Five tips to reduce food waste at your hotel

Buffets filled with delicious sandwiches, cakes and fresh salads end up in the trash every day. Shame! Of the chef’s work, the environmental impact and the costs. For food waste is often an unseen cost item in hotel chains where there is still a lot to achieve.

Orbisk’s smart food waste monitor helps you visualize your food waste. You can then make targeted adjustments to your processes based on your personal data. In this article we would like to share 5 quick tips to reduce food waste in hotels.

1. Rethink your buffet

In many hotels, buffets are the biggest culprit when it comes to food waste. In an average hotel, 30 to 50 percent of the buffet is quickly not eaten. It is therefore not surprising that more and more hotels are looking critically at this. For example, in a large hotel with many breakfast guests, the amount of wasted buffet was higher than the use of a live chef. This meant not only less food waste but also increased customer satisfaction. Another way to reduce the waste of your buffet is to fine-tune what needs to be refilled at what time. It may not be necessary to keep filling all the dishes, but certain ingredients are already sufficient.

2. Answer your type of guests

The type of guest staying at your hotel largely determines how much food is eaten. Good chefs are used to reacting to this. Still, it is becoming increasingly difficult to put customers in boxes, and it is sometimes difficult to make an estimate. Women who eat much less, and men who primarily want meat, this is no longer always the case. And with all the extra preferences in terms of diet, allergies and tastes, it is becoming increasingly difficult to properly assess customer needs. Good preparation is half the work. Then make a clear admission list on which all specific wishes can be filled out. It also helps to plan regular evaluations with the team. What went well and what could be improved?

3. Create a production plan

Many chefs work by feeling. This often works well, but with less and less experienced people in the kitchen, it is not always as effective. Therefore, we see that more and more kitchens choose to work with production plans. Here is a description of which dishes are to be prepared, with which ingredients and at what times. These schedules are sharply tailored to the time of the week and day and to the type of guest.

4. Make a food waste plan

A strong production plan has not only a plan for production but also for food waste. What do you do with the bread left over from breakfast? Register that these are fine to use for the grilled cheese sandwiches during lunch. Does it not work? Then think about how best to store these products in advance. We see that hotels that work this way can significantly reduce their food waste.

5. Adjust your purchase

The biggest profit can of course be achieved by optimizing your purchases. A better insight into what you are buying too much each week is the first step. What ingredients do you throw out and when? Based on this, you can choose to customize delivery times and quantities. That way, you save not only food waste but also money. For example, figures show that an average hotel buys € 100,000 too much food each year. Of course, it is still complicated to estimate your purchase volumes accurately, but only with an improvement of 10% can a lot of profit be achieved.

Reducing food waste is not only good for the environment but also for your wallet. With the tips above, you can start tomorrow. However, it always starts with a better understanding of your current food waste. This is of course possible with loss lists or input systems. If you have not already done so, this is a good first step. One tool for this is the Orbisk food waste monitor, which automatically gives you insight into what you are throwing away. With a handy dashboard where you can see all your data, you can easily manage your food waste. Wondering if Orbisk is for you? Take a look at the website:

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