Restaurant, cafe and bar owners no longer have any excuses when it comes to the adoption of food waste reduction strategies. That is the clear message from Philip Simpson, commercial director of ReFood.
In the light of research released by Champions 12.3*, a campaign group with the aim of halving global food waste by 2030, Simpson argues that new data demonstrates irrefutably the economic argument of following proven recycling protocols.
He said: “This new research is powerful reading, revealing that chefs can save £7 in costs for every £1 invested in preventing food waste. That’s an incredibly convincing argument based on data gathered from 114 restaurants across 12 countries.”
The global study centred on restaurants that had invested at least £15,000 on food waste reduction strategies, such as training staff on food handling and storage procedures, redesigning menus and monitoring the amounts of food wasted. Within a year, 76 per cent of the participating outlets had recouped their investment, rising to 89 per cent within two years.
Moreover, the study concluded that the average cost:benefit ratio for food waste reduction was 1:7 over a three year period – a figure that holds true across market segments or geographies, from corner cafes to major chain restaurants.
The savings were generated through a reduction in the volume of food bought by the kitchens, with staff instead designing new menu items using leftovers, and lower waste management costs. Some sites even managed to save up to £27 in costs for every £1 invested in food waste reduction.
Philip Simpson said: “The only way we will cut food waste in half by 2030 is if restaurants and other catering businesses take this issue seriously. We produced our own food waste reduction strategy several years ago, which very much supports the objectives of the sustainable development goals (SDG), set by the United Nations in 2015.
“These findings make it absolutely clear that reducing food waste isn’t just a nice thing to do, it’s also a smart business move. This supports data from WRAP that suggests that pubs in the UK could each be saving themselves approximately £8,000 every year.”
As the UK’s leading food waste recycler, ReFood is ideally placed to highlight the compelling benefits food waste recycling offers the catering industry. Counting the NHS, QHotels and The Savoy among its extensive customer base, ReFood has the experience and capacity to transform the UK hospitality sector’s waste into green energy.
Having established a national network of anaerobic digestion plants, with sites in Doncaster, Widnes, and most recently, Dagenham, ReFood is able to make food waste collections from across the UK. Each plant has the capacity to divert 160,000 tonnes of waste away from landfill each year.