From: Jacquelyn Ottman, Triple Pundit, More from this Affiliate
Published October 18, 2013 06:48 AM

Suggestions for restaurants to reduce food waste

People care about food waste for all kinds of reasons, starting with moral issues such as global hunger, environmental reasons including carbon footprint (food waste decomposes in landfills into methane, a potent greenhouse gas), and even health concerns like obesity. Despite all the attention traditionally given to leftovers, food scraps, uneaten crusts of bread, our consumers seem to be especially concerned about food waste away from home, and they are willing to take steps to deal with it that have implications for restaurant branding and practices, particularly regarding portion control and choice of doggie bags.

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Restaurants that can proactively address diners needs have particular opportunities to enhance revenues, profits, and image. For starters, try more flexible portion options (with accompanying pricing) that can broaden appeal to such demographics as seniors, dieters, and women (beyond children who seem to be adequately served now), and reconsider "all you can eat" programs. Make it easy to share restaurant entrees more easily. Offer to pack uneaten food to go.

Another often overlooked opportunity is to find superior doggie "to-go" bag designs that can accommodate the dual challenges of serving on-the-go lifestyles (not everyone heads straight home after dining), and such environmental and health concerns such as plastic migration and compostability; not surprisingly, styrofoam heads the "no-no" list of materials, among our ardent "waste watchers."

Underscoring the opportunity, our consumers reported that an environmentally preferable option "would make them feel better about their restaurant choice," even swaying their choice of dining establishment in some instances. Some ardent waste watchers would prefer to bring their own containers, using a variety of rigid as well as flexible containers of materials including metal as well as plastic.

Chefs in kitchen image via Shutterstock.

Read more at ENN Affiliate, TriplePundit.

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