Powered by Google

Good practice

© radub85, #136241107, 2018, source: Fotolia.com

Low- and no-cost measures to reduce food thrown away

Materials, Waste, Carbon
Hotel and restaurant
Low cost
Payback time:
0 Year(s)
Read more
Resource savings: Waste:
Food waste observed was equivalent to 114 g per cover
Payback time:
Reducing food waste represents an instant win as its reduces input of raw materials with little or no investment required
Total cost savings:
There is the potential to reduce food waste which has been estimated to cost 25 cents (22 p) per cover
Premises and operation areas:
Supply operations
Size of company:
Small (less than 50)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:

Even top performers can learn how to further reduce food waste

  • Café fine-tunes its well-established practices that respect every part of the food system
  • It offers tips and interacts with everyone in the food chain for the best results  

The Penylan Pantry is a café that also sells organic fruit and vegetables, bread and other produce. It has a dedicated policy towards food waste and is scrupulous about using every part of its fresh, organic produce on its daily menu.

Despite this progressive approach to food and food waste, owner Melissa Boothman found using the 'Your Business Is Food; don't throw it away' (YBIF) materials very helpful to her business and enabled her to further improve waste minimising practices. New approaches adopted include portion size changes, take-out boxes and raising awareness of food waste issues with customers.

The café seeks to achieve a complete ‘food cycle’ by using stock and ‘just in time’ prepared meals to minimise food waste. Organic fruit and vegetables are brought into the front of shop from regular local suppliers for sale to counter customers each day. Café food prepping begins at 4 pm and the chef and her team select the produce from the shop rack and design the snacks, soups and salads for the next day’s short menu at the café. Local allotment holders bring excess produce for the chef to use in the café. She swaps bread and other foods with them to ensure nothing is wasted. Café coffee waste is taken for allotment compost.

Key impacts

Since checking café waste carefully within YBIF (Step 1), the chef has implemented an action plan (Step 2) and adapted portion sizes. They are now tailored according to the wishes of those who order. Take away ‘doggy boxes’, stocked for take-out salads, are now readily available for leftovers.

The chef wants to make the connection between ordering and consumption even more evident to her customers. In addition, a set of waste saving 'tips' was designed to help not only fellow businesses but also consumers with an interest in cooking at home. Stale bread can be made into breadcrumbs and given to the scotch egg supplier, cheese past its use-by date but still safe to eat can be re-used in dishes, and other tips.

Other food-service businesses are encouraged to try the YBIF three-day tracking sheet and calculator to give them insights into how much food they are throwing away and what it costs their business. For even more insights and detail, the seven-day tracking sheet over a month, with YBIF calculator tool helps calculate purchase costs and true waste cost values for each business. Access to the full suite of YBIF resources is available in the source information section.


“The resources are excellent, really easy to use, really easy to work through, and they’re great to use in staff meetings for staff training as well.” -- Melissa Boothman, owner, Penylan Pantry

Want to know if relevant support is offered in your country?