Running a café requires a lot of planning. Ordering ingredients on time, balancing your finances and managing your staff, amongst other things. To add to this, as important as it is to consider what food you serve, it’s equally important to think about what happens to food that’s wasted.
Here are our top waste saving tips. Implement them to realise some quick results, then do a waste audit to save even more!
Preparation, spoilage and plate waste are the three different types of waste in a café. These simple steps will show you how you can keep food waste to a minimum.
- Assess your menu then tweak it to ensure that you’re using all possible off cuts in other dishes (e.g. use veg and protein off cuts for stocks).
- Monitor preparation waste on a random basis to ensure staff understand that avoidable waste is not acceptable.
- Use professional ingredients which can often be stored longer, can be produced quickly and produce less waste than raw ingredients.
- Develop better forecasting for your ordering (look at history, events and seasonality).
- Use your specials menu to get through ingredients that are close to their use by date.
- Identify core ingredients on your menu and ensure they are incorporated into as many dishes as possible.
- Train your staff on correct food stock rotation processes.
If a guest orders fish and chips, how many grams of fish do you serve? It’s worth remembering that over-portioned meals often end up in the bin, not always in a customer’s stomach!
Accurate portion control is key to reducing waste and increasing profitability. You can start saving by:
- Delivering optimal portion sizes; and
- Ensuring you have clear recipe cards for staff to correctly deliver optimal portion sizes.
Following these top waste saving tips will help you reduce the ‘hidden costs’ of waste, run a more profitable and efficient business and help provide meals to those who really need it.
Find out more about food waste in Australia:
Department of the Environment and Energy