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Chef Douglas McMaster visited Brooklyn this year for an event called Fitzcarraldo. Hailing from England, this chef is known for being a zero-waste chef, seeking to maximize the utility of all food, as told by The New Yorker. “At his restaurant, Silo, in Brighton, England, he buys ingredients directly from farmers, to avoid grocery-store packaging, and returns peels and trimmings in the form of compost, creating what he calls a “closed loop.” His recipes strive to incorporate the whole vegetable. There’s a cadre of chefs that have refined zero waste. Hopfinger uses cauliflower stalks at Bamboo Asia to make cauliflower rice, which serves as a “low carb (menu) option” for his customers.

Inventory management Quick-service restaurants (QSR), including fast casual and fast food restaurants, are less able to control waste, whether it be plastic or food, due to the amount of food produced off-premise by suppliers. However, there have been efforts as of late to address packaging, and plastic, in particular. Starbucks and other chaIns have made the commitment to move away from all plastic straws over the next few years, and invested in finding paper cups that will universally compost. Inventory can also be a particular pain point for QSR chains. Poor inventory management, lack of controls and repetitive turnover of staff can be big impediments to controlling waste from inventory. Waste, whether as a byproduct of food cooking and preparation processes, or because of errors and mismanagement, is lost profit dollars after all. Using as much of a food product to create a menu item that sells is profit-enhancing. There is so much opportunity, and it’s a call to action, not just by chefs and industry leaders, but by consumers, as well. More consumers are looking to spend their dollar in sustainable and environmentally-friendly restaurants. Many food occasions can be influenced by purpose and mindfulness. Restaurants can be proactive in zero-waste efforts. “It comes down to having good inventory practices,” says Erik Cox, vice president of Product Strategy for CrunchTime. “When

appropriate, minimize the frequency of counts for low cost, low turnover products so that managers can focus time and efforts on the high impact (high value or high usage) items. Organized storerooms can be counted more quickly and easily.” He also suggests counting inventory during slower operating days so that they can be counted quickly and in an environment of fewer distractions. Of course, technology and digital tools are a big support in these efforts. Cox adds, “Mobile solutions will help save time by eliminating the need for recording counts with pen and paper. They also significantly reduce the risk of errors by eliminating the need to enter numbers into the system.” Integrating supplier data in inventory management solutions not only reduces potential for error, but helps catch mistakes that can lead to expired product or food spoilage. CrunchTime’s Cox also offers up three suggestions in his own words: “(1) Focus on the dollars. Track and share the highest cost variances first. Once these are improved, focus on the next group. (2) Share data between locations and up the chain. Often smaller issues are visible for a single location, but can become obvious when seen across many restaurants. (3) Communicate internally. In addition to sharing information between locations, ensure your staff understands what you are trying to achieve and what the problem items are. Often the best ideas for improvement come from those on the front line.

Reducing waste in food distribution or in transition from distributors Part of the challenge of getting to zero waste is just how many obstacles there can be along the food supply chain. Produce is a great example. Chain restaurants can suffer at the hands of practices that are beyond their control. Restaurant managers have typically been fond of visual inspections of produce and other perishable product to detect a lack of freshness. Visual inspections, suggests Kevin Payne, vice president of Marketing for Zest Labs, are insufficient to detect product that may have sat on a loading dock somewhere in transit for too RESTAURANT C-SUITE 7

Profile for Eatery Pulse Media

Restaurant C-Suite Magazine | Spring 2019  

As Restaurant C-Suite Magazine is a trend-based news source, we continue to dive deeper into 2019 trends in this issue, including zero waste...

Restaurant C-Suite Magazine | Spring 2019  

As Restaurant C-Suite Magazine is a trend-based news source, we continue to dive deeper into 2019 trends in this issue, including zero waste...