For every £1 invested in food waste reduction initiatives, hospitality businesses see a £7 return over three years, say the World Resources Institute (WRI) in their new report: The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste: Restaurants – regardless of market segment or geographic location. Fine dining or fish and chip shop, there are savings to be made.

The study, across 114 restaurants in 12 countries, provides crucial evidence for chefs and restaurateurs of the benefits of targeting and measuring food waste in hospitality businesses and acting on the results. The average participant site saw a decrease of two pence on every pound of cost of goods sold.

Outstanding businesses identified wastage hot-spots and prioritised action in those areas. By splitting food waste into categories such as prep, plate and spoilage, businesses were able to zone in and tackle inefficient practices.

As expected, staff engagement also drove high performance, with chef creativity a prime driver of managing and utilising surplus ingredients. The greatest financial opportunity was typically found to be in reducing the amount of waste food produced, but re-purposing surplus food and prep waste provides an opportunity to recapture money and nutrients.

The next steps? Target. Measure Act. Set ambitions and mobilise staff towards them. Measure waste, what’s measured is manageable. And what really matters is action against bad practice.

Read the report here and stay tuned for our focus on food waste this Spring.