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The end of kitchen service is a critical moment to control food waste. Here's how to plan for it.

Posted by Robb White, CEC CCA AAC; Executive Chef & Food Waste Prevention Catalyst on May 3, 2022

Your kitchen is nearing the end of a busy service and it’s been a long day. Your culinary team is short staffed. Everybody is drained and looking forward to heading home. But there’s still food to be served, and breakdown and clean up still have to be done. 

There are many food waste critical control points within a kitchen: the end of service is one of the most important. What happens in this short span of time, when staff are often distracted, can have a large impact–positively or negatively–on your food waste prevention efforts. 

The key to avoiding this excess waste is to have a plan for the end of service and communicate it to the culinary team. Here are the key elements of a waste-aware end-of-service plan.

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Topics: Tips & Tricks

Buffets are making a come-back: 4 tips to keep food waste at bay

Posted by Sam Smith, Director of Marketing on February 24, 2022

When COVID-19 took hold in 2020, one of the first dramatic changes in foodservice was the disappearance of buffets and salad bars. As the industry (and the world) continues to return to something more like a pre-pandemic normal, self-serve operations continue to come back online. Las Vegas, one of the buffet capitals of the world, continues its dining return; Disney Parks continues reopening buffet service; and one of the U.S.’s leading college trend setters, Penn State, just reintroduced self service.  

While this is positive news for the industry, the return of buffets and salad bars brings with it the probability of increased food waste, particularly as staff reacquaint themselves with these service styles.

Here are some best practices to avoid food waste as you bring buffets and salad bars back:

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Topics: Tips & Tricks

E-book: 5 tips to avoid food waste when labor is tight

Posted by Robb White, CEC CCA AAC; Executive Chef & Food Waste Prevention Catalyst on January 26, 2022

The world is experiencing a massive labor shortage, the impact of which is falling particularly hard on foodservice. Chefs and managers are being forced to introduce new processes and procedures that allow the day-to-day functions of the kitchen to continue, but with much less labor than they had before. When chefs and managers choose a labor-saving tactic to fix one aspect of the operation, there may be pitfalls or unintended consequences, like an increase in food waste.

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Topics: Tips & Tricks

Tips to reduce your plastic waste AND food waste

Posted by Robb White, CEC CCA AAC; Executive Chef & Food Waste Prevention Catalyst on September 7, 2021

In the foodservice industry, the use of plastic sometimes can’t be prevented. Much of the food we purchase and utilize in our operations come packaged in plastic and we use plastic in the operation to preserve the food we purchase and serve. But plastic waste is one of the fastest growing problems for the environment. It is estimated that by 2050, the weight of plastic in the ocean will surpass the weight of fish.

With this in mind, it is important not only for individuals to reduce their plastic use, but for foodservice operations to lead by example by reducing the amount of plastic generated in the workplace. Many large companies like Starbucks, IKEA, and Disney have already committed to eliminating single-use plastic waste in the near future, and we expect many others will follow suit.

The good news is that by preventing food waste, you can also reduce plastic use. And many of the habits Leanpath clients have developed to track food waste can be used to track and prevent plastic waste.

Here are five tips to help reduce plastic waste while at the same time reducing your food waste.

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Topics: Tips & Tricks

Labor, food costs and efficiency: The financial urgency of food waste prevention in 3 charts

Posted by Sam Smith, Director of Marketing on August 27, 2021

The two biggest costs a foodservice operation contends with -- food and labor -- are both way up. The recovery from COVID is unsteady and unpredictable due to the Delta variant. At a time when kitchen staff are being asked to do even more with even less, the typical foodservice operation continues to waste 4% to 10% of the food it purchases.

You simply can’t afford that level of waste and inefficiency, particularly right now. Here are 3 charts to help explain why.

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Topics: Tips & Tricks