Consultant develops a project to show possibilities of reducing losses and increasing profits for the food companies
The waste of food in restaurants is a global problem. To avoid it and reduce it, establishments must create saving habits, according to Ana Rita Barros Cohen, consultant and food mentor, who created the Healthy and Responsible Kitchen Seal, which attends members from Abrasel (Brazilian Association of Bars and Restaurants), ANUFOOD Brazil supporter.
Everyone who runs a restaurant is familiar with the challenge of fighting wastefulness. No one is immune to it. “It is necessary that every restaurant must create saving habits aiming to reduce food waste to the lowest possible figure”, analyses Ana Rita. According to estimates by the World Resources Institute (WRI) Brazil, the country wastes 41,000 tons of food per year. From this total, 15% occurs are from restaurants, which is something around 6 thousand tons.
The consultant recalls that in addition to the social issue (throwing food in the bin whereas many people are starving in the world), waste should also be seen as a financial issue: the restaurant paid for its inputs. “If they waste, the money goes alongside.”
Every day restaurants from around the world throw away tons of food. The percentage of global waste in fast food restaurants is around 9.55 % and the percentage increases by 11.3% of all prepared food in restaurants that offer full service, according to WRI Brazil. “For that reason, restaurants are responsible for reducing waste and may still result in earnings for the entrepreneur’s pocket,” Ana Rita says.
Meanwhile, expenses related to food preparation represent the second largest expense in the restaurant industry, just behind employee costs. “These data confirm that it is possible to promote the waste reduction in your kitchen.”
Despite recognizing that it is impossible for a restaurant to have zero losses, she affirms that it can be reduced. “This process goes through an overall change of habits, which regards instructing all professionals to work aiming at reducing waste by at least 10% at the beginning and could reach up to zero kitchen waste as a goal if there’s great willpower,” she says.
In order to reduce waste in your restaurant, it is important that you know where it comes from. And often it is not from the kitchen. One of the best ways to find out is to observe when and where your restaurant produces the largest amount of waste.
A restaurant that produces an excessive amount of waste before opening to the public, may have poorly organized its kitchen processes. The way food is prepared and handled is likely to be wasteful.
But when the restaurant produces a lot of organic waste, once it is open to the public, it could be an indication of badly planned portions. There is a possibility that the quantities are too generous or that the dish has not pleased the public’s taste. Now, if the critical period of waste production is after the opening hours, it may be that the owner overstated the demand forecasting and produced too many dishes that are wasted.
Waste talks a lot about what a facility’s greatest issues related to waste. Still, talk to the team about waste is the right thing to do: employees may have noticed a problem or trend that you have not observed somehow.
Thereafter it is necessary to use the data collected to optimise the purchasing process, invest in better equipment and elaborate the menu prioritizing the reduction of food waste
Ana Rita also recalls that we need to create ways / recipes to reuse something that would go to waste like leaves, stalks and other seemingly useless parts of fruit and vegetables that could be very useful in the kitchen.
Food losses and waste series
This article is the first in a series on food losses and waste in Brazil and all over the world. One of the topics that will be addressed during the conference at ANUFOOD Brasil, the Exclusive International Trade Fair for the Food and Beverage Industry, which will take place from 12th to 14th 2019. We intend to bring the topic for discussion and seek ways to mitigate the problem that could solve another even more serious: the starving part of the world’s population.
For further information go to www.anuga-brazil.com.br