Noticing the amount of bread they were throwing out, employees at the Red Star Tavern in Portland, Ore., brought it up to their managers and chef. The proliferation of gluten-free and low-carb diets was having an effect. The restaurant decided to stop putting out complimentary bread baskets and added bread to the menu for $2. If customers complained, servers were empowered to give them bread for free. Aside from cutting waste, the restaurant saved money by buying less bread and butter and made about $5,000 in bread sales the first year.
Every day, operators look to reduce the amount of food they waste by tracking what they throw out, changing their purchasing practices and reengineering their menus. And there’s so much more that they can do.