The Perfect Sustainability Plan: Proactive Waste Reduction That Leads to Profitability Improvements
Food waste and sustainability are becoming hot topics with consumers, likely to be the next buzz words for restaurants similar to “organic” or “local” in the early 2010s. The impact of food waste is massive, with a 2019 ReFED study finding that $408 billion worth of food, about 2% of the U.S. GDP, going unsold or uneaten annually. When food is produced that ultimately gets wasted, we also waste non-renewable resources like about 80 million acres of land and all the water used in California and Idaho. Plus, food waste is the #1 contributor to landfills, making up nearly a quarter of our trash.
It’s estimated that restaurants alone produce nearly 13 tons of surplus produce that ends up in landfills, incinerators or compost piles. That’s equivalent to throwing away more than $64 billion tons of lettuce, tomatoes and onions. Plus, 90% of this waste is due to issues that directly reduce penny profit in restaurants:
Over portioning: Plate waste from customers not finishing their food and not taking it with them
Overproduction: Prepping or cooking more than is needed for actual customer orders
With so much money on the table, or rather, in the trash, for restaurants, why isn’t sustainability a more prevalent discussion?
While the answer to this question is undoubtedly complicated by what’s on the menu, how profitable the chain is today, and existing priorities, the most looming barriers to prioritizing sustainability are likely awareness of how big the problem is at the restaurant or region level and, unsurprisingly, that improving restaurant sustainability comes at a cost.
But what if improving your restaurant’s sustainability also meant you could improve your bottom line?
With Perfect Kitchen and Perfect Pickup, we provide easy-to-use technology solutions that make restaurant managers smarter, with connected equipment that reduces the human error leading to much of this food waste.
Perfect Kitchen provides a guided workflow from inventory and prep to order completion. Restaurants using Perfect Company solutions have seen improvements like:
$24,000 lower costs by reducing food waste per store
20% less labor for prep tasks
4 percentage points (400 basis points) overall improvement in COGs
The Perfect Kitchen Workflow directs excellent back-of-house restaurant operations regardless of who’s in the kitchen, reducing food waste by increasing manager visibility to kitchen tasks and improving team efficiency with just-in-time cues and notifications.
Perfect Kitchen Production Forecast provides a more accurate, highly detailed daily manifest that drives, store-level, localized back-of-house activity. Driven by our proprietary Forecasting Engine, the Production Forecast gives teams easy-to-follow prep instructions, ingredient quantities, and cook and hold times based on POS, Menu, Supply Chain, and Store Profile data.
Perfect Kitchen Digital Prep Guide delivers auto-triggered, hourly plans to guide precise execution of all crew activities based on menu specifications and recipes. All Prep Guide activities can be customized by daypart or shift, and the ability for a manager to override provides maximum flexibility.
Perfect Kitchen Prep & Production Manager guides step-by-step sequenced tasks with real-time notifications, using connected equipment that not only provides an automated workflow of today’s tasks, but also makes tomorrow’s production smarter with better data.
Perfect Kitchen Recipe Execution provides precise, prompted portioning with the latest ingredient and recipe information managed in the Perfect Kitchen cloud. Actual portioning data is collected throughout execution, helping management analysis and benchmarking that identifies the biggest areas for improvement and food waste reduction.
The Perfect Pickup Platform helps restaurants manage to-go orders to reduce food waste through stronger organization across multiple order platforms, directed order status management and better visibility to hold time and temperature. Perfect Pickup works with cooled/heated/ambient cabinets or shelves within the store or outside of the store to provide contactless, secure pickup options that are fast and easy for customers and crew.
With multi-channel orders managed by Perfect Pick-up Platform, restaurants have less theft, confusion and waste due to mismanaged orders or food safety concerns. Perfect Pickup works seamlessly for customers across restaurants with 5 simple steps, with or without integration:
Customer places order using existing order channels
Order is received and started by kitchen
Kitchen indicates order is complete in Perfect Pickup Platform
Perfect Pickup indicates where to place order within cabinet or shelves
Perfect Pickup sends customer notification and pick-up code using existing restaurant or 3rd-party delivery communication channels
We think it’s time for restaurants to start thinking of sustainability initiatives that are beneficial to their bottom line as well as to the environment. After all, in the words of the late Wendy’s founder, Dave Thomas, “Profit isn’t a dirty word.” Solutions like Perfect Kitchen and Perfect Pickup reduce food waste in a way that elevates execution in restaurants, providing overall cost savings and profitability increases in addition to helping restaurants become more sustainable.