The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the world as we know it, altering our habits from the way we travel to interaction between people.
Despite all the discomfort and problems it has brought along, one unlikely benefit of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be that restaurants are now wasting much less food.
Food waste at hotels in holiday destinations has declined as much as 40 percent during the pandemic after those venues restricted the practice called “the open-buffet system,” where people line up in front of buffets to get the meals, salads, and deserts from shared bowls and trays and by using utensils kept in the same place.
After the pandemic broke out, hotels, as part of anti-virus measures, started displaying food behind a glass to be served by personnel upon request. This rules initially designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus also helped reduce food waste. That measure protected both hotels’ guests and their employees.
“Before the pandemic, holidaymakers were grabbing large amounts of food in several plates. But obviously they could not eat them all and food would be wasted. Now we are serving food in plates…We realized that this way food waste in our venue has declined between 30 percent to 40 percent,” said Ali Kızıldağ, a manager at a five-star hotel in the Serik district of the popular holiday destination Antalya.
“Serving size has also become smaller and this happens in other hotels as well,” he added.
One of the benefits of the anti-virus measures at the hotels has been a decline in food waste, said Recep Yavuz from the Antalya City Council Tourism Working Group.
He agreed that food waste at hotels’ restaurants dropped by up to 40 percent.