Recording food waste in a professional kitchen


In kitchen circles, food waste has emerged again as a popular topic for the first time in years. Part of the reason for this is the EU’s food waste regulation that requires member states to annually report the amount of food waste produced to the commission. The reporting obligation comes into effect in 2020.

There are concerns regarding a better future and the companies’ profitability, as the food and restaurant industry operators understand that wasted food is negatively reflected in the company’s profit. At the same time, the kitchens and staff have been trained to perform according to high standards, and different tools and recipe sets have been introduced to control the kitchen functions and food preparation.

Over time, there have been different motives for tracking food waste, such as food waste theme weeks or the need for revising portion sizes and recipe sets. Unfortunately, rather few kitchens are systematically observing their food waste or using the information for reducing the quantities of the produced food waste.

How can we affect the amount of food waste?

The most important tools for reducing food waste are a scale, a standard set of recipes, and knowing one’s customers. By standardizing recipes, it is possible to prepare more accurate amounts of food and so reduce the amount of food waste.

Sticking to the recipes, planning in advance, and using the right packaging sizes and a scale take us far in minimizing food waste. In order to prepare the right amounts of food, we must know our customers and prepare food in sections.

After taking these measures, if food waste is still being produced in the serving, preparation, or storing stage, we must record it and learn our lesson from it. What happened and what can we do differently in the future in order to prevent food waste?

Food waste is not a big, scary monster

It’s important to keep in mind that there is supposed to be a healthy amount of food waste. As a customer, I want to be able to go to a lunch buffet before the closing time and still enjoy a fresh, delicious-looking and safe lunch, without running into almost-empty serving dishes.

How to record food waste

Recording food waste is done either manually on a printed Excel sheet or into a recipe program.

Manual recording is time consuming and easy to forget in a hectic environment. Luckily there are digital tools to help with the problem. Fredman is known for digitalizing kitchens and we also offer solutions for recording food waste.


  • know your customers, prepare food in sections
  • stick to and standardize your recipes
  • plan the menus and purchases, take packaging sizes into account
  • storing, FIFO
  • waste food can also be sold after lunch, for example, with takeout offers or through waste food applications


Ville Parkkinen
Chef de Cuisine

Fredman Group