The following is an excerpt from an article written by Georgie Shockey, Principal of Ruck-Shockey Associates, Inc. Her firm specializes in operational consulting for non-commercial foodservice markets.
The food service industry contributes significantly to our nation's economy and way of life. In the last ten years, this industrial sector has experienced continued real sales growth outpacing that of our nation's own economy. In 2011, the total food sales were over $1.7 trillion. Due to the vast number of food service operations (the NRA estimates over 970,000 restaurants along with nontraditional and other food locations there are about 1.2 million locations) and the nature of preparing and serving food, this industry uses tremendous volumes of natural resources and produces significant quantities of waste which together can result in major environmental impacts. The reasons for change within this industry for change within this industry in order to minimize waste are simple: food service managers can save money with decreased disposal fees, reduce energy consumption, gain efficiencies and stay competitive within their industry.
Changing or improving operations can have lasting effects on those food service establishments that are proactive in reducing waste and increasing efficiency. To remain competitive, businesses should consider going beyond traditional means of management and explore the opportunities to save money and help the environment with waste prevention. Many of the opportunities detailed may already be in place; however, every operation still has room for improvement.