THE EYES tend to be bigger than the belly – especially when it comes to events. But spare a thought for organisers who have to second-guess not only what people will eat but how much.
To curb the amount of food wasted at some of its events, Restaurant Associates has started providing photos of standard lunch orders. The new trial, using shots of lunches for different-sized groups of guests, helps events co-ordinators and bookers visualise food quantities. “Many were surprised at just how much food was actually served and stated they would probably order more conservatively in future,” according to a case study published by Wrap.
The details are contained within a new guidance document published by the government’s waste advisors called: Wasting less food from banquets, meetings and events.
In another trial, also run by Restaurant Associates as part of the Hospitality and Foodservice Agreement (HaFSA) on waste, food waste as a percentage of overall food costs was reduced from 39% to 17% over a period of 17 weeks. Actions included wrapping biscuits so those not eaten could be used at future events, and providing take-away boxes.
The cost of food waste in catering has been estimated at £2.20 per kilo. Food waste costs in contract catering for staff restaurants are generally less than 5% of sales revenue. However food waste can be in excess of 10% of sales and over 30% of food purchase costs where food is being provided for meetings, events and banqueting, according to trials through the HaFSA.