In France, in collective and commercial catering, food waste represents 1.6 million tons of waste every year, that is to say more than 58% of food waste comes from food professionals. There is however a law since February 2016, called the Garot law, which obliges restaurants to distribute their unsold stock, 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 stocks.
But solutions are possible to mitigate this waste, we propose to present 6 of them to you more particularly:
1) Distribute your food losses
This is the solution which is mandatory from the point of view of the law, but also extremely easy to achieve . Indeed, faced with this problem of food waste, entrepreneurs have launched several successful initiatives and have thus developed a new market for everything concerning the management of unsold food. Numerous applications have thus emerged, such as Fresh Me Up, which offers professional customers the opportunity to buy from wholesalers, local shops or even directly from local producers their excess stocks at private sales and at attractive prices, or Too Good To Go, which offers through its application to sell the unsold goods of the day (from bakeries, fast food outlets, supermarkets or others) at reduced prices.
2) Combining reduced menu and limited cutlery
The problem of the food waste generally comes from a bad stock management and a bad apprehension of the number of covers which there will be to prepare during the day. So in order to make the most out of it 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).the other solution would be to limit the number of place settings and set up an online reservation system to know the maximum number of people who will be able to 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 result in less wastage because, as there is much less transport, nothing is lost if, for example, the cold chain is interrupted. And this has a more than positive impact in terms of ecological footprint and allows to valorize small producers.
4) Create a home farm or compost
What could be better than throwing your trash away and letting it benefit you? But sharing it with whom? 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 the trick. Again if you live in town or don't have a garden, there are associations that have created collective composting bins to collect biodegradable waste.
5) Processing its products
During the elaboration of your menus you can try to combine recipes Indeed, during the peeling of potato for example, a part of the potato itself is removed (because it remains stuck to the peels). Processing them, using them to make other dishes can be a very good option. Be inventive!!
6) Offer doggy bags to its customers
Offering doggy bags to its customers, i.e. that they take with them the leftovers of their meal in a bag could seem quite natural as a practice and yet it has not yet become a common practice. While in the Anglo-Saxon and Japanese culture it has become a real habit to ask for a bag to take away your leftovers, the French are still quite recalcitrant when it comes to the idea of leaving with the end of your plate. So it's all a question of education and mentality. It is up to you, restaurateurs, to promote this practice by educating your customers. If you notice that a lot of plates come back to the kitchen with leftovers in them, don't hesitate to brief your waiters so that they put forward this practice of doggy bag.
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