Are there any quick fixes?
“If your food waste mainly stems from the breakfast buffet, there are a number of simple tweaks and nudging exercises you can adopt. Using smaller plates, glasses and coffee cups and offering smaller-sized servings will reduce food waste almost instantly.
“This may cut consumption by anywhere from 3-10 percent even with lean businesses. Another useful method is to reduce buffet sizes and combine buffets with à la carte choices. You may find that your guests really appreciate the extra attention involved in personal service.
“The à la carte breakfast choices would typically be egg dishes, including omelettes prepared using ingredients from the day before, such as tomato salad. Such a service is a useful way to cut food waste, while giving guests a better dining experience. Making guests aware of your food waste policy by posting signs at the buffets has also proven quite useful.
“Another simple way to cut food waste is to donate unwanted edible food to charity or use third-party resellers such as the Too Good To Go app. This won’t help you cut wasteful procedures in your kitchens but will ensure excess food is used and not wasted. The good old doggy bag is another helpful quick fix.”
What are the greatest challenges?
“The biggest challenge is ensuring food waste is continuously measured on an everyday basis. After a few quick successes, some level of fatigue may set in among the staff. But turning the chore of weighing food scraps into a fun team competition is one way of encouraging a little extra commitment. Making the results very visible is another important aspect of ensuring efforts are recognised as team achievements.
“Another way to engage culinary workers is to appeal to their professional creativity and skills. You can boost your sustainability approach and even cut costs further by engaging and inspiring chefs to prepare food using oddly-shaped vegetables, for instance, which are generally cheaper. There is a lot to be said about recognising the skills and creativity of your culinary teams.”
Which professional tools are there?
“Large corporations worldwide from Hilton to IKEA and even medium-sized players can benefit greatly from professional food waste tools such as Winnow Solutions. In Denmark, the eSmiley programme also offers food waste coaching.
“In Norway, the KuttMatsvinn 2020 programme has developed shared food waste tools, and in Sweden the SaMMa industry collaboration initiated by Naturvårdsverket also offers assistance and guidance for businesses seeking to cut food waste.”