Ghostly Kitchen

How to minimize food waste in your restaurant?

Reduce food waste by forecasting your food production

Waste management plays a significant role in reducing food wastage and increasing profits in the food and beverage industries. There are multiple ways to control food wastage, leading to the success of restaurants. According to research, 4% – 10% of food bought by restaurant leaders does not reach the customers, resulting in a lot of wastage of food.

Moreover, the stats reveal:

While restaurant owners have numerous ways to control the costs spent on purchasing food, they must apply waste management strategies to boost profit.

What causes restaurant food waste?

Numerous factors cause food wastage. Let us look at the significant reasons that lead to food wastage.

Lack Of Sales Forecast System

Most restaurants are predicting their expenses, revenue, amount of beverage and food needed to serve, and hours spent in the kitchen and serving customers. They need accurate forecasting for improved purchasing, efficient production schedules, and maintaining inventory and inventory turnover. Therefore, restaurants that fail to forecast their sales often end up experiencing a high variance ratio between their theoretical & actual food cost.

Not Accounting For Yield When Processing Food

Product yield refers to the amount of product left after processing. It is crucial to consider the processes involved, including a checklist to ensure it is compliant with the health code requirements to bring the food to customers. Therefore, it is critical to analyze ingredients to depict the portion size based on the product weight.

If the product requires processing or losses weight during the cooking process, it is important to calculate the weight loss percentage in your recipe calculation to determine the actual yield of the product before the final product to accurately measure the size of your serving.


Because of improper storage, handling, and packaging, food becomes unfit to consume. Spoilage can occur because of:

  • Over-ordering
  • Improper refrigeration
  • Poor inventory management techniques

Miscalculation in portions

Improper kitchen training lead to larger portion sizes. Miscalculating meals lead to more food wastage. Guests are unable to finish multiple dishes on the table. Therefore, serving larger portions of meals will end up to more leftovers, leading to more food wastage.

Food spillage

It is common in restaurants. Food spillage includes servers dropping a tray of the drinks or food while making their way to the dining hall to accidents in the kitchen. Even if these mistakes seem benign, they add to financial losses by increasing running costs.

Restaurant Waste Management

To minimize food wastage, restaurants need an operational culture of prevention-forward. Here are some tips to reduce food waste and utilize the existing waste:

  • Estimate cyclical production requirements before the start of service
  • Track waste in the restaurant. Conduct a waste audit to calculate the waste during the week.
  • Establish an operational procedure around waste management that is easy to follow
  • Automate supplier purchasing is a process where restaurants can use software designed specifically for the food industry to automate their purchases.
  • Use a business intelligence tool to compare purchases and actual consumption.
  • Try to reuse ingredients across menu items to minimize leftovers
  • Reward your team for reaching wastage prevention goals

How to Limit Food Waste?

Here are some tips to reduce food wastage and maximize profits.

Use predictive analytics to Your Advantage.

Restaurant Intelligence tools can help in tracking inventory. Moreover, it helps reduce waste while using multiple other ways, such as eliminating ticketing errors and calculating food cost percentages.

Finding a robust tool can cut downtime on reporting &help you determine the amount of food sold. In addition, it also calculates the food percentage to reduce over-buying and cut portion sizes to minimize food wastage.

Build systems for sales forecasting

Restaurants need to plan out production requirements by forecasting their sales. It is crucial to understand which forecasting models work according to their revenue channel and demographics.

  • Restaurants can even use their POS systems to create efficient sales forecasting systems.
  • Restaurants can create an effective sales forecasting system by estimating their daily visitors and additional purchases.
  • In the next step, the restaurants can convert their daily estimates to monthly. These estimates to check their month-by-month expenses for the year.
  • Restaurants can use different tools available online to calculate their monthly expenses to create an efficient sales forecasting system.

The devil is in the details.

Educating employees about processing food is essential. The type of cut may yield less wastage by knowing the appropriate chopping technique.

It is necessary to teach them proper cutting and storage techniques to keep the supplies fresher for more extended periods. Slicing, brunoise, chiffonade, julienne, macedoine are some of the techniques of cutting vegetables.

Employees can use the techniques to cut and store vegetables depending on their usage. Moreover, it is crucial to teach them to get the most out of meat, chicken, fish, and other vegetables. Educating them will help the restaurant reduce food waste since they will have fewer leftovers and increase profits.

Use Proper Food Storage Methods

If you wish to cut down your food waste, it is essential to store food in proper containers and at the appropriate temperature. Restaurants must use the proper techniques to keep food for a more extended period.

Chilling,freezing.sugaring.salting.Canning and vacuum packing are some effective methods to store food for a longer period of time.

Think creatively with your scraps. Upcycle.

Make sure to use all the items to reduce food waste. Restaurants can use meat and chicken bones and vegetable scraps to make broths and stocks. Day-old bread is perfect for making breadcrumbs and croutons.

You can use leftover roast chicken in the soup, potpie, or leftover meat for chili or stew. Challenge your chef to get creative, transform leftovers into new dishes, and make their day’s specials.

Stop Over Prepping

Some restaurants prep large quantities of food such as salads, salsa, and guacamole. Without proper forecasting, prepped items may rot before even serving them to the customers. Restaurants must use tech tools for sales forecasting to prepare the correct quantity of food.

Monitor your Menu’s Popularity

Restaurant owners must know their best-selling meals and meals that are not in demand. If you know the items in the menu that are not popular, eliminate them from your menu. However, if you think eliminating the dish from the menu can alienate the customers, order the ingredients in lesser quantities to reduce waste.

The Bottom Line

Sales forecasting allows restaurant owners to allocate their resources to manage cash flow and succeed in the future. Moreover, it allows them to calculate their costs and revenue to predict short-term and long-term performances. Therefore, if restaurants wish to maximize their profits, they must eliminate food waste using the techniques mentioned above.