As we celebrate Food Waste Action Week, it's important to remember the significant impact that reducing food waste can have on the environment and school community. According to the United Nations, if food waste were a country, it would be the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the United States.
Food waste is a significant issue for schools and caterers. Although utilising advanced and innovative technology, such as Fusion and Fusion Online, can be a powerful tool to help schools and caterers reduce food waste.
The Importance of Reducing Food Waste in Schools and Caterers
According to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the UK wastes 9.5 million tonnes of food each year, with 70% of this waste coming from households, hospitality, and food service. Caterers are significant contributors to this waste. Reducing food waste in schools and caterers is crucial for several reasons:
Food waste significantly impacts the environment by contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and leads to unnecessary spending on ingredients, labour, and energy. Reducing food waste can help schools and caterers operate more efficiently, reduce expenses, and promote environmental sustainability.
How Schools and Caterers Can Reduce Food Waste
Schools and caterers can operate more efficiently and promote sustainability by implementing best practices for meal planning, portion control, and waste reduction. Here are a few suggestions to help schools and caterers reduce food waste:
Better Meal Planning: Accurately predicting meal demand and planning in advance can help reduce overproduction and waste.
Portion Control: Providing appropriate portion sizes can help reduce food waste and promote healthy eating habits.
Donation Programs: Donating excess food to local charities and food banks can help reduce food waste while supporting
Adopting Technology: Innovative technology, such as Fusion Online, can help reduce food waste by allowing pupils to pre-order meals in advance, ensuring that only the necessary amount of food is prepared. Technology can also assist with stock control and waste reduction by providing insights into trend predictions and stock control.
Utilising Innovative Technology
Technology can play a critical role in helping schools and caterers reduce food waste. Here are a few ways that cashless catering and pre-order technology can help:
Using a school meal pre-order app, such as Fusion Online, pupils can pre-order their favourite meals in advance, allowing your school to offer the most efficient food-to-go service. Pre-ordering school meals helps caterers know what nutritious school meals must be prepared in advance. Eliminating the need for over-catering and ensuring students receive the food they want, ultimately reducing food wastage.
Reducing Queue Times for Students
Fusion combines cashless catering and an online payment system into one solution, making it easier for schools to go cashless, which improves efficiency and also helps to reduce food waste.
Fusion's user-friendly point of sale (PoS) interface eliminates the need for cash. It provides fast transactions, leading to more efficient and speedy food service. Fusion allows caterers and schools to utilise payment recognition methods, including fingerprint recognition, card, and PIN code at the point of sale. Making it effortless for staff and pupils as it can cut down the transaction time to around three seconds. This helps to reduce waiting times, encouraging students to enjoy their meals without feeling rushed or pressured.
Improving Menu Planning and Stock Ordering
Fusion and Fusion Online offer schools and caterers access to valuable data insights to help inform meal planning and menu updates. By tracking the popular and unpopular meals among students, schools and caterers can better tailor their menus to meet student demand, reducing the likelihood of excess food waste.
By analysing purchasing patterns and meal consumption data, schools and caterers can make more informed decisions about which ingredients to order, when, and how much to order, meaning further reducing food waste and saving money. With Fusion and Fusion Online, schools and caterers can easily access and analyse this data, making it easier to plan menus, reduce waste, and operate more efficiently.
Adopting innovative technology, such as Fusion and Fusion Online, can play a significant role in helping schools and caterers reduce food waste. Take action this Food Waste Action Week by exploring the benefits of Fusion and Fusion Online.