Sodexo college campuses cut kitchen waste by one-third

Nov. 18—Employees at eight Sodexo-run college campuses cut kitchen waste by about one-third by simply tracking and monitoring food waste, according to the preliminary findings from the first eight weeks of a Sodexo pilot study.

The study is part of the company's commitment to stop wasting food to curb climate change and improve business practices. Partnering with LeanPath, a technology company that provides food-waste tracking systems, the pilot study focuses on pre-consumer waste. Employees use a tracking station to enter data about what they are throwing out and why. The study found that by tracking the reason for throwing away items, the kitchen’s employees are able to correct any problems and prevent future food waste. The study showed that the employees in the kitchens were able to reduce overproduction, spoilage, expiration and trimmings. Each participating site in the pilot also has a Stop Waste Action Team (SWAT) composed of employees, which reviews the waste data, sets goals for improvement and tests waste prevention ideas.

“Our people have been vigilant about preventing food waste at these sites, demonstrating they are extremely good stewards of the environment,” Tom Post, president of education at Sodexo, said in a press release. “The pilot results show it's possible to send less waste to landfills and to reduce costs without compromising the quality or variety of the food we serve.”

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
recipe revamp chicken soup

As a continuous care retirement community, The Garlands of Barrington in Illinois provides daily foodservice to 270 independent living and skilled nursing care residents, with the majority of sodium restrictions coming from the latter, says Executive Chef Nicola Torres. Instead of cooking two versions of chicken noodle soup—a favorite offered at least twice a week—he reworked his recipe into a flavorful lower-sodium version that appeals to all. “Everybody eats soup, so I created a homemade stock that uses no salt at all, ramping up the flavor with fresh herbs and plenty of vegetables,...

Ideas and Innovation
tray number

We created lucky tray days to help create an experience surrounding our brand. The trays are numbered; we pick a number and the winner receives a free lunch. We’ve enlisted the help of one of our coaches, who calls out the random lucky winner, and it drums up a lot of excitement.

Managing Your Business
line kings girl goat open kitchen

Open kitchen concepts satisfy guests’ curiosity and desire for transparency. But there are some caveats. Here’s how to create a positive experience for both staff and customers when the walls are down.

Train to serve

With the back-of-house up front, everybody gets hospitality training. “Our cooks understand the food and what they’re doing incredibly, but translating that to guests requires [soft] skills that need to be honed,” says Marie Petulla, co-owner of two restaurants in Southern California.

Dress for a mess

At Girl & The Goat in Chicago, chef-owner Stephanie...

Ideas and Innovation
bus advertising jagermeister

Because many locals use the bus system, we paid for some full bus wraps to advertise [job openings within] our dining services program. The buses go all over campus where students can see them, and to apartments where the public can see them. To top it off, the cost wasn’t much more than newspaper rates.

FSD Resources