Food waste is getting a lot of national attention. At last some say and I am among them. As a restauranteur, it is my responsibility to provide excellent food to my diners but do it responsibly. That means securing great quality fresh food but also using it in the most efficient way possible.
The drive for efficiency is not only ethically necessary but also financially. Despite what many may think, there isn’t a whole lot of profit in the restaurant business, certainly not at our level. Therefore reducing waste everywhere we can not only helps the planet but also our bottom line.
There are a few ways a steak restaurant like The Stone Grill can help reduce food waste.
Proper menu planning
A chef’s job is not only to produce consistently amazing food but also to devise a menu that suits the seasonal produce available and deliver on our diner’s expectations. Designing dishes needs to balance that expectation with cost and availability while also factoring in alternate suppliers and ingredients that can be swapped out should anything happen.
Designing a menu and fully costing it and then listing exact quantities of ingredients helps us only order what we need. This helps keeps cost but most importantly, waste down.
Inspection of deliveries
The companies that supply The Stone Grill are very good but we still inspect everything that arrives. With the best will in the world, sometimes goods arrive damaged or in a condition we cannot serve. Performing a quick inspection at the point of delivery does delay that delivery for a little while but also helps us maintain standards and reduce food waste.
It could be argued that refusing spoiled or damaged ingredients just pushes the problem to the producer. This is true to a point but that producer is often in a much better position to handle that waste sustainably by using it as pig feed or compost.
The final way we reduce food waste is with proper storage. Storing each ingredient in the most appropriate way, using clear labelling and strict stock rotation all help make sure we minimise food waste while delivering an excellent product. Checking freezers and refrigerators regularly, inspecting all stores daily and using ingredients in the correct order ensures we waste as little food as possible.
There is still a lot more we could do to help reduce food waste and once the changes to the restaurant have settled we will introduce them. In the meantime, we are committed to delivering a superior product in the most efficient and sustainable way possible.