Challenge: Preparation waste
When preparing food, there will inevitably be trimmings from the preparation that cannot be used in other ways. It is understandable that some fruits and vegetable skins and seeds will need to be discarded, and that bones and offal from meat won’t be on the menu. There can be ways to reuse food that would otherwise be prep waste and ways to minimise what goes directly in the bin.
As you know, everything in the kitchen is connected.
Here are some tips to manage food waste in the prep area:
- Provide training to ensure the kitchen team has the appropriate skills
- Avoid over trimming during preparation
- Use the right equipment to maximise food (e.g. calibrate oven to prevent overcooking, use peelers that produce lighter peels)
- Consider leaving the skins on vegetables
- Implement effective processes to reuse excess supply (e.g. daily specials)
- Cook smaller quantities of pre-prepared staple foods (e.g. rice, pasta) in smaller batches
- Utilise bones from meat and vegetable trimmings to make stock
- Utilise animal fats for grease
- Get creative with your garnishes by using what would have been prep waste
- Ensure good communications with your (e.g. events) team to match food availability to customer numbers
- Ensure good communications with your service team to report on complaints/popular dishes/customer flow
- Review food waste data periodically to ensure measures are effective