We live in a society where bigger is better, and in the hospitality industry this translates to steadily increasing portion sizes — and wasteful food preparation practices. It is estimated that 30 to 40 percent of the country's food supply ends up as waste. The restaurant industry contributes heavily to that percentage either from customers not finishing meals or kitchens over-ordering inventory.
The good news is you can combat food waste in your restaurant with one simple tool: a food weight scale.
Why Use a Food Weight Scale?
The importance of inventory control is paramount in restaurant kitchens because what it boils down to is that kitchen waste is bad for your bottom line.
Portion sizes in the U.S. and other developed nations have been steadily increasing over the last few decades. Often, this is due to the need to remain competitive in an already cutthroat industry. However, it has resulted in a significant increase in restaurant food waste.
A food weight scale is an inexpensive and effective way to control your portion sizes. It also encourages kitchens to scale back portion sizes and focus on quality rather than quantity.
But a scale isn't only useful for controlling portions; weighing your inventory as you receive it helps you to keep track of exactly how much of each product you have available to serve. This allows you to make more precise decisions on how much you need to order and how to use your products. You save money and throw less food away by using a scale.
It Promotes Consistency
The key to sustainable, long-term, high-volume food production is consistency. Customers want to trust that each time they visit your restaurant, they will receive the same high-quality product. A food weight scale will help you to manage your portion sizes better, whether meat or produce, which will give you more control over how you prepare your food.
Not only do the scales help you portion consistent single-serving sizes, but your bakers can also use it when measuring ingredients, so customers can rely on a consistent flavor and texture of any fresh dessert ordered. This is particularly useful for bakeries or restaurants with dessert stations that rely on precision to create their product.
As more industries are going green, the hospitality industry needs to follow suit. But with such a substantial amount of food waste going into landfills, one way that restaurants can do their part to preserve the planet is by assessing their purchasing practices and reducing their food waste.
Reducing portion sizes using a food scale is a great place for restaurants to start, but it can be challenging to balance the customer’s demand for value with a desire to minimize waste. Customers generally focus on quantity rather than quality when dining out. You must change the focus to reasonably portioned, quality sustainable produce rather than how much is on the plate.
Sustainably farmed produce is always going to be more expensive than produce grown by industrialized farming methods due to the sheer amount of work it requires. However, by combining the efficient use of your food weight scale to serve smaller portions, you can satisfy your customers' need for value with a high-quality product. Consequently, this will also reduce the amount of waste leaving your kitchen after each service.
Types of Food Weight Scales
Food weight scales are available in digital and analog formats. Digital scales offer more accurate readings than their analog counterparts. There are usually two different types of scales commonly used in restaurant kitchens.
Bench or Platform Scale
The heavy-duty bench scale is ideal for weighing inventory as you receive it, allowing for better inventory control. This type of scale is particularly useful for high-volume operations that receive large quantities of produce daily.
Portion Control Scale
The portion control scale should be an essential item for every kitchen to minimize food wastage. This smaller scale complements your bench scale so you can measure both what is coming in and what is going out to the customers.
Restaurant food waste is a serious issue that not only affects the productiveness and cost efficiency of your kitchen but also has a significant impact on consumer society and the environment.
A food weight scale is a small kitchen tool that can have a significant impact on the way you run your restaurant by increasing your kitchen's efficiency and reducing waste.