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Top Tips to prevent food waste from overproduction

By Leanpath  ///  April 4, 2023

Overproduction is the largest source of food waste in most kitchens. In the recent Leanpath webinar, Top Tips for Preventing Food Waste, our chefs Robb White and Ben Murphy offered advice on cutting food waste from overproduction and other common sources.

Take a look at the excerpt from the webinar above to find out their tips for avoiding food waste from overproduction. And watch the full webinar here to learn even more insights. Keep reading for a summary.

Focus on production sheets
Ensure your sheets are up to date and are being followed, but then ensure the yields from those recipes are accurate and meet demand (without going over). Too often, production plans are either not followed or the yield is greater than demand. Both can easily lead to overproduction. The best thing to do is to track your food waste and update production sheets based on those metrics.

Reduce buffets and salad bars as demand reduces
If you have the same fully stocked buffet or salad bar at the end of service you had at the beginning, you are going to end up with food waste. There are a lot of creative ways to give the impression of abundance while also cutting back on merchandising: going from two lines to one (and only stocking one side of the line); using smaller or shallower serving dishes; and switching to cook to order as demand declines.

Watch out for labor trade offs
In times of labor shortages, it can make sense to cook big batches when you have labor on hand. Large batch cooking is often necessary, but it’s important to track food waste coming out of that cooking to ensure you’re making enough, but not too much.

Have a plan A, B and C for every ingredient
Plan A: the first and primary use is (corn for a corn chowder).
Plan B: it’s secondary use if there is too much (corn added to salad bar).
Plan C: how the ingredient or overproduction is preserved to make sure it doesn’t go to waste (freezing any additional corn for use the next day).

Build flexibility into your menu
The classic is the soup of the day, a flexible menu item that can incorporate bits of leftover ingredients so they don’t go to waste. But as best you can, find opportunities to add daily specials and other flexible menu items that can help find a home for overproduced items.

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Topics: Food Waste Strategies