Expert Insight

Reducing food waste – saving money

By Elliot Kuruvita

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Meal

Cutting down on food waste can save pubs thousands
Cutting down on food waste can save pubs thousands
Since the recent launch of the new Food Save scheme set up by the Mayor of London, pubs and restaurants are being encouraged to take part in the initiative, with one pub already set to save as much as £10,000 after signing up.

The Imperial in Fulham, West London, has put into place a number of simple measures to save on food waste and is now on track to save thousands – paving the way for operators and licensees to follow suit and reap the financial benefits that come with it.

Serve smaller portions

Serving smaller portions doesn’t mean cutting back on quality. Reducing portion sizes allows ingredients to go further – perhaps even making two plates instead of one.

The Imperial is measuring out sides dishes in cups, ensuring each portion is controlled and of a consistent and smaller size.

Director of the Imperial Kate MacWhirter said: “We noticed side dished were being thrown out so we started measuring them in the vessel in which they are served in.

“It was the ingredients that we had too much of. For example, the salmon sashimi kept coming back with the Japanese radish leftover as there was too much on the plate and was disproportionate to everything else. We changed that and it has made a difference.”

Serving food such as chips in small pots and buckets will also help to regulate portions whilst creating a more interesting dish for customers.

Use up leftovers

If there are leftover ingredients in the kitchen at the end of service, don’t throw them away. Instead, be creative and turn them into dishes that can be served the following day.

The Imperial uses leftovers in the kitchen to make soups and daily specials that would have in the past gone to waste.

Vegetables are ideal ingredients to use and can be turned into broths using meat or sautéed to make a red wine jus.

“We serve a soup of the day and a salad of the day that we use from leftovers, such as shavings from beetroot to make a beetroot and goat’s cheese soup.

“We are also being smarter about what we use for staff food. We have a deli section and were throwing a lot of this stuff away and then preparing staff food. We are now using these ingredients to prepare staff meals,” said MacWhirter.

Keep the fridge cold

It sounds simple, but it’s important to make sure all fridges are kept at the right temperature. If the temperature isn’t correct then any fresh food inside will start to deteriorate at a much quicker rate.

Fridges should be kept at between two and five degrees Celsius. Any warmer and the food will start to go off, any colder and the food inside will begin to loose nutrients.

Make sure there are no ice clusters forming on the sides or towards the back and that there are no signs of condensation anywhere within the interior of the fridge as well as on the exterior.

Find out more about the Food Save scheme at





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