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  • Writer's pictureBemali

Controlling Food Waste

Yesterday was Wesak Full moon poya day. A day in which the world celebrates and reminisces a Supreme human being who taught the value of giving, and detachment among his many other great teachings. Lord Buddha.

To show the gratitude and the compassion, many Buddhists offer food offerings in the name of Buddha as a religious routine. Sometimes these offerings can be so extravagant which leads to controversy as well.

Whilst the public had been sensitive to the latest News that Sri Lanka has become 2nd in South East Asia in terms of Malnutrition, some people started questioning whether it is still valid for people to make such great offerings in the name of religion, where majority of food can eventually go waste.

Despite the fact that questioning/ debating over a religion or a religious practice in cyberspace is a great way to get a short term adrenaline rush by bashing a complete unknown stranger/s (you will see this first hand if you read comments section of such a post), Food waste remains a real issue.

Food waste needs to be discussed and considered more broadly and contextually than simply criticizing a religious practice. It happens from the point where you serve yourself more food than you can eat to the point where farmers cultivate crops in excess to what the natural demand asks for. One third (1/3) of food go waste in a world where one in nine (1/9) people who do not have access to sufficient food. If the food waste is eliminated/ controlled it can easily fulfil the hunger of the entire world population with the existing resources.

Hotel and Restaurant industry alone creates a food waste of 350g per customer in average. It is nearly 35% of the total food that is sourced for catering. While ~40% of the food waste in unavoidable (which stems from removal of inedible parts such as bones/ skin/ coffee grounds), remainder can by reduced via proper administration. How many times have you visited a hotel for a fancy buffet dinner and wondered what happens to the food that is unconsumed? What happens to the expensive inventory bought by the restaurants once they go beyond the useable date? It goes to fill the landfills, or at its best to feed swine or generate bio gas.

This happens mainly due to inaccurate anticipation of the demand. In general, the head chef of the restaurant is responsible for anticipating the demand to prep food (poor chef is supposed to run numbers instead of creating culinary master pieces), which in turn indicates the amount of inventory to be sourced. However, this gut based measurements likely to go off, especially the chef is not experienced enough.

So the restaurateurs, Data from your POS alone is capable of control food waste for you. The Data clearly gives away the patterns and specifics of the demand, where you can plan your production and inventory, hence reducing the food waste. Not just it’s being responsible towards the society, it can greatly cut down your costs and improve the margins. It will improve your ability to run discount promotions without bleeding money for the sake of future sales.

Zkewed has a special module for quantifying food ingredient demands, targeting the small and medium hotels and restaurant chains.

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