Anthony Bourdain’s noble 2017 documentary, Wasted!, about the systemic blight of global food waste, is a welcome and high-profile spotlight. Reducing food waste is a moral and environmental imperative. We throw out hundreds of millions of tons of food while millions of people go hungry. That wasted food contributes tons of greenhouse gases to our atmosphere and leads to trillions of gallons of wasted water.
Food waste reduction starts with prevention—preventing the food waste from happening in the first place is the clear optimal solution from a social, environmental and economic standpoint. And the first step in prevention is measurement—understanding exactly how much food is being wasted and why, so you know where you’re starting from, can identify opportunities for improvement, and can easily track progress over time.
In the ReFED Report, A Roadmap to Reduce U.S. Food Waste By 20 Percent, waste tracking and analytics is listed as one of the most effective solutions for food waste prevention by waste diversion potential. For foodservice institutions and restaurants, there is a very compelling reason to act, as we know that “what gets measured, gets managed.” And automated platforms, such as LeanPath, make it easy to track waste, collect detailed data and photos, and take action on your biggest opportunities for prevention.
Food waste prevention efforts have a proven and strong ROI—as much as 10x or more—over a relatively short period of 6-12 months. However, a common challenge many organizations face is how to fund the effort to start, since an upfront investment of time and resources is required to achieve the positive bottom-line impact.
Here we offer 5 tips to spark some creative thinking for your upfront program investment.
For organizations of all sizes:
When “sustainability” became a regular topic in the foodservice industry about ten years ago, it was common to group the conversation neatly into sub-components: energy, water, waste, food sourcing, and community engagement (among others). This was all new for most, and the learning curve was steep in each area. Operators wondered: where should I start? What matters most? Everyone made their own choices because there was no hierarchy within sustainability.
Topics: Food Waste Strategies
What's your operation's strategy to minimize wasted food? If you're like many foodservice operators, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of the potential solutions to this critical issue, and wondering where you should start.
Earlier this month we held a webinar to provide guidance on just that: Building Your 2016 Food Waste Strategy, a Checklist for Success. Crafting a strategy can feel like a daunting task, but we simplified it to just 10 steps to help get you started in the right direction. If you missed it, you can still watch the full recording and download the companion "Checklist" template. For a cliff notes version, read on.
2015 was the biggest year yet for those of us working on solving the global issue of wasted food. It’s an exciting time to be working on this topic! But what’s ahead for 2016—will the momentum continue?