Addressing Effective Food Waste in Foodservice


It’s lunch time and you’re wanting to stop for something quick. You pull up to your local convenience store and head to the roller bar. One hot dog is left. What goes through your mind? It’s probably stale, put out first thing in the morning and has been under the hot heat lamp for hours; it’s not going to be that juicy dog you were hoping for. Next imagine heading into that same store with 10 hot dogs on display. My bet is, you will think it’s fresh and the hot case was just filled. Lunch is served.

The challenge for convenience stores is that they walk a fine line between sales and waste. Too little waste is a sign that you are not growing your sales and margins. Too much waste, you’re not forecasting properly and are contributing to the global food waste problem. It’s been advised that convenience stores can expect up to 18 percent of waste in their hot grab-and-go items. As startling as that number is, it can be even higher in commissary-produced items.

Back in 2015, the EPA, FDA and USDA joined forces to create a food waste reduction initiative, with the aim of coordinating activities between all three agencies to help educate businesses and consumers about the critical importance of reducing food waste at every stage of production and consumption. As consumer awareness increases, retailers should start thinking more about waste much as they do overall profits. So how can retailers manage food waste effectively?

The key is to gain visibility into what and how much is being produced and what is being thrown away. Due to the high degree of variability in waste due to store location and time of day, a sophisticated inventory management system is necessary to gain accurate data to allow your retail location to have:

  • a comprehensive view into your store’s inventory in real-time to track the balance of on-hand inventory, markdowns, reworked inventory, donations and throw-away items to provide retailers with analytics for analyzing sources of waste.
  • a production planning system that provides production plans throughout the day. This data is derived from multiple internal and external factors such as historical sales, mark downs, and waste data, as well as seasonality, weather, events and more.


ADC is committed to helping retailers set and achieve their own food waste reduction goals, while also enabling them to operate more efficiently and more profitably based on data that reflects real-time sales and consumer tastes and demands. To learn more about the FreshIQ™ Platform and how it can help your store effectively reduce food waste, visit 800-849-1919