Food Waste… Why you need an Inventory Procedure

Food Waste

Food waste is a growing issue for many businesses and one that is a continuously discussed in the hospitality space. But what many fail to realise is that poor management of stock will have a negative impact on your finances and here is why…
According to WRAP UK, in 2016, hospitality businesses contributed massively to the 10million tonnes of food waste produced in the UK, more than any other industry outside of manufacturing. This costs the sector £2.5billion each year. Furthermore, 60% of all food wasted could be easily avoided and monitored. With this in mind, under the Hospitality and Food Service Agreement (HaFSA) owned by WRAP and collectively delivered by signatories, two targets were set in place:

  • Prevention Target: To reduce food and associated packaging waste arising by 5% by the end of 2015. In January 2017, this was reduced by 11%, exceeding the target.
  • Waste Management target: Increase the overall rate of food and packaging waste recycled and sent to anaerobic digestion or composted to at least 70% by the end of 2015. This target was not met and in fact, the rate has increased by 14%.

WRAPUK have now set a 10-year plan, known as the Courtauld 2025, which will improve the sustainability of food waste in the UK. The aim is for a 20% reduction in food & drink waste to be made in the UK by this date.
The results indicate that not only does food waste contribute negatively to society, but it also has adverse effects on a business. Improper management of stock can be extremely expensive to a business, stagnate profits and promote underutilisation. Yet one way to control this is through implementing an effective food waste procedure. This can be done by:

  • Measuring and tracking your current wastage: If your businesses is currently not doing so, it is necessary that you monitor and track the amount of inventory ordered and food wasted, periodically. This will give you a strong indication of what areas need to be reviewed and accessed and give you an overall view of your spending.
  • Waste Mapping: On average, waste accounts for 4% of an entire business’ turnover. Waste mapping is a popular and growing concept for hospitality businesses as it allows you to access all the departments and where they may be ineffective. The mapping method allows you to plan and effectively monitor and review your business’ processes.
  • Introducing a waste management solution: Implementing a waste management procedure will allow you to better manage your inventory and reduce the amount of waste in your business. Ensuring that your employees are on board and are aware of the procedure will be a huge contributing factor to its success. Yet, introducing software like Vend can help you to monitor your:
  • Inventory Reporting
  • Stock orders
  • Order management

Software such as Vend allows you to effectively manage and monitor your inventory in real time whilst, automating your orders so you will never have enough or too little stock, making it easier to reduce levels of waste.

  • Food recycling: Food recycling is a great way to save your business money whilst helping the environment. Dispensing your food in landfills or failure to recycle can cost businesses thousands each year, yet recycling can help businesses saves thousands a year. Find out more about food recycling here:
  • Utilise cost saving resources: There are many cost saving resources that are available for businesses to utilise. Ensuring that you utilise your tax reliefs or allowances can help you save significantly on costs, and/or reviewing your supply chain process, can allow businesses to better stay on top of their expenditure.
  • Seeking Further advice: Reviewing your supply chain process and current expenditure can be a great way to see where the source of your waste is attributed to. Seeking financial advice from an accountant can be a great way to do this. Your accountant will be able to produce a range of reports that can allow you to see where you spend excessively and forecast your expenditure.

If you would like further information or advice on how you can reduce food waste from your hospitality business, contact