A choice of portion sizes, second helpings and the option to bring home leftovers may soon be common place as hotel and guest house owners try to reduce the amount of food waste in their kitchens and dining rooms.
About one million tonnes of food waste is disposed of each year by the catering industry, including that from hospitals, prisons and schools, while hotels alone account for over 80 million meals annually.
With increasing EU regulations and having enjoyed a record business year in 2016, hoteliers are now looking for a more sustainable way of managing their food orders and waste.
According to a survey of hotel and guest house owners released at the Irish Hotels Federation’s annual conference in Kilkenny on Monday, more than one third (39 per cent) have reduced portion sizes and are offering seconds to guests instead.
In addition one in six hotels (17 per cent) now offer guests the option of a food box for any uneaten portion of their meal.
Eight out of ten (80 pre cent) have changed how they purchase their ingredients - from adjusting quantities that they buy to sourcing more produce that is seasonal or local.
According to Joe Dolan, president of the Irish Hotels Federation, the scale of the operation means the potential for food waste is very real. “In tackling the matter hoteliers are acting responsibly and contributing towards the resolution of a global environmental problem,” he said.
Global realisation that food wastage should be avoided is to be commended. Not wasting food is part of the teachings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and should be implemented individually and collectively.