It’s estimated that UK restaurants produce over 1.6 million tonnes of waste a year, around 600,000 tonnes of which is food.
Sending perfectly good food to landfill is not just bad for the environment it’s costing individual restaurants up to £20,000 a year in unnecessary food purchases and waste collection, so there are financial benefits to tackling your food waste.
Our research shows that restaurant food waste is
- 30% plate waste
- 5% spoilage
- 65% prep waste
We’re aiming to get diners to play a part by encouraging them to ask to take home any leftovers in a doggy box. But the doggy box is only part of the solution. We’re also encouraging restaurants to implement other measures to reduce their food waste such as offering different portion sizes and looking at ways of reducing spoiled stock and prep waste. When we worked with pilot restaurants in 2010 they managed to reduce food waste by 20% just by making some simple changes.
- Using prep waste in the creation of other dishes (turning orange peel into marmalade, using broccoli stalks for soup, and so on).
- Offering customers different portion sizes.
- Relearning old skills that get the most from cuts of meat, vegetables and other produce, and sharing these with the younger generation of chefs – going beyond the basics.
Too Good To Waste is supporting participating restaurants to not only be ready to react to a diner’s doggy box request but also make them feel comfortable asking – through staff communication, information on the menu and other tools we’ve created. By removing the stigma surrounding doggy boxes we hope to make them as much a part of the UK dining experience as doggy bags are in the US, and help solve our food waste problem.