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Tips for Tackling Food Waste in Your Restaurant

Published on July 7, 2023
By PAR Team

Food waste is a prominent challenge in the restaurant industry and a crucial obstacle for operators to overcome. No restaurant brand is exempt from the financial impacts of food waste, and it is certainly an unavoidable aspect of daily operations at any fast-casual or QSR. In fact, restaurant brands alone produce roughly 11.4 M tons of food waste each year, resulting in about a $25 billion loss for the industry.

Although food waste seemingly comes with the territory of operating a restaurant brand, there are ways owners, operators, and franchisees can mitigate its negative effects. According to the Restaurant Food Waste Action Guide, restaurants can limit their food waste by investing in restaurant management and food waste reduction solutions. Moreover, every dollar spent on these solutions achieves approximately 8 dollars in cost savings. Restaurant management and food waste reduction solutions, like Data Central, are fantastic remedies to combat and limit food waste because they are designed to provide operators with effective inventory and food management as well as critical reports highlighting sales, stock, and customer behavior.

By leveraging a restaurant management solution like Data Central, your restaurant can reduce its food waste and increase cost savings.

In-Depth Inventory Insights and Waste Audits

When it comes to reducing food waste, it is incredibly important for operators to have full clarity of inventory and stock counts. By leveraging restaurant management and food waste reduction solutions like Data Central, operators are empowered to track inventory from delivery to preparation, ultimately providing them with a comprehensive and accurate view of their stock. With an accurate view of inventory, operators can understand what is left, what is needed, and what the perfect amount of stock for every delivery is. Tracking inventory and leveraging accurate inventory counts also ensures restaurant brands can produce less waste, limit spoilage, and lower food costs.

Additionally, inventory management and food waste reduction solutions, like Data Central, analyze sales information as well as inventory data allowing operators to easily identify issues within the food service cycle. This also enables operators to receive Theoretical vs. Actual reporting, which helps them understand actual usage compared to what should have been used based on sales, right down to the ingredient item. Brands can even set real-time alerts and configure data-driven dashboards to provide visibility for controlling costs and managing waste.

Driving Consistency with Forecasting, Predictive Ordering, and Recipe Management

Restaurant management and food waste reduction solutions, like Data Central, also provide brand operators with inventory forecasting, predictive ordering, and recipe management, all of which can be utilized to manage food waste. These tools empower operators to drive consistency throughout the preparation process and ensure proper portioning for each meal. Restaurant brands can create menu item recipes with individual ingredients and inventory items, and as menu items are prepped and sold, inventory levels are automatically adjusted based on the attributed ingredients. Moreover, with inventory forecasting, restaurant brands can automatically determine inventory needs as well as maintain optimal inventory levels to ensure proper turn and maximized profitability.

Actionable Reports

One of the major keys to limiting restaurant food waste is having access to reports that provide insights on managing inventory and resolutions to potential challenges. Restaurant management and food waste reduction solutions like Data Central integrate and process your unique data to provide brands with digestible and actionable centralized reports. Restaurant operators can leverage these reports to forecast peak periods of operations to understand how much stock is needed, plan accordingly to prevent over-prepping, and enable managers to quickly make proactive decisions to limit their waste. No matter the size or number of locations, with comprehensive reports on inventory, preparation, delivery, and other processes, restaurant brands can gain the insights needed to improve operations, drive efficiencies, grow revenue, and effectively manage food waste.

To limit food waste and maximize revenue, restaurant brands must have the proper solutions in place. Technologies like restaurant management and food waste reduction platforms, like Data Central, are proven solutions that operators can implement to gain the insights, forecasting, and capabilities needed to limit such a tremendous obstacle.

Interested in learning more about the solutions needed to reduce food waste? Visit us at Data Central or request a demo today!

Tiffany Disher, General Manager, MENU North America

Tiffany Disher

General Manager, MENU North America

Tiffany Disher, General Manager, MENU North America, an omni-channel ordering solution to futureproof restaurant’s growing digital sales needs. Before taking on this new role in January 2023, she was an integral part of Punchh’s growth story. She has advised hundreds of customers over the past eight years on their loyalty strategies both from a base program standpoint as well as ongoing marketing strategies. Before Punchh, Tiffany worked for Schlotzsky’s where she supported the brand marketing team by leading loyalty, eClub, R&D, Franchise advisory council and marketing analytics. Tiffany has her Bachelor’s of Science in Economics from University of Oregon and Master’s in Business with a specialty in Marketing from Baylor University. An avid golfer, hiker and mom of two small children, Tiffany spends her limited free time entering into baking competitions.