One of the reasons you entered catering in the first place could be due to your appreciation for high-quality ingredients. It can, therefore, be heartbreaking when you are forced to place perfectly good food into the trash.
Yet, throwing away food should always be a last resort when running a catering business. To help you cut down on the amount of food you dispose of each day, here are six tips to help caterers reduce food waste.
- Make the Most of Your Ingredients
The chances are, many ingredients in your refrigerator, freezers, and cabinets will have multiple uses. For example, if you have an oily fish on the menu, you could also make an escabeche. If you are roasting a pork joint, you could always use the trimming to create a delicious pulled pork sandwich. Simply try to create different dishes from your ingredients, so you can serve delicious food to your customers while eliminating waste.
- Identify Customer Size
If you are responsible for catering for a business, ask how many people are in the building, so you can estimate how many dishes you will need to prepare during breakfast, lunch or dinner. Doing so can ultimately prevent produce going to waste.
- Book a Food Waste Collection
In some circumstances, you might have no choice but to throw food away. Rather than putting the produce straight into the trash, consider booking a food waste collection service. Not only will a commercial food waste management service minimize the amount of trash you need to dispose of, but the produce will be reprocessed to form eco-friendly fuels. So, it can reduce your costs while helping to protect the Earth!
- Use Shallower Dishes Towards the End of Service
Many customers will leave a considerable amount of food on their dinner plate, which could all lead to a heap of produce that has gone to waste. Prevent this from happening by using shallower dishes towards the end of a service. It will ensure the plates continue to look plentiful while reducing waste. So, you’ll satisfy your customers without damaging your bank balance.
- Allow Customers and Staff to Take Food Home
Another option is to allow both your customers and staff to take a doggy bag of food home with them. For example, if a customer cannot finish a meal, the serving staff should always ask if they’d like to eat it later, while you should encourage your employees to take leftovers home to their families.
- Encourage Creativity with Rescue Recipes
Do you want to maintain your employees’ passion for food? If so, encourage them to get a little creative in the kitchen by requesting they each create their own rescue recipes from any leftover ingredients. You can guarantee it will allow your team to have a little fun and unleash their creativity in the kitchen, as they’ll each be competing to impress you. The winning dish could even feature as a special on a restaurant menu or at an event.