Restaurants could save big by reducing food waste

A new report finds a compelling business case for action on food waste prevention in the food industry: restaurants can save $7 for every $1 invested in reducing kitchen food waste.

Resource efficiency organisation WRAP and the World Resources Institute (WRI) have co-authored a new report demonstrating the business case for tackling food waste. Prepared on behalf of Champions 12.3, the report shows how preventing food waste in restaurants can reduce costs, increase revenues and engage staff and customers alike.

More specifically, it highlights five easy, low investment steps that restaurants can take to reduce food waste. These are: measure the amount of food being wasted to know where to priorities efforts, engage staff, rethink inventory and purchasing practices, reduce overproduction, and repurpose excess food.

By taking steps to “target, measure and act”, WRAP and WRI found that restaurants can save an average of $7 on operating costs for every $1 invested in reducing food waste.

“We’ve shown how businesses big and small can save money, motivate staff and impress their customers through reducing food waste,” said WRAP CEO Marcus Gover. “It’s a win-win for the economy, and the environment.”

The report highlights IKEA as a success story. In 2015, four IKEA stores launched pilot programmes to reduce food waste, and within just 12 weeks saw a 20 per cent reduction in food waste. Since 2016, the company has prevented more than 1.4 million kilograms of food from being wasted – the equivalent of more than three million meals worth of food.

Image credit: olafBroeker via Pixabay

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