The restaurant industry is worth nearly $800 billion in the United States, and there are more than a million restaurants nationwide. But running a successful restaurant business is not easy — as many as 60 percent fail within the first three years of opening their doors. At full-service restaurants, profit-margins are razor thin, ranging between 1.8 and 3.5 percent, according to the National Restaurant Industry.
Successful restaurants must find a way to keep costs low while keeping the quality of service high — no simple task. Because it typically isn’t associated with the bottom line, food waste is one area of a restaurant’s operation that often is overlooked. Four to 10 percent of food purchased by a restaurant or food service operation is discarded before ever reaching a customer.
With restaurants generating large amounts of food and beverage waste, paying people to haul off and dispose of it is becoming a costly business liability. Meanwhile, growing regulatory uncertainty surrounding waste means smart businesses are looking to get ahead of the issue before it gets out of hand.