Reducing food waste: an exploration of a campus restaurant

Michelle R. Alcorn, Daniel Vega, Ryan Irvin, Paola Paez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: As exploratory research, this project aimed to develop and assess the effect of implementing a food waste reduction program at a restaurant on a university campus. Design/methodology/approach: Data collection consisted of an audit of both pre and postconsumer food waste to determine the effectiveness of various reduction strategies and a survey to assess attitudes of employees toward food waste. As exploratory research, a personalized database was created to track current food waste amounts and reasons for waste in the restaurant operation to determine if the same method could be employed in future research. Findings: Overall, the restaurant in this study implemented various effective food waste reduction practices that were inexpensive and simple, resulting in a weekly average reduction of 14.3 pounds of food waste. The top five food item products wasted by the kitchen were also identified for both pre and postintervention phases as well as the reasons for generating kitchen waste. Furthermore, data reported on postconsumer waste included weight quantities and product types. Originality/value: The project resulted in evidence that a personalized food tracking system is useful for identifying and quantifying food waste in foodservice operations. Therefore, the research design and data collection methods used in this project can be used in future research on a larger scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1546-1559
Number of pages14
JournalBritish Food Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 22 2021


  • Food industry
  • Food waste
  • Kitchen waste
  • Plate waste
  • Restaurants


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