Dear Friend of Further with Food,
Today, Champions 12.3 released the highly anticipated report The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste: Restaurants. The Valentine’s Day release is timely. Champions 12.3 hopes to bring attention to the issue of kitchen pre-consumer waste on one of the busiest restaurant days of the year.
Restaurants are a good place to focus food waste reduction efforts since they generate a relatively large amount of wasted food – and not just on Valentine’s Day. According to a report by ReFED, restaurants and other consumer-facing businesses account for 40% of food waste in the United States by weight, the second highest contributor after individuals. Results from The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste: Restaurants reveal that restaurants can successfully and profitably reduce their kitchen waste. Below we highlight key findings from the study.
About the Study
Successful Intervention Methods
- Results from this study are based on an analysis of data from 114 restaurants in 12 countries.
- Measure how much and where food is being wasted so managers can prioritize hotspots to tackle and monitor progress over time.
- Ask employees for ideas when developing and implementing kitchen waste reduction methods and embed the importance of food waste prevention into standard training and operating procedures.
- Adjust purchasing practices and focus on scenarios that lead to overproduction.
- Repurpose excess ingredients creatively to generate revenue.
Food Waste Reduction Achieved
- The average benefit-cost ratio for food waste reduction was 7:1 over a three-year time frame.
- The average site saved more than two cents on every dollar of cost of goods sold (COGS).
- The food waste-reduction programs implemented by the surveyed sites were relatively inexpensive in terms of absolute dollars spent. The total investment in food waste reduction for all was between $10,000 and $20,000 over the three-year period.
- Over a 12-month period, the average restaurant saw a 26% reduction in kitchen food waste (by weight).
The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste: Restaurants is the final report of a three-part deep dive series by Champions 12.3 analyzing the benefits of reducing FLW at consumer-facing businesses.
In order to access other restaurant-relevant resources on reducing food waste (including those highlighted below), we recommend searching for the ‘restaurants’ tag in the filter column at Further with Food. The National Restaurant Association also has restaurant-specific resources at https://conserve.restaurant.org/foodwaste and ReFED Restaurant Action Guide (referenced above), created in conjunction with the Association, at the Further with Food website.