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  • Unused, outdated and damaged stock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

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


Water Conservation Fact Sheet

Information and actions for you to conserve water and reduce costs


Waste Reduction Fact Sheet

Tips on how to manage and reduce your waste costs


Energy Factsheet

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


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.


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.


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.


Wedding and catering food waste reduced by almost 40%

By applying a number of improvement options based on food waste data gathering, food waste generated per person served was reduced by almost 37% in just 2 months. This was equivalent to a reduction of 5 tonnes of food waste per annum.


Food waste reduced by over 30% in Irish hotel

As part of the Green Hospitality Programme one member hotel examined the food waste generated during wedding events in detail. Through using the results a number of targeted improvements were made resulting in food waste reductions of over 30%.