In France, in the collective and commercial catering sector, food waste represents 1.6 million tonnes of waste each year, which is more than 58% of food waste comes from food professionals. However, there has been a law since February 2016, known as the Garot law, which forces restaurants to distribute their unsold items, under penalty of a fine of up to 3750 euros. However, it is very difficult for restaurants to forecast customer orders, and therefore difficult to forecast inventory.
But solutions are possible to overcome this waste, we propose to present 6 more particularly:
1) Distribute your food losses
This is the solution that is mandatory from a legal point of view, but also extremely easy to implement. Indeed, in response to this problem of food waste, entrepreneurs have successfully launched several initiatives and have thus developed a new market for all aspects of the management of unsold foodstuffs. Many applications have thus emerged such as Fresh Me Up, which offers professional customers to buy overstocks from wholesalers, neighbourhood merchants or directly from local producers at private sales at attractive prices, or Too Good To Go, which offers through its application to sell the unsold items of the day (bakeries, fast food, supermarkets or others) at reduced prices.
2) Combine reduced menu and limited cutlery
The problem of food waste generally comes from poor stock management and a poor understanding of the number of cutlery to be prepared during the day. Thus, to do the right thing and limit losses, one of the solutions would be to limit the number of dishes on the menu (for example, two starters, two main courses and two desserts), while the other would be to limit the number of place settings and set up an online reservation system to find out as many people as possible who can come to your establishment.
3) Favour short circuits
This consists of selling and buying the product directly from its place of production. The number of possible intermediaries is limited to one. This will reduce waste because, as transport is much less, nothing is lost if, for example, the cold chain is interrupted. And in addition, it has a more than positive impact in terms of ecological footprint and makes it possible to enhance the value of small producers.
4) Create a home farm or compost farm
What could be better than throwing away your waste and sharing it with others? But to benefit who? If you are in the country, your chickens, pigs or those of your neighbours will be happy to eat the leftovers or vegetable peels for example, otherwise a simple compost at the bottom of the garden will do. Again, if you live in the city or if you don't have a garden, there are associations that have created collective composting bins to identify biodegradable waste.
5) Transforming your products
When preparing your menus you can try to combine the recipes. Indeed, when peeling potatoes for example, part of the potato itself is removed (because it remains attached to the peels). Processing them, using them to make other dishes can be a very good option. Be inventive!!!!!
6) Offer doggy bags to your customers
Offering doggy bags to your customers, i.e. they take the leftovers of their meal in a bag with them, might seem quite natural as a practice and yet it has not yet become part of everyday life. While in Anglo-Saxon and Japanese culture it has become a real habit to ask for a bag to take your leftovers with you, the French are still quite recalcitrant about the idea of leaving with the end of your plate. So it's all about education and mentality. It is up to you, the restaurateurs, to promote this practice by educating your customers. If you notice that many plates come back to the kitchen with leftovers in them, don't hesitate to brief your waiters so that they can highlight this doggy bag practice.