How to Reduce Food Waste in Restaurants

How to Reduce Food Waste in Restaurants

Food waste can impact the resources used to grow and deliver food to our tables. Below Chef Zach shares some tips on how to reduce food waste in restaurants, thereby decreasing the carbon footprint.

Optimize Inventory and Usage

The shelf life of most produce is very short, so it is important to only order what is needed. Fresher product is always the goal. The first-in-first-out method can help with this. Labeling your produce is essential to help you keep track.


Proper Storage

It is vital to keep food at the correct holding temperatures.  This is not only important for food safety but also for the quality of the product.  It is best to keep all prepared products, meat, and dairy in the coldest part of the refrigerator.  Produce should be kept in warmer areas.


Portion control

Portioning is extremely important to ensure the guest always receives a consistent product but also helps to minimize any waste.  You can easily track your ingredients and the number of orders on hand when they are portioned and countable.


Proper preparation

When not properly preparing your ingredients or “mise en place,”  you will decrease the yield of the product, incurring waste.  Utilizing the recipe correctly is essential here.  If made incorrectly, it will need to be made again and the first batch is wasted.


These small steps can make a huge difference in the long run and can help save on waste and cost while providing the freshest quality ingredients.

Interested in the people side of the restaurant industry? Check out our advice on what makes a good restaurant manager.