Rethinking Food Practices

Rethinking Food Practices

We all know about the supersizing of America’s meals. But the fast food industry isn’t the only culprit here. Even our finest restaurants take great delight in offering huge quantities of food. And when you, as a hotel, partake in the delivery of enormous quantities of food, it not only affects the health of your guests – but your bottom line.

Portion Control

Some portion sizes are so large they could easily feed two people. So instead of pricing your meals out-of-sight, make both your portion size and prize a comfortable fit, and everyone benefits. Offer different size portions as another option – giving guests the choice to order the large or small portion can mean the difference between just-right or a wasted plate of food left behind.

And let’s not forget about the ubiquitous buffet table…! Restaurateurs live in fear of running out of food. In the end it just means that you did something right – because obviously, people enjoyed that item. So, instead of rushing to refill and run the risk of the next batch falling into waste, try spinning it differently.  Make a sign that says; “Thank you for producing ZERO WASTE – having eaten every bite of this delicious item. Be sure to try one of our other delectable selections.” By doing this you not only operate sustainably – but help encourage and promote your sustainable endeavors, as well.

Managing Food Waste

Despite the best efforts, food will be left behind – in both the kitchen and the dining room. To help handle this, keep color coded bins in the kitchen; labeled for composting, recycling and landfill. And whenever possible, donate excess food to your local Food Pantry.

When it comes to used grease – you can actually make some additional revenue reselling this now valuable commodity for use in animal feeds, detergents and best of all – biodiesel fuel.

Traditional tableware is the best, but if using disposable ware, make sure it is made out of recycled material that is also compostable. But don’t stop there – make certain to alert staff and guests to the proper bins for composting these disposables, as well.

And last, but not least – join the EPA Food Recovery Challenge; set goals, track progress and be recognized!

So much of what goes on in a hotel is habit. Changing how we think about food and stopping the unnecessary waste is just a matter of rethinking and reinventing how we do things. Tell us what you’re doing to encourage more sustainable food practices in your hotel!

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Wen-D Kersten

Director of Marketing at GreenLeaf Media Group
Wen-D Kersten is the editor and contributor for EcoVision SLC as well as a number of other energy and sustainability sites. She is a green enthusiast with over 15 years of marketing experience, and a background in film and video production.

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