Food waste management for restaurants done right: 5 practical tips

Do you run a restaurant? Great! Even though the hospitality industry saw a dip in business during the pandemic, restaurants, pubs, and cafes in the UK and worldwide are picking up again. We are sure watching your customers enjoying the delicious meals prepared by you must be immensely satisfying.

But for any hospitality business, producing waste is inevitable – from spilled food, leftovers, vegetable/fruit peels, and roots to plastic wrappers, tin containers, and meat and fish bones. What a restaurant needs is a proper mechanism to dispose of waste.

How restaurants can reduce waste

If you are producing a large volume of waste, then skip bins could be the way forward. These sizable open-topped waste containers designed for loading onto a particular type of lorry can be collected at a set time and/or day. Once the skip is full, it gets replaced with an empty one. But is this really the best way forward? Here are five practical ways for food waste management:

1. Assess the amount of waste you generate

Whether you operate a high-end restaurant in a hotel or a modest cafe, you generate varying types and amounts of waste on a daily basis.

From the delivery of the ingredients and produce to the preparation of the actual meal, waste is made, regardless of the type of restaurant you run. Evaluating the type and quantity of your waste is the first step in establishing your waste management strategy.

This will help ensure you have the correct number, size, and type of skip and recycling bins. You should also consider how you will separate and recycle your waste and ensure you have the best skip bins in place for the job.

Physically moving and emptying bins should be a part of your plan too and it might be worth adding mechanisation to help your employees. Bins can be pretty heavy and emptying full bins into a skip is going to require lifting in addition to tipping.

2. Cut back on overproduction

The heart and soul of a restaurant lie in planning and executing the meals. However, there will be instances where you will end up purchasing more produce and/or cooking greater quantities of food than is required. The recent heavy snow stopping people travelling is a case in point. You will end up with leftovers too.

Make an effort to optimise your meal preparation cautiously. Buy only what you want—cook smaller portions. And keep an eye on the food items about to expire and the weather. This practice will help you minimise your expenses most efficiently.

3. Be conscious about how you manage and segregate your rubbish

It would be best to have multiple bins for the different types of rubbish you generate – recyclables, non-biodegradables, and biodegradables. It is crucial to keep in mind that in the kitchen, organic waste must be removed from the space where you handle food.

Keep in mind that proper and consistent rubbish management and removal are your duty. This is necessary to follow safety regulations and, naturally, to keep your food sanitary.

It is advised you remind your staff how vital it is to keep their workstations tidy and dispose of waste properly. They should also receive training on how to utilise the wheelie bins and skip bins properly, and as noted above, you should consider introducing bin-lifting equipment to minimise workplace injuries.

4. Reuse and recycle your waste wherever possible

There is no doubt many restaurants, pubs, and cafes already practise this. However, you can really cut down on the amount of waste you throw away by reusing spare ingredients. Consider the numerous economic advantages of this!

Vegetable roots and peels can be used to make stocks. Leftover ingredients can be used for preparing limited-edition items. You can definitely add more to the menu – thereby increasing your profit – and pay less for food waste management and collection.

5. Designate areas to place your skip bins

You should place rubbish bins strategically but conveniently for your staff to access. They should be covered with lids to keep rodents and other pests out. All of these waste bins should ideally be positioned away from where food is prepared, cooked, and eaten. Keep the bins in locations where they can be conveniently collected.

In a nutshell

Maximising the use of wheelie and skip bins will help you manage your waste more effectively. Your restaurant’s brand reputation will also get a boost when food waste management planning gets top priority. Who does not want to come and eat at a place that is spick and span and serves excellent food and drinks in town?

So make it a point to efficiently use wheelie and skip bins to manage, sort, collect, and get rid of your rubbish. We are pleased to be the exclusive UK and Ireland distributor of smart bin lifting solutions provider, Simpro, giving you easy access to their cost-efficient and easy-to-use bin lifters, which make managing heavy bins much easier for your employees.

Establishments looking to streamline their food waste management process and introduce bin lifters should get in touch with us today!

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