How much food do restaurants really waste? What are the implications of that?
If you’re in the restaurant industry, you probably already have at least a vague understanding of the amount of food that your restaurant wastes. You’re probably also aware that if you multiply that by all the restaurants that exist in the U.S., you have a massive food waste problem. Along with sky-high employee turnover, spoilage and tossed out goods may constitute one of the most pressing challenges in the entire restaurant industry.
There are a lot of reasons to be concerned about food waste.
One key reason is that so many people in the U.S. (1 in 8 or 42 million Americans) are food insecure—or don’t have consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. Meanwhile, there’s more than enough food being wasted to feed them all.
Another challenge is the impact on the environment. When so much food production and transport ends up going underutilized, our planet takes a hit. In an era when we’re trying to rethink how we use our natural resources, we can certainly do better when it comes to our food supply.
Finally, there’s the impact to your bottom line—if you own or operate a restaurant, food waste is eating into your profits. Restaurant owners and operators have a shared responsibility to tackle the issue of food waste. But you can’t be expected to solve the problem without truly knowing the extent of it. You need to know how much food restaurants are wasting, yours included, and the exact impact it’s having on the world.
Learn about restaurant food waste by the numbers, as well as some of the steps you can take to start playing your part in tackling this massive global problem.