Food waste does not make economic, social or environmental sense. As an industry, we must all collectively act to make a change, reduce our waste and help protect the future of our planet – and our bottom lines. At Unilever, we’re committed to helping reduce waste across the hospitality and foodservice industry. Because no matter what sub-sector of the industry you work in, we are a sum of parts.
What can chefs do to reduce their food waste?
Here are our chefs’ top tips to help reduce kitchen waste:
- Portion Sizes - Regularly check plates when they come back to understand which dishes are too heavy or too large. For instance, you may notice a lot of garnish leftover, or too much sauce. Making adjustments can help save money.
- Accurate Measuring - Use scales to measure out ingredients as well as portions. Your recipe should always be the basis for your selling price. It’s not unusual for an over-service of more than 40% to occur.
- Specials Board - A daily specials board can help to manage the extra throughput of ingredients. Perfect for great value seasonal items.
- Accurate Ordering - Employ accurate ordering and stock rotation to avoid ingredients going out of date. If there is a booking cancellation consider using the ingredients on your specials board.
- Get Creative - Be creative with vegetable trimmings to make tasty soups, for instance. Use toast from breakfast for breadcrumbs for fishcakes, or stale brioche for bread-based puddings.
- Use of Off-Cuts - Create tasty starters. eg, pork and chicken trimmings can be turned into pâtés and terrines. Salmon trim also makes great canapes. Turn excess produce into chutneys, pickles and jams.
- Dehydrate Excess Fruit and Vegetables - Create highly flavoured powders. with excess fruit and vegetables. Dry out the fruit or vegetable in a low oven and whizz through a processor. Use the vegetable powder in sauces or and fruit powders over sorbets and ice-creams.
- It's Better to Freeze Great Ingredients - Freeze ingredients for a short time as opposed to using second rate ingredients fresh and risk producing waste.
Measure the waste your kitchen creates with our Wise Up On Waste tool
We’ve designed and developed our Wise Up On Waste app with a simple mission: to help chefs across our industry to measure how much food their kitchen is wasting. We believe that this is the simple but key starting point to making a change and reducing food waste.
The Wise Up On Waste tool:
- Enables tracking of food waste
- Enables site/outlet food waste data to be visible
- Measures by day part: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Measures by waste stream: Preparation, plate and spoilage and an extra category for a waste stream of your choice e.g. servery, room service etc.
- Calculates cost and waste weight (kg) per cover
- Data entered can be downloaded into xls, cvs and pdf files
- Has an instant reporting process
- Is web-based; mobile and tablet enabled
- Full training guide and customer training supported
Interested in getting your business set up with Wise Up On Waste?
Call our Customer Engagement Team on 0800 783 3728 (Option 1) to find out how to make the tool available in your business.
What more can be done to reduce food waste?
At Unilever, we’re involved in a number of initiatives to help promote the reduction of food waste across our industry in the UK and around the world. Through our partnerships with organisations such as WRAP and the Sustainable Restaurant Association, we’re helping our customers to understand the social, environmental and economic importance of reducing waste in their kitchens.