Planetpro: The Leftover Dilemma

Friday, October 2, 2020

Despite your planning efforts, there’s usually extra food that you didn’t serve left at the end of the night. What can you do with it to reduce waste?

What can you do with it to reduce waste?

Save it, Give it away, Move it







  • As long as the quality of the food won’t suffer and you have the storage space, you can always store it for future use.
  • Be sure to label the storage container with the contents and date you prepared it.









  • After the shift, give remaining food away to employees.
  • Give to charity, making arrangements with non-profits like local soup kitchens or food pantries so you can put your food to good use and build goodwill in your community at the same time.
  • Keep records of these donations so you can claim them as tax deductions where allowed by law.
  • Make arrangements with your nearby farms (including your suppliers) to use your scraps for animal feed.  
  • Mark food down by 1/3 as you near closing time.
  • To draw attention to this option (and potentially build your late-night traffic), advertise the savings on social media and provide coupons. 











Do it yourself

If you have the space and time, turning scraps into compost can be very rewarding. You can find bins online, build your own, or even use a bucket. Here is the basic approach:

  • Pick a site, indoors or out.
  • Create a bin.
  • Layer food waste, dry plant material like leaves or sawdust, and soil.
  • Add water to keep the pile damp.
  • Stir the mixture to aerate.
  • Wait 2-3 months, continuing to aerate and keep the mixture damp.
  • Use the completed compost in your garden and containers.
  • If you produce enough compost, you can give some away to your produce suppliers and/or customers.
  • Remember to promote your efforts to the public!

Partner with a Provider

If you’re limited on space or have too many scraps, look for an industrial service that will provide bins and haul your compost away for processing.

Follow these guidelines:




Put it in the bucket

Put it in the recycling or trash

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Meat, bones, fish products
  • Pasta, bread, cereal
  • Cooked foods
  • Dairy products, eggshells
  • Coffee grounds, filters & tea bags
  • Paper towels & paper towel rolls
  • Soiled paper food packaging
  • Pizza boxes
  • Muffin wrappers
  • Flour and sugar bags
  • Items labeled BPI Certified Compostable

PLASTIC (unless labeled compostable)

  • Styrofoam meat trays
  • Aluminum foil
  • Clam, oyster & mussel shells
  • Candles, synthetic corks & gum
  • Cigarette butts, tobacco
  • Disposable mop sheets
  • Recyclable materials
  • Items labeled biodegradable (meaningless)
  • Items labeled Oxo-Biodegradable