Inventory is one of the most significant expenses for businesses in the food industry, such as restaurants. Preventing food wastage through spoilage can save these businesses a lot of money. Food safety and freshness are also important to clients and crucial for keeping your business going. Learning the causes of food spoilage and how to prevent it will keep your customers happy and the business profitable.
Avoid Overstocking and Overbuying
Buying too much inventory increases the likelihood of it going bad before you use it. Businesses can use inventory tracking software to ensure they buy only what they need. They can also use software to monitor how various ingredients are being used so they can learn what they need to buy and when. Doing both allows managers to fine-tune their ordering strategies, which then helps them avoid food spoilage.
Check All Deliveries Properly
Even when practicing good ordering and inventory control, businesses still risk wasting food through spoilage if the food was bad or near its expiry when it was delivered. Inspecting all deliveries thoroughly can help prevent this issue.
Temperature Control Is Critical
Food items that require refrigeration will go bad if a business does not have refrigerators in working conditions and when they are not stored under the right temperature. Businesses should properly store drinks, eggs, meat, and dairy products before being prepared and served to customers. All prepared food should be stored in suitable containers and covered up properly to eliminate contamination. Additionally, employees should not store cooked foods close to raw foods.
A good strategy for managing refrigeration is to map out your available space. Doing so allows a business to ensure that foods that should be separated are not stored together. The business should also ensure that its refrigerators are working properly. Routine refrigeration maintenance can help with this. A business can also keep backup parts on hand to complete repairs and servicing quickly.
Sometimes chefs overestimate the demand for certain dishes. They then make too many of these dishes, and because there is not enough demand for them, they spoil and have to be discarded. Managers can use daily reports, inventory, and sale data to determine which dishes are in demand. This way, they can stick to only what they need, and chefs can prepare foods they know will be consumed on the day.
Use Food According to Its Expiry Date
Businesses can also use first in-first out to reduce spoilage. This method dictates that businesses use older items before new ones to prevent the old items from going bad.
At grocery stores, you will notice that the food at the front is closest to its expiration date. Once the store buys new foods, it is placed behind the one that is closest to expiry. This strategy should apply to all businesses that sell cooked or raw food.
Food spoilage can cost a business tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. Therefore, businesses should learn how to prevent it using the strategies we have discussed above. Donating food close to expiry to shelters or local food pantries is also a good idea to ensure it is not wasted.