Jak zmniejszyć marnowanie żywności w Twojej restauracji

Na wpół zjedzony sznycel wiedeński, niezliczona ilość cytryn i natki pietruszki do ozdabiania steków, cała partia miseczek kremu bawarskiego z jagodami – to tylko niektóre z wielu rzeczy, które musiałam wyrzucić, gdy pracowałam w lokalnej restauracji podczas wakacji. W rzeczy samej, restauracje odpowiadają za znaczną część odpadów spożywczych w łańcuchu dostaw. Badania pokazują, że z każdego posiłku serwowanego w restauracji 200 gramów jedzenia jest marnowane! W samej Wielkiej Brytanii straty finansowe wynikające z marnowania żywności wynoszą 682 miliony funtów rocznie.

W jaki sposób restauracje mogą produkować mniej odpadów spożywczych? W tym artykule przedstawię kilka kluczowych działań, które wspierają bardziej świadome obchodzenie się z żywnością w restauracjach, tym samym zwiększając zadowolenie klientów i oszczędzając pieniądze!

Po pierwsze: często podkreśla się znaczenie właściwego sortowania i kompostowania odpadów spożywczych. Jest to pierwszy krok w kierunku odseparowania ich od innych typów odpadów oraz uniknięcia wysyłania ich do spalarni odpadów lub na składowisko.

Dla skutecznej strategii zmniejszenia odpadów kluczowe znaczenie ma zaangażowanie zespołu, zwłaszcza tych pracowników, którzy działają na pierwszej linii, przygotowując posiłki lub wchodząc w interakcje z klientami. Często to właśnie kucharze i kelnerzy wpadają na najlepsze pomysły jak ograniczyć marnowanie żywności, ponieważ bezpośrednio widzą, gdzie codziennie marnują się produkty.

Motywuj swoich pracowników do dokładnego mierzenia i kategoryzowania odpadów. Pomoże Ci to oszacować, czy Twoja polityka ograniczenia marnotrawienia żywności funkcjonuje dobrze i gdzie potrzebne są dalsze zmiany.

Ważna jest nie tylko zwykła segregacja odpadów organicznych, ale również bardziej szczegółowe zbieranie danych, które pomoże Ci skupić się na obszarach, w których można wprowadzić ulepszenia. Prostą strategią zbierania danych sugerowaną przez WRAP jest podział odpadów na odpady z przygotowania potraw, żywność przeterminowaną oraz odpadki z talerzy klientów. Zazwyczaj zaleca się zbieranie danych na temat odpadów spożywczych w restauracji na przestrzeni co najmniej jednego miesiąca w celu określenia największych źródeł odpadków.

To pozwoli Ci określić który z poniższych sposobów zmniejszenia odpadów żywnościowych jest odpowiedni dla Twojej restauracji.

 

Mniejsze straty w przygotowaniu żywności (45%)

 

Restauracje w Wielkiej Brytanii wytwarzają największą ilość odpadów spożywczych podczas przygotowywania żywności. Resztki z przygotowania potraw w kuchni nie zawsze są niejadalne: stosując kilka prostych sztuczek, możesz ograniczyć marnotrawstwo żywności, obniżyć koszty i wzbogacić swoje menu.

 

Używaj składników świadomie

Kiedy potrzebujesz dziesięciu białek na jedno ze swoich ciastek, co zrobisz z pozostałymi żółtkami? Zamiast po prostu je wyrzucać, zastanów się nad wykorzystaniem ich do innego przepisu, np. gnocchi, lub dostosuj swój obecny przepis tak, aby podczas przygotowywania potrawy wytwarzać mniej odpadów.

Spróbuj kreatywnie wykorzystać składniki, których nie możesz użyć w jednym przepisie, np. gdy masz dużo resztek skórki chleba, zrób z nich chipsy lub bułkę tartą!

 

Wykorzystuj każdą część produktu

Jest to jedno z kluczowych podejść mających na celu zmniejszenie ilości odpadów z przygotowywania potraw: zamiast wyrzucać skórki i liście warzyw, takich jak marchew, seler i cebula, można je ponownie wykorzystać do zrobienia pysznej bazy pod sos. Możesz wtedy pominąć kupno popularnych produktów, takich jak bulion warzywny, podnosząc tym samym jakość swojej restauracji, która serwuje klientom zdrowsze i świeższe potrawy.

Możesz również ponownie wykorzystać skórkę cytryny lub pomarańczy do aromatyzowania deserów lub przygotowania konfitury. Jednakże, w celu ponownego wykorzystania całych owoców i warzyw zalecamy kupowanie tylko produktów ekologicznych! Skórka tradycyjnie uprawianych owoców i warzyw zawiera pozostałości pestycydów, które nie powinny trafić ani na talerz klienta, ani do kompostu. Na początku może się to wydawać droższym rozwiązaniem, ale jeśli zdecydujesz się na składniki organiczne, możesz ograniczyć marnotrawstwo żywności i poprawić smak swoich potraw.

Przy przygotowywaniu potraw zawierających mięso lub owoce morza, używaj ich w całości! Kurczak składa się nie tylko z piersi. Nawet, jeśli kucharze w Twojej restauracji jeszcze tego nie wiedzą, możesz pokazać im jak pyszne są te rzadziej używane części zwierząt.

 

Doszkalaj swoich pracowników i zapewniaj im dobry sprzęt

Dobrze pracujący personel kuchenny działający jako zespół jest kluczowy nie tylko dla dobrej obsługi w momentach gdy restauracja jest pełna! Dobry zespół kuchenny popełnia również mniej błędów w przygotowaniu posiłków, co prowadzi do mniejszego marnotrawstwa żywności.

Na przykład specjalne narzędzia tnące do warzyw pozwalają zmniejszyć ilość odpadów i ułatwiają pracę. Dla wprowadzenia zmian niezwykle ważna jest rozmowa! Często pracownicy kuchni sami bardzo dobrze wiedzą, gdzie znajdują się największe możliwości zmniejszenia ilości odpadów podczas przygotowywania żywności.

 

Przygotowuj swoje dania “na zamówienie” lub przygotowuj mniejsze ilości

W zależności od koncepcji Twojej restauracji, możliwe jest dostosowanie sposobu przygotowywania posiłków: jeśli gotujesz każdy posiłek na zamówienie, możesz z łatwością uniknąć resztek! Pozwala to również na dostosowanie dań do indywidualnych potrzeb i uniknięcie jeszcze większych strat jedzenia (patrz poniżej).

Jeśli musisz przygotować pewne dania wcześniej, takie jak “Danie Dnia”, śledź codziennie zamawiane ilości składników i staraj się przygotować tylko taką ilość jedzenia, jaką możesz rzeczywiście sprzedać.

Aplikacje takie jak “Too-Good-To-Go” mogą pomóc Ci sprzedać resztki na koniec dnia. Inną opcją jest współpraca z organizacjami charytatywnymi, które mają możliwość redystrybuować przygotowane jedzenie dla ludzi w potrzebie. Pozwala to na wsparcie inicjatyw społecznych i znaczne zmniejszenie marnowanej żywności.

 

Niższe marnotrawstwo żywności (21%)

 

Sprawdzaj na bieżąco swoje zapasy

Śledzenie zapasów zajmuje dużo czasu, który można wykorzystać bardziej produktywnie. Niemniej jednak jest to ważne nie tylko z finansowego punktu widzenia, ale także po to, aby zapobiec nadmiarowi lub braku zapasów. Narzędzia cyfrowe, takie jak nasza aplikacja, pomagają w prostym śledzeniu zapasów w magazynie, oszczędzając czas i pieniądze!

 

Prawidłowo przechowuj swoje składniki

Dzięki odpowiedniemu przechowywaniu w lodówce, piwnicy lub na półce w kuchni, można przechowywać różne rodzaje owoców i warzyw dłużej i zapobiegać powstawaniu odpadów. Szczegółowe wskazówki dotyczące przechowywania można znaleźć w specjalistycznych poradnikach, takich jak ten.

Nie tylko przy świeżych owocach i warzywach, ale także w przypadku wszystkich składników, podejście First-in-First-out (najstarsze produkty wykorzystujemy w pierwszej kolejności) jest kluczowe dla uniknięcia marnotrawienia żywności!

 

Zamawiaj mądrze

Zwłaszcza w przypadku składników takich jak owoce, warzywa i mięso, ważne jest, aby nie przesadzać z ilością zamówionych produktów. Jeśli często obserwujesz odpady z danego produktu, rozważ zakup mniejszych ilości lub przechowywanie go w inny sposób. Cyfrowe narzędzia pomagają również w mądrym składaniu zamówień, ponieważ gromadzą wiele danych dotyczących przechowywania produktów, przedstawiając je w wykresach, które są łatwe do zrozumienia dla Ciebie i Twoich pracowników.

 

Planuj z wyprzedzeniem, ale pozwól na spontaniczność

Jeśli masz dzienne menu, zaplanowanie go z dużym wyprzedzeniem pomoże Ci uniknąć marnotrawienia żywności i wykorzystania składników, których nie możesz już dłużej przechowywać. Rozważ również dostosowanie pozycji menu do sezonowych dań tematycznych, np. stwórz kilka pozycji menu na podstawie ziemniaków.

Jeśli pasuje to do koncepcji Twojej restauracji, pozwól również na spontaniczność, aby Twoi kucharze mogli ponownie wykorzystać produkty, których nie można już dłużej przechowywać. Na przykład, chleb, który jest zbyt suchy do koszyka na pieczywo, może być ponownie wykorzystany jako dodatek do sałatek!

 

Mniej resztek z talerzy klientów (34%)

 

Rozważ możliwość oferowania różnych rozmiarów porcji

Kiedy pracowałam w austriackiej restauracji serwującej tradycyjną kuchnię, ludzie często komplementowali naszą golonkę “Była pyszna, ale to za dużo, żeby ją zjeść całą!”. Wdrożone przez nas rozwiązanie polegało na zaoferowaniu mniejszej porcji, w ramach której naszym gościom podawano tylko jedną golonkę zamiast dwóch. Pomogło nam to zmniejszyć ilość odpadów z tego dania.

Oznaczenia w menu lub uwagi kelnerów, takie jak “dobra dla dwojga”, “dobra do dzielenia się”, “przekąska między posiłkami” również pomagają klientowi zdecydować, ile należy zamówić. Przy podawaniu menu dla dzieci poproś obsługę o zwrócenie uwagi na wiek dziecka: maluch zazwyczaj zjada mniejsze danie niż dzieci w wieku około 10 lat.

W celu oszacowania, czy potrzebne są różne wielkości porcji lub ogólne zmniejszenie wielkości poszczególnych dań, należy zaangażować się w dyskusję z personelem obsługi! Otrzymują oni bezpośrednio opinie od klientów i dlatego najlepiej wiedzą, które dania generują najwięcej resztek.

 

Podawaj dokładne opisy menu

Zamiast nazw potraw, niektóre restauracje wymieniają tylko ich składniki. Oczywiście nie jest to odpowiednie dla każdej koncepcji, jednak dzięki takiej przejrzystości, klienci mają szansę dowiedzieć się czy w potrawie znajdują się produkty, których nie mogą zjeść lub których nie lubią. Niech personel obsługi lub wydrukowane menu informuje gości o składnikach i w razie potrzeby zaproponuje alternatywne rozwiązania.

Ponadto symbole dań wegetariańskich, wegańskich, bezglutenowych, bezmlecznych, itp. pomogą klientowi łatwo znaleźć danie, które pasuje do jego diety, i zapobiec rozczarowaniu.

 

Przemyśl ozdabianie potraw

Pomidor, cytryna czy kawałek pietruszki lub rozmarynu wyglądają ładnie na talerzu i dodają do niego trochę koloru. Często jednak stają się one resztkami po zakończeniu posiłku przez klienta. Dobrym pomysłem może być ponowne przemyślenie ozdabiania i wykonanie go z jadalnych składników. Na przykład, konsumenci wolą zjeść dekoracje owocowe lub sos jagodowy polany na Twój deser czekoladowy zamiast ziół lub miechunek – mimo że oba wyglądają dobrze!

Równie ważne dla barmanów są przemyślane ozdoby w barmaństwie: czy naprawdę potrzebujesz tego plasterka cytryny do swojego drinka? Najczęściej klienci po prostu wypijają swój drink i zostawiają dodane do niego zioła lub owoce cytrusowe. A one się marnują. Spróbuj użyć zamiast tego jadalnych dekoracji lub wymyśl alternatywne atrakcje wizualne do swojego drinka! Kiedyś podano mi drink bez żadnych owoców, ale z ogromnym kawałkiem lodu w środku, który od razu przykuł moją uwagę. Kelner wyjaśnił mi, że jest to lepsze dla całego doświadczenia smakowego niż małe kawałki lodu, ponieważ nie rozcieńcza drinka tak szybko. Co więcej, drink wyglądał naprawdę intrygująco, a ja w ogóle nie tęskniłam za owocową dekoracją!

 

Dostosuj swoje potrawy dając opcje dodatków

Klienci lubią personalizować swoje potrawy! Daj im taką możliwość! Dając im tylko jedną opcję, ludzie często zapominają poprosić o pominięcie składnika, który im nie smakuje. Zamiast tego, zbyt często staje się on resztką na ich talerzu, zwiększając niepotrzebne marnotrawstwo żywności.

Inny przykład: kiedy chciałam zamówić hamburgera w restauracji, mogłam dostać tylko frytki jako dodatek. Możliwość zamówienia sałatki lub pieczonych ziemniaków pomogłaby mi w spersonalizowaniu zamówienia i uniknięciu marnotrawstwa żywności.

Dobrym przykładem dania na zamówienie jest tajskie Curry z kokosa: jako bazę można zaoferować roślinne źródło białka, np. tempeh lub tofu, a także odmiany mięsa lub owoców morza. Jako dodatki można oferować także różne rodzaje ryżu (biały, brązowy i czarny).

Rozważ również oferowanie sosów i dressingów jako dodatków, aby klient mógł wybierać pomiędzy różnymi rodzajami sosów odpowiednich do swojego steku lub sałatki.

 

Oferuj pakowanie resztek

Niektórzy klienci proszą o zapakowanie resztek na wynos, gdy nie mogą dokończyć posiłku. Dzięki temu jedzenie nie idzie na marne, a klienci mogą dokończyć pyszny posiłek w domu! Zachęcaj ludzi do przynoszenia własnych pojemników, aby oszczędzali na odpadach i zmniejszali koszty. W przeciwnym razie zdecyduj się na bardziej zrównoważone i ekologiczne opakowania, np. wybieraj pudełka papierowe lub plastikowe pojemniki wielokrotnego użytku zamiast styropianu i folii aluminiowej.

 

Opłata za resztki

Zazwyczaj ta polityka jest stosowana tylko w restauracjach z bufetem, ponieważ ludzie sami wybierają tam wielkość porcji. W tej sytuacji uważamy, że opłata za resztki jest dobrym pomysłem, aby uświadomić klientom, jak bardzo przyczyniają się do marnowania żywności. Nawet jeśli płacą oni stałą cenę za posiłek “zjedz-ile-możesz”, nie oznacza to, że powinni celować w “zmarnuj-ile-możesz”! Dostarczaj dokładne opisy i szkol swój personel, aby informował gości o składnikach i metodach przygotowania produktów w Twoim bufecie.

To były nasze najlepsze wskazówki dotyczące redukcji ilości odpadów spożywczych w restauracjach. Nie wahaj się powiedzieć nam o pozytywnych zmianach, które wprowadziłeś dzięki nim! Czy masz jakieś inne strategie zmniejszenia ilości odpadów spożywczych, którymi możesz się z nami podzielić? Skomentuj nasz artykuł, chętnie z Tobą porozmawiamy!

How to reduce Food Waste in your Restaurant

A half-eaten Wiener Schnitzel, an infinite amount of lemons and parsley garnishes accompanying steaks, a whole batch of Bavarian Cream bowls with blueberries – these were only a few of the many items that I had to throw away when I was working in a local restaurant during my summer holidays. In fact, restaurants account for a remarkable share of food waste in the supply chain. Studies show that 200 grams of food per meal served in a restaurant is wasted! In the UK alone, financial losses due to food waste amount to 682 million pounds each year.

How can restaurants produce less food waste? In this article, I will outline a few key features that support a more conscious handling of food in restaurants, adding to customer satisfaction and saving money! 

First things first: the importance of properly sorting and composting food waste is often emphasized. It is the first step in order to divert it from other waste streams and to preserve it from going to waste incineration or to the landfill. 

For a successful food waste reduction strategy, it is crucial that you involve your team, especially those at the forefront preparing the meals or interacting with the customer. Often, cooks and waiters can come up with the best ideas on how to reduce food waste as they directly see where food is wasted every day. 

Motivate your employees to accurately measure and categorize waste. This helps you to find out whether your food waste reduction policies work well and where you need further adaptations.

Not mere separation of organic waste, but more detailed data collection helps you focus on areas of improvement.  A simple data collection strategy suggested by WRAP is the division of your waste into food preparation waste, spoilage and customer’s plate waste. Usually, it is recommended to collect data on food waste in your restaurant for at least one month in order to identify the highest levers for food waste reduction.

This enables you to see which of the following measures for food waste reduction is suitable for your restaurant. 

 

Lower food preparation waste (45%)

 

Restaurants in the UK create the highest amount of food waste during food preparation. The food waste created in the kitchen isn’t always inedible: with some simple tricks, you can cut your food preparation waste, lower your costs and enrich your menu.

 

Use ingredients consciously

When you need ten egg whites for one of your cakes, what will you do with the remaining egg yolks? Instead of just throwing them away, consider using them for another recipe, e.g. gnocchi, or adapt your current recipe so you create less waste when making the dish. 

Try to creatively repurpose ingredients that you cannot use in one recipe, for example when you have a lot of bread crust leftovers, make bread chips or bread crumbs from them! 

 

Root to leaf & nose-to-tail

This is one of the most important approaches in order to lower preparation waste: instead of throwing away the peel and leaves of vegetables such as carrots, celery and onions, you can reuse them to make a delicious fond. You can then skip buying convenience products such as vegetable stock, upgrading the dining experience for your customers that are now served with healthier and fresher food.  

Also, you can repurpose the peel of lemons or oranges, using them to flavour desserts or prepare confiture. However, for repurposing the whole fruits and vegetables we recommend to only buy organic produce! The peel of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables contains pesticide residues that should neither end up on the plate of your customer nor in the compost. It might seem costlier at first, but you can reduce food waste and upgrade the taste experience of your diners when you opt for organic ingredients. 

When preparing dishes with meat and seafood, use all of it! A chicken does not only consist of chicken breast. Even if your diners do not know it yet, you can show them how delicious the less common parts of an animal are. 

 

Train your employees and provide them with good equipment

Kitchen staff working well as a team is crucial not only for a good service experience when your restaurant is full! A good kitchen team also makes fewer mistakes in food preparation leading to less food waste. 

Special cutting tools for vegetables, for example, support them in reducing the amount of waste and make their work easier. For the implementation of changes, conversation is of utmost importance! Often, kitchen employees know very well themselves where they have the highest levers to reduce waste when preparing food. 

 

Prepare your dishes “on-the-spot” or prepare smaller quantities

Depending on the concept of your restaurant, it might be possible to adapt your mode of food preparation: if you cook every meal per order, you can avoid leftovers the easiest way! This also enables you to customize dishes and to avoid even more food waste (see below). 

If you need to prepare certain dishes such as “Today’s Special”, keep track of the ordered quantities every day and do your best to only prepare the amount of food that you can actually sell.

Apps like Too-Good-To-Go can help you sell leftovers at the end of the day. Another option is working together with charities that can redistribute prepared food to people in need. This enables you to support a social cause and lowers your food waste considerably. 

 

Lower spoilage waste (21%)

 

Keep good track of your inventory

Keeping track of your inventory takes a lot of time that you could use more productively. Nevertheless, it is important not only from a financial point of view but also to prevent over- or underordering. Digital tools such as our app support you in keeping track of your inventory in a less complicated way, saving time and money alike!

 

Store your raw ingredients properly

If appropriately stored in a fridge, cellar or kitchen shelf, you can keep different types of fruits and vegetables longer and prevent waste. For detailed storage tips, refer to specialized guides such as this one.

Not only for fresh fruits and vegetables but for all your raw materials, the First-in-First-out approach is crucial in order to avoid food waste!

 

Order wisely

Especially regarding raw ingredients such as fruits, vegetables and meat, it is important not to over-order. If you frequently observe spoilage waste for a particular product, consider buying smaller amounts or storing it in a different way. Digital tools also support you to order wisely as they gather a lot of data regarding storage in charts that are easy to understand for you and your employees.

 

Plan ahead but allow for spontaneity

If you have a daily menu, planning it well in advance helps you avoid food waste and use ingredients that cannot be stored any longer. Also, consider adapting menu items to offer seasonal theme dishes, e.g. several menu positions with a potato basis. 

If it fits the concept of your restaurant, also allow for spontaneity so your cooks can reuse products that cannot be stored much longer. For example, bread that is too dry for the breadbasket can be repurposed to croutons as an add-on for salads!

 

Lower customer’s plate waste (34%)

 

Consider offering different portion sizes

When I was working in an Austrian restaurant serving traditional cuisine, people often complimented our pork knuckle with “It was delicious, but it is just too much to finish!” The solution we implemented was to offer a smaller portion where our guests were served with only one pork knuckle instead of two. This helped us lower the waste for this particular dish. 

Also, indications on the menu or waiters’ remarks such as “good for two”, “good for sharing”, “between-meal treat” help the customer decide how much to order. When serving a children’s menu, ask your service personnel to pay attention to the age of the child: a toddler will typically finish a smaller dish than children aged around 10. 

In order to ascertain whether different portion sizes or a general downsizing of a particular dish are needed, engage in discussions with your service personnel! They directly get the feedback from customers and therefore know best which items have most leftovers.

 

Provide accurate menu descriptions

Instead of the dishes’ names, some restaurants have already started listing only the ingredients. Of course, this is not suitable for every concept. However, this transparency gives your customers the chance to find out whether there are products in the dish that they cannot eat or do not like. Let your service personnel or the printed menu inform your guests about ingredients and offer alternatives, if necessary.

Also, symbols for vegan/vegetarian dishes, dishes free from gluten and dairy etc. help your customer easily find a dish that suits his/her diet and prevents disappointing experiences.

 

Rethink your garnish

A tomato, a lemon and a chunk of parsley or rosemary look nice on a plate and add some colour to it. However, they frequently become leftovers after your customer has finished the meal. It might be a good idea to rethink the garnish and make it edible instead. For example, consumers prefer to eat some fruit decoration or berry sauce sprinkled over your chocolate dessert instead of herbs or physalis – even though both look good! 

Rethinking garnish is equally important for bartenders: do you really need that slice of lemon in your cocktail? Most frequently, consumers will just drink their cocktail and neglect any herbs or citrus fruits in it. They go to waste. Try to use edible garnishes instead or come up with alternative visual attractions for your cocktail! Once, I was served a cocktail without any fruits but a huge chunk of ice in the middle that caught my attention straight away. The waiter explained to me that this was better for the whole taste experience than small chunks of ice as it would not dilute the cocktail so quickly. What’s more, it looked really cool and I did not miss the fruit decoration at all!

 

Customize dishes with add-ons and options for sides

Customers enjoy customizing their dishes! Give them the option to do so! When presented with only one option, people often forget to ask you to leave out an ingredient if they do not like it. Instead, it too frequently becomes a leftover on their plate creating unnecessary food waste. 

Another example: when I myself wanted to order a burger at a restaurant, I could only get French Fries as a side. The possibility of ordering a salad or roast potatoes instead would have helped me to order the burger I wanted and to avoid food waste. 

A good example of a customizable dish is a Thai Coconut Curry: as an add-on, you can offer a plant-based protein source e.g. tempeh or tofu as well as variations of meat or seafood. Sides can also include different kinds of rice (white, brown and black).

Also, consider offering sauces and dressings as add-ons so the customer can choose between different kinds for his steak or salad respectively. 

 

Offer doggy bags

Some customers already ask for doggy bags when they cannot finish their meal. This prevents food from going to waste and customers can finish your delicious meal at home! Encourage people to bring their own containers, so you can save waste and costs as well. Otherwise, opt for more sustainable and healthy packaging options, e.g. choose paper boxes or reusable plastic containers over styrofoam and aluminium foil.

 

Charge for leftovers

Usually, this policy is only employed by buffet-style restaurants as people choose their portion size by themselves there. In this setting, we see a leftover charge as a good idea in order to make customers aware of the food waste they create. Even though they pay a fixed price for all-you-can-eat, this does not mean that they should all-you-can-waste! Provide accurate descriptions and train your staff to inform guests about ingredients and preparation methods for the items on your buffet.

These are our top tips for food waste reduction at restaurants. Don’t hesitate to tell us about the positive changes you made with them! Do you have any other food waste reduction strategies that you can share with us? Leave us a comment, we would love to hear from you!

5 Things To Do While Your Restaurant Is In Shutdown Mode

The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has brought most of the globe to a complete standstill affecting restaurants and businesses across the board. The question now is how to effectively use the time at hand, to ensure your restaurant’s long-term success and prosperity.

Most countries have enforced strict lockdowns resulting in a complete shutdown of all non-essential businesses and housebound residents. While this is a very effective method to curb the spread of the virus, it will also have a grave impact on the economy.

Others still have sufficiently low cases to allow businesses to remain open, but there are special measures in place to enforce social distancing and to protect these communities.

The measures that are being taken worldwide will have a direct impact on people’s habits and behaviours when it comes to social interaction. In the future, restaurants will need to adapt in order to accommodate their client’s new needs.

There are a number of things you can start doing today, during the shutdown, to help your business grow, to ensure you remain relevant, to improve on how you operate in the future and to allow you to continue to serve your customers and community however possible.

 

Cut The Excess – Specialize

 

Now is the time for restaurants to specialize in priority items in order to keep their doors open. While business has been sluggish since the Coronavirus outbreak, some restaurants have become quite creative in their approach to stay open.

A Steak & Wine restaurant in South Florida decided to close their restaurant and turn it into a temporary butcher shop. This creative approach has attracted new customers and allowed them to remain open as an essential service.

Another fine example of creativity in challenging times comes from an Asian restaurant in Florida. When they noticed sales dropping, and produce going off, they decided to turn their restaurant into a fresh produce shop and were able to keep their doors open.

Even though people are hesitant to “eat out” these days, they still want to support local businesses and they’re actually encouraged to shop closer to home. By adapting, restaurants can continue to serve their communities and navigate these difficult financial times. 

 

Pivot to Take Out or Frozen Meals

 

Even in countries where restaurants have been allowed to remain open, many still find that their customers are reluctant to sit down for a meal. Although daily life seems to continue as per normal, people are cautious and don’t want to risk contracting the virus. Some restaurants reported a huge loss in revenue due to declining customer number and for this reason, they have in response, started to focus on Take-Out’s or Frozen Meals.

One Restaurant which has done this successfully is The Greenhouse in Mississippi. They have reduced their operating hours, but now also offer take out, curbside pick-up, and online ordering. And for those clients that don’t want to leave home, they suggest using delivery apps like Uber Eats or Waitr. 

Restaurants can also consider combining their new Take-Out service with an option for Frozen Meals. This would be ideal for larger families on a budget.

 

Introduce New Software and Business Solutions

 

It’s often impossible to introduce new and improved software and business solutions while in operation. However, technology is constantly improving and there are numerous applications and tools that are more efficient, easier to use and probably cheaper than you’re currently using. Use this time to research the latest business solutions and decide which could serve you better.

 

POS (Point of Sale)

Point of Sale Software creates a direct link between your servers and chef. Although this isn’t “new technology” there have definitely been some nice additions over the past couple of years. Some systems link up with smartphones making its ease of use incredible. This allows for payment apps to be combined with the POS systems making stand-alone terminals unnecessary.

 

Payroll Software

In the restaurant sector, Payroll can be a frustrating task. With ever-changing shifts and odd hours, it can take forever to work out wages. With the right software, the process can be very simple and it doesn’t need to be a time-consuming task.

 

Accounting Software

If you’re still using old school methods to keep up with your accounting, now’s the time to make the shift. Modern  Accounting software solutions are cloud-based, offer invaluable analytics and seamless integration. You’ll never look back.  

 

Stocktake Software

Keeping track of your stock is one of the most important aspects of running a restaurant. After all, if you don’t have it you can’t sell it. Invest in reliable stocktake software to ensure that you don’t have waste and always have stock on hand.

No Spoilers is a cloud-based inventory management solution for hospitality businesses. The simplicity of the cloud-based application, the ease of use, and the unbelievable AI backing your stocktake decisions will be revolutionary. We promise.

 

Focus on Marketing

 

The restaurant industry is fast-paced and there isn’t always time to sit down and update your marketing material. Now that business is slowing down it’s critical that you spend the time to focus on your marketing strategy.

 

Website

Update your website, or if you don’t have one take the time you have available to get your business online. There are apps you can use that will allow you to create your own website for free, such as WIX, Squarespace – or if you want something specifically designed for restaurants, consider Gloriafood

 

Social Media

This is a wonderful and free way to market your restaurant. If people can’t visit your restaurant now, keep reminding them of what’s to come. Upload mouthwatering photos to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and publish new blog posts about what you’re doing and planning for the future.

 

Online Training 

 

The shutdown is the ideal time to focus on staff and management training. Online MOOC’s (Massive open online courses) have made it possible for anyone to study from anywhere – and the quality of the training is excellent. 

 

Coursera

Coursera has become one of the leading platforms in terms of free online training, and they have one specific course on Food & Beverage Management that will give you an added advantage.

 

EdX

EdX has teamed up with some of the best universities out there to offer students across the globe access to quality free education. Their course on International Hospitality Management is especially good, focussing on integrated marketing management and new technologies and innovations.

 

Typsy

Typsy is geared towards hospitality training. They have a wide variety of short courses anyone – from the server to the manager can benefit from. In an effort to support their customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Typsy has made their pro subscription free of charge until the 30th of September 2020, and if you don’t want to continue after that you can simply cancel your subscription.

They have all the expected courses on offer like Food & Beverage Service, Hygiene and Safety Solutions, Hospitality Management and more. The most interesting course at the moment is one that focuses on how restaurants should operate responsibly in terms of the coronavirus.

Knowledge gained will never go to waste, and there has never been a better time to upskill yourself and your staff.

 

The next few months will be tough, but it doesn’t have to be a complete standstill. Focus on what you can get done while your restaurant is experiencing some “downtime”, and ensure that you are new and improved when things start to pick up again.

#WspieramGastro

Wiemy, że wiele restauracji cierpi z powodu pandemii COVID-19 i przepisów, które uniemożliwiły wielu z Wam prowadzenie biznesu.
Tworząc No Spoilers naszym głównym celem była pomoc branży gastronomicznej. Chcemy, żebyście wiedzieli, że jesteśmy z Wami.
Od dziś wszystkie nasze usługi są bezpłatne dla obecnych i nowych klientów. Nie będziemy pobierać żadnych opłat aż do zniesienia przez rząd zakazu prowadzenia działalności. Nawet wtedy – nie pobierzemy żadnej opłaty za pierwszy miesiąc użytkowania po zakończeniu kwarantanny.
Teraz jest dobry czas na wprowadzenie nowych rozwiązań w Twoim biznesie. Mamy dla Was narzędzie które pozwoli oszczędzić pieniądze poprzez efektywne zarządzanie stanami magazynowymi i automatyzację powiązanych procesów.
Jesteśmy tutaj, aby pomóc! Jeśli masz pytania dotyczące dobrych praktyk związanych z zarządzaniem magazynem lub naszego oprogramowania – jesteśmy do Twojej dyspozycji!

#SaveRestaurants

We do know many of your businesses are hurting because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many governments did issue laws ordering restaurants to shut down.
We have created No Spoilers with one goal in mind – to support hospitality businesses. We feel your pain, and we want to show you that we are in this together.
Starting today, all our services are free for our new and existing customers. We will not charge you anything until you can run your business normally, and when that happens, the first month is still on us!
Use the time of the shutdown to evaluate your stock and introduce automation to your restaurant. You will be ready to reduce your running costs when you reopen, and people come busting in after the quarantine!
We are here to help! If you have any questions about our software, inventory management, or best practices – just ask us!

Does Restaurant Review Work

The 2004 introduction of Yelp was a game-changer for the Restaurant Industry. It provided customers with a platform to post reviews about their dining experience. Today there are several relevant platforms like Trip Advisor, Google and Facebook. Customer reviews have turned into an important tool to build trust and attract new customers.

Review and ratings are of prime importance for most of us while choosing a restaurant. Some establishments have mastered the art of using customer reviews to their advantage. For those who have, business is booming. But many are still struggling to deal with negative reviews. Unfortunately, the use of reviews today is widespread so there is no way around it.

Trends – Social media

The rise of social media has opened up a wide range of possibilities for business. Customers are using social media platforms extensively to share their views and opinions. In fact, social media channels have turned into a customer support platform. A quick response is mandatory and customers don’t support businesses with poor online support. Research by ReviewTrackers state that restaurant guests are more likely to leave high ratings on Facebook than on any other review site.

The internet has changed the way we eat. The demand for delivery of food has significantly increased over the years. The demand for your food on delivery apps like Uber Eats & Dash Door is solely based on reviews. A 2014 Local Consumer Review Survey by Bright Local states that 80% of consumers trust online reviews and ratings as much as personal recommendations. A survey by Small Business Trends also suggests that 31% of respondents would spend more money at a restaurant that had positive reviews. Be it a local business or a chain of restaurants positive reviews play a crucial role in driving growth and bringing in new customers.

But how significant is the impact of negative reviews on a business?

Impact of Negative Reviews

Customers primarily look for reviews to reduce the risk of a disappointing purchase and fasten the decision-making process. The research by ReviewTrackers shows that 80% of the customers are more likely to use a rating filter while searching for a restaurant. For restaurants with low ratings, this can mean minimal to no business through delivery. Research shows that one negative review drives away 22% of prospects. Establishment failing to address such reviews may face low footfalls.

TripAdvisor’s “Influences on Diner Decision-Making” survey states 94% of US diners and 87% of UK diners are influenced by online reviews. A majority of customers depend on reviews and ratings for decision making. Hence, it’s crucial to maintain your ratings online and address negative reviews immediately.

How To Address Negative Reviews?

Maintaining a positive online presence is crucial for your restaurant. Your restaurant is simply invisible to the customers if you don’t have a positive online presence. However, there will always be customers who are unsatisfied. But look at them as opportunities to improve and grow your business. Understanding the pain points of your customers and improving them over time is vital for a successful business.

A good thing about negative reviews is you can always control the narrative. Respond positively to all the negative reviews. Learn to apologize no matter how irrelevant the complaint is. If you have time constraints respond to all the reviews in person so others don’t get agitated. You can also offer complimentary food or drinks to those unhappy customers. It’s better to do it in person so others don’t follow the path to get free drinks. Ensure that you address negative reviews within 24 hours. As per ReviewTrackers, 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week.

Many restaurants also use fake reviews to keep them in sight and attract more customers. Using such tactics exposes you to a lot of unwanted risks and the damage done will be irreversible.

Handling negative reviews is a nightmare for many restaurant owners. Focus on acting positively and tackling the issue provides a better customer experience in the future. Customer reviews are indeed going to decide how your business grows and the kind of reputation you have in the market.

How To Win Unsatisfied Customers

Customer complaints are inevitable. From coffee shops to Michelin star restaurants, everyone comes across unsatisfied customers. No matter how good of a customer experience you provide, it won’t meet the expectations of a few. And many a time there is room for improving the service. However, negative feedback online or offline can damage your business. Be it any restaurant every customer is important. So here is how to address the issue and win back an unsatisfied customer in three simple steps:

Talk Less & Listen More

Be it offline or online hear your guests out. Understand the problem thoroughly to address the pain points effectively. Acknowledging the reason and accepting your mistake is sometimes enough to cool off the situation. It’s also crucial that you maintain a positive voice and tone while addressing the complaint.

Do not argue! I repeat, do not argue with any customer even if they are wrong. Remember, the motto is not to find out who is right instead provide a pleasant experience, so they visit again. Many customers complain about their reviews being neglected by the owner. Also, do not delete negative reviews no matter how bad they are. Deleting reviews will only provocate the customer to talk more negatively about your business. In most cases, customers themselves delete the review if you address the issue properly and apologize for the inconvenience caused. Apologizing, even if the complaint is petty or bizarre, doesn’t harm your business.

Once you have listened to the problem carefully, move to the next step. Provide possible solutions to the issue at the earliest.

Quick Fix

Once you understand the pain point of the customer, provide solutions immediately that will benefit both the parties. Of course, solutions will differ based on the scale and size of your restaurant. But the aim is to build trust and make the person feel comfortable, so they visit again. Remember, the customer is the king.

If a customer is physically present at your restaurant and you can solve their problem then and there, do it. If a customer complains about a dish, replace it or provide them with a refund instead of making an excuse. Negative reviews online should also be addressed at the earliest. For instance, if a customer doesn’t like food, ask them for their feedback and work on it. You can also provide free appetizers or small discounts on orders. However, freebies are not always the right choice if you are a stand-alone restaurant. Encourage your unsatisfied customers to visit again so you can provide them with a better experience.

Follow up your solutions with real action. Taking action immediately builds trust and brand loyalty. It makes your customer realize that you took their complaint seriously and genuinely want to improve their experience. Actions speak louder than words always.

Follow-Up

Probably the essential element to retain a customer is following up. You have addressed the problem; the customer also revisited your restaurant. But how do you know the problem is solved?

That’s why following up and taking feedback is crucial. Follow-up with your unhappy customers about their experience this time. Remember, the motto is to retain the customer. If a customer is still dicey about their experience, provide them with some incentives. A gift card or some discount coupon will do wonders for your business. It will surely help you retain customers, and they will be delighted to realize you care. If they still have negative feedback reassess the situation and repeat the process.

Now and then you will face a customer who is fixated on the idea that their experience won’t change no matter what you do. In such cases, it’s better to apologize and let them go if you already tried everything in your power.

Is Investing In Restaurant Technology Worth It

Restaurant Technology is becoming the new standard of the industry. Higher efficiency, enhanced customer service and fewer operational losses have led to the booming demand for restaurant tech. Fast food giants like McDonalds & KFC are at the forefront of adapting & implementing new tech. And with the proven results, others are bound to follow.

In 2019 the focus was primarily on digitising the back of the house and implementing digital loyalty programs. There was also a surge in the demand for Mobile Applications due to increased customer engagement and retention. However, the industry is shifting towards a new trend. Millennials are prioritising convenience more than ever. The demand for delivery and takeaways has increased drastically. Over a third of adults and half of millennials in the US are more likely to order food for delivery compared to just two years ago. In fact, third party sales are expected to increase to 70% by 2022.

With so many options out there, many are still following the traditional methods of doing business. It’ s true that there are downsides to implementing technology. It takes time to get accustomed to tech, and there are always software issues to deal with. But the positives of using tech outweigh the negatives. So here are five ways in which tech can help you improve your business in 2020.

Efficient Business Operations

The most crucial aspect of running a restaurant is to have a smooth flow of operations. Be it the front of the house or kitchen efficient operation plays a vital role to increase profits. Automated kitchen tools integrated with the POS system, help decrease food waste. Kitchen automation tools can also reduce the time taken to prepare an order. Lower processing time means you can serve more guests at the same time while gaining satisfied customers.

Inventory management software can automate supply orders and ensure optimum utilisation of resources. Such tools can also help you reduce your labour cost saving you time and money. You will also be able to control your food and beverage cost-efficiently, which means more revenue for your business.

Better Customer Service

A 2001 Study by Fred Reichheld found that a 5% increase in customer retention translates to over 25% increase in profit. Customer retention takes time and effort. Providing high-quality service forms the very base of customer retention. Tech products like tablet ordering system and inventory control platforms can assist in providing better customer service.

Digital ordering systems can enhance the customer experience, especially if you are targeting Millennials and Gen Z. 37% of restaurant operators believe the most critical area of technology development in the next five years is customer orders. Inventory software will ensure you never run out of ingredients. So your customers can be assured that they won’t miss out on their favourite dish due to lack of ingredients.

Increased Revenue

If you are wondering how investing in tech increases your revenue, think of it from a long-term perspective. The aim of investing in any tech is to simplify and fasten the process securely. Today such platforms provide all kinds of analytics. From your customers’ regular drink to the number of times they visit. You can also better engage with your customers by keeping track of their eating habits and providing offers on the same. Such analysis helps you serve your customers better and increase loyalty overtime.

Kitchen automation and inventory platforms ensure smooth operations in the back of the house. It also enables you to optimise your food and beverage cost so you can earn more from your resources. Such tools also help you reduce labour cost, especially when there is a shortage of labour in the industry. Eventually, you will see a growth in revenue and the tech will start paying for itself. If it doesn’t it’s time to change.

Sustainability

Let’s focus on the talk of the town, Sustainability! Investing in technology can definitely help you create a more sustainable environment. In fact, most technologies help you reduce waste in some or the other way. Customer awareness about Sustainability today is really high. Customers appreciate and reward establishments who invest in technology. Food waste is one of the significant problems in the hospitality industry. Using tech which can help you reduce food waste can help you save time and money while creating a better environment for all.

With numerous options available in the market, it can be hard to choose the right one. It’s crucial to focus on your requirements and prioritise the platforms you need. If you still can’t find the right one, you can always take a free trial of the products. Most companies do provide one.

Merchandising – How can restaurants increase their visibility and reach

You walk into a restaurant, the attendant comes in, and you can’t help but notice the graphic t-shirt he is wearing. You have ordered the food, but all this time you are more interested in buying that t-shirt. That’s precisely what merchandising is about. So what exactly is merchandising?

In simple words, it’s everything you do to promote and sell your products once the potential customer is in your establishment. Merchandising can be with a wide range of products from t-shirts to keychains. The higher the visibility, the better it is for your brand. But how can your restaurant benefit from merchandising?

How can your restaurant benefit from merchandising?

Merchandising is a tricky business, but if done correctly can work wonders for any brand. With limited time and space to attract a customer, merchandising can be a means to attract more customers to your restaurant. You can also use merchandising for your loyalty program. Keeping items only accessible to loyalty cardholders can be a great way to increase sales while ensuring you have a long list of regulars. Restaurant with outstanding merchandise stand out and can drastically improve their brand visibility. However, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t rely on merchandise as a steady source of income.

Things to keep in mind when it comes to merchandise?

Branding:

Strong branding is essential to establish any restaurant. So, before you start merchandising focus your efforts on creating durable brand design. The logo, menu and the decor of your restaurant should reflect a consistent theme that will connect with your target audience. Be it a high-end dining restaurant or a go-to cafe for youngsters; consistency is the key. Creating a brand guideline is one way to ensure that the colour scheme, font size and logo size are consistent throughout all channels of communication.

Your merchandise be it a t-shirt or a coffee mug should reflect the same brand design. In simple terms, customers should be able to identify your merchandise by just looking at it. Focusing on consistent branding will help create a strong brand identity, both online and offline.

Product:

Once you have a strong brand design in place, it’s time to decide on products you want to merchandise. Merchandise doesn’t always have to be t-shirts and coffee mugs. You can choose your product depending on the type of restaurant and the target audience you are catering to.

For instance, if your restaurant’s theme is music items like guitar pins and posters work well. A coffee shop may benefit by selling travel mugs that can directly relate to their end product. The goal is to maximize your brand visibility to attract new customers. It’s recommended you find local suppliers for all your merchandise as its cheaper and reliable. If you have the budget and resources, you can also have strategic partnerships with some brands.

Placement:

Now that you have decided on your product, it’s time to focus on their placement for maximizing sales. Selling merchandise is all about getting more eyes on the product. It’s always advised to place the cheaper items next to the cash counter as people won’t think twice before purchasing it. The more expensive items should be placed close to the door or where the visibility is maximum.

While placing your product, keep in mind that the customer should be able to touch and feel them. People love to be able to pick things up and feel it in their hands before they decide to purchase it. Your displays should be neat and must be changed occasionally. Ensure all your products have clear price tags on it. Merchandise without price specifics discourages customers from buying them. Lastly, keep track of items which don’t get sold often. This way, you can either discard them in the future or try cross-selling those items by pairing them with your popular products.

Promotion:

Now for the most crucial part of selling your products, promote it the right way. Use social media to your advantage. Millennials and Gen Z are highly active on social media platforms. Your communication should be consistent and precise on all platforms. Encourage your customers to post pictures with your merchandise online. This way your customers can turn into your digital brand ambassadors, and you will save huge cost on marketing. Such images also provide a level of authenticity for your target audience. However, note that merchandising is not the primary source of income, and hence your social media shouldn’t be filled with posts of your merchandise. You also need to focus on the end product you are selling.

Merchandising is a long-term process. It’s also essential that your end product is as good as your merchandise. A loyal customer base is the key to any successful restaurant and merchandising is one way to achieve it.

What’s In Your Drink

The National Sugar Awareness Week ended recently on 26th January 2020. The week-long campaign held from 20th – 26th Jan aimed to bring awareness about the ill effects of sugar. This years theme focused on the excessive use of sugar in all types of drinks. From packaged fruit juices to aerated drinks and cocktails, everything contains a high amount of sugar. Most of us don’t pay attention to the labels and instead fall for the marketing gimmicks of big companies. But how does sugar affect your health?

The White Addiction

It’s no news that consuming excessive amounts of sugar harms our body to a great extent. The American Heart Association (AHA) suggest keeping the daily sugar intake between 25 – 35 grams for adults and 12-25 grams for children. Yet most of our drinks are loaded with added sugar. For instance, a 12 ounce can of soda contains nearly 46 grams of added sugar. The average American consumes 150 to 170 pounds of refined sugars in one year! A pound of sugar is equal to 120 tablespoons. If you do the math, that’s way beyond the recommended intake.

All our food contains sugar. However, eating added sugar gives our brain an immediate rush of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical our body naturally produces, which acts as a messenger between our brain cells. Drugs like cocaine, heroin or even nicotine spike your dopamine levels which makes you crave for more. Whole foods like fruits and vegetables release the sugar slowly, which is why you don’t get the same hit. So, eating sugary snacks like cookies or drinking milkshakes can leave you craving for more.

The high intake of added sugar has adverse effects on your mind and body. Studies show that consuming 75 to 100 grams of simple sugars can suppress the body’s immune responses considerably. One of the significant problems associated with sugar is obesity and an increased risk of heart disease. Consuming excess sugar also increases the risk of cancer. Other issues related to high sugar intake are mood swings, depression, type II diabetes, high blood pressure, decaying of the tooth, acne and early ageing of the skin.

The Sugar In Your Cocktails

We all enjoy a drink or two over the weekend. If your poison is something along the lines of a whiskey on the rocks, a gin and tonic, or a martini, you’re in luck. These drinks usually contain low amounts of sugar. But if you like sipping on those delicious cocktails, then you are in for trouble. For instance, a Mojito often includes 30 – 35 grams of sugar in it. Cocktails like Long Island Iced Tea, Sex On The Beach and Pina Colada have between 40 – 60 grams of sugar. So if you are ordering a round of those you already exceed your daily recommended intake.

With the growing consumer demand bartenders around the world are introducing low sugar cocktails. Many are also experimenting with sugar substitutes like honey to provide customers with a more healthier option. Moreover, the growing health trend has led to a massive demand for alcohol substitutes. Companies like Seedlip and Ceder’s are already catering to a niche yet growing market. An added advantage of such alcohol substitutes is they are sugar-free. So if you are looking for a drink which won’t give you a terrible hangover the next day and also keep your sugar intake in check, you should definitely try those.

How Can You Cut Down?

There are many different ways to cut down sugar. But it all starts with eating healthy food. Most packaged food found in supermarkets contains high amounts of sugar; be it cereals, chocolates, jams or healthy fruit juices. Avoid eating canned fruits and vegetables; instead, opt for fresh ones. It’s advisable to check the ingredient label to ensure whatever you buy has low sugar content. If you can’t resist having a drink on the weekends, try classic cocktails like an old fashioned perhaps instead of a long-island iced tea.

Cutting down on sugar have many long-term health benefits. For those addicted to it, may sometimes feel a lot of mood swings and fatigue. But giving in to your cravings will only make you feel good temporarily.

You can visit actiononsugar.org for more info on sugar awareness week and tips & tricks to cut down sugar.