Tips about how to reduce food waste using efficient equipment.
Reducing food waste is a great challenge that the horeca sector must take on, since since throwing away food not only generates an economic impact but also an environmental, social and humanitarian one. According to the report: “Food waste data set for EU-28” of the FUSIONS project, the food sector generates approximately 12% of the total food waste in Europe. Although it is a small percentage compared to other sectors such as the agri-food industry (with 19%) or household waste (with 53%), we must reduce this percentage and raise awareness throughout the sector.
There are different initiatives for a better food usage such as Too Good to Go app, designed to bring leftover food from restaurants to homes; the book ‘Stars against waste’, which collects ideas from 30 chefs with a Michelin Star to prepare recipes with leftover food; the campaing:The richest country in the world, nothing is thrown away here”, which tries to raise awareness of the need for responsible food consumption.
In addition, on January 1, 2023,the Food Loss and Waste Prevention Law, approved by the Council of Ministers and presented last October 2021 by Luis Planas, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, will come into force. The aim is to avoid food waste in Spain, especially in the Horeca channel and in distribution chains. The law, which consists of 15 articles divided into five chapters, share a model of good practices to avoid food waste with actions throughout the food chain, from the origin to the consumption habits in homes and restaurants.
TOGETHER AGAINST FOOD WASTE
From QualityFry we want to share some tips and help catering establishments to reduce food waste levels, which will give to hoteliers some benefits.
Use efficient equipment
Using kitchen equipment that guarantees the final qualityof the product is a fundamental part of avoiding waste. QualityFry fryers have the Ecofry System, which shortens frying times by 27%, allowing the food to have superior organoleptic results. By reducing the frying time, the food absorbs less oil, which in turn reduces oil consumption by 37%. In addition, its technology saves 24% of electricity consumption.
On the other hand, it is an equipment with an innovative design and display that allows handling errors to be eliminated, since it is capable of frying automatically and autonomously, without the need for specialized personnel. All you have to do is press a button and collect the product ready to serve, thus preventing it from burning if it is not removed from the oil in time.
Also consider having refrigeration and freezing equipment and vacuum packaging equipmentto be able to store the food that needs it
Planning menus and the shopping list
Menu planning is a great way to reduce waste. Therefore, it is essential to know the preferences of customers and serve the ideal portions. Using the same product for several recipes will also help us make the purchase more profitable, in the same way as using the foods that are about to expire first.
Along with menu planning is optimizing the purchase of your ingredients. Use local and seasonal products, consider the quantity of the products depending on the demand of the restaurant.
Focusing on the conservation and storage of productsis a fundamental part of reducing food waste, so it is essential to keep a weekly control of stock and know the exact quantities for supply. Depending on the demand of the restaurant and the consumption history of the products, opt for small or medium containers to use all the content as much as possible and do not keep open containers for long periods of time.
Another way to preserve food correctly is to know the ideal conditions that each product needs, respect the cold chain and vacuum pack the products that require it.
Once you know the menu and the ingredients, the preparation followed by the tasting by the client is the point where he will decide whether or not to repeat a visit to your restaurant. This forces you to put first the organoleptic properties and the qualityof each dish over quantity.
Try to use the same product for different dishes and use the leftovers in good condition to make other dishes.
Communicate with your customers
The problem of food waste is reduced from the restaurant and by the customer. Therefore, inform your guests about how big are the portions and be flexible to their demands, so you will ensure that all the food served will be consumed. You can also offer take away boxes with leftovers.
If at the end of the day you still have a surplus of food that you cannot reuse for your next dishes, use everything that is in optimal conditions as food for the restaurant staff.
Make food donations
If your restaurant has an extremely high production capacity and despite following the above tips you still have a lot of surplus food, you could contribute to charities and food banks with those products that are still suitable for consumption.
In addition, you can look for organizations that are dedicated to collecting products to be used as animal feed or companies that recycle products for the production of fertilizers or as energy material for biogas. In this way, you would also be participating in solidarity and environmental actions.