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What Do Restaurants Do With Leftover Food?

Last Updated on September 14, 2022 by Lauren Beck

Restaurants generate a lot of food waste, and most of it is due to customers leaving behind leftovers. So, what do restaurants do with leftover food?

There are a few different options for what to do with leftover food. Some restaurants donate their leftover food to local food pantries or soup kitchens. Others may sell their leftover food to companies that collect and redistribute food to people in need. And some restaurants simply throw away their leftover food.

Restaurants that donate their leftover food help to reduce food waste and feed people in need. When donating leftover food, it’s important to make sure that the food is still safe to eat and has been stored properly.

Ways to Make the Most Out of Restaurants Leftovers

If you’re a restaurant owner or manager, there are a few things you can do to reduce the amount of food waste generated by your business. Here are 6 tips:

  1. Offer smaller portion sizes: Customers are often more likely to finish their meals if they’re not left with a huge plate of food. Offering smaller portion sizes can help to reduce the amount of food waste generated by your restaurant.
  2. Encourage customers to take home leftovers: Many customers are happy to take home leftovers, but they may not think to ask. Encourage customers to take home their leftovers by offering them doggy bags or containers.
  3. Donate leftover food: Donating leftover food is a great way to reduce food waste and help those in need. Make sure that the food you donate is still safe to eat and has been stored properly.
  4. Sell leftover food: If you’re not able to donate your leftover food, you can sell it to companies that collect and redistribute food to people in need.
  5. Compost food waste: Food waste can be composted and used as fertilizer for gardens or parks. This is a great way to reduce the amount of food waste generated by your restaurant.
  6. Repurpose ingredients: If you have ingredients that are about to go bad, see if there’s a way you can repurpose them into another dish. This will help to reduce food waste and save you money.

What Are Types of Food Restaurants Are Left With?

There are a few different types of food that restaurants are typically left with. These include:

  • uneaten food on customers’ plates
  • partially eaten meals
  • expired or unused ingredients
  • spoiled food

How Can Food Waste Affect Kitchen Safety?

woman sweeping the leftovers from a meal into a blue  bin

Food waste can attract pests, which can lead to unsanitary conditions in the kitchen. Pests can contaminate food and spread diseases.

Food waste can also cause clogged drains, which can lead to flooding and water damage.

Finally, food waste can produce unpleasant odors, which can make the kitchen uncomfortable for employees and customers.

Can Food Waste Be Recycled or Repurposed?

Food waste can be recycled or repurposed in a few different ways. It can be composted and used as fertilizer, or it can be donated to people in need.

How Can Restaurants Avoid Wasting Food?

Food waste is a big problem for restaurants, but there are a few things that they can do to avoid wasting food.

Some tips for avoiding food waste include:

  • Planning menus carefully and only ordering what will be used
  • Using all of the ingredients in dishes
  • Saving leftovers and using them in other dishes
  • Donating unused food to shelters or food banks

By following these tips, restaurants can avoid wasting food and help to make a difference in the fight against hunger.

How Much Food Do Restaurants Really Waste?

Although food waste is a big problem for restaurants, it is difficult to know exactly how much food they waste. A study by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [1] found that restaurants in the United States throw away about 10 percent of the food they prepare. This means that for every 100 pounds of food that a restaurant prepares, 10 pounds end up in the trash.

This is a significant amount of food waste, and it highlights the need for restaurants to do something to reduce their food waste. There are many ways that restaurants can reduce their food waste, and every little bit helps.

Conclusion

There are a few different options for what to do with leftover food. Restaurants can donate it, sell it, or compost it. Food waste is a big problem for restaurants, but there are a few things that they can do to avoid wasting food. By following these tips, restaurants can make a difference in the fight against hunger.

Reference:

  1. https://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/196402/icode/
Lauren Beck
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