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Event Food Waste: Can we really get rid of it?

Akshay Shetty

If you are an event planner or someone who is looking forward to organizing an event while minimizing waste, then this article is for you. We can all agree that one of the hardest things to predict while planning an event is the amount of food that is going to be consumed. In most cases, we end up preparing way more than what’s needed, which ends up in the dustbin. Now, it’s a given that customer satisfaction is the centrepiece of any industry. So, it’s better to have more than to have less. Yet there are ways to cut food waste and save cost while ensuring that your attendants have their best experience throughout the event.


Planning & Forecasting:

The key to planning a waste-free event is by asking the right questions. The more questions you ask, the better picture you will have to prep in advance. For instance, you can ask the organizer for the estimated number of attendants to get an idea about how much to cook. It’s even better if you have a booking partner for your event as bookings are more reliable than estimates. It is essential to know if the attendants prefer vegetarian or non-vegetarian food. Moreover, it’s also significant to know how many people prefer to drink, to better plan your supply of alcoholic beverages. Depending on the type of event, the menu and choice of beverages may change.

Strategic Partnerships:

The growing awareness of food waste globally has several start-ups and NGOs taking various initiatives to curb food waste. Companies like Olio from the UK or No Food Waste from India are some of the best you can partner with. Also, you can always find a local NGO which will provide the food to the needy. Partnering with such organisations will not only help you reduce food waste but also assist a social cause.

Did you know: 45% of deaths among children are caused due to malnutrition. Also, thousands of people around the globe still can’t afford a meal.

Adapted portions & dishes:

Now this will take some research and might differ depending on the country and the region. However, with a little time, effort, and feedback from your customers, you will be able to adjust your serving sizes. It’s better to serve portions which people can enjoy and eat entirely, by using smaller plates. Remember to change your menu for the event accordingly as too many dishes will lead to wastage. Having a fixed menu with limited yet tasty options will help you save costs and leave your customers satisfied. A great example would be at restaurant Le Bichat (Paris). People get served small portions but can come back and ask for more grain or vegetables if needed.

Take away options:

You can always allow your employees and the attendants to take away food rather than dumping it. Tip: make sure you don’t pack all that food in plastic containers to avoid creating plastic waste. Instead of using plastic containers, you can use recyclable ones (biopac).

Waste Management:

Lastly, avoid plastic as much as possible instead go for a more eco – friendly option. It is also essential to have disposable bins. These bins should be segregated into the liquid, solid, and recyclable waste. It’s also important that the disposal bins are visible and differentiated with colours and signs. To make sure people don’t mix up trash, and it becomes easy to dispose or recycle them. Nifty Bins, a UK based company, provides collapsible recycling vessels for all types of environments.

We can’t change the damage already done. However, with our collaborative efforts, we can ensure that those alarming numbers can go down. So, we have a much greener and healthy environment for all by reducing waste. So, what’s your next step to win the food waste war?


Akshay Shetty