How hotels and restaurants can reduce food waste this holiday season

Recent EU studies show how the EU28 produces at least 88 million tonnes of food waste each year, costing the Commission €143 billion in recent years. To help member states reach the EU Commission’s Sustainable Development, hotels and restaurants have been adopting sustainable measures for decrease food waste during the Holiday Season.

Here are five practices recently taken up by hotels and restaurants all over Europe, to help decrease the production, cost, and impacts of excessive food waste.

Only purchase ingredients you know the business will use

It can be very tempting for hotels and restaurants to stock up from their supplier, especially during the Festive Season. However, doing so can only leave the business with more products than needed, which might also be an ailment to the storage system’s hygiene if not handled properly.

Store food correctly

Having the correct storage conditions is vital for preserving your food’s quality and preventing pathogenic bacterial growth – both of which can quickly lead to excessive food waste. Prevent this by ensuring temperatures for fridges and freezers must be continuously monitored according to whether low or high risk foods are being stored.

Train your staff in waste management

It is the norm in the EU for all food handlers to be trained, seeing as  poor food preparation contributes to almost half the production of food waste, and is the biggest contributing factor. Employees of the hospitality sector must be trained to store and cook food correctly, keep the premises clean, and avoid cross contamination, among others.

Anticipate the demand carefully

This is particularly crucial during the Festive Season. Most restaurants are now making sure that they are prepared for the Christmas demand by making it to order. Cooking meals in large batches might save you time during peak service hours, but restaurants have no guarantee the food will be used before it reaches its use-by date.

Give your clients more options from the menu

Must all main meals be served with two side dishes? Giving customers more choice over what to include or leave out of their meal will reduce food waste drastically, so most restaurants have now included these in a ‘sides’ section on their menu for customers to pick and choose as they wish.

You can read more about the EU’s actions against food waste here.

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