Best Ways to Waste

by Martin Boyd

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Of course we all want to waste more food - but how? If you are serious about wanting to lose revenue and disappoint your customers, food waste is essential. But the stats can be daunting. Research has revealed that around 30% to 40% of food goes to waste - that’s a huge number. How can you hope to achieve that?!

Here are two top tips for filling tips.

1. Don’t ask!

During Covid times wasting food has become more difficult. Whereas, previously the catering team could drop off platters of food for meetings confident that there would be plenty left lying around, pandemic restrictions saw a) more people at their own desks and b) an increase in personal online ordering of food. It was a disaster for those wanting to see food thrown away. People were actually getting what exactly they wanted - and were eating it!

Now that meetings and events are part of the picture again there is another danger you must avoid at all costs ‘Group Ordering’.

A Group Ordering feature goes against a key principle in food waste which is: ‘Don’t Ask what anyone wants!’ This feature actually gives the opportunity for individuals to select their own lunch, rather than leaving what’s available on a shared platter. This nightmare scenario is something which 'goody two shoes' customers will be delighted to opt for.

It gets worse…Spoonfed focussed a significant amount of development time at the beginning of lockdown 1.0 enhancing the functionality of their already existing Group Ordering feature. They now provide caterers the functionality to deliver individually packed food to meetings or to different rooms and specific desks throughout head offices and campuses, with a minimum of admin.

2. Don’t Tell

Information - another great enemy of the wasteful. Not satisfied with Group Ordering helping those planning meetings to avoid second guessing what people might want to eat, it seems every aspect of Spoonfed’s booking experience, end to end, is designed for efficient ordering of food.

Frustratingly, they give such a comprehensive ordering platform, e.g. menu items show allergens, calories, portion sizes etc; there is even room for notes to be added and a Check-out page which makes sure that final numbers are confirmed…all the types of things which actually SAVES waste! So, while you may be encouraged to discover food service operations typically throw away 4-10% of the food they purchase before it reaches a customer’s plate, due to overproduction, expiration, spoilage and trimmings you need to be aware, there are now tech solutions which can even overcome these good habits.

But not content with that, Spoonfed has a built-in Feedback feature, automatically emailing the customer asking what has been popular, less popular etc. What chance does a serious food waster have when they are up against this sort of proactive desire to get it right for customers every single time?

In conclusion, although wasting food is still, thankfully, really easy to do, vigilance is still required if we are going to continue to waste food, lose revenue and disappoint customers. Do not under any circumstances, contact Spoonfed to speak to one of the team about efficiency and savings.

All joking aside, Spoonfed is seriously committed to supporting catering teams globally as they take up the battle to fight food waste in a number of contexts. Now as part of 365 Retail Markets they also offer the hardware to enable catering teams to minimise food wastage. We can't help you waste food - you can do that by yourself!

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