FM Top 50 firm Metz Culinary Management, Inc. has launched a food waste prevention initiative that it says is helping its culinary partners curtail waste in meal preparation and service by 30%. The initiative includes automated food waste tracking technology that is part of the Leanpath platform and is now operational in 18 Metz dining partner sites.
The initiative is part of the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability across its operations that has a goal of reducing food waste by 50% by 2030, in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for food waste reduction. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, a third of the world’s food is lost or wasted in production, with 25% of that food waste coming from the food service industry, in the process contributing approximately 3.3 billion tons of greenhouse gases—primarily methane, the most caustic of them all—into the atmosphere every year.
“The average commercial kitchen wastes 4% to 10% of the food it purchases before it ever lands on a diner’s plate, with most of that waste coming from overproduction of meals to serve guests,” explains Metz Vice President of Purchasing Brian Bachman. “By leveraging the Leanpath technology platform, we can measure and track food waste over time, allowing our culinary teams to better align food production to actual demand.”
Leanpath’s technology is designed to allow foodservice kitchens to understand what food they are wasting and why it’s being wasted so they can make smart adjustments to purchasing, prep and menus to prevent it from reoccurring. This has led to the following results within the 18 Metz sites using Leanpath…
• 30+% food waste reduction
• 74,000+ pounds of food waste prevention
• 235,000 metric tons of CO2 avoidance
• 29+ million gallons of water conserved, the equivalent of 829,553 bathtubs of water
Reducing food waste also helps reduce an operation’s carbon footprint, contributes to water conservation by reducing water used to grow wasted food and alleviates hunger by repurposing excess food to those who need it.
“We launched the food waste prevention program at Arcadia University in August 2022, initially just to get a baseline on what we were throwing out,” notes Tim Morris, executive chef at the school in Pennsylvania. “The photos and the data really opened our eyes to the cost value of what we were wasting. Since October 3, data shows that our team has reduced food waste by 52%. We’ve also incorporated an incentive program for our team members who can earn a gift card for reducing food waste.”