The Importance of an Efficient Kitchen Waste Management System

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Kitchen waste management is an unavoidable issue that concerns every restaurant. While restaurant owners can ensure that proper guidelines have been set for waste management, the responsibility lies on the staff to uphold their duties regarding proper handling of food and kitchen wastage. There is a definite need for proper kitchen waste management in every restaurant. And that’s exactly what a restaurant consultant would suggest to you.

The below steps will help you understand where the waste is generated and how to deal with waste management issues:

Wastage in the kitchen

1. Conduct a food waste audit: The first step towards proper waste management is knowing how much waste is being generated by your restaurant. Ask your staff to maintain a wastage sheet that records what is being thrown out, how much is being thrown out and why. It is also important to track customer footfall during different periods of operations i.e. which days are busier than others. This will help the staff manage the ordering of inventory better, so that they do not overorder, limiting waste in the kitchen. Lastly, monitoring waste at the consumer level is also critical. While this could be due to various reasons, such as large portioning or incorrectly prepared items, some reasons might be beyond the staff’s control. Either ways, keeping track of this will enable your team to take the necessary actions to control food wastage, which will have a direct positive impact on the bottom line.

2. Train your staff: It is important that your staff understands the effects of waste generated in the kitchen and restaurant. In addition to managing the ordering of inventory, the staff needs to be extremely efficient when it comes to food preparation. This is only possible if the staff has been provided adequate training wherein they understand the cost implications of using incorrect ingredients or quantities of items while preparing food. Recipes and guidelines must be handed over and updated whenever necessary, and regular audits and tests must be conducted, to ensure the staff are following the standards and procedures that have been set to prepare the food items.

Wastage from the guests

3. Managing consumer waste: It is essential to conduct a menu engineering exercise every few months, not only to understand which items on the menu to keep or remove in terms of sales volumes and profitability, but also to analyse wastage on particular items due to their portion size. If you see a trend of a specific item being ordered regularly, but being partially wasted, it might be due to incorrect portioning. Taking direct customer feedback in this regard will shed some more light on this. Once identified, make the necessary adjustments in the recipe, which in itself will result in reducing the food cost and increase savings for the business.

4. Scrap poor selling menu items: If the menu engineering exercise reveals low sales volumes for a particular item, then there is no doubt that any specific ingredients pertaining to the preparation of that item might be regularly going to waste. Adjust the menu to either change the recipes of such items or remove them altogether and replace with new items that would move faster, and consequently reduce wastage of raw materials.

Wastage from the restaurant

5. Try composting: Composting, a waste disposal treatment process, isn’t new to restaurants that generate copious amounts of non-consumable waste. If you cannot locate or create a composting site near your restaurant due to space constraints, try and get in touch with a commercial composting service. They will collect the disposables that you’ve separated from the garbage and dispose it for you.

Managing your kitchen’s waste can be a daunting task. If you don’t know where to begin and wish to learn more about how to manage your kitchen waste more efficiently, speak to a  restaurant consultant.

Ribbon Consulting specializes in assisting restaurant owners with all aspects of restaurant management including daily operations, human resources, hygiene audits, and much more. So, drop us a line in the comments below.

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