Reducing Plate Waste in the Hospitality Industry
This paper gives a detailed breakdown of food waste and explores the history, causes and prevention schemes that have been set up by governments and businesses in the hospitality industry. The aim of this research was to learn the attitudes of consumers with regards to different elements of plate waste to offer viable solutions to food service companies. Research was conducted in a quantitative data form and distributed online to a large range of people, delivering insights on consumer attitudes towards portion size and take home options from restaurants, as well as considering the processes hospitality businesses undertake that lead to food wastage from the perspective of employees. It was found that customers are unlikely to request a take home option for their unfinished meals but if offered they are likely to accept. The opinions towards portion sizes in restaurants are dependant on the setting in which they are served, however there is data to suggest that giving customers the freedom to substitute different parts of their meals results in less plate wastage. Employees of the hospitality industry report that few businesses incorporate food waste prevention schemes into their operational plans and that few businesses are likely to offer take home options for their customer’s unfinished meals. Recommendations for businesses that wish to minimise or prevent plate waste are suggested as well as areas of future research that could strengthen the findings from this research paper.