Waste Not Want Not: Creating a More Sustainable Operation

January 2022

Waste Not Want Not: Creating a More Sustainable Operation

As we look to the future, preserving our planet may be one of the most important causes of our lifetime. How restaurants and other operations reduce their waste footprint is paramount for environmental success. And according to Kerry’s 2021 Sustainability in Motion report, 58% of North American consumers say they are strongly influenced by sustainability when making a food or beverage purchase at a restaurant, highlighting the importance of creating a more sustainable industry.


When it comes to maximizing your operation’s sustainability, eliminating food waste is a key concern. This could mean offering half portions, allowing customers to split entrees, or giving customers an option to wrap up half their meal before it’s even served. In addition, there are opportunities to donate food to those in need, which in addition to reducing waste, gets operators involved in outreach programs that can build community connections.


The right packaging helps keep your food warm, intact, and ready-to-eat as it makes it way from your kitchen to a diner’s table at home. But according to the EPA, “containers and packaging make up a major portion of municipal solid waste (MSW), amounting to 82.2 million tons of generation in 2018”. So, while you must consider the functional and aesthetic attributes of the packaging you need for your operation, you should also keep in mind the environmental impact. Explore options like eco recycled straws, napkins and silverware, or biodegradable disposable utensils made from bamboo or sugar cane. These options are pricier, but minimalist and sustainable packaging is a growing consumer demand that’s not going away.


Composting is one of the best ways to help reduce waste. Whether partnering with a local farmer, teaming up with a compost hauler, composting on-site, or processing food waste through an anaerobic digester, there are a lot of ways to let composting help shape your operation’s values. And remember, if you happen to have an on-site garden, compost makes a great fertilizer!


Overall, if your operation wants to stay ahead of the curve, sustainability is the name of the game. And don’t forget to let your purpose-driven work shine. Educating guests about your sustainability initiatives, in addition to any social justice and community support efforts, can alter the perception of your operation for the better.


What are your favorite sustainable practices for your operation? Share your thoughts on our Facebook or LinkedIn page. Or visit our Resource Center for more tips and trends.



Comfort Connotations, September 2021, Technomic

COVID-19 Report 27: FINDING OUR WAY, Datassential 6.26.20


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