With food waste a huge issue across the hospitality and foodservice sector, we’ve rounded up just a few of the most innovative waste prevention techniques used by real food businesses across the globe. Prepare to be inspired…

1. Prevent food waste in the first place

The most efficient way to tackle the world’s food waste problem is to prevent food being wasted in the first place. Not only is this the best option for the environment, but it makes business sense, too: you’ll save money by buying only what is needed and by avoiding disposal costs, and improve efficiency by only handling, preparing and storing food that will actually be used.

The first step is performing a comprehensive waste audit. You might be surprised at the control you’ll gain just from having the right information to hand. Between spring 2008 and autumn 2009, the University of Texas in Austin reduced plate waste by a whopping 48% through a process that was firmly rooted in the accurate measurement of waste streams in addition to successfully engaging and educating both staff and students.

Have fun with finding innovative ways to repurpose food scraps, rather than disposing of them. Think outside the box: Levan restaurant in London repurposes and reuses 90% of its waste. Leftover herb stalks are made into ferments and infusions; souring milk is used to make fresh curd cheese. At Ugly Butterfly restaurant in Cornwall, their snack and small plate menus deliberately emphasise the four most-wasted food items (bread, eggs, milk and bananas), ensuring their use.

2. Repurpose food waste to create other products

Waste prevention can also take the form of using otherwise wasted food to create new products. An added benefit? These can provide extra revenue streams for your business.

If creating new products yourself isn’t your thing, research whether your waste might be of use elsewhere — there is a wealth of creative initiatives out there, using otherwise wasted food to produce something completely different. Here are just a few examples:

  • ‘Planet-saving beer’, Toast Ale is brewed from fresh bread surplus that bakeries would otherwise discard. Company profits go directly to the Feedback charity organisation, which addresses food waste issues across all stages of our food system.
  • Rubies in the Rubble makes sauces and relishes from food that would otherwise be wasted due to its shape, size or colour. 
  • Biofase, a startup from Michoacán in Mexico, buys avocado stones from guacamole companies and uses them to make 100% biodegradable cutlery and straws.
  • Scottish Biotech company CuanTec uses fish waste from processing and fisheries to create bioplastic. Not only is this compostable, but its antimicrobial properties keep food fresher for longer. 
  • In 2016, a team from Bradford Royal Infirmary in the UK teamed up with researchers in Norway to create a wound stabilising dressing using the natural collagen inside eggshell membranes.

Are you interested in reducing food waste in your business? We can help! Nutritics makes it easy for you to control food waste effectively, identifying optimal serving sizes and highlighting which dishes are working best for you. Get in touch today to learn more.