Restaurants and Foodservice

Total Surplus Food by Restaurants and Foodservice


See more in the Insights Engine
See more in the Insights Engine

Optimize The Harvest

  • Encourage produce distributors to create innovative purchasing models, such as whole-crop purchasing, to ensure full utilization of product grown.
  • Establish relationships to accept culls, lower-spec product, and last minute surplus coming off farms, especially with local growers.

Enhance Product Distribution

  • Encourage distributors to use technology innovations that streamline product movement, such as intelligent routing, temperature monitoring, and early spoilage detection.
  • Coordinate across the sector to develop shared economies for idle assets, such as cold storage and transportation, to expand access at lower cost and resource impact.

Refine Product Management

  • Employ dynamic pricing options for end-of-day sales, such as late happy hours or using markdown alert apps.
  • Implement waste tracking processes to inform production, menu planning, and inventory management.
  • Alter client-supplier contractual obligations that generate waste and overproduction (e.g., contracts that stipulate that all hot dishes must be available for the full-service period).
  • In catering, implement precision event attendance solutions and use aggressive attrition rate calculations to better forecast production needs.
  • Improve inventory labeling and storage practices to maximize freshness and shelf life.

Maximize Product Utilization

  • Implement low-waste menu design solutions, including smaller menus, product repurposing, and whole-product utilization.
  • Use left-over ingredients through in-house repurposing practices and consider partnerships that seek large-volume byproducts (e.g., citrus peels, coffee grounds, etc.) as input source for upcycled products.
  • Design or implement standard training curriculums and incentive structures to encourage best practices and adherence to solutions like careful trimming, menu design, and food safety.

Reshape Consumer Environments

  • Discourage plate waste by reducing portion sizes and/or offering customers flexibility in portion sizes, sides, and à la carte options.
  • In buffet and cafeteria settings, introduce techniques to encourage people to take smaller portions, such as trayless dining, smaller plates, and pay-by-weight pricing.
  • Educate and engage with guests to drive a culture shift towards higher-value placed on food, disincentivizing waste, and improving consumer food management skills, including through signage and menu messaging.
  • In K-12 food programs, encourage less waste through offer versus serve, share tables, menu design, and longer lunch periods that occur after recess.

Strengthen Food Rescue

  • Establish relationships for collection of extra food for donation, either directly with organizations or through matching software solutions.
  • Coordinate across the sector to develop shared economies for idle assets, such as cold storage and transportation, to expand access at lower cost and resource impact.
  • Scale existing donation programs through enhanced communication between food donors and food banks, and implementing coordination and matching software solutions.
  • Implement staff training curriculums regarding donation liability protections and donation best practices, such as storing and packaging procedures.

Recycle Anything Remaining

  • Collaborate with systems players to demonstrate demand for feedstock, generate consistent inputs, and incentivize investment in recycling infrastructure.
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