Restaurants are leading contributors to food waste nationwide, but data is helping food service organizations transform their business practices to dramatically cut down on waste.
The average person in the U.S. generates more than four pounds of waste per day and landfill costs are on the rise. In 2017, the average price to dispose municipal solid waste (MSW) increased 3.5 percent from 2016 to $50.60 per ton. In an industry with severely thin margins and steep operating costs, food service organizations require more sustainable operations to reduce both resource waste and costs.
According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2018 State of Restaurant Sustainability report, less than half of restaurant organizations track food waste and only 14 percent compost food waste. Without tracking this waste, restaurants are not only throwing excess food and resources away, but they are also leaving valuable data in the dumpster. Data is key to thinking more strategically about both financial and environmental costs and embracing a holistic approach to waste reduction.