Reducing waste in a restaurant

Energy efficiency

Heating your restaurant is expensive. Ensure the door is kept closed except when in use to help maintain the temperature. Invest in an automatic closing mechanism if one is not already installed. The fitting of draught excluders will also help to prevent heat loss, improve comfort and cut costs.


Where possible, replace individual portions/sachets with tamper-proof dispensers, pourers and shakers to reduce waste and avoid contamination. Only provide food such as salad garnish, butter portions and toast on request rather than as standard.

Staff engagement

Involve your staff – they are your eyes and ears around the business and can identify areas where losses may be occurring. Provide a suggestion box for staff to suggest ways to be more efficient. Discuss resource efficiency at staff meetings to maintain awareness and motivation. Regular training can encourage staff to think about their daily activities and how they consume resources.

Drinking water

Bottled water can be an important revenue stream. However, Scotland’s tap water is amongst the purest in the world and comes with a far lower environmental footprint than bottled water. Determine whether a move to jugged tap water can be implemented through increasing revenue from other areas.

Cooking equipment

Ensure staff know how long it takes equipment to get to the required temperature, so they do not turn equipment on early and waste energy; signage can remind them of this information. Cooking at lower temperatures usually means lower cost, less shrinkage, less loss of nutrients and better quality food.


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