Mr. Lawrence Eells working as executive chef at the Hyatt Regency Orlando, in Florida wishes to make his kitchen and operations to be lean and limited. In the April, he had invited a team of researchers to search for ways to minimize the food waste, especially that happen due to unlimited buffets.
The experts were from ‘Ideo’, the famous global design company that had designed Ikea’s future kitchen and Apple’s first mouse, conducted a detailed study of the eating pattern of guests, food preparation and presentation of the food to the guests. Main aim of this study was to measure the amount of food consumed on regular days and weekends versus food which was thrown away as waste. Their focus was to highlight those areas where innovations can cut down this wastage.
The findings were shocking; guests just ate a little over half of the amount of the food been served at the buffet. Out of that merely 10-15% leftovers were donated or repurposed and the rest was thrown away as garbage. Items that contributed to this waste were juices, coffee and other liquid items.
Mr. Eells said, “It was a shock for me”. As he handles over 5,000 buffet event annually and added number of buffets hosted in the hotel’s premises. “These findings are an eye opener and hard to belief”.
There exists no data on the total amount of food wastage that happens in hotels and their buffets, but hotels are best place to initiate awareness process and alter behaviors surrounding sustainability issues, same as they have for the purpose of water conservation. Here the challenge is to strike a proper balance between offering high level of service yet minimizing food wastage. Changes that can produce better outputs, are to engage customers and put efforts to make buffets data-driven.