In the US, 40% of all food is wasted, leading to significant impacts on energy, water, and land use. To address this problem, the food service industry must prioritize reducing food waste. With access to a critical mass of food service workers and consumers, the hospitality industry is the ideal starting point for change that can spur action across the entire food service industry. To reduce food waste in hotels, a cultural and behavioral shift is needed. Limited data exists on trends in food waste or on best practices in food waste reduction. The first step is to conduct research to identify trends, opportunities, and best practices in food management that can prevent and minimize food waste in the hospitality sector. What we learn can lead to lowering food costs and reducing our environmental footprint.
To gain insight into how food waste and measurement is perceived within the hotel industry, and guide the development of strategies for food waste reduction, WWF commissioned two studies to gather qualitative data using interviews from hotel and lodging industry experts and thought leaders. This is a summary of those findings.