Restaurant foodservice operators know sustainability is more than just a buzz word… it impacts an operation’s bottom line and restaurants’ sustainability efforts factor into about half of diners’ decisions on where to dine.1 Sustainability in the restaurant industry comprises everything from energy-saving equipment and practices, such as using energy-efficient lighting and programmable thermostats, to sourcing packaging and other supplies made from recyclable materials. A key way operators can move the sustainability needle is by reducing food waste.
Approximately one-third of all food produced for human consumption in the world is lost or wasted, but many restaurant operators are working to reduce this number. According to a survey from the National Restaurant Association, about half of American restaurant operators track the amount of food waste their operation generates – an important first step in reducing it.
Alex Seidel, chef-owner of Denver’s Fruition Restaurant, Mercantile Dining & Provision, Füdmill and Chook, speaks to educating staff on importance of minimizing food waste by framing it as a matter of a restaurant’s life or death. He says it’s important to “teach cooks about understanding the value of the things that we’re working with and what it means to a restaurant’s bottom line to either be in business or out of business. I think those messages have to be taken into the kitchen and shared firsthand as to why utilization and waste is so important.”
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