Monday, January 26, 2015

New tool will help zap food waste

The National Restaurant Association and LeanPath have teamed up to offer Association members a 10 percent discount on Zap, LeanPath’s food-waste prevention program.

The first 25 NRA members who sign up receive a free 60-day subscription.

“Our goal is to make it easier and more affordable for restaurateurs to prevent food waste,” said Jeff Clark, program director for the NRA’s Conserve sustainability program. “Many operators either don’t know how to get started or don’t think they have the money to install expensive tools to do it. This is a manageable way of making this environmentally responsible tool available to them.”

LeanPath says its goal is to help restaurateurs cut food waste before it’s generated, in an easy-to-use way that doesn’t take a lot of time.

“If we can help operators reduce food waste before it happens, that would be best financially and environmentally,” said Janet Haugan, the company’s director of marketing. “We want to make the process understandable and easy to digest. Zap will not only show operators what and how much they’re wasting, but how to prevent it from happening.”

LeanPath research indicates that approximately 4 percent to 10 percent of food purchased by foodservice operations is thrown out before it can be plated. Some of top reasons: overproduction, spoilage and excess trimming of meat and vegetables.

“If we can help capture some of what is being thrown out and put that back on the bottom line, restaurateurs will reduce food costs by 2 percent to 6 percent,” she said. “That is a significant savings.”

Haugan said LeanPath’s typical client ends up reducing kitchen waste by at least 50 percent.

The Zap program is available in three levels: 
  • Zap Basic, which costs $69 per month and is designed for small operator who spend less than $300,000 a year on food
  • Zap Connect, which costs $129 per month and provides the operator with more detail and customization
  • Zap Enterprise, which costs $229 a month and is recommended for chains with 10 or more units
Subscribers get access to:
  • LeanPath Online, a web-based reporting dashboard that records top-wasted foods, food waste by meal or day of week, and the top reasons for food waste.
  • Automatic weekly emails summarizing waste and prevention opportunities from the prior week.
  • A measurement and record of food waste on an ongoing basis. This allows restaurateurs to reduce waste by adjusting what they buy, how they produce it, what’s on the menu, and how they train staff.
Visit Conserve for more information on the program and sustainability solutions for the restaurant industry.

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