Food-Waste-Management

Tips for less food waste in the catering industry

In Germany, 85 kilograms of food per person end up in waste every year. Huge quantities that waste valuable raw materials. We will show you what you can look out for in the kitchen to reduce the amount of food waste which is produced.

Before the preparation

A successfully managed catering business does not only depend on the quality of the food or a pleasant atmosphere - the overall impression is also influenced by what happens behind the scenes. A well-organised business process not only has a positive effect on the perception of your customers, but also saves money and precious resources.

  1. Targeted and needs-based purchasing:
    If you have a consistent menu, it is worth keeping a record of which leftovers are produced in which quantities. In this way you may be able to identify patterns and it is easier to adjust your shopping list accordingly. An additional changing menu can help you to use up food supplies and also offers your guests variety.
  2. Shop for less pretty food:
    Large quantities of fruit and vegetables do not end up on the supermarket shelves because they do not meet the visual requirements of many buyers. Even a crooked carrot is an edible food. Step up to be a role model and consciously buy the somewhat misshapen carrots or the not quite flawless apple, which would otherwise be left lying around and thrown away.
    If you need larger quantities, you can ask your supplier for food, which does not correspond to the usual shapes of vegetables and fruits - he will certainly be happy about a buyer and might even give you a better price.
  3. Store correctly:
    To keep food fresh longer, you should store it in the right place. This way you can prevent them from going bad and ending up in the trash before they are processed. With techniques like Cook & Chill, food that has already been prepared stays fresh longer.  The best solution: keep your stock and menu small. That way, the food can't go bad in the first place.
    A tip: Seasonal and regional food comes out ahead. It lasts longer and is less likely to be damaged by long transportation.
  4. Use everything:
    Plate size and quantity is always a sensitive issue. Some guests have a ravenous appetite, while others just want a snack. This is exactly the best place to avoid large amounts of food leftovers. Feedback from guests on portion sizes is a valuable contribution to determining the right amount. A construction worker may need a higher calorie intake than a guest who hardly moves at all on the job. Solutions for this are a double or half portion size with respective surcharge or discount. Another evil: If the portions are too large, the side salad, the extra portion of chips or the bread basket are not even touched. Communicate to your customers that they can always reorder side dishes with their meal to avoid waste.
Verbrauchsliste am Laptop dokumentieren
Keeping records helps you to get a better overview of the required quantities
Salat Portionsgröße
Feedback from guests on portion sizes is a valuable asset
Mörser mit zerriebenen Kräutern
Limp herbs are ideal for sauces

During the preparation

Food waste is already generated during the preperation. This and can be avoided.

  1. Use everything:
    A tip one knows from grandma's kitchen, but which is also used in many award-winning cuisines of the world. Many supposed leftovers can be processed in a lot of different ways. Soft carrots, wilted herbs or other surpluses can, for example, be ideally used for sauces or soups.  In order not to have leftovers in the first place, leave out the peeling and process fruit and vegetables as a whole. This means less work, hardly any waste and a higher nutrient content.
  2. Offer take-away options:
    Those who list all ingredients in detail on their menu limit their own freedom of processing. With an open menu language you can easily use spontaneously created surpluses. How about a "salad of the season" or a "surprise menu", for example?  That way you stay flexible and creative.

After the preparation

A large proportion of food leftovers, end up as waste. With some tricks you can counteract unnecessary waste of food.

  1. Offer take-away options:
    Many people shy away from asking for a box to take away their food after a meal in a restaurant. However, if you offer this service to your guests from the outset, they may be more likely to take advantage of this opportunity. Maybe there will be room for a dessert as an additional sales booster too!
    greenbox has the right sustainable and climate-friendly packaging solution for every dish and every drink - even for transport or consumption on the go. Our advantage: As the first and so far only supplier of food service packaging, we compensate for all CO2 emissions - from the cultivation of the raw materials to the delivery of our products to our customers. This means: You will receive 100 percent climate-neutral articles from us! 
  2. Leftovers box:
    This concept has now become firmly established in many catering companies: Dishes that are left over at the end of the day are packed as lunch or dinner packs and offered at a lower price. Directly after closing time, customers pick them up from your restaurant. You can do this independently (online) or in cooperation with a digital platform or app like the german App "TooGoodToGo".
  3. Involve the employees:
    Hardly any other criteria is as influential for a successfully managed catering business as employee management. This is an essential factor when it comes to food wastes. Regular training on how to handle food helps your employees to be more sensitive to the topic. This also increases their appreciation of food. Constant communication between kitchen and service staff is also an advantage: Menu 1 is almost sold out? Then the service can advertise Menu 2 even more strongly and recommend it to customers, so that demand is better controlled.
  4. Make your employees happy:
    The last two pieces of cake, two portions of soup of the day or the rest of the smoothie: Your employees will also be pleased to receive what is left at the end of the day. This doesn't only reduce your waste, but also promotes good cooperation and motivation. But beware: a meal can be considered an employee benefit and must then be treated as a taxable benefit.

In summary, the guideline is: Use it instead of wasting it!

greenbox Take-away Box
Sustainable packaging as an environmentally friendly take-away option
Küchenmitarbeiter Einarbeitung
Regular employee trainings help you to establish a sustainable mindset in your company.