In recessionary times like these when food costs increase, your profit margins sink and as a food truck owner, you must take action. A simple tool you can use to lower your food costs and stop wasting food is the creation and use of a waste sheet.

Create A Waste Sheet To Stop Wasting Food

The waste sheet tracks waste in your food truck and commercial kitchen. When an ingredient or item is double ordered, over cooked, spoils or just can’t be used any longer for any reason, it MUST be recorded on the waste sheet. Use a new form each day.

To set up your form, create the following columns:

  • Time
  • Item/Description
  • Amt/Qty/Wt
  • Reason for Waste
  • Employee Initials

In reference to the waste sheet, write in the time the product was wasted in the Time column. Write a description of the item wasted in the Item/Description column, such as a menu item. Tally the amount, quantity or weight of what was wasted in the Amt/Qty/Wt column.

The next step, which is probably the most important, is to write in the reason for the waste. This will be huge to help identify operational problems that can be corrected with tracking. For example, if the list shows a three gallon loss of buttermilk because the cooler you use not cooling at the proper temperature, it may prove to be a worthy investment to fix the cooler. Or maybe it’s your service counter staff that consistently orders, and needs more training. The waste sheet provides actionable solutions.

To finish the form, the employee writing in the waste will leave their initials.

Stop Wasting Food Today

The waste form should be implemented in your food truck right away. As soon as food is wasted, write it in. I know what you are saying to yourself, “Right! On a Friday night when we are kicking out 200 covers, I’m going to stop everything so we can write that down.”

While I wish the answer to that question was yes, I know the reality of running a food truck is never a perfect world. So here’s what you do… just place each of the items in a clear Lexan box when the waste happens and then at the end of the rush, go through and record each item wasted.

To make sure the waste sheet is effective, you should value out each item wasted. This figure will be very important when you are comparing actual and ideal food cost at the end of the period.

RELATED: Hidden Food Costs Can Kill Your Food Truck Profits

Do you have any tips to help stop wasting food? We’d love to hear your suggestions. You can share them below or on social media. Facebook | Twitter