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Insight of the Day: Waste not, want not: Changing the collective mindset on food waste

Findings:

  • Conflicting Perceptions: Stakeholders (managers, employees, consumers) have different views on who is responsible for food waste and how to address it.

  • Normalized Waste: Food waste is ingrained in the industry due to unpredictable demand, with practices like bulk ordering and over-preparation being the norm.

  • Waste Hotspots Vary: Waste occurs at different stages depending on the type of establishment, with fast food wasting more due to consumption and high-end restaurants wasting more during preparation.

  • Embedded Practices: Deeply rooted social practices and beliefs make food waste a default phenomenon.

Key Takeaway:

Food waste in the hospitality industry is a complex issue with no single solution. It requires a holistic approach that addresses the root causes, including conflicting perceptions, normalized waste, and deeply embedded practices.

Trend:

Despite increased awareness and various action plans, food waste in the hospitality industry continues to rise. This is due to the deeply ingrained nature of food practices and the challenge of changing long-standing behaviors.

Conclusions:

  • Addressing food waste requires collaboration among all stakeholders, including businesses, consumers, and policymakers.

  • Technology and innovative solutions can play a role in reducing waste, but changing mindsets and behaviors is crucial.

  • A holistic approach that addresses the root causes of food waste is essential for long-term success.

Implications for Brands:

  • Brands need to recognize the growing consumer demand for sustainability and take proactive steps to reduce food waste.

  • Transparency and communication about food waste reduction efforts can enhance brand reputation and build trust with consumers.

  • Implementing effective waste reduction strategies can lead to cost savings and operational efficiencies.

  • Embracing a sustainable approach to food waste can position brands as leaders in the industry and attract environmentally conscious consumers.

By understanding the findings of this research and implementing the recommended strategies, brands can effectively address food waste and contribute to a more sustainable future for the hospitality industry.

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