Reducing Food Waste in Your Operation

April 2017

Earth Day is quickly approaching on April 22. That makes now a better time than ever to focus on conservation and recycling to decrease food waste. According ReFED research, foodservice operators throw away 4–10% of the food they purchase before it has a chance to make it to the menu.

Get inspired by these examples of how the foodservice industry is cutting back:

  • Montefiore Medical Center in New York uses a digester system in its kitchens to convert food scraps into sewer-safe water. The new system helped the medical center cut back on 125 tons of food waste.
  • A company called Zero Percent picks up extra food from restaurants and retail stores in the Chicago area, and then delivers it to nonprofits the same day.
  • Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has created a call to arms for foodservice operators. In partnership with a James Beard Foundation chef advocacy training program, she created the Food Saver Challenge. This challenge asks local chefs to cut back on food waste through analytics, using smaller plates, buying imperfect product from local farms, going trayless when possible, cooking to order and offering smaller portion sizes.

There are many ways to reduce food waste in your operation, from being more mindful in making food purchases to finding creative ways to use leftover items on the menu. Keep up with the latest trends and find more sustainability tips in our Resource Center.


Levin, Amelia. Reducing Hospital Food Waste, Foodservice Equipment & Supplies, February 2017.

Harkey, Justin. The Trend of the Line: F&B Trends to Watch in 2017 (and Beyond), Modern Restaurant Management, January 2017.

Alfs, Lizzy. Mayor Barry issues food waste challenge to Nashville restaurants, The Tennesseean, January 2017.

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