Providing restaurants and food service providers with data on wasteful practices to inform behavioral and operational changes
Every business has heard the adage “what is measured gets managed,” and this is true for food waste as well. Waste tracking and analytics tools include the publically available Conserve program offered by the National Restaurant Association, private solutions such as LeanPath, and internally built business tools.
Waste tracking varies in sophistication from using scales, cameras, and phone apps to basic paper and pen to collect and analyze data. This data helps businesses identify the volumes and types of food that are tossed out during food preparation, informing operational changes and building the business case for investment in other solutions. There is a recent uptick in interest in waste tracking because it achieves two corporate priorities: increased profit margins and data reporting to show external stakeholders a path to lower overall waste levels.
The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger’s “What a Waste” Program partnered with LeanPath to implement waste tracking for senior nutrition programs.
StopWaste, a public agency in Alameda, Calif., launched the “Smart Kitchen Initiative” with LeanPath to subsidize the adoption of waste tracking and analytics among businesses that perceive too much risk to implement on their own.
Increase the use of direct, point-to-point perishable food shipments from farmers to retailers to reduce the number of stops a product makes in transit and develop a cold chain certification standard for food carriers
Improvements in the ability of retail inventory management systems to track an average product’s remaining shelf-life (time left to sell an item) and inform efforts to reduce days on hand (how long an item has gone unsold)
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