Food spoilage is a major issue that businesses face in the restaurant industry. Not only does it create a danger to consumers, but it completely diminishes the food’s quality.
Food tech solutions constantly work towards food preservation and safety. In fact, many restaurant technology software options allow the business owner or restaurant manager to better manage their inventory. When running any type of food business, inventory control is vital for maximizing profits, cutting restaurant expenses, and ensuring high-quality products.
Food Spoilage: What Is It?
Food spoilage is the process of ingredients becoming unsuitable for consumption and ingestion. More specifically, it’s the biological process of different components breaking down.
When food and ingredients expire, safety concerns arise. Chemical reactions within various ingredients can result in harmful substances. This risk is why there are so many strict legal requirements to learn and acquire before starting a bar or eatery.
Before we learn how innovative restaurant technology can reduce food spoilage, let’s discuss why it’s such a problem in the first place.
Problems Associated With Food Spoilage
Food waste and spoilage raise many concerns. So much so, businesses can face legal action if they neglect them. From safety measures to higher costs, here are a few of the most prominent dilemmas expired ingredients can initiate in a restaurant setting.
- Higher Expenses: The cost of food can add up very quickly. In recent months, the effects of inflation have made it challenging for restaurants to remain profitable. So when eateries order excessive amounts of food, it ends up becoming an extra expense in the end.
- Safety Issues: When food breaks down during the decomposition process, chemical reactions take place. These biological processes are what causes changes in an ingredient’s color, odor, flavor, and texture. Despite being repulsive to consume, spoiled food is a safety hazard. Bacteria, mold, and other molecular compounds can form, which can result in allergic reactions and illness.
- Kitchen Clutter: A messy kitchen might not seem like the biggest issue. However, it can quickly escalate to significant problems. In a cluttered space, it can be difficult to keep everything clean and tidy. It can also become a challenge to know where everything is. These two factors can quickly result in cross-contamination and food waste. If kitchen staff had just enough inventory for their business’ different types of chefs, the entire space can remain neat and orderly.
4 Innovative Ways Technology Can Reduce Food Spoilage
Restaurant inventory management systems can help eateries dodge the risks of food waste and spoilage. In fact, these are some of the main issues such software aims to solve.
If you’re looking for ways to improve inventory management techniques at your business, check out these four ways that technology can reduce food waste and spoilage.
1. Schedule Shipments
One factor that can lead to food waste is placing inventory orders too close together. Combine this idea with running out of certain ingredients at different times, and you might be unsure of how to avoid overstocking every item.
High demand products like flour and eggs might need to be ordered on a regular basis. However, other types of inventory like unique spices and decorative accents may last a little longer in your restaurant.
Determine the turnover rate of each item (or ingredient category). Then, schedule shipments so that this process is on autopilot.
2. Track Inventory
If you want to take inventory with ease and accuracy, let technology help you out. Years ago, the restaurant owner would manually calculate inventory levels at the end of every shift. Sometimes, this would happen multiple times throughout the day if the restaurant was busy.
The biggest problem with tracking inventory the traditional way is that it allows for human error. Issues like purchasing excessive stock, paying higher prices, and inventory shrinkage can occur.
With the proper inventory management platform, restaurant managers can purchase only what they need from a vast wholesale directory. In doing so, they’ll be able to make the most of their inventory. In turn, this will reduce the amount of ingredients that spoil.
3. View Relevant Data
For instance, the restaurant staff can confirm which meals are best-sellers. Something like this can help avoid food spoilage in the future, as it directly informs you of which dishes to prioritize.
On the other hand, consumer data from the restaurant POS platform can indicate which menu items to eliminate. Sometimes, an eatery’s menu can be super extensive. In other cases, a restaurant might just have too many menu types to consistently manage.
By scaling back the number of menu items, restaurants won’t need to have as much stock available. And by extension, there will be a lesser risk of ingredients going to waste.
4. Categorize Orders
Similar to scheduling shipments, an inventory app can allow you to better organize your products. For instance, if there’s a particular collection of items that you normally purchase together, these can be in their own catalog. This way, businesses won’t have to purchase massive quantities of ingredients all at once.
Just think about how the timelines of expiration dates wouldn’t line up if you restocked everything at once. This approach could easily lead to expired food, defeating the purpose of inventory tools.
Frequently Asked Questions About Food Spoilage
Ensuring the safety and quality of food must be the top priority of any food business. Would you like to read a brief overview about causes and issues related to food spoilage? Keep reading to learn from several questions and answers!
Why Is Food Spoilage a Problem?
Food spoilage is a problem since it can provoke safety issues and higher expenses. If the environment is causing food to go bad, it could be a danger to other perishables within its proximity. But if you’re buying so much food that some of it ends up going bad, it’s a major waste of revenue.
How Can We Prevent Food Spoilage?
Store perishable goods in proper containers at the right temperature to prevent food spoilage. If you want to extend the expiry date of perishable even longer, freeze them or keep them at a cooler temperature.
What Is An Example of Food Spoilage?
A common sign of food spoilage is when green mold begins to appear on bread. Another example is when dairy milk begins to curdle. In addition to the foul odor and taste, spoiled food can be a danger to one’s health. Ensure that foods with signs of spoilage are discarded immediately.
What Causes Food Spoilage?
Oxygen, heat, light exposure, humidity, and bacteria are all factors that can cause food spoilage. All perishable foods are susceptible to spoilage, so it’s inevitable for it to happen eventually. This idea is exactly why it’s so important to keep tabs on your personal or restaurant inventory.
What Are the Signs of Food Spoilage?
Various signs of food spoilage include air bubbles, foul odors, leaking, and foam. In the early stages of food spoilage, you’ll know if there are any changes in color, scent, or texture. You want to ensure that spoiled food doesn’t contaminate items that are still good. So, thoroughly check your inventory regularly, keep the area clean, and store as much as you can in clear containers.