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  • Unused, outdated and damaged stock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

The ultimate guide – monitoring and measuring food waste

A guide produced by Resource Efficient Scotland


Champions 12.3: The Business Case for Reducing Food Waste


Food Waste Reduction Good Practice Guide

Food Wise Hong Kong Campaign gives a guide which can be customized to suit any business


Restaurant Guide to Waste Reduction and Recycling

The US Integrated Waste Management Board gives compelling ways on achieving resource effeciency


Food Waste = Money Waste

Prevent food waste at source, less food waste = more profit

play video

Purchasing And Stock Control

Failte Ireland's guide to help understand purchasing and stock control in a small business


Facts for restaurant, catering and hospitality staff

Zero Waste SA motivates to save money and save the planet by avoiding food to landfills

play video

Food Knowledge And Restaurants

A study of 200 restaurants throughout Ireland, commissioned by safefood.


Green Restaurant Association Education Video

Why it makes business sense to green your restaurant

play video

A Vision for Sustainable Restaurants

Chef Arthur Potts-Dawson shares his personal vision for a waste free restaurant

play video