The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste: Restaurants

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We analyzed data of preconsumer waste from 114 restaurant sites, located
across 12 countries, and calculated the following results:

  • The average benefit-cost ratio for food waste reduction was 7:1 over a
    three-year time frame.
  • Within the first year of implementing a food waste–reduction program,
    76 percent of the sites had recouped their investment. Within two years
    of implementing a program, 89 percent of the sites had recouped their
    investment.
  • By reducing food waste, the average site saved more than two cents on
    every dollar of cost of goods sold (COGS).
  • There appears to be no clear correlation between benefit-cost ratios and a
    site’s market segment or geography.
  • Key strategies for achieving food waste reduction were to measure the food
    waste, engage staff, reduce food overproduction, rethink inventory and
    purchasing practices, and repurpose excess food.

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