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Avoiding food waste in Mediterranean region

The pilot project "Avoiding food waste" as part of our Sustainable Food industry project aimed to reduce food waste in the kitchen, on the buffet and on guests' plates in hotels and restaurants. Food waste was reduced in the participating hotels and restaurants on Rhodes, Calabria and Turkey through targeted measures such as waste measurements, training and the implementation of avoidance strategies. Easy-to-understand checklists and a catalogue of recommended actions made it possible to transfer the results to the entire travel industry.

Project results

  • 7 hotels and 11 restaurants on Rhodes, Calabria and Turkey were analyzed
  • The waste quantities were systematically measured by using a waste analysis tool, and savings potential in the respective areas was determined based on the measurement results.
  • Development and implementation of waste prevention measures, e.g. smaller containers or live cooking stations.
  • Food waste was significantly reduced: around 400 kilograms less food waste per week and up to 26,500 euros reduced operating costs per season and hotel.
  • Concrete examples of savings: One hotel was able to reduce food waste at lunch by 61.5 kilograms, which corresponds to a saving of 40 percent. Another participating hotel was able to reduce waste at dinner by 106 kilograms per week. This corresponds to a saving of 21 percent.
  • Cost savings also in goods and disposal costs of up to 26,500 euros per season.
  • For the broad implementation phase, the member companies of Futouris were able to implement the topic of “Sustainable food offerings on vacation” with a special focus on reducing food waste in other hotels and to anchor it widely in the industry.

Food waste is a global problem

According to estimates, around a third of all food is thrown away every year. In Germany alone 200,000 tons of food waste are generated every year in the hotel sector. Around 50% of this could be avoided. In other countries, the figures are likely to be similar: the basic study “Sustainable Food” showed that in the hotels surveyed in Turkey and Gran Canaria, around 60% of the food purchased ends up in the trash. An alarmingly high number that can be reduced through targeted measures along the value chain.

 

The aim of Futouris was to take exemplary action against food waste in selected holiday destinations in the Mediterranean. In order to find out where waste can be reduced, waste measurements were carried out in partner hotels of Futouris members as part of the industry project in cooperation with United Against Waste e.V.

 

A waste analysis tool was used to determine how much waste was generated in each area. Over a period of several weeks, the hotels measured food waste in storage, production, buffet and via plate leftovers. On this basis, United Against Waste then determined valid key figures and average values ​​for the entire industry.

On the basis of the measurements, checklists and a catalog with recommendations for waste reduction for hotels were then developed together – the chefs of the participating hotels discussed possible improvements in a roundtable meeting. Afterwards, all relevant hotel employees were trained using the train-the-trainer principle. After the measures developed had been implemented, waste measurements were carried out again in the participating hotels in order to evaluate the success of the project.

With their commitment, hotels not only protect the environment, they also save considerable operating costs because less food waste means reduced expenses.

Gregor Raimann, project lead at United Against Waste

Overview

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Curious to know more about our other projects?

Together with our members, we at Futouris develop innovative projects and implement them in practice. Our projects are as diverse as our members. Our common goal: to preserve travel destinations and make the industry fit for the future.