How Stocktaking Apps Help to Reduce Food Waste in Restaurants

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How Stocktaking Apps Help to Reduce Food Waste in Restaurants

It’s no secret that food waste is a serious problem in the UK. In fact, Britain’s hospitality sector generates approximately 1 million tonnes of food waste annually. On top of this, it’s estimated that food wastage costs the hospitality industry around £3.2 billion every year - that’s around £10k per outlet! 

Food wastage in restaurants, bars, and pubs is one of the largest contributors to lost revenue. Ok…we get it. Enough with the doom and gloom! What’s a well-meaning, growth-hungry hospitality business to do to combat food waste eating into profitability?

Managing food waste is the most effective way to prevent unnecessary losses, while boosting operational efficiency. In this guide we’ll share how inventory management apps can prevent food waste, to unlock healthier margins and higher profits.

What is a food waste log? 

Your first step to better waste management is creating a food waste log. This is essentially a record of the type and amount of food and beverage items that can’t be sold because they’ve been wasted. This could be due to several reasons, including expiry, accidental breakage or spillage, incorrect ordering, staff usage or stock provided FOC. 

You can either track wastage by individual ingredients or by recipe. Regardless of which method you choose, it’s vital to have a food waste log your team can actively update to keep track of wasted stock and how much it’s costing you. 

There are two ways to do this: you can create a restaurant food waste log on paper and manually pen in all wastage. Or you can digitally log and track wasted stock via a stocktaking app that your entire team has access to.

How does a stocktaking app help reduce food waste in restaurants?

Sure, you’ve got the option of a pen-to-paper DIY logging strategy but, let’s be honest, that’s time-consuming. Not to mention tedious. How many wasted items are going to go unaccounted for because your staff are too busy to stop what they’re doing, head into the back room, open up the hefty log book, page to the right section and manually write it all down? 

“I’ll do it later” quickly becomes “Oops, I forgot”. 

Opting for a digital stocktaking app, accessible via smartphone, is a surefire way to track and log any wasted stock in seconds. Here are a few quick wins you can gain from utilising a stocktaking app like growyze:

1. Know where items are being wasted

We know it might sound cliche, but the adage still rings true: knowledge is power! If you want to reduce restaurant food waste, knowing where, how and why waste is occurring is vital. 

A stocktaking app centralises your logs of wasted inventory, giving you full visibility into the current state of your wastage. From there you can pinpoint trends and patterns and take action to implement changes that prevent future losses from occurring.

2. Identify how to improve operations

With the right data at your fingertips, you can identify where you need to do a little operational fine-tuning. Identifying where and how the wastage is happening will allow you to implement data-driven strategies to combat unnecessary waste. 

Is there an inordinate amount of breakage and spillage being recorded? It might be time to review and improve internal staff training procedures, or look into hiring additional staff.

Spoilage and expiry spoiling your returns? Adjusting food recipes to make them more profitable might be the quick win you need. Whether that’s swapping ingredients out for cheaper ones or replacing ones not being used enough that are expiring, making these little changes can result in a big margin and revenue recoup.

3. Order the right quantities of items

An all-too-common cause of food waste in restaurants is over-ordering of stock. Ordering more stock quantity than what’s selling tends to result in expired or spoiled goods. Again, this OFTEN comes down to a lack of visibility into stock sales and inventory movement. 

A stocktaking app (which then implements a stocktaking process) gives you the visibility you need to make better ordering decisions and improve your restaurant food waste management. 

Monitoring how frequently ingredients are being sold over time will help you order more accurate quantities of items. Also, the more accurate your stock ordering is, the lower your COGS. The lower your COGS, the higher your profit margins. Need we say more?

4. Prevent future losses

Logging food waste is not just about recording past and current losses, it’s about preventing future losses hurting your bottom line. Instead of reacting to food waste that has already happened, recording the data proactively helps you fight against future losses. The only way you can develop and implement prevention tactics and strategies is by assessing where waste has already occurred. 

Trying to prevent future losses without the right data to guide you is like trying to run your restaurant without the lights on to reduce overheads. It may seem more cost-effective initially, but will just end up costing you more in the long run (hello head-on collisions, broken dishes and spilled drinks. Not to mention less than delighted diners).

Build your prevention strategies from data, not from hunches or guesswork. Your future gross profit will thank you!


How growyze helps you to keep track of food waste

At growyze, our mission is to make your fight against food wastage a walk in the park. We’re an all-in-one stock management solution, armed with powerful features to simplify your inventory management. And yes, this includes recording and logging food waste as it happens in real time!

Say goodbye to costly mistakes and omissions in your waste logging. Your team can record food wastage on the go from their phones in two simple steps. Did we mention this takes seconds to do and they can do it from anywhere?

Step 1: Log the waste

  • Log into the growyze app and select “Stock” from the left hand menu. 
  • Under “Stock” click on “Waste” to view your list of waste items logged.
  • Click on “Add Waste”. You can either add it by scanning the item’s barcode or searching for it in the database.
  • Choose between “Items” to log a waste item and “recipes” to log an entire recipe (think meals, cocktails, etc.).

Step 2: Add the waste details 

If you selected “Items”:

  • Add the waste quantity (either by number, measurement or percentage).
  • Select a waste reason from the drop down menu.
  • Hit “Save” if it’s the only log for the day or hit “Save & Next” to add more.

If you selected “Recipes”:

  • Search and select the recipe within the database.
  • Enter the waste details as needed.
  • The recipe details will show the individual ingredients that make up the recipe in “Items” too.

It’s as easy as that! Your team can access, log, and delete waste from the convenience of their phones. No more “I’ll do it later” excuses. 

Just the data you need at your fingertips. Ready to boost gross profit and reduce costly waste. 

Don’t let your earnings go to waste - growyze is here to help 

Running a successful hospitality business, whether you’re a restaurant, caterer, pub or bar, is no easy feat. With growth and revenue scaling on your mind, the last thing you need is food waste hampering your profitability. 

We get you, and that’s why we’re here to help. We help you gather the data you need, along with in-depth reporting, so you can take swift, strategic action.

Book a demo to learn how growyze can simplify your stocktake, inventory management and ordering and give you the granular insights you need to eliminate unnecessary waste and expenditure.

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