Question: Aside from composting, do you have any advice on cutting down food waste in restaurants?

Answer: Consider re-strategizing the portion sizes your restaurant is serving in efforts to reduce food waste. In fact, offering different portion sizes has helped 15 small food businesses save both food waste and money over in London.


Food waste is a huge business, environmental and social responsibility for folks in the food service industry. With people become more aware of this dire situation, the government in London has started the awesome FoodSave project that is helping to prevent food waste and divert surplus food to good purposes.

“By March 2015 the project aims to support 240 food businesses in London, 100 of which will receive over 12 hours free support, to achieve a total of: over 1,000 tonnes of food wasted diverted from landfill and put to good use as far up the Food Waste Hierarchy as possible,” says Greater London Authority, “Over 150 tonnes of food waste prevented. Total savings of over £360,000 to businesses.”

In London, they’re addressing food waste at a municipal level as they’ve recognized that this could benefit the economy, the health of the people, contribute to sustainability and help businesses with profit.

“Offering different portion sizes, changing food types and monitoring food waste are all ways that can help cut food waste in the restaurant sector, an event to promote the London FoodSave Scheme heard last week,” reports

Strategizing portion size may sound simple but sometimes simplicity can lead to a solution in a complicated world.

Better portions can benefit both the business and the consumer

While we live in a society that suggests bigger is better — this concept is both contributing to food waste and poor health. BizEnergy had an opportunity to catch a nutritionist for her insight on strategizing portions in efforts to reduce the food waste situation:

“It’s definitely an interesting way to cut food waste. The obesity epidemic is growing in western countries including Canada so this would be an interesting area of study both looking at food waste and reducing our waistlines,” says Ashley Spegel, a nutritionist based in Toronto.

Of course, businesses may be concerned about shrinking their portions. After all, quantity is still something many people value.

“The only downfall is consumers may not be happy with their portions cut for them because they want to get the most food for their money when they’re dining out,” says Spegel, “But if you look at the portion sizes 30 years ago, we’re eating significantly more than before — because of this, it’s skewed the perception of proper portion size for consumers. As a result, restaurants feel like they need to appease customers by serving larger portion sizes.”

But re-strategizing portion sizes may work as a simple solution and can still better the food waste situation in the food service sector.

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