Food waste is a growing concern in the restaurant industry. Recent estimates project that 4-10% of a restaurant’s purchased food is wasted before it even reaches the consumer’s plate through food spoiling, spillage, or leftover food at the end of the day. With the cost of food continuing to rise, restaurants can’t afford to have this level of waste continue.
Technology does offer some solutions, enabling detailed tracking of food inventory and management of peak demand times to optimize usage. But for those restaurants looking for quick solutions that are easy to implement, there are some low-tech tools and ideas to consider that could potentially help reduce the amount of food that needs to be discarded at the end of the day.
Preparing Food in Advance
How to make sure you have enough food for peak times that can be safely stored during the slower times? Consider a cook chill system. Cook chill is a time-proven way to safely store commonly used foods like soups, sauces, and other items in portion-controlled bags so they’re ready when you need them. Rather than keeping a large pot of sauce or soup simmering all day and discarding it at night, portion the soup into smaller bags that can be reheated throughout the day. Not only is the quality of the food better, but bags that have been properly cooled and stored can be used up to 7 days.
Whether transporting food offsite or simply into the cooler, spillage can be a big contributor to food waste - and make a big mess. One of the most common solutions for this is the plastic wrap/foil lid combo, which does a better job of making sure the food stays in the pan when moved. But that solution does have its own challenges, including sharp foil edges that can pose a safety hazard. Shrinkable pan covers offer a more secure option, shrinking tightly to the top of pans to create a spill-proof seal that is easy and safe to remove.
Maintaining Food Quality
Studies have shown that foods left in a steam table or warmer pan will, over time, lose both moisture and heat. The result is unappetizing, and ultimately unservable, food that must be discarded. Using a pan liner in the pan before adding food has demonstrated longer heat retention and less moisture loss, so food can continue to be served.
Food that dries out and sticks to the edge of the pans obviously can’t be served, so finding ways to keep this from happening is an easy way to start. A sure way to reduce food waste due to sticking and burning in your pans is to use PanSaver PanLiners. PanLiners line your hotel pans while cooking, preventing the food from contacting the hot metal which dries out the edges and making the food inedible. Not only does this innovative product save you time and effort during the cleanup, but it also ensures that every delicious serving of the dish you prepare ends up on your plates instead of in the trash.
PanSaver’s Cook Chill System
Another great option for kitchens of all sizes from small operators to multi-unit commissary kitchens or large institutional food service facilities is a Cook Chill system. A Cook Chill system offers a safe and economical alternative to traditional cook-to-serve methods, letting your kitchen prepare and store food in portion-controlled packaging so you can use only what you need, when you need it, and safely store the rest.
The Cook Chill system allows kitchen staff to better manage portion and inventory control by packing and sealing the foods in the right-sized Cook Chill bag and storing the food until needed (either refrigerated or frozen). It also ensures consistent quality from bulk food preparation and improves food safety by quickly cooling the product out of the danger zone. Lastly, the Cook Chill system offers easy reheating and serving and an extended life and product yield.
PanSaver’s Complete Cook Chill System gives restaurant managers everything they need to manage food production safely, easily, and efficiently. PanSaver® Cook Chill products help you increase menu options, lower labor costs, reduce product waste, improve quality and consistency, and reduce out-of-stock instances.
Shrink-Tight™ Ovenable Pan Covers
PanSaver Pan Covers are strong, stackable, writable and spill-resistant making it easy to organize your food and avoid food waste. After a few seconds in an oven, these shrinkable covers conform tightly to the top of the pan, creating a secure and sturdy seal for stackable storage. The PanSaver Pan Cover withstands temperatures up to +400°F and can be used to prevent spillovers in the oven during cooking. Clear and fully markable Pan Covers make identification easy – no need for labels and they’re NSF listed. This can help you keep track of which dishes are about to expire, and you can prioritize them to sell them first eliminating unnecessary food waste.
In conclusion, PanSaver’s revolutionary products can help you reduce food waste, save time, money, and effort, and promote a sustainable culture in your restaurant. By using PanSaver liners, Cook Chill product you're making a small change that could lead to a big difference. So why not give PanSaver a try and reduce food waste in your restaurant today!