There are good reasons why commercial kitchens should improve on the management of food waste: waste reduction minimises the impact on the Earth’s resources, and less waste means greater revenue! As the food service industry contributes significantly to disposal, waste reduction eases the burden on our cities’ resources, and gives businesses better profits; a win-win situation for everyone.
Chef Marko Rankel, Executive Chef of Diamond Hotel Manila, Philippines, shares some simple strategies your kitchen can implement to reduce food waste.
With accurate ordering and stock rotation, ingredients going out of date can be avoided, reducing spoilage and waste. “Label properly, and practice FIFO (first in, first out),” Chef Rankel reminds.
Creative stock management
Cancelled bookings can leave you with a surplus of ingredients, including expensive seasonal produce. Here’s when you can get creative. By adding seasonal specials to the menu, diners can enjoy these dishes at greater value, while you can reduce excess and losses. Who knows, you might even make a greater earning.
Add live stations to buffets
To minimise buffet wastage, prepare a la minute or incorporate live stations to your buffet line. “It’s great for presentation too, and works just as well for banquets,” adds Chef Rankel.
Measure ingredients and portions with scales to yield precise servings – and to minimise plate waste – for better pricing.
Constantly check on portioning with returned plates. Observe which dishes, garnishing, or sauces are served excessively, and adjust accordingly.
Create new dishes with trimmings
Use trimmings for other creations. Chicken and pork trimmings make delightful pâtés and terrines. Breakfast toast can be turned into perfect breading for chicken or fish cutlets, while day-old brioche makes for excellent pudding! Dried in an oven and minced, fruit and vegetables can be made into flavoured powders, seasonings, or even toppings for ice cream. You can also turn them into chutneys or jams if you’re feeling adventurous.
Educate your kitchen staff
“Teach your kitchen staff proper waste management and implement these procedures strictly. More importantly, make them understand why it’s being done – until it becomes ‘the culture’ in the workplace. Hopefully, they’ll take this environmental awareness home with them, and help promote waste management on a wider, more local scale,” Chef Rankel asserts.
Streamlining your kitchen’s food waste management efforts can do wonders for your bottom line – and the Earth’s as well. Trust us, your customers will love you for it.