In a bid to prevent wastage of food as well as to reduce the amount of waste food ending into the landfill Ipoh Mayor Datuk Zamri Man had appealed to hotels to restaurants to remind their diners not to waste food.
In a message to the press at the last full board meeting Zamri stated the Council disposed 500 tons of waste daily to the landfill and would like to reduce the volume by 1 ton per day by reducing the disposal of food waste.
He added the Council would start a long term “No Food Wastage” campaign to get its message to residents.
Besides singling out hotels and eateries he also highlighted that during the Ramadhan period diners breaking fast would buy their food on impulse and would store the leftover food in the refrigerator only to subsequently throw it away when expired.
As a preventive measure Zamri proposed that hotels fine their diners a sum of RM10 for each 100g that was left over.
“It would be better if the hotel food would be distributed to their staff instead” proposed Zamri.
Subsequent checks with hotels in Ipoh revealed that this reminder to guests not to waste food had been initiated years ago.
Syuen Hotel Manager Ms Maggie Ong said the initiative to remind guests not to waste food was started by the hotel five years ago.
“The reminder is not just done during the Ramadhan buffet period but all throughout the year for the buffet packages.
“For years now we have placed a sign at the buffet table reminding customers not to waste food or they will be fined” said Ong
Regarding the allocation of leftover food to their staff Ong responded that too was an ongoing practice.
Ong shared that an effective method the hotel controlled food wastage was via their in-house chefs monitoring of the popular and not-so-popular menus.
“This is actually a cost control procedure where more or lesser ingredients are purchased depending on their popularity and effectively controls the volume of food leftover.
“This cost control is very important especially since 2015 where the hotel had seen costs rise by 15% one of which was due to the implementation of GST.
Ong however acknowledged that despite all their rules reminders and controls the hotel has never yet reprimanded any of their customers.
Besides Syuen Hotel, Kinta Riverfront Hotel too has done its fair share.
Marcom Manager, Mac Loh the hotel had earlier collaborated the Department of Solid Waste management (PPSPPA) a department under the Ministry of Housing and Local Government in its “ No Waste Food” campaign.
Since then all the slides created during the campaign are displayed at the coffee house, in house TV’s and on the table.
Another measure to control food waste is the hotels forecast of its menus.
“Generally we forecast and pre-plan a 3 day lunch and dinner menu with large quantity for more popular and lesser for non-popular dishes as a control of wastage.
“At all times we attempt to forecast accurately to reduce wastage and also to ensure we don’t produce unnecessarily. This is especially effective during peak periods such as school holidays.
Loh added after the buffet time is over their leftover food is offered to their staff for their consumption. This is their ongoing procedure.