According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food waste accounts for 30-40 percent of the nation’s food supply. It is a glaring issue not just in our society, but all around the world. Globally, about 1.3 billion tons of food a year, or one third of all food grown, is thrown out.

While Americans continue to look for ways to solve this issue, the foodservice industry can do its part to reduce its food waste. Here are a few tips for how these establishments can cut down on waste:

Donations – This solution not only reduces waste, but feeds the hungry in the process. Many bakeries and bakery-cafés look to package unsold bread and baked goods to be given to charitable organizations. For example, Panera Bread has a program called Day-End Dough-Nation, in which leftovers are donated to food pantries, food banks, soup kitchens, meals delivery programs, and other non-profits in local communities.

Repurposing – Day-old bakery goods can be reused in other menu items to save time and money. Sweet goods that remain unsold at the end of each day can be crumbled and used as toppings or mixtures in ice cream and other treats. Additionally, these unsold desserts could be reimagined as samples to entice customers into buying fresh products.

It’s not just sweet products that can be reimagined, however. See how Clayton Bakery and Café transforms day-old bagels into bagel chips which are included in its boxed lunches. They slice the bagels, season them, and bake them to make them crispy.


Change the Menu – You can look at what items are creating the most waste, see if they’re really worth keeping on the menu, and either make their portion sizes smaller or eliminate them from the menu. This can also help to cut costs which ultimately can make your business more successful.

You can see more tips for restaurant food waste at Small Business Trend’s website. SimpleOrder, a restaurant inventory management software, recently shared ideas on how to cut down on food waste in a small restaurant.