Controlling food waste in your restaurant business can have several benefits. For one, it can reduce your costs for buying and managing inventory as well as disposing of waste. It's also a great step to take to conserve resources and become more sustainable. Here are some things that you can do to keep a tighter control of your restaurant inventory.
Hire an Analyst
The first thing to consider is to hire a food service management program to track how much you're ordering and how much is wasted. Your specialist can then benchmark your numbers against others in the industry and do calculations to see how much food you're wasting, how much profit you're losing, and other calculations to help you evaluate ways to save.
Your analyst can also help you choose places to cut back on your inventory. For instance, if you see that you are wasting a large percentage of poultry, you can zoom in on this area to re-evaluate your ordering strategy. The food service management consultant can also suggest ways to change your menu, your supply chain, or your food management skills to reduce the amount of inventory needed.
Reconsider Your Menu
You and your food service management services consultant may want to look at ways to change your menu to reduce food waste. For instance, if you have an ingredient for only one dish, your food waste will be contingent on how many people order that single dish. You may consider eliminating this ingredient from the dish or incorporating it into several other dishes to reduce its dependence on the single menu item.
Use an Inventory System
You may also be wasting food because it's easier to order set quantities at a set time to reduce administration costs. But if you have a strong inventory management platform, it makes it easy to see just how much ingredients are being consumed and the rate of consumption. This way, you can tailor your orders better to the changing volume in your restaurant from week to week.
Look for Local, Small-Batch Suppliers
Finally, you may try diversifying your list of suppliers. Of course, buying in bulk can often save the company money, but it's also a big source of food waste. Try ordering the minimum amount that you'll need to get through the ordering period, and then choosing a local, small-batch supplier in case you start to run out of inventory. This way, you will order a larger quantity only if you truly need it. Taking these steps can require time to create a new system, but it can be worth it in cost savings and waste reduction.