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Food waste reduction: A top priority for caterers during soaring inflation

Estimation from WRAP, a UK-based climate action NGO, indicates that about 920,000 tonnes of food is wasted at catering outlets each year, with 21% of food waste being due to spoilage, and 75% of that wastage being avoidable. Amid the current cost-of-living crisis, it is more important than ever for caterers to stay on top of the amount of food waste at your sites, for a number of benefits it can bring.

Why should better food waste management be a top priority for caterers?

Reducing operational costs

Food waste tracking generates insights that can be leveraged to make more informed business decisions to reduce your operation costs (more on this later). The report “The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste: Restaurants” by Champions 12.3 (a coalition of leaders from governments, businesses and various organisations with an aim to achieve Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3 by 2030) estimates that for every £1 restaurants invested in programs to reduce kitchen food waste, they saved £7 in operating costs on average. This saving ratio is particularly meaningful in the current climate when the prices of both raw materials and energy keep rising steadily.

Showing your sustainability commitment

There are several good reasons food waste reduction is often associated with sustainable catering initiatives, as it leads to less required food production, which translates to reduced environmental degradation. Ongoing food waste reduction also helps caterers contribute to world food security.

Stronger business reputation and better customer loyalty

More than just a case of moral values and business ethics, caterers’ active commitment to sustainability through the reduction of food waste tends to help them build better and more long-lasting customer loyalty. Deloitte’s annual survey on “How consumers are embracing sustainability” shows an upward trend in customers choosing brands that have environmentally sustainable practices and values. This ratio might be even higher for caterers who serve their in-house customers, because they might be more informed thanks to better internal communication from you.

What can you do with food waste data from your EPoS system?

There are several applications of food waste reports that you can get from your EPoS system, depending on how robust the system is and what specific data is recorded, as well as what form it exists in. Some examples of food waste data usage include:

Stock optimisation

By knowing what exact items are wasted, in what amount and at what frequency, you can optimise your buying patterns to ensure just enough stock of particular types is purchased in any given period, thus minimizing waste.

Planning for waste collection

Insights from waste reports can also be used to schedule the collection of food waste. This is crucial for ensuring the hygiene of your catering outlets, as well as the safe removal of waste to reduce harmful emissions.

Food brand selection

Food waste reports can also be used to determine which food products or ingredients from which brands/suppliers are more likely to go stale before use. This information can be useful for selecting or reviewing suppliers or food brands at your catering outlets.

Better waste management with Uniware Cloud smart reporting

As the back-office powerhouse for Uniware’s EPoS system, Uniware Cloud has robust waste management features that enable caterers to stay on top of wastage across their different catering outlets through real-time data sync.

Waste recording

Waste recording can be done at the tills by scanning or keying in the items. Each time an operator marks an item as wasted, it is recorded in our EPoS system with all its relevant information such as date and time, name of the till operator, as well as the wastage reason.

For Uniware clients who have the Stock Control module, they can also record waste directly inside our cloud-based platform. This is particularly useful to record wastage that happens away from the tills, such as in a warehouse or the kitchen.

Waste tracking in Uniware Cloud

Uniware Cloud waste reports consist of comprehensive information about wasted items, including the dates they were recorded as wastage, their respective codes, quantities, and their purchase values. The Voids, Complimentary and Wastage report provides a view of wastage done through the till. It allows users to view and analyse wasted items by a variety of parameters including:

  • Cost or sales price of wastage

  • Wastage within a period of time – for example, in the past week, past month, or even a specific selected date range

  • Wastage by operators – this is useful for you to prevent theft and/or train staff to ultimately reduce waste

  • Wastage by reasons – this will help you reduce waste by addressing specific issues that lead to it in the first place.

Beyond food waste management

At Uniware, we understand that better food waste management is only one of the priorities for caterers. Our system of EPoS, payment, loyalty and ordering solutions also provides you with many other tools to help optimise all areas of your operation.

Interested in learning more about Uniware’s robust EPoS system for caterers? Get in touch with us today at and one of our consultants will get back to give you a demo.

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