Published December 3, 2023

According to the most recent Eurostat data (2023), restaurants and food services produced, in 2021, around 9% of food waste at EU-27 level (12 kg per inhabitant and year). Research in the UK has estimated that the annual cost of food waste in the country’s restaurants is £682m, or around £ 5,500 per restaurant on average, while the ReFED estimates that on a percentage basis the cost of food waste in the US exceeds 4% of an average restaurant’s sales.

Effective food waste management primarily hinges on prevention. This necessitates a comprehensive overhaul and more stringent control of the entire food procurement, preparation, and serving process. Specifically, the following measures are imperative:

  • Yield management, maximizing production derived from raw materials.
  • Inventory management, ensuring the proper flow of raw materials in and out of the kitchen to prevent food spoilage.
  • Waste management, i.e. minimizing waste whenever possible and composting or other form of recycling before disposal in landfills.

Implementing these processes enables businesses in the HoReCa sector to minimize food waste and mitigate associated financial costs. Application of “lean management” methods will result in a simplified, adaptable and flexible process. For instance, employing lean management in meal preparation has the potential to optimize various aspects, including ingredient selection, menu size, portion size, and the generation of leftovers by customers.

According to a 2017 survey by WWF and the American Hotel and Lodging Association, business personnel play a critical role in the success of a food waste reduction program. In fact, over 90% of kitchen staff said they want to help prevent food waste, but need guidance, which, for example, could come in the form of daily meetings and discussions between staff members and, above all, through the establishment of training programs.

Addressing this need, ADVANCE has developed a tailored training program for HoReCa sector staff. The program covers general aspects of the food waste problem, such as definitions, the magnitude of the problem, relevant legislation, etc. It also delves into specific aspects of food waste in the sector, such as waste before and during food preparation, waste after food is served to customers, benefits and barriers to reducing food waste, guidelines for monitoring and measuring the problem, and measures and practices to reduce both avoidable and unavoidable food waste. The training material will be accessible in a user-friendly online environment, featuring additional sources of information and self-assessment questions/problems.

You may check the beta version here: