The Irish hospitality sector wastes approximately 158k tonnes of food annually.
If food waste typically costs a business €3 per kilo – that means that some €474k is wasted in this country every year.
And Ireland is not the only European country with a food waste problem…
The UK wastes 3.2 million tonnes or 320 million meals a year which is a staggering amount of wastage in an industry already hamstrung by the Covid 19 pandemic.
But according to profitability & inventory management expert Patrick McDermott, the startling figures also present an opportunity for entrepreneurs and business leaders in the hospitality industry.
“If you have a food waste problem, you have a profitability problem,” Patrick told the All-Ireland Business Foundation, “BUT what’s measured is managed”…
“Once you understand what is being wasted and why – you can easily take steps to reduce the waste which will have a direct impact on your businesses profitability.”
Patrick is the co-founder of DigiTally, a Business All-Star Accredited multi-site inventory software company that helps businesses in the hospitality industry to improve their margins and reduce their food waste.
DigiTally also helps their customers to save time on manual stocktaking through their innovative software offering.
Patrick takes pride in offering a service that guarantees tangible results and returns on investment for DigiTally’s customers.
“DigiTally is a painkiller not a vitamin in that our product isn’t something that’s just ‘nice to have’ in a business,” Patrick explained.
“We deliver increased margins, a reduction in food waste and savings in man-hours.”
DigiTally’s clients in the hospitality industry have endured a tough couple of years…
The pandemic forced closures of pubs, hotels and restaurants up and down the country gutting them of staff and their squeezing owners.
And staff issues have lingered with many in the industry opting to leave for pandemic proof careers in other areas.
Patrick says it is now more important than ever for hospitality businesses to take a look at their food waste and their margins and find out what can be measured, managed and improved.
DigiTally has achieved AIBF All-Star International Food Sustainability Management Technology accreditation in recognition of the company’s outstanding contribution to best practice in food inventory & sustainability.
In the spirit of peer learning and support Patrick has offered five simple strategies that hospitality businesses can employ to become more efficient, sustainable and profitable…
1. What’s measured is managed
Find out where you’re at when it comes to food waste.
Get the figures in front of you and look at where you are wasting food. It’s vital to get accurate data.
Using a service like Digitally will also allow you to manage your food stocktaking up to 72% faster
There’s always going to be a reason not to do something but there’s nothing more important than profitability in a business.
2. Understand that you will always have some food waste
There’s food waste and there’s avoidable food waste.
Understanding the difference between the two is crucial. It’s unrealistic to expect that you can reduce your food waste to 0.
For example if you are making an omelette, the egg shells are going in the bin – thats unavoidable food waste.
3. Make consistent improvements
Make consistent improvements on your margins across the business by constantly monitoring the key numbers that services like DigiTally’s show you.
Consider encouraging your team to offer two suggestions a week on how to improve margins in your business and increase profitability.
4. Digitise your manual processes
If you’re paying a chef for manual stock taking three hours a week and there’s technology available to do that same job in one hour, why wouldn’t you look to invest in saving those two hours?
At DigiTally we automate manual processes saving you time and money.
5. Avoid the whirlwind
As a business owner it is important to take a helicopter view of your business and avoid getting too caught up in its day to day operation.
Look at the numbers, discover the mistakes that the business is making and fix what you can with consistency.
The All-Ireland Business Foundation would like to thank Patrick for offering his expert insights for the benefit of our readers.
To learn more about DigiTally and what they can do for your business visit their website at www.godigitally.io
To learn more about DigiTally, visit their All-Star showcase page here.