Did you know that restaurants generate around 63 million tons of waste per year?
That is a lot of waste to go into landfills across the country, and much of it can be recycled – including metal and cardboard.
By reducing waste in your restaurant, you can not only save yourself money, but also be more environmentally conscious through reduced emissions, decreased water usage, and diverting waste from landfills.
If your restaurant doesn’t currently have a waste reduction strategy, following these simple tips can help you get started.
Start Small & Have A Plan
When taking charge of your restaurant’s waste, it is best to start small. An easy jumping off point is implementing a recycling program for cardboard and other waste such as plastic.
You will want to perform a waste audit in the meantime to determine how much waste your restaurant generates and what is being thrown away.
You can hire a professional to conduct an audit and then keep track of your inventory to determine what has been thrown away and the volume.
Use A Cloud POS System To Track & Manage Inventory
These systems allow you to always know what is in your restaurant stores at any given time. Even on the go, cloud-based POS systems allow you to keep track of inventory anywhere with access to an internet connection.
This serves a dual benefit by not only cutting down on waste, but also reducing food and supply costs.
Ask Customers If They Want Disposable Items
Disposables like plastic straws and utensils generate tons of waste per year in the U.S., with over 500 million straws being used each day!
Instead of providing straws and other disposables to customers automatically, simply asking if they need any with their order – especially for delivery or pickup – can significantly cut down on waste.
However, keep in mind that many of your customers will need straws to drink, such as children and those with disabilities, so you shouldn’t discard them altogether.
Recycle Your Restaurant’s Food Waste
When it comes to food waste, did you know that much of it can be recycled or repurposed?
Many waste management programs offer composting and organic recycling solutions for restaurants to give them an efficient way to dispose of their organic waste, such as egg shells, fruits, vegetables, coffee grounds, and some dairy products or proteins.
You can also repurpose ingredients such as chicken bones and carrots to create stock, using day-old bread to make croutons, and using leftover meat such as turkey in soups, casseroles, and sandwiches.
Donate Surplus Food To Charity
In a restaurant, you cannot afford to let consumption-safe food go to waste. If for some reason you have food that is safe to consume but it cannot be used, you can donate the surplus food to charity.
There are organizations and services such as Replate that allow you to give back to your community by working with nonprofit organizations that provide meal services to those in need.
Cutting back on waste is not only an environmentally conscious initiative, it also saves your restaurant money in the long run. If you’re interested in learning how a cloud POS system can help you reduce waste in your restaurant, contact DCRS today.