The Dragon Hotel, part of Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, is a 4 star, 106 bedroom hotel in Swansea city centre South Wales.
The hotel took part in a pilot to reduce food thrown away.
By the end of the 6 month pilot, the hotel had reduced costs by £3,000 through simple no or low cost measures including:
– Better menu design;
– Offering customers choices on side dishes; and
– Introducing food waste recycling collection.
These actions, together with investment in stock control systems, are now saving about £15,000 per year.
REDUCING FOOD COSTS
A review identified that over 19 tonnes of food was being thrown away each year at the hotel, accounting for 41% of all waste generated. This was being macerated and disposed of to sewer. Following the review, the hotel started measuring food thrown away.
This information helped identify a number of solutions to reduce this, including:
– Standard meals were being provided with set vegetables that some customers may not always want. Customers are now given choices such as salad to replace potatoes or other vegetables;
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“We knew we should do something but thought that changing anything would result in additional cost to the business. At first I couldn’t believe that we’d be able to save money but now that we can see the savings everyone is keen to do their bit and make it work even better. The staff have been great in taking on board new ways of
Cath Garcia, General Manager
– ‘Light’ options were introduced on meetings and events menus such as soup and sandwich options, improving customer choice and reducing the potential for food being thrown away;
– Menus were redesigned across different areas of service (such as restaurant vs banqueting) to allow sharing of ingredients, reducing the likelihood of them being thrown away.
For example, green beans are now used in a wide range of menu items;
– A daily ‘special’ is offered on the main menu providing customer choice whilst using surplus perishable ingredients; and
– Providing a ‘chef’s choice menu for functions at a lower price than the standard function menu to use up surplus stock.
“We hadn’t realised how much food was being wasted. Within days it was all sorted out and now we can see what is being wasted. We’ve already reduced our perishable food purchasing costs by 25% through better menu design.”
Steve Williams, Head Chef
The hotel has benefited in a wide variety of ways from the measures taken including:
– Introduction of a stock control system leading to reduction in food costs of 4% overall;
– Better menu design leading to perishable food purchasing costs down by 25%; and
– 19 tonnes per year of food thrown away segregated and recycled.