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How Data-Driven Technology Solutions Can Curb Restaurant Food Waste

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How Data-Driven Technology Solutions Can Curb Restaurant Food Waste

Photo caption: Even the industry’s best operators have the opportunity to review their operations to reduce food costs and food waste in light of recent events. Article by Matthew S. Hollis, Co-founder and President, Elytus – 5.17.2020.

Food waste is a concerning, albeit familiar, issue in the restaurant industry. An estimated one-third of all food is lost across various industries, equating to nearly $100 billion in value every year. Similarly, 70 percent of food loss occurs without ever ending up in front of a customer.

In the restaurant industry specifically, food costs account for one of the largest Costs of Goods Sold (COGS) next to labor. As restaurants look to reduce expenses and increase profitability, it only makes sense that food costs and associated food waste is a potential area of opportunity.

What exactly is food waste? The simple answer is that any food whether ingredients, prepared or spoiled that was paid for and is thrown away constitutes food waste. When reviewing a restaurant’s operation, you have two areas of food waste generation. The front of house and back of house operations. Your front of the house staff are in charge of communicating with customers and, in turn, communicating with kitchen and bar staff. If a breakdown in communication occurs, food can go to waste due to improper preparation from presenting something the customer did not order. On average, 17 percent of your guest’s meal stays on their plate, which is another area of food waste generation sometimes linked to portion sizes. […]

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