How Restaurants Can Reduce Waste

food preparation at the restaurant

The food industry is one of the biggest in the world because everyone has something to do with food and consumption. In America, over a million restaurants are operating actively. That leads to billions of dollars of waste that is not great for the environment and essentially throws money down the drain. Here are some ways that restaurants can lessen the waste they produce:

  • Selling used cooking oil

Restaurants can sell their used cooking oil to companies that specialize in collecting what is called “yellow grease.” Doing this allows the oil to be reused for other purposes instead of being thrown out and potentially becoming hazardous when mixed with other waste materials.

With the US wasting around 250 million gallons worth of used oil each year, so much waste is unnecessarily produced when it could be made useful again in other industries. Finding companies that buy used oil isn’t difficult as there are thousands in America. They often determine the price by weight of pure oil and collect it themselves as long as the restaurants have properly stored the used substance.

Through this method, restaurants can earn again instead of just disposing of their used materials. It not only incentivizes them to recycle but lessens workers’ habits of pouring these oils down the drain and risking corrosion and blockages in the plumbing. Then, the purchased oil is used in industries like biofuels, animal feed, and even organic soaps.

  • Ditching disposables

There has been a lot of debate on plastic straws. It also covers the issue of single-use utensils and containers. While it poses a convenience for to-go orders and deliveries, more sustainable ways can provide these goods that will cut down on costs in the long run.

There are a lot of biodegradable options if you need to cater to orders that will be outside of your restaurant. Within your business place, you can stick to reusable items that you need to maintain for proper hygiene and cleanliness. Doing this lessens the number of stuff people throw away and even makes your end-of-day cleanup less cluttered and problematic.

Also, regulations are being put into place by the law that will make this easier for you to implement even amidst stubborn customers who may carry their own wasteful habits.

  • Managing meat


This step applies to all perishables, but as meat is the most popular commodity wasted, that is the main focal point in what restaurants need to manage. Data shows that a lot of the food waste produced by restaurants comes from two sources: leftovers from customers and expired ingredients because of excess stock.

Overbuying is all too common with restaurants because there isn’t enough planning for the anticipated amount of food that will be consumed. Restaurants get too much stock just in case but end up throwing out a lot of meat they ended up not needing.

This issue can be dealt with by anticipating the fluctuation of orders as well as using up the resources that are closer to expiration immediately. As for leftovers, some restaurants have started putting a leftover fee to discourage customers from leaving food on their plates.

With these options available to restaurant owners, it’s feasible to lessen the waste produced by the food industry significantly. It will be good for the environment and even help restaurants save in expenses.

The Author

Scroll to Top