the sra works with many pubs to improve their sustainability. find out how the roebuck measure their success FROM The Roebuck’s Sustainability Coordinator, Clare Clark
What made you focus on food waste?
Reducing food waste simply makes sense. For business and sustainability. Our team were already passionate about it. We were already taking steps towards reduction. We were given the opportunity to take part in the SRA’s FoodSave programme a few years ago and this confirmed we were on the correct path, enabling us to take things further.
What is your food waste solution and how does it overcome the issue?
Our solution is to measure waste, anecdotally and numerically. Our team are aware of waste when prepping and consider waste as part of the menu development process. Floor staff feed back if there has been a particularly wasteful dish on the menu.
Each service, we weigh the bins. At regular meetings we review these findings and look for solutions. Examples include new menu items, team meals that utilise surplus, a change in portion size (or offering two different sizes) and changing the way we prepare dishes. We re-measure. The team feed back and we compare this with our waste figures.
What have the results been?
Resulting from our food waste reduction solutions, less food goes in the bin. We have better GP’s. Our team have become more skilled and feel empowered to be more creative from looking at ways to utilise surplus ingredients. Our head chef has featured in a food waste book. We spend less money on food waste collections. On top of this we are able to support charities such as Plan Zheroes by supplying them with full meals. We have also been introduced to other like-minded businesses to learn from and support.
Who from a restaurant needs to be involved?
The whole team have their part to play. It helps to have drivers leading for both Front of House (FOH) and Back of House (BOH). We do this by having a Green Team that lead on solutions and management. We include a section on food waste in the staff induction to involve the whole team.
“we suggest starting WITH measuring, then get management buy in.”
How can other foodservice businesses achieve these results?
To work this into a business, we suggest starting with measuring, then get management buy in.
We were able to engage the company directors at an early stage when we got involved with the FoodSave initiative. By beginning to measure our waste and attribute a monetary value to it, when we wanted to make it part of long term daily practice it was simple to do so. Now we use the free WRAP ‘Your Business Is Food’ toolkit to measure our waste, which means anyone can start.