grocery stores. A current start up trend in the retail of these ugly produce products has proven to be successful is helping to prevent food waste. According to Forbes, “Imperfect produce is often turned away by grocery stores for not meeting strict cosmetic standards making up around 40% of total food waste” (Forbes, Brian Kateman, March 2nd, 2020). Beyond these facts, farm-to-table could also help reduce food wastage due to the products having longer shelf lives. This is because of the products coming straight from the source which would reduce transportation and other steps in between. A matter of fact this would also reduce emissions caused by transportation from all the in-between steps from other middlemen. Therefore, farm-to-table concepts are great ways for restaurants to reduce food and packaging waste and on-top of that, increase the quality and transparency of the food plus create a guild free consumption dining experience for their guests.

Another great concept would be zero-waste dining. This is where restaurants have their mission set by not generating any waste at all. This would entail that the kitchen, bar and management are constantly challenged on finding ways to use everything the ingredient has to offer in order not to produce waste. This would basically be using the product to its full potential and finding ways to repurpose if necessary. An example would be using old coffee grindings to grow mushrooms with. In the zero-waste concept waste isn’t seen as garbage but as an opportunity to create value out of the byproducts or as other might see it as waste products. Zero-waste restaurants achieve their zero-waste status in different ways such as by local foraging, choosing ethical suppliers, composting and use reusable food containers and having a nose to tail policy. A nose to tail policy means that the restaurant would use the as much of the animal as possible. Also, many foods would be repurposed in order to make the sure they could prevent wastage as much as possible. Examples would be making banana bread out of old bananas, using fermenting or pickling techniques to increase the shelf life, using the rest of a fish after it being fillet for a broth, using an entire lemon for a drink (zest and all), etc. According to 9Fold, “The typical restaurant generates about 150,000 pounds of waste annually, and over 30% of total restaurant budgets are spent on that food. So, eliminating even a small percentage of that waste can save your restaurant some serious money. Studies show that, for every $1 invested in food waste reduction, restaurants can realize $8 in savings” (9Fold, Matt Volpe, January 29th, 2020). Needless to say, not only does the zero-waste concept help save the world form food waste and other greenhouse emissions, but it also adds some extra money in the restaurants pocket. This is a movement that could change the outlook of many people and influence them to do the same. This concept could be brought to households which would ultimately reduce food waste amounts drastically over the years.


In conclusion, these 2 concepts are a clear form of innovation within the dining industry due to the fact that these types of restaurants are tackling the food waste dilemma straight at its source. With the farm-to-table concept waste is reduced due to cutting out the middle man, using ugly produce and having a seasonal menu. And restaurants with a zero-waste mentality are beyond the conventional restaurant trying to reduce waste. Their whole mission is to latterly produce no waste at all. Beyond these facts, these concepts are also very new and creative therefore making these concepts true innovations that could influence reduction in food waste numbers and influence others to follow.

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Food Wastage and How Restaurants Could Influence a Circular Future. (2022, December 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 3, 2023, from
“Food Wastage and How Restaurants Could Influence a Circular Future.” Edubirdie, 15 Dec. 2022,
Food Wastage and How Restaurants Could Influence a Circular Future. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 3 Dec. 2023].
Food Wastage and How Restaurants Could Influence a Circular Future [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 15 [cited 2023 Dec 3]. Available from:
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