Food waste has been a growing issue across the foodservice community for a number of years, combining concerns about the environment, consumer attitudes, the reliability of the food supply channel, operational finances and, not least, ethics. Food Management has been tracking the trend all along, incorporating it, as well as related sustainability issues, into multiple stories about individual operations. We’ve also published several contributed viewpoint articles from experts about the topic, giving additional perspectives to the conversation.
What seems to emerge generally from our coverage of how onsite dining operators are addressing food waste is that it is an issue of growing concern with implications both for customer relations and for bottom-line finances. Customers—especially in colleges—are now demanding more attention be paid to the environmental impact of unconsumed food waste. Meanwhile, dining programs, often under greater fiscal pressures because of COVID-related cost increases and revenue decreases, see food waste less as an acceptable debit on the balance sheet and more as a controllable cost that can—and should—be addressed with more efficient procurement, production and service procedures.