Reducing food waste not only helps you save a lot of money – it is also one of the very big steps towards a better environment. The statistics show it all: approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted each year1, which is one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption! Festive banquets especially tend to serve more food than needed because of the larger crowd expected. It’s time we celebrated this festive season by making smarter decisions for ourselves and making a positive impact on the community we live in. Here are some easy steps you can take:
Prepare a solid menu
Since most traditional Malay dishes served during Ramadhan are quite similar, ingredients used in these dishes can be used and recycled for other dishes on another day. Make sure to plan wisely and stock up on multi-purpose ingredients that can be used to prepare an array of dishes with several core items.
Measure your food waste
Develop an action plan to determine whether the majority of your establishment’s waste come from spoilage, food preparation, or customer plates. This lets you know what to work on and where to begin. For example, if the problem comes from food preparation, find new ways to use unused parts of vegetables or fruits for other purposes such as for decoration. Learn how to estimate crowd turnouts through reservations and encourage moderation by serving well-balanced portions. After all, Ramadhan is all about self-discipline and resilience.
Visually trick your guests into having smaller meals
They don't call it a feast for nothing! Unfortunately, a feast calls for unlimited amount of food that leads to a whole lot of excess. Try using smaller plates and utensils to add some class to your dish's aesthetic for buffets – and to control waste. Guests will need to get up for more food but they will most likely not do it after a full stomach. By helping diners with portion control, you’re also reducing food wastage.
Offer more food-saving choices to your diners
By being honest about your initiative to reduce waste, your guests will automatically feel inclined to participate. Not only will this create a good impression for your establishment, it’s also another way to create awareness. Better yet, you can offer customised meals, provide more portion options, or even offer ‘doggy bags’ for leftovers. The list is endless!
Sharing is caring
At the end of the day, leftovers are inevitable. During this holy month, take the opportunity to do good by offering your staff whatever is left to bring home so they can share it with friends and family. On a bigger scale, donating to soup kitchens is also a great form of charity. This can lead to a long-term collaboration that allows you to do good for both the society and the environment.