The number of meals typically consumed by Irish people outside of the home is increasing. As a result, food service (including hotels, workplace canteens, bars, restaurants, etc.) is becoming an ever more important sector in relation to food waste prevention in Ireland.

The main sources of food waste in this sector are typically related to:

  • Unused, outdated and damaged stock
  • Food uneaten by customers
  • Prepared but unserved food
  • Preparation waste
  • Food cooked/prepared improperly

There will always be a certain level of food waste associated with this sector. For this to be minimised, the main types of wasted food, and the reasons for generation, must be identified. While reasons will vary for different types of food service business some of the primary issues are:

  • Large portions
  • Over-ordering by customers
  • Issues with stock control leading to spoilage
  • Over-ordering by kitchen staff (e.g. just in case ordering)
  • Poor menu planning
  • Improper storage
  • Lack of communication internally and with customers
  • Poor preparation practices

Relevant resources

EPA Food Service Pathway to Less Food Waste – Measurement Matters

The EPA guide to measuring food waste in the hospitality sector. Measuring food waste doesn't have to be difficult, just use the information you already have to easily track your food waste. Learn how using your data can give you information on food waste volumes produced, the cost for your business, and how well your waste management system is working.

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EPA Food Service Pathway Food Waste Measurement Template

Download our easy to use food waste tracker. This Excel template uses data you already have to calculate how much food waste your hospitality business is producing, what it may be costing and how well your waste management system is working (xlsx file).

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Food Waste Fact Sheet

Food waste is a significant cost for any food service industry. Learn about some of the immediate actions you can take to reduce this cost for your business

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Water Conservation Fact Sheet

Information and actions for you to conserve water and reduce costs

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Waste Reduction Fact Sheet

Tips on how to manage and reduce your waste costs

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Energy Factsheet

Actions and tips for improving the energy efficiency and reducing costs in your business

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Toasty Savings

Savings of over €5,000 on toast - who'd have thought??

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Keenans staff lead the way

Keenan’s Restaurant in Tarmonbarry participated in a food waste prevention project facilitated by Roscommon County Council. The first thing they did was to measure and monitor their food waste and, thanks to staff led changes, the improvements were impressive and immediate.

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Food Waste Recording Sheet

This food waste recording sheet will assist you track and monitor the food waste generated by your business. By getting a more in depth understanding of where and when food waste is generated, you can identify ways to start improving.

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Food Waste Recording Spreadsheet

This spreadsheet will help you gather and analyse all the food waste information you gather when using the Food Waste Recording sheet. It will automatically collate all the information and provide you with easy to interpret graphs so you can identify the main areas that you can prevent food waste.

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