A pioneering piece of restaurant management software has been awarded a grant by the European Development Fund to help it continue cutting food waste in professional kitchens.
Kitchen Cut has been given the money as part of the fund’s Grants for Eco program, which is intended to assist companies that promote sustainability and support environmental projects. It was developed by Michelin star chef John Wood and has claimed to be able to reduce kitchen wastage by up to 50%, saving restaurants thousands of pounds.
The online software features a wastage tracker, which allows kitchen teams to log the date, type of food and reason every time an item is discarded. The system then calculates the impact this is having on the business, automatically collating it into a report.
By regularly tracking and recording this data, kitchen teams can identify trends and gain the tools to reduce waste efficiency and the associated costs over time, Kitchen Cut said. As more daily wastage reports are logged, users will be able to see a graphical representation of their wastage to show their performance and hopefully the improvements that their actions are making.
It can also improve the efficiency of routine tasks and paperwork by 50%, and improves food and drink costs by up to 5% and 3% respectively.
Luke Faulkner, project manager for the European Development Fund’s Grants for Eco Innovation program, said: “Kitchen Cut was awarded the grant because it showed that using a tool like this to monitor waste can help to reduce the impact on the environment as well as improving the bottom line.
“It was also the first software developer who approached us for a grant targeting waste from the hospitality sector and its aims were fully aligned with those of the program for awarding funds.”
Kitchen Cut founder John Wood added: “When you look at the facts, it is shocking. The UK is wasting 15m tonnes of food every year – and a staggering 3.9m tonnes of that comes from the hospitality and food production business.
“It is often through simple, but silly mistakes, like not consistently checking fridges and stores, portion control, or not ordering the freshest of produce. Unfortunately it happens a lot of the time in a busy kitchen.
“I ask many chefs not only when did they last eat in their own restaurant, but also when did you last eat three courses in one sitting. Many chefs have never done this, but by fully understanding what your guests experience, you can make sensible decisions about your dishes and how suitable the portion sizes are.”
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