As part of Zero Waste week we are exploring the problem of food wastage, following on from us highlighting the problem of food waste we now look at solutions which have gone towards tackling food waste, first up it’s the turn of the restaurants.
It is estimated that restaurants produce around 600,000 tonnes of food waste every year and it could be costing individual restaurants up to £200,000 every year. The reasons may seem obvious, firstly oversized portions, when we eat out many of like to overindulge and generous portions are a plus point, however, an estimated 30% of restaurant food is created by what we leave on the plate. I suppose the argument is that a restaurant that leaves us hungry will not get as many repeat bookings, maybe a doggy bag is the answer.
Other classified areas of wastage include spoilage (5%), this could be out of date or unusable suppliers and wastage during preparation (65%) peelings, off cuts or anything ruined in the cooking process.
One scheme which is looking to tackle restaurants waste was announced last month in Manchester where more than 300 restaurants and hotels have pledged their support to a food waste scheme. Moreover Manchester is aiming to become the greenest hospitality sector in the UK.
The Manchester based scheme has attracted a number of leading restaurant brands including Rosso, San Carlo and Mark Addy. The scheme will operate a food waste collection service; this will be provided by the Green Chef and aims to ensure that zero waste goes to landfill. This is achieved through a multi treatment strategy utilising in vessel composting and anaerobic digestion.
Head chef at San Carlo Restaurant, Jason Annette, said: “Using a lot of fresh produce, it is important for us to recycle. As a business we not only feel responsible for ensuring our food is recycled, but also want to ensure that we are reducing our carbon footprint wherever possible.”
It appears that diners are also aware of the problems of food waste and in a recent survey more than half of respondents stated that they would be prepared to pay more for their meal in a restaurant that operates sustainably.