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If you work in food production, food storage, or the restaurant business, you’re probably well-accustomed to the idea of food waste. But have you ever considered how much food waste might be costing you overall? Wasted or unusable food products are one of the biggest causes of revenue loss in restaurants and warehouses, but it isn’t completely impossible to prevent. If you need a few tips to cut back on your overhead and wasted food, has some ideas to get you started:


Constant employee training can help prevent the waste of food or accidental over/under-use of certain products. Restaurants tend to face this the most; new employees might not know exactly how to portion ingredients properly, how to properly store food, or when to rotate stock. Food production and/or storage warehouses run into this as well – whatever the cause of your food waste, making sure your employees are always aware of standard processes and best practices is a fast and nearly immediate way to start seeing results and improvement in waste.


And if you find that your employees are trained but the waste is still happening, it might be an issue of changing and improving your processes. Are you still encountering a lot of waste in a certain product? Consider changing your stock rotation or altering its usage in your restaurant (where applicable). Are you using too much or too little of an ingredient? Now might be the time to tweak your recipes to change how much of a specific food product is being used to reduce how much goes unused and/or gets thrown out.


While this might not be a job anyone will be excited to volunteer for, you might also want to consider designating employees (or bringing in an external auditor) to monitor your garbage. Waste can sometimes be hard to directly pinpoint, and getting some of your staff to go through and more closely inspect what, exactly, is being thrown out – which can then lead to identifying better ways to prevent or reduce this waste.


Lastly, a big cause of waste tends to be issues with storage and capacity. Perfectly good or usable food has to be thrown out or destroyed to make room for other products, many times just the same item with a fresher expiration date. In this case, you’ll want to strongly consider increased food storage to provide more space for your products. NSF-certified restaurant shelving is an ideal, safe way to enhance the amount of products you can store in a restaurant or warehouse, and standard wire shelving is a flexible and economical storage solution to hang onto extra items to hopefully prevent items being thrown away, or at least thrown away just to make room for more of the same item.


These tips might not be useful for every different facility, but they’re a good place to start – and hopefully improve your bottom line and help the environment by reducing waste.

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