Restaurants offering greater choice and smaller portions could save significant amounts of money and reduce waste, according to a survey conducted by WRAP.
Around half of UK diners say these factors affect how much food they waste when eating out at pubs, hotels, restaurants and fast food outlets.
Some 53% of respondents would like to see more choice on the menu, and 44% said large portions were off putting.
Side dishes of chips, vegetables and salad are often the most wasted food. Therefore, WRAP says businesses can save money by asking consumers whether these are actually wanted.
WRAP estimates that businesses offering food service could save around £722m a year by preventing food waste and increasing recycling.
Richard Swannell, director at WRAP responsible for tackling food waste said: “By highlighting consumer attitudes there is an opportunity for industry to create practical solutions to the problem.”
To help businesses change, WRAP has created an online resource pack for the hospitality and food service sector, which gives a summary of the research and practical solutions. These include menus with different portion choices and messages.
WRAP’s Hospitality and Food Service Agreement launched in June 2012 to cut food and associated packaging waste by 5% and increase recycling to 70%. The voluntary agreement has 150 signatories.
- Meanwhile, at Unilever’s Food Solutions industry event, ‘United Against Waste’, the multi-national is launching an industry-first mobile app – ‘Wise up on Waste’ - to help chefs and caterers identify and reduce avoidable food waste.