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Kitchen ManagementWhat is Food Waste Really Costing Your Quick Service Restaurant?

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Posted by SICOM | April 11, 2017

 

Food waste is a significant challenge for restaurants of all sizes and segments—whether quick service, fast casual or full service. Each year in the United States, restaurants waste approximately 25 million tons of food, accounting for 40 percent of total food waste.1

In fact, the average quick service restaurant produces between 25,000 and 75,000 pounds of food waste in a given year.2 That’s enough food to fill two dump trucks! Multiply this impact across tens or even hundreds of restaurant locations throughout your franchise, and you have a food waste dilemma of monumental proportions.

Few QSRs realize the direct impact food waste has on profitability, efficiency and customer satisfaction. However, the direct cost of food waste to a QSR is estimated at roughly 18 cents per meal between the cost of procurement, labor, utilities and waste management.3

In total, the financial impact of food waste is estimated at $57 billion for restaurants alone.1 The good news is, for quick service restaurants, technology offers the ability to dramatically reduce food waste—while also driving greater profitability, efficiency, food freshness and guest satisfaction.

Let’s take a look at how QSR kitchen management systems like SICOM Chef™ Kitchen Management go about achieving food accuracy and reducing food waste:

1. Aligning Projections with Sales

First and foremost, a quick service kitchen management system should project food needs by pulling historical and real-time usage data directly from your point of sale system. By better aligning preparation and cooking practices with demand patterns, your restaurant will not only reduce waste, but also reduce shortage—effectively increasing guest satisfaction and sales.

2. Assisting Staff in Preparation

Beyond more accurately predicting needs, QSR-focused kitchen management systems can assist kitchen crew in more accurately preparing food items. A KMS provides centralized, electronic access to recipes, enabling your restaurant to cut back on preparation mistakes that lead to wasted food.

3. Automating Hold Times

Next, a kitchen management system that has been purpose-built for QSRs should integrate with product holding units to automate temperatures and hold times. This empowers staff to continuously view pan levels and identify items that are at the end of their hold times, so that the appropriate amount of food can be prepared at precisely the right time.

4. Product Holding Unit Alerts

In addition, a quick service kitchen management system will monitor PHU performance, alerting restaurant crew and PHU vendors in the event of an outage. Ensuring PHUs are continuously performing enables restaurants to prevent unnecessary spoilage and therefore, waste.

5. Ongoing Measurement & Optimization

Last but not least, a QSR kitchen management system unleashes real-time insights that shed light on kitchen performance, enabling franchises to proactively identify and address the causes of food waste.

If you’d like to learn more about how a purpose-built quick service kitchen management system can transform efficiency and reduce waste for your franchise, download our helpful Kitchen Management Guide or contact SICOM to learn more about Chef™ Kitchen Management.

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