Pilot scheme supported by the Mayor Boris Johnson, is now being opened up to 200 new entrants after helping 15 of London’s small food businesses save more than £100,000 a year and prevent 70 tonnes of food – the equivalent of 550 large loaves of bread – from going to waste.
Under the FoodSave scheme, one of the businesses, The Imperial in south west London, is on track to save £10,000 and prevent almost one tonne of food waste a year by offering different portion sizes, measuring out sides in cups and using leftover inventory for their soup of the day and special menu items.
Research by WRAP indicates that more than 1.3bn meals are wasted annually in UK’s hospitality and food service sector.
Food Save results from the first 15 businesses taking part show average annual savings of over £6,000 in direct food costs and a reduction of 1.6 tonnes of actual food waste, equivalent to two dozen 180 litre bins
Two of the business are predicted to save over £10,000, with one expected to save a huge £24,000.
200 more small food businesses are invited to apply for the free scheme, which is funded by the Mayor of London, European Regional Development Fund and London Waste and Recycling Board and being delivered by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) and Sustain.
The Mayor’s Environment Adviser, Matthew Pencharz visited the Imperial Gastro Pub on Kings Road to see the waste reduction methods they have introduced (pictured).
He said: “With FoodSave cafes, pubs and restaurants are learning simple ways to reduce the amount of food they throw away and saving thousands of pounds in the process. The Mayor now wants hundreds more businesses to get on board this great free scheme and help us dramatically reduce food waste across the city.”
Victoria Moorhouse, Senior Operations Manager at the Sustainable Restaurant Association said: “FoodSave is making very good progress towards its ultimate target to divert more than 1,000 tonnes of food waste from landfill, reduce over 150 tonnes of food waste and save businesses over £350,000.
Victoria Moorhouse, Sustainable Restaurant Association – “FoodSave is making very good progress towards its ultimate target to divert more than 1,000 tonnes of food waste from landfill, reduce over 150 tonnes of food waste and save businesses over £350,000″
“The power of what we are doing with FoodSave is measuring the impact that these interventions make to food waste and the resulting cost savings. By making staff aware of what they are throwing away and how this impacts the bottom line helps to shape behaviour change and this is the key to making change last. The lessons we learn will help us to drive down food waste across the UK hospitality sector, saving businesses money while also diverting waste from landfill.”
The Sustainable Restaurant Association team work with technology partner Winnow to run detailed food waste audits for restaurants, hotels, pubs, quick service restaurants and canteens to analyse the food waste they produce.
The Winnow system measures the real time weight and cost of food waste across different food waste types (spoilage, preparation and customer plate waste). The SRA then works with the catering teams to find ways of reducing food waste and tracking this over time.
WRAP estimates that the average annual cost of food waste for hospitality and food service outlets is £10,000 and that three quarters of food wasted in the sector could have been eaten.
Food Save works with small restaurants, canteens, hotels, pubs, quick-service food outlets, street-food vendors, food manufacturers, food retailers and wholesalers.