Corporate Social Responsibility / Environment / 18 October 2017

Food waste reduction – how simple environmental measures can lead to dramatic financial gains

New research conducted as part of the Manchester Metropolitan University and Robinsons Greener Retailing Project has demonstrated the huge potential financial savings for pubs that reduce their food waste.

Case studies of three Robinsons pubs: The Harrington Arms, The Ship Inn and the Airport, demonstrated the potential savings which pubs can make over just a four-week period, with all three reporting annual estimated savings of thousands of pounds.

Using the ‘Your Business is Food’ calculator tool developed by Manchester Met, these pubs were able to monitor the types of food which were being wasted by separating food waste into three categories – plate waste, prep waste and spoilage. This allowed the pubs to monitor, measure and improve in the areas which were losing them money.
The Ship Inn, a tenanted pub in Roose, reported an annual estimated saving of £3,186. Similarly, The Airport managed house, near Manchester Airport, estimated savings amounting to an astounding £4,361, and The Harrington Arms, in Gawsworth, is expected to save around £3,381.

The Ship Inn began offering smaller portion sizes to customers and making garnishes optional which led to a reduction of two thirds in plate waste. The Airport now offers coleslaw and sauces rather than automatically giving them. This resulted in the pub using only one tub of coleslaw a day instead of eight. The Harrington Arms, which had many issues with large amounts of prep waste, began using peelers rather than knives when preparing fresh vegetables, as well as opting for buying pre-prepped vegetables. This reduced prep waste by almost a third.

The Courtauld 2025 initiative, which the BBPA is committed to supporting, aims to reduce food and drink waste by 20 percent by the year 2025. Reducing food waste is both beneficial for the environment as well as being profitable and good for business.

All three Robinsons operators discussed the ease of implementing food waste measures, and all were astonished by the ability to make large savings without taking up too much of the time or energy of their staff.

The BBPA is calling on other members to help meet the commitments of the Courtauld 2025 initiative. Through small and easy measures, your business can help to protect the environment, whilst making huge savings.

The ‘Your Business is Food’ campaign provides simple tools for you to use to guide you in tracking the amount of food you throw away. The campaign offers tracking sheets and calculators, quick start guides and checklists all of which can be found here.
For more information go to

Written by

Philippa Borrowman

Policy and information officer

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