Three Ways Restaurants Can Manage Waste

Save Money

Managing waste is a huge concern for many managers of restaurants nationwide. Adam Robin, the director of operations at Cabo Flats, an authentic Mexican restaurant with five locations in South Florida, has three tips on how you can STOP wasting and start saving.


Keeping less on hand and in inventory helps the staff naturally conserve and use less of a product knowing they are running low or may run out. Keeping inventory to a minimum is key especially because money sitting on the shelves doesn’t do any one any good. By requiring strict ordering, usage and inventory tracking you are able to pin point any variances immediately. If your staff knows you are watching, they are less likely to steal or allow waste. Requiring a waste log also makes staff care more, they don’t want to document that they broke, lost or wasted anything.


Depending on your concept and setup, you can reduce waste of beverages by only offering canned or bottled soda. That way, you can track and sell every drink or refill. You are not wasting fountain soda or allowing staff and others free access to unlimited sodas. If you have fountain sodas available for the public at a quick serve concept or fast casual concept, it’s best to keep them behind the counter. I have seen guests refill their sodas before they leave just to get one more sip before they throw out the cup. Keep the soda fountain behind the counter and give them their drink, if they want a refill, no problem, but they will have to ask for it and have it served to them. You also eliminate just anyone coming in and filling up cups or containers with soda. The syrup, CO2 and water is expensive… make no mistake about it.

Hand DryerPaper Towels 

Paper towels should be a thing of the past. The smartest businesses should be using hand dryers. They are better for the environment, cost less than just a few months of paper products, and are a “green” solution. If you are using paper towels, use the electronic dispensers and control the length of the paper coming out of the dispenser. It will only dispense the amount you want, you can also control the settings to not let another piece out until you use your motion again. This greatly reduces the extra use or waste of paper towels.

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