Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

MAR 2018

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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96 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • MARCH 2018 WASTE MANAGEMENT SERIES Repurposing Food Simply switching from a large-scale, batch-cooking opera- tion to a from-scratch, small-batch process can cut down on overproduction. During its waste evaluation process, Reid Health discov- ered that while a lot of leftover boneless chicken was re-used for entrees like General Tso's chicken or sliced into strips for fajita chicken strips, even those pieces were often wasted. "Chicken strips are the number one seller in the cafe, and we used to just fry bag after bag. Even at the end of a meal period we'd throw a whole bag in," Ankeny says. "Now, we have our staff fry in much smaller batches, and we hold them accountable by having them fill out a form if they have fried more than what was needed." Ankeny also switched from purchasing 25-pound bulk boxes of pre-steamed vegetables to 2-pound frozen bags. Reid Health now uses combi ovens to steam the vegetables in preparation for serving. The result was less waste, as intend- ed, but an added benefit was better-tasting veggies. Smaller batch cooking has also led to $1,000 savings in mashed potato waste over the course of just two months, she says. Menu Downsizing Editing a menu to focus on a handful of solid dishes, rather than an overly wide variety, can also help prevent food waste. Following this plan, Reid Health shrunk the hot bar cycle menu from four weeks to two; soup offerings from three to two, and cookie varieties from seven to four. Customers don't seem to mind the reduced offerings, Ankeny says, given that they can also choose from a brick fire pizza station, a salad bar, grill station and chef's table, which still follow a four-week cycle. The team has also reprioritized food waste, which now takes priority above the chance of running out of product and indicates a mindful approach to reduce inventory and the risk of having to throw out expired food. "We're also looking at bringing in less product, more often," Ankeny says. Staff Incentives While holding staff members accountable for overproduction can help reach reduction goals, incentivizing helps build a more longstanding culture around food waste. As part of its "Help us Get to Zero Waste" promotion in- tended to jumpstart waste management efforts, Reid Health gave out a Zero candy bar to every staff member who tracked food waste. "You can't be perfect — there is always going to Food costs have dropped nearly 7 percent since Reid Health began its food waste management efforts. FOUR STEPS TO SOURCE REDUCTION 1. Measure — Track food waste to note overproduction areas. 2. Analyze — Understand the financial impact of overproduction and measured food waste. 3. Optimize — Set and achieve food waste goals using real-time and analyzed information and feedback. 4. Empower — Train staff to minimize food waste and set company goals and standard operating procedures around this culture. Source: LeanPath

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