From disposable products to leftover food, many businesses in the hospitality industry struggle with reducing waste. Waste isn’t just inconvenient and bad for the environment — it also represents money that has been poorly spent. If you want to reduce your costs, cutting down waste is the first step.
1. Start Collecting and Analyzing Data
You can’t reduce waste without first being able to identify your waste. Begin by collecting and analyzing the data regarding your purchasing and your inventory. Analyzing data will also help you identify the flow of your customers. By looking at the last few months as well as the same time last year, you can often roughly estimate how much business you’ll do. This will control how much purchasing you do.
2. Audit the Way Your Food is Served and Prepared
A food waste audit starts with the purchasing of ingredients and the preparing of food, ending with food that is left to expire or is otherwise wasted later on. Once the right data is being collected, you can identify ingredients that you’re over-purchasing, as well as finding ways to optimize and fine-tune your menu to use fewer ingredients overall. A food waste audit will direct you towards issues with the way food is being purchased and prepared.
3. Get Rid of the Plastic Bottles
Many hospitality companies are moving away from plastic water bottles as they are often single use. Most plastic water bottles cannot be effectively reused or effectively recycled, which makes them an unsustainable, one-use object. Glass carafes of water are more sustainable, as are water filtration systems.
4. Switch Away from Plastic Stir Sticks
While paper and wooden stir sticks are also used once and thrown away, they reduce meaningful waste by reducing the volume of waste produced. Plastic stir sticks are going to be thrown into landfills and will remain there for hundreds of years. Paper stir sticks are going to biodegrade very quickly instead, becoming usable matter.
5. Provide Disposable Products on Request
Disposable products such as straws and napkins can be kept in an area and offered to guests, rather than automatically being provided. Automatically providing these items increases the likelihood that they will be wasted, and may even mean that they are being wasted without ever being used. Meanwhile, switch to recycled napkins and paper straws rather than plastic ones.
6. Donate or Compost Any Unused Food
Food products that are uneaten don’t have to be wasted. Food that cannot be eaten can be composted, while food that is still safe to eat can be donated to local food banks. Review your inventory regularly to see whether some of the items can be re-purposed or reused.
7. Encourage Customers to Buy Non-Disposable Products
Many businesses are now encouraging customers to purchase a mug or travel cup by giving them discounts on things like tea, coffee, and water. Not only does this cut down on company waste, but it also builds customer loyalty and gives them the feeling that they’re being rewarded for doing the right thing.
8. Create a Positive Company Culture
By emphasizing an environmentally-friendly and sustainable company culture, you can help your employees make the right decisions throughout the day. In an environmentally-friendly business, employees will be less likely to waste items when they don’t have to, and will be more conscientious about acting in a sustainable manner.
Cutting down waste can be an involved process, but ultimately you’ll be able to save money while also reducing your environmental impact. Further, your first step can be quite easy: consider purchasing paper straws and cutting down on your plastic waste. For more information about the best paper straws, contact FarfromBoring Hospitality.