How to Reduce Waste in Your Mobile Food Business - dummies

How to Reduce Waste in Your Mobile Food Business

By Richard Myrick

Food waste and spoilage has a huge effect on your food truck business’s gross profit. You purchase food with the intent to sell it, but because you must throw some spoiled items away, the result is wasted sales. Reducing food spoilage is something that your food truck business should be doing from its inception, but reducing waste can be one of the most difficult tasks because you have to take so many steps.

If you can isolate those steps and take them one by one, your profits can increase while your spoilage decreases. These steps include purchasing, receiving, storage, and usage procedures.

  1. Make sure you or your staff is ordering the proper amount of ingredients.

    Before ordering, check the inventory to make sure you don’t order something that’s already in stock.

  2. Make sure you inspect all your produce deliveries.

    Sometimes a supplier can short you or add more product than you ordered. Also, make sure the perishable products you’ve ordered arrive in peak condition. Check each product for temperature and quality. If one of the items doesn’t meet your quality standards, refuse to accept it. If this happens repeatedly, you may want to look for a new food supplier.

  3. Use products that are at the end of their life cycle first.

    If you can create specials to use these items, your spoilage should see immediate improvement and profit.

  4. Review your storage methods.

    Correct storage methods can increase a product’s shelf life. Mark your incoming products with a black marker or grease pencil. Write the day they were received so the older products can be used first.

    Keep certain fruits and vegetables separate to prevent food spoilage. Some fruits, such as apples, peaches, and bananas, release ethylene gas as they age. Other fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, berries, and leafy greens, absorb the ethylene. Ethylene causes fruits to ripen, but it can also lead to spoilage if too much is present.

    Store dry goods, such as rice, grains, and pastas, in plastic or glass containers with an air-tight seal to reduce food spoilage.

  5. Order supplies to bring your inventory to a two-order period par level.

    That is: If you order an item daily, such as produce, order enough to have a two-day supply, including the inventory you have on hand. If you order dry stores weekly, subtract the inventory you have on hand from what you expect to use over the next two weeks and order the difference.