How to Avoid Food Waste and Save Money?

iKentoo, the iPad POS specialist specialist helps you reduce food waste and improve your margins

 

Food waste has been a hot topic worldwide for many years. Its environmental and economic consequences affect everyone, from individuals to the local and world populations. Approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food made for human consumption are wasted each year worldwide. That is around one third of the overall human food production. Just imagine throwing away 1 of every 3 meals you prepare being thrown out. In the UK, approximately 7 million tonnes of food waste are thrown away each year, of which around 1.6 million tonnes by restaurants. As part of our dual commitment to the environment and our clients’ bottom lines, we decided to take a closer look at how restaurants can reduce food waste. Here are a few tips:

 

Stock Management

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Knowing your inventory is important. It allows you to know exactly what and how much of it you have. Frequent inventories help you mitigate ingredient oversight or miscalculation that can lead to food waste. Practicing the FIFO method (First in First out), stocking your ingredients correctly and labelling your food help. And if the iKentoo stock keeping module isn’t enough, we’ve integrated MarketMan, an advanced 3rd party stock-keeping software that allows you among others to monitor exactly how much food you’ve wasted.

 

Smart Grocery Shopping

Buy your ingredients based on what you plan to cook, the ingredients you already have and how many guests you expect to serve. To do so, check your past sales data in your Back-Office. You’ll find everything you need to make a good estimate of how many people you’ll be serving, which are the dishes that usually sell most on that day, and much more. In that vein, many restaurants have adopted a same day delivery system in order to keep a low inventory level with the added bonus of offering locally-farmed products. Having a booking or reservation system will also help you predict your occupancy rate.

 

Cooking and Preparation Strategy

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Preparing your menu for the upcoming weeks and prepping your ingredients in advance (while avoiding mixing them together) helps to reduce food waste. Try to cook as many dishes as possible after they’ve been ordered rather than before. You can also change your menu and reduce the number of items you offer, as well as using the same ingredients for different recipes. And why not try cooking with ugly produce and embracing root-to-stem cooking? These will also save you money.

 

Offer Different Portion Sizes

In order to decrease the food wasted on your clients plates, you can reduce the size of the dish served or offer your clientele the option to choose among different sizes (S, M, L). If you’re afraid of your clients’ reactions, explicitly state that they can ask for a second service or to add an “extra something”.

 

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Offer a To Go Option

Doggy bags are another good solution. Being able to take home your unfinished plate is a great way to reduce waste, and your clients’ enjoyment of the meal will also last longer. If you use branded to go containers, you’ll also gain visibility. But careful about choosing about the right material. If possible spring for an economical and environmentally friendly option.

 

Repurpose your Leftovers

Obviously, we’re not talking about your clients’ unfinished food. Like the English brewery that uses old bread to brew its beer, you too can repurpose some leftover ingredients. Bread is actually a very good example. Most of us like it fresh and soft, but sadly it gets stale very quickly. Why not turn it into a bread soup, a pudding or replace the panini with a savory french toast? There are thousand ways to use leftovers, and the internet is of great help if you need some inspiration. Just try typing “What to do with…” in your search engine, it’s fun! You’ll also find websites and apps that specialize in raiding your fridge for you. Let me explain: just type the ingredients you have, and they’ll show you a recipe that works. Turn your daily special into a stock-keeping asset: it changes everyday, it’s unique and you can stop serving it when it runs out. And finally, composting can also help you decreasing food waste.

 

Take Advantage of Modern Technology

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The number of apps dedicated to reducing food waste is quickly increasing. As a restaurant professional you are in a unique position. You can act preemptively with your buying strategy, or afterwards. In fact you can give away your inventory surplus or untouched food to organization or resell it at the end of the shift at a lower price. There are specialized websites and apps that can help you (i.e. Too Good To go). These solutions might help you gain new customers and build customer loyalty by attracting clients that are attracted by the environmental and/or economical benefit.

And if you’re concerned your clients might react badly to these changes, don’t hesitate and explain what you’re doing. A few sentences on the first page of your menu are enough. You’ll score some points with many customers that will talk about what you do and come back.

It’s simple, reducing food waste is good for the planet and for your bank balance.

 

Let’s do this

 

iKentoo, great value for Europe's most advanced iPad POS system

iKentoo is the leader in the high-performance segment of the hospitality iPad Point of Sale market - addressing even the most complex industry needs.

Clients in France include multiple big groups such as the Big Mamma Group (East Mamma, Ober Mamma) and the Yogurt Factory, as well as the Hard Rock Cafe Lyon. In Switzerland, iKentoo supplies the 90+ Pouly Bakeries, and the Holy Cow group (multiple “fast-casual” brands). In South Africa, our clients include Bertus Besson’s restaurants, among which Overture, and the Cafe Flava Group. In the U.S., our clients include establishments such as The Exchange, the Mixd Up chain and Heirloom Market BBQ. In the U.K., we partnered up with groups and establishments like Yuu Kitchen and Maggie and Rose, and Friska. In Malta, we equip Danny’s MaltaBosSteaks and Hammett's Gastro Bar, and many more!

Thanks to its unique, intuitive and reliable solutions iKentoo caters to establishments of all sizes, and now serves over 3000 customers in 25+ countries: from self-owned food trucks to full-service restaurants, and from hotels to franchises and multi-site chains, iKentoo does it all.

 

 

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