Food waste is a massive problem plaguing the foodservice industry. Research shows that a significant portion of food produced in the U.S. goes uneaten, amounting to major economic losses each year.
It’s estimated that between 30 to 40 percent of the food supply in the United States is wasted. Another staggering statistic—according to USDA’s Economic Research Service, the retail and consumer levels see a 31% food loss, resulting in approximately 133 billion pounds with costs topping $161 billion.
The environmental impact is equally concerning, with food waste being a major contributor to landfills and greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing food waste should be a top priority for any foodservice operation. The good news is that technology now exists to help combat the issue.
A facility that connects and controls kitchen equipment can provide unprecedented visibility into food inventory and production. By leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT), operators can minimize waste through streamlined production planning, portion control, and spoilage prevention. This reduces food waste’s economic and environmental costs and optimizes energy consumption. Let’s explore how a connected facility helps cut waste.
Operators can gain real-time insights into production needs based on live inventory counts, sales data, and ordering patterns. By eliminating guesswork, food can be prepared according to demand, reducing overproduction and spoilage while continuing to meet guest expectations.
Operators can pre-program production schedules based on sales history. Equipment automatically starts and stops according to these schedules, ensuring food is freshly prepared when needed while avoiding unnecessary runtime. This prevents spoilage from food sitting under heat lamps or in hot boxes while optimizing energy use.
Operators can gather data on proper portion sizes. This helps kitchen staff reduce over-portioning, which is a primary driver of food waste. Consistent portions also enable more accurate food prep, so less food is thrown away at the end of service.
Monitoring Equipment Performance
Monitoring critical factors like temperature and humidity ensures that equipment operates properly. This helps prevent malfunctions that lead to food safety issues and spoilage. Proactive maintenance also optimizes equipment energy efficiency.
Operators can digitize paper checklists for closing, production planning, and food safety procedures. Digitized processes boosted by data insights improve compliance, food quality, and safety while reducing waste.
Food waste significantly affects a business’s bottom line economically, environmentally, and financially. A connected facility provides unparalleled inventory, production, and sales visibility. Operators can dramatically reduce waste and energy consumption by connecting the dots across kitchen operations to boost sustainability, cut costs, and gain a competitive advantage.
Are you curious how your business can save more and waste less? Connect with a member of our team to start a conversation.