Getting Keen on Curbing Event Food Waste

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event food waste, meeting tips,professional development blog
Photo credit: jbloom @ flickr

There is perhaps no single thing planners can do to make their events more sustainable and less wasteful than to curb food waste.

Intuitively, that’s something that every responsible planner knows. But how do you tackle this issue in a way that is strategic and effective?

That requires a paradigm shift in on how event organizers select and present food, says Mariela McIlwraith, CMP, CMM, who heads up Meeting Change, a consultancy offering sustainable solutions to businesses and their events. For starters, instead of focusing on delivering quantity of food, focus on quality, she says in “Food Waste Solutions for Events.”

Moreover, the decision that will have the greatest impact on a planner’s food waste strategy is his or her choice of supplier, McIIwraith explains. So when selecting a venue, caterer, or other food service provider, ask about how the vendor deals with food waste, as well as specific examples of how they work with their supply chain to reduce food loss and food waste.

Check out her blog post for other tips, including:

  • Be sure to review your guarantees with arrival and departure patterns.
  • Offer fewer food options but more sizes, so that attendees can select the food portion size they would prefer.
  • Communicate to attendees that you’ve introduced a food waste strategy and ask for their support.
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