It is true, the vast majority of good food is thrown away in private households, but restaurants, catering services and other bulk consumers like company canteens account for no less than 17 per cent. That offers huge potential for avoiding waste because better management along the value chain, different consumer behaviour and a change in marketing strategies would actually prevent most of that food from ending up in the bin.
In Germany, 313 kilograms of food still fit for human consumption end up in the bin every second. The food is thrown away even though resources, energy and wide areas of land were used, and greenhouse gases emitted, in order to produce it. And here comes the good news: It is very easy for every one of us to help cut this waste.
Well planned is half saved
The canteens at Krones’ main base in Neutraubling have translated this goal into successful reality: “We’ve achieved a great deal over the past two years, reducing food waste in the canteens and kiosks by about half,” says Roman Ebel, the manager of the Eurest company restaurant.
The steps taken to ensure that include:
- accurately checking the quantities when handing out meals
- using any leftover food as ingredients for different meals or as an optional side dish on the next day
- enabling staff to take lunch meals home
The latter gives all employees an opportunity to actively help avoid waste, by taking the food sold in the canteen at lunchtime home with them. “This take-away offer has been enthusiastically received by Krones staff. Returnable containers are offered for putting the food in, and most of our employees borrow these on payment of a one-off fee. Disposable paper packaging is also available, but that costs an extra 50 cents, constituting yet another incentive for staff to use the returnable-container system. We’ve noticed a marked decline in the number of paper boxes, cups and tubs ever since disposable packaging has been additionally charged,” says Roman Ebel.
The new concept has thus proved a resounding success because the take-away option not only enables employees to help cut food waste, it also provides them with a ready-to-eat warm meal at home.
We’ve reduced food waste in the canteens and kiosks by about half. Roman EbelManager of the company restaurant