Recent figures (http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/food-waste-hospitality-and-food-service-sector) have shown that the UK Hospitality and Food Service Sector wastes nearly 1 million tonnes of food each year.
This is costing businesses a whopping £2.5billion, and yet a staggering 75% of this waste is avoidable. That’s 1.3 billion meals in the bin!
For the past 30 years, Stockcheck and Stocktake UK have been advising pubs, hotels and restaurants the best way to avoid food waste – here are some tips to help make sure you are doing your bit.
1 - Know what you've got!
Start by consolidating any opened or partly used items together so that you can see easily your stock holding in all storage areas, cupboards, shelves, fridges and freezers. Make sure you keep track and log all stock counted by using a Spreadsheet, stock control software package, engage an independent stocktaker or maintain your own stock listings.
2 – Monitor it
Delegate day to day food stock management to a select few individuals who are methodical in nature, trustworthy and demonstrate their attention to detail. Giving a small team ownership ensures that stock has more chance of staying organised and less chance of being wasted.
Keep a track of all wastage; knowing your levels of wastage and working towards reducing it is a sure-fire way to increase profitability. Involve your whole team in monitoring the results and incentivise them into being creative and using food stock up, rather than allowing it to go out of date or perish.
3 – Consistency
No, we are not talking about mashed potato here… Getting into a routine with your stock is paramount in reducing wastage and increasing your profits! Get into the habit of arranging regular stock checks, and not just when you plan to order ingredients – by then it’s often too late.
4 - Organisation
This may sound obvious, but cannot be overstated in a commercial kitchen environment: keep all food areas clean, tidy and organised and ensure that food is clearly labelled and stored and dated appropriately. Use the First In, First Out principle to ensure everything is used in the correct rotation to prevent having to waste out-dated goods.
5 – Timing is everything!
Make sure you set aside a quiet time to monitor stock levels without interruption. A quiet time is NOT in the middle of a busy food service or huge delivery. Time is money - a professional stocktaking service can help you to save time and ultimately increase your productivity and profits.
Allowing a professional to undertake this time-consuming task, will leave you free to concentrate in doing what you do best…. looking after your clients and business.
6 – Think ahead
Anticipate food requirements in advance to avoid panicking and over ordering. Find ways of using ingredients in multiple dishes – and utilise a daily specials board to ensure you are making the most of your stock whilst it is still fresh and capable of producing profit! Consider theme menus as a way of using up high levels of stock holding.
7 – Don’t be afraid to ask for help
A professional stock taker can work with you to reduce food wastage and provide you with priceless advice and peace of mind whatever your level or experience or size of operation. Sometimes, it’s just nice to have a third party check periodically to reassure you that you are heading in the right direction. Others may find monthly visits, training and in depth consultation more beneficial.
For more advice, contact Stockcheck today or give us a call on 01756 708 770.