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How to handle post event food waste

It's common to have excess food after a meeting, conference, event, lunch and learn, or other office activity. Since food waste is a growing concern in the UK, we're here to help reduce what may end up in the bin.

In response to a recent initiative from the government, titled 'Step up to the Plate,' Environmental Secretary Michael Gove says the following in Specialty Food Magazine.

“Together, we must end the moral, economic, and environmental scandal of food waste. The UK is showing real leadership in this area, but I urge businesses to join me in signing the pledge so we can bring about real change.

“Every year, around 100,000 tonnes of readily available and perfectly edible food goes uneaten. It’s time to join together and ‘Step up to the Plate’ to stop good food going to waste.”

There are alternatives to immediately tossing food after an event. OfficeServe guarantees freshness for the first 24 hours so it's perfectly safe for staff to bring leftovers home for dinner. Additionally, your office could donate to a homeless shelter or frontline charity before the days end. Read on to learn more about how your team can help reduce food waste.

Plan ahead to avoid food waste

When browsing OfficeServe's offerings of over 50 menu items, it's easy to order more than necessary - especially with delicious, fresh platters and salads like our Feta, Beetroot & Pomegranate Salad and Middle-Eastern and Indian Sharers. While it's important to provide a variety of options for an impressive spread, you don't want to overwhelm your staff. If you're concerned about skimping on selection, there's ways to appeal to everyone's tastes without ordering too much.

Here's what we suggest to minimise excess food:

Collect data

Whenever possible, send out a survey in advance to collect everyone's food preferences. When hosting a recurring event, make sure to take note of the least popular items.

Consider seasonal factors

What's appealing in the spring is different than in winter. Take note of these changes, and plan accordingly.

Don't serve everything at once

If ordering desserts (tray bakes and cakes), make sure to leave them stored until the end of the event. It's easy for people to feel overloaded if too much food is offered at the same time.

Create portioned boxes for staff dinners or donations

After the function is complete, create pre-portioned boxes for storing. Send out an e-mail encouraging staff to take one home before leaving. You can also provide instructions to make it easy for people to hand the food over to charities in their neighbourhood. Your employees can either enjoy the leftovers as a dinner or donate to food shelter/charity. Either way, the food will have a greater chance of not ending up in the bin as food waste. 

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