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Insight of the Day: Study identifies ways consumers and businesses can handle food waste in food service-businesses

Key Findings:

  • Food waste in the hospitality industry is a significant issue with economic, social, and environmental consequences.

  • Food waste "hotspots" vary across different types of food service businesses (FSBs). Fast-food restaurants experience more consumer-induced waste, while mid-to-high-end restaurants have more waste during preparation and cooking.

  • Businesses often perceive food waste as unavoidable due to ingrained social practices.

  • Both businesses and consumers can implement strategies to reduce food waste.

Key Takeaway:

Food waste in the hospitality industry is not inevitable and can be reduced through a combination of business and consumer-led initiatives targeting specific waste hotspots.


There's a growing recognition of the need to address food waste in the hospitality industry, with a focus on practical strategies for both businesses and consumers.


  • Businesses need to change their perception of food waste and invest in training, technology, and innovative strategies to reduce waste.

  • Consumers need to be more mindful of their food choices and adopt practices like ordering appropriate portions, taking leftovers home, and opting out of unwanted sides.

Implications for Brands:

  • Food Service Businesses:

  • Implement targeted waste reduction strategies based on the specific waste hotspots in their business.

  • Invest in employee training on food waste reduction techniques.

  • Adopt technology solutions for better inventory management and forecasting.

  • Offer flexible portion sizes and customizable dishes.

  • Encourage customers to take leftovers home.

  • Partner with food banks to donate surplus food.

  • Food Brands:

  • Collaborate with FSBs to develop and promote sustainable practices.

  • Offer products and packaging that help reduce food waste in restaurants and homes.

  • Educate consumers about the importance of reducing food waste and provide practical tips.

  • Other Brands:

  • Support initiatives that address food waste in the hospitality industry.

  • Incorporate food waste reduction messages into their sustainability campaigns.

  • Overall:

  • Brands can play a crucial role in raising awareness about food waste and empowering both businesses and consumers to take action. By promoting sustainable practices and offering solutions that help reduce food waste, brands can contribute to a more sustainable and equitable food system.


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