Attention To The Amount Of Food Waste Helps In Reducing It

In the U.S. the amount of food waste is estimated to be 30-40 percent of the food supply. A kitchen system helps food service operators in reducing food waste. The customers can also affect the amount of food waste in restaurants. In September the yearly arranged national Food Waste Week in Finland aims at raising the appreciation of food and educating consumers of the importance of reducing food waste.

By Matleena Autio

I was enjoying peaceful breakfast in a hotel lately, as I was on a business trip and there was no scheduled meeting in the morning. My breakfast is usually a pretty dull concept – some bread, yoghurt and too many cups of coffee with milk. During my kitchen career, I have become so familiar with many of the food products that a hotel breakfast rarely gets me to differ from my routine.  Most of the hotel guests seem to feel just the opposite. A buffet makes quite a few to load huge amounts of food on their plates and at the end a lot of it becomes food waste.

As I walked through the breakfast room, I embarrassedly watched the scenery that could have been from the paintings of ancient Rome feasting. Table after table was full of half-eaten servings, which the waiters cleaned away to make room for the next customer´s towering portion. Nobody seemed to care about the amount of food waste.

Are you eating with your eyes or for a need?

According to studies the number of dishes available has an impact on appetite. In circumstances when appetite is lost, you can enhance the amount of ingested food by increasing the number of the served dishes. This also works the opposite way. When there’s only one or two dishes available, the total amount of food you eat usually remains less than in a banquet.

It is also known that the size of the plate influences the size of a customer´s portion in a buffet. We easily pick more food on a large plate than a smaller one. The location of dishes in a buffet line can influence what we take more. Usually you take more of the dishes that are in the beginning of a buffet line than the dishes that are at the end of the line.

Minimizing the food waste

Restaurants are minimizing food waste in many different ways. Psychological ways that I mentioned before are often used. But also, for example info boards are placed for customers to pay attention to the amount of food waste. According to studies, as much as one fifth of the food produced in food services goes to wastage in the EU. In the U.S the amount of food waste is estimated to be 30-40 percent of the food supply.

Food waste caused almost 10 percent of the human-made greenhouse gas emissions in 2010-2016. The U.S and the EU have announced a goal to reduce food waste by 50 percent by the year 2030. For example, the EU required it´s member countries to report the amount of food waste produced to the EU commission.

Natural Resources Institute of Finland (LUKE), together with the operators of the food sector and ministries, has initiated a project to build a national monitoring system for food waste. In Finland we have also had a specific food waste week every year in September since 2013. The purpose of this food waste week is to make consumers pay attention to the amount of food waste.

Kitchen Intelligence System helps kitchens but customers must take responsibility, too

There are already good tools for documenting the amount of food waste. In the JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System, you can document food waste and food consumption directly into the menus in the system. You can also update that information to the margin calculations of the menus. With the BI feature this information is also available in a visual format. The system enables printing complete lists of the dishes of the day or the week with the planned production quantity to assist documentation in production.

Thus, documentation on food waste and food consumption can enhance the estimations of sales and help decrease the food waste of a buffet. The system also calculates the actualized portion sizes of a buffet, based on the documentation on produced food, sold portions and food waste remaining. A rather practical tool to predict the consumption of a buffet.

So, The Kitchen Intelligence System helps professional kitchens to decrease the amount of food waste in production and in a buffet. You can influence plate wastage, too, for example in ways I mentioned before. But in the end the responsibility is ours, the customers. Only take food on your plate just the amount that you surely can eat and take more if you need – but not for good measure.

Food that you leave uneaten is expensive for us customers, but also for the restaurants. And the most expensive of all to our common environment.

More information about food waste and related actions in the U.S: FDA: Food Loss and Waste

Jamix Kitchen Intelligence System

Jamix has been digitally fighting against food waste already for 30 years

Jyväskylä, Finland – April 21, 2020

Food service operators and restaurants are making efforts for fighting against food waste, as responsibility and the carbon footprint of food are emphasized more and more. The economical aspect is of course significant, as well – food waste causes major losses. Jamix, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, has created a digital tool for professional kitchens enabling accurate orders for ingredients, as well as providing calculations for the carbon footprint of food and nutritive values. The company has grown into being the market leader in Finland, and has gained a foothold internationally, as well, especially in the United States.

Mikko Jaatinen, Founder and CEO of JamixJamix is a pioneer in its field. Mikko Jaatinen, CEO and founder of the company, started to develop the system in the beginning of 1990, when ingredients were ordered to the kitchen by telephone and quantities were based on rough estimates. This tended to result in huge amounts of wastage, and it was hard for the kitchens to monitor if they were staying on budget.

– The customer’s budget might have been used already by November, so for the rest of the year you had potatoes to work with. The daily routines have changed a lot in the professional kitchen during 3 decades. Today the budgets are planned carefully, there are several special diets being served and the origin and the environmental effects of food are taken into account, says Jaatinen.

One of the system’s users is Omnia education and training center in Espoo, Finland. Around 1000 diners visit Omnia’s restaurants daily. According to Tarja Hämäläinen, Omnia’s Services Manager, they have been able to reduce the amount of wastage significantly and the use of time has become more efficient, as well.

– Before we implemented Jamix, orders were made by telephone and recipes had to be developed by ourselves. There were huge amounts of waste, as there were no precise amounts for ingredients in the recipes.

The amount of food waste decreased by around 400 pounds a week

Omnia has made many efforts for reducing wastage. Trays have been taken away, and instead there is a so called generic plate. You take soups and other food on the same plate which results in appropriate portion sizes. The customers are reminded about reducing wastage and Omnia collects customer feedback continuously so that there would be as many preferred options on the menu as possible.

– With these actions we have been able to reduce the amount of food waste by 350-450 pounds a week. That means that we have gotten rid of the cost of one food waste container. We are hoping to implement a scale for food waste, as well. It would make the amount of waste more visible both to our customers and to us, says Hämäläinen.

Huge market in the United States

Today Jamix is the market leader in the domestic market and most of the foodservice operators and restaurants in Finland use its system. Jamix has grown internationally, as well, and it has made major contracts especially in the United States. One of Jamix’s customers is Yale Hospitality, where the system is used in 16 Colleges, 11 Cafés, as well as in a large commissary kitchen and a bakery. Yale Hospitality prepares 18.000 meals a day.  The market potential in the United States is huge: There are 67.000 kitchens within the College & University Food Services alone.

– I believe that we are well equipped for reaching our targets with the strategy we have chosen, that is through college and university kitchens. Our advantage in the US market is, that our system is cutting edge. The customers have been amazed by its web-based user interface, usability and versatile features.

The United States has proven to be an interesting market where the right contacts have been essential in going forward.

– Coincidence plays a small role in everything, and for us becoming acquainted with a resptected and well-known person in the food service industry has had a big impact. We are currently negotiating with several universities and are hoping to be able to publish a new, major contract in the near future, tells Jaatinen, living in Boston since 2018.

About Jamix

Jamix is a Finnish company specializing in cutting-edge restaurant software for professional hospitality and food service operations to plan and organize recipe, menu, inventory and ordering management, and internal logistics. Founded in 1990 by a young Finnish student, in 30 years Jamix has grown from a small local business into a software company with 2500 + clients all over the world. Headquartered in Jyväskylä, Finland, the Jamix US office is based in the Boston. “Thousands of customers use Jamix to produce over one million meals, every day!”

Ron DeSantis Certified Master Chef

Environmental eating is an emerging trend

Students are interested in the environmental impact of the food they are served. Having a kitchen intelligence system with CO2 values provides both foodservice operators and their customers information on the environmental impact of food. This is one of the topics in the following newsletter by Certified Master Chef Ron DeSantis.

Food Is Just the Beginning™
by Ron DeSantis

Volume 3 Issue 4
April 2020

200 Totoket Rd
Branford, CT 06405

Come On, Already!

While considering what to write in this space I decided that I will be your 3-minute getaway from the Covid-19 news. Since that is THE daily topic, you don’t need more from me. So……

How do we get out this tangled mess? It seems that every conference room has a mass of tangled wires for our technology. When will we get rid of this mess? Really, we have wireless earpieces, Bluetooth to the car media, and on and on but we can’t figure out how to clean up a conference room?!


Master Chef Insights

Food Platform

Thinking of food as a platform is a way to do more with less. What that means in an operation is – what recipes can be prepared using a limited number of ingredients? Oh, and customers want to be amazed with each menu item.

One example that helps me explain a food platform in practice is okonomiyaki. This delicious, simple “cabbage pancake” from Japan is a practical way to explore a food platform.

Fundamentally okonomiyaki is shredded cabbage held together with pancake batter. It is seasoned, fried (ok sautéed, but we’re talking about street food here) and topped with a burst of flavor drizzles. Chef Gerry Ludwig was ahead of his time in 2008 when he wrote and talked about okonomiyaki. Since 2008, restaurants have opened with okonomiyaki as the star menu item.

How this all relates to a food platform is due to the versatility of okonomiyaki. What I’ve discovered is that okonomiyaki is adaptable to all global cuisines. When a chef starts with cabbage and pancake batter, she can flavor it any which way. The platform is cabbage and batter. Seasonings and toppings create the final dish. Add conventional beef or plant-based beef to the available ingredients and the okonomiyaki can become vegan, or a meat-eater’s delight. The possibilities are limited only be the chef’s imagination.

Thinking in terms of food platforms allows chefs to offer many menu choices with a smaller inventory.

Culinary & more…

Kitchen Tech – CO2 Value of Menu Items

On March 6, 2020 Yale Daily News reported that students wanted to know more details about the environmental impact of the food they were served. Almost 1,000 students responded to a survey conducted by 2 seniors. The results showed that 86% of students want ”to see environmental impact ratings” of the food in the dining halls. As interesting is that 62% of students claimed they had made food choices based on posters in the dining halls showing the environmental impact of the food.

This is likely the early phase of environmental eating in college & university (C&U) dining. One of the challenges for C&U operators will be access to detailed environmental information related to the food chain. In the student survey, students were specifically interested in the CO2 footprint of the food served.

Jamix Kitchen Intelligence Systems has a CO2 function built in. The CO2 core ingredients are part of the Jamix system. As a chef builds a recipe the CO2 is calculated for each recipe. This information is carried into the menu design feature of Jamix. This provides managers with clear CO2 footprint information at the recipe and menu levels of the system.

Many C&U operators believe trends begin in C&U. I’m not sure about all trends, but certain trends do start in C&U. Environmental eating is, I believe, one of those trends. Having the right kitchen intelligence systems keeps managers on point with these trends.

Quarantine Pantry

In March I sent out a special newsletter about preparing meals using food from your pantry. I followed up with a video that my daughter did with me, and her friend edited. Then my friends at Hormel Foods tied this into a great service piece with many chefs about cooking from the pantry. Here’s a link.

Ingredient of the Month

Bacon! Looking back on my newsletters I discovered I haven’t put bacon as the ingredient of the month. Well, here it is.

The problem is – what does one say about bacon? Everyone is a bacon expert. Everyone has a favorite bacon. There are even “cult” bacons like Neuske’s. What I’ll share is why I believe bacon is so popular.

Delicious. Yup, bacon is delicious. It has the right balance of meat, fat, smoke, and salt.

Versatile. Bacon can be used in so many ways. It can be the center-of-the-plate, or a flavor enhancer. Chef David Burke made the bacon clothesline a signature menu item in his restaurants. There are desserts with elements of bacon. In other words, bacon is way more than a great accompaniment with eggs in the morning.

In fact, my first cooking assignment as an 18 year old (know it all) Marine at MCRD San Diego was to cook the bacon for breakfast. I figured this was too easy for me, until a pan in the rotating oven tipped, spilling bacon grease in the oven and the oven caught on fire. Needless to say, no bacon that morning, I learned I didn’t know everything, and there were A LOT of ticked off Marines!

Finally, my last comment is – bacon CAN be too crispy. I know I might be one of the few people in the world that might say that, but it’s true. Consider preparing a glace de viande. There is a fine line between perfect flavor and over-reduced. The same goes for bacon. There is a fine line between, just done and too crispy. Fine that perfect point and you’ll be rewarded with the best that this ingredient offers.

Cooking Tip

Sautéing/Pan-frying. First terminology. For me, sauté is the same word as frying. Deep-frying is something else. Panfrying is sautéing/frying in a bit more fat and often with something breaded.

Here’s the information I wish to share – make sure the pan is hot. The amount of fat, to me, is not as important as the pan temperature. Too cool and food sticks. Too hot and it burns. When I start cooking, I put my saute pan on the stove and turn the heat on low. Then I continue my prep. This way the pan is already getting conditioned and it’s a small jump to higher, ready-to-cook temperature.

Once the pan is hotter, add oil. When the oil starts to smoke (lightly, if it’s billowing blue smoke, you’re not going to be happy and it’s become dangerous!), it’s time to add the food. Only add enough food to almost cover the pan surface. And DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING. When food is added, the temperature of the pan’s surface has to recover. If it left alone, it seems to recover more quickly. Now fry the food until it’s properly done.

These are my frying tips. Have fun with your culinary experiences!

Buon appetito.

CulinaryNXT is a food service advisory practice drawing on Ron DeSantis’ 30 years of experience in all facets of the food industry. Ron is one of only 70 Certified Master Chefs worldwide and has advised organizations of all sizes and types. His strengths include culinary innovation, menu and recipe development, culinary assessment, bottom-line results, and communication skills that allow him to implement solutions  effectively.

CulinaryNXT’s base is in New Haven, but its reach is truly global. CulinaryNXT’s relationships extend to numerous countries around the world in a client and alliance network that has been built over many years. These relationships provide both global support and local knowledge.

JAMIX CO2 Calculator is one of the Best of Gastro Helsinki

JAMIX CO₂ Calculator is one of the “Best of Gastro Helsinki 2020”

”The Best of Gastro Helsinki 2020” have been selected, including 5 new items in the restaurant business

The 5 most interesting new items of Gastro Helsinki 2020 – an event for food and restaurant business – have been selected. These items make the work in the kitchen easier, enable activities related to responsibility, and help in understanding environmental aspects related to ingredients and meals. Gastro Helsinki takes place in Helsinki Messukeskus event venue on March 11-13, 2020.

The Best of Gastro are products or services included in the product/service range of the exhibitors. From the suggestions entered the jury selected 5 new products or services bringing additional value to restaurants, bars, coffee shops and professional kitchens through, for example, the ease of use, collecting and presenting information, or promoting activities related to responsibility.

The products and services nominated as The Best of Gastro will be presented at the exhibitor booths throughout the event.

The Best of Gastro were selected by a jury including Editor in Chief Heli Koivuniemi (Aromi, Shaker, Evento magazine), Senior Manager Anne Lundqvist (Fazer Retail Finland), District Director of Restaurant Services Hanne-Riikka Piironen (Delicatessen Ravintolapalvelut), Top Chef winner Akseli Herlevi (owner of Naughty BRGR chain), Chairman of the Finnish Sommelier Association and  restaurateur Samuil Angelov (Muru, Pastis, Sue-Ellen, Ultima), and Chef Jarmo Vähä-Savo (BarLaurea). Event Producer of Gastro Helsinki Mari Katajamäki acted as the Chairman of the Jury without the right to vote.

JAMIX CO₂ Calculator is one of ”The Best of Gastro Helsinki 2020”

JAMIX CO₂ Calculator is an application related to JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System, and it calculates the carbon footprint of food. The application will automatically calculate the CO₂ values for recipes and meals. The operator can choose to publish the CO₂ values to the end-customers together with the menu.

JAMIX CO₂ Calculator is developed for professional kitchens for calculating and comparing the carbon footprint of food. In JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System it is easy to compare the CO₂ values of ingredients and experiment the effects of different ingredient choices on the carbon footprint of a meal. In addition to this, the operator can choose to publish the CO₂ values to its end-customers, which enables them to make comparison and choices based on the carbon footprint, as well.

The possibility to compare the carbon footprint of different items already when creating recipes and planning menus makes it easier to take environmental aspect into consideration in the professional kitchen. Announcing the carbon footprint for meals will bring additional value to the end-customers, as well as a possibility to effect on the carbon footprint.

Sustainability and responsibility play a key role in all areas of today’s society. The environmental effect of food is approximately as big as of traffic and habitation. Besides households, the professional kitchens have a major opportunity to support sustainability, and one way of doing this is taking the carbon footprint of food into consideration. JAMIX CO₂ Calculator enables exploring the carbon footprint of food, and it is easy to share information with the end-customers, as well.

JAMIX will be exhibiting at Gastro Helsinki March 11-13, 2020

– Come and meet us at booth 6g28!

Jamix kitchen system healthy meals

Kitchen System Provides Well-being To Your Customers And The Environment

Taking care of your health and the environment doesn’t necessarily require huge efforts. Kitchen management system makes it easy for commercial kitchens to prepare healthy and sustainable meals for their customers.

By Matleena Autio, System Specialist

Food is not all about taste. A diet following the dietary recommendations promotes health and reduces the risk of several non-communicable diseases. The most common issues with diets are related to the use of vegetables and red meat, as well as the amount of salt. When your everyday diet is based on healthy meals, you don’t need to worry about occasional treats.

Kitchen management system is an important tool in the professional kitchen. In multi-site operations the system makes it easy to use the same recipes and ingredients in all sites. The use of ingredients that are in accordance with contracts is extremely important both with regards costs and nutritional quality.

Allergens in Jamix Kitchen Intelligence SystemIn addition to nutritive values, you can easily check the allergen information from the system, when the same recipes are used in all sites. Semifinished products or spice mixes might slightly differ with regards ingredients depending on the manufacturer. When you use exactly the same items that are in the kitchen system, including the detailed ingredients lists, you can be sure that the ingredients list communicated to your customers will match the prepared meal. The communication of allergens is especially important, and when you have the most common allergens linked to your ingredients and recipes accordingly in the system, it is easy to take these into consideration both in production and on the food labels.

Healthy diet promotes well-being to the environment

The diet that is healthy for people is also the better choice with regards our environment. Environment-friendly foods include wholegrain cereals, beans, berries and fruit, and local fish – these are the same Food CO2 Calculator in Jamix Kitchen Intelligence Systemfoods that are included in a healthy diet.

The possibility to compare the carbon footprint of different ingredients when creating recipes and planning menus makes it easy to take sustainability into consideration in the professional kitchen. You can even use ingredients with a bigger carbon footprint without growing the environmental effect of the meal, when you include other ingredients with a lower carbon footprint in it. In the kitchen system it is easy to compare and try different ingredients and see how different choices effect on the carbon footprint of the meal.

More and more customers are interested in the environmental effect of their meal choices. You can easily communicate the carbon footprint to your customers through JAMIX MENU application, for example. This is an easy way of communicating your business’s sustainability to your customers.

Small steps will take you far without you even noticing it

Taking care of your health and the environment doesn’t necessarily require huge efforts. Small everyday things and paying attention to the right things in your everyday routines often play a bigger role compared to some show off happening once a year. Small changes are usually also easier to accept and they are more likely to become a part of your everyday routine compared to big changes that require a lot of attention.

You can effect the nutritive content and the carbon footprint of your meal for example by replacing some of the meat with a plant based protein or by switching your cooking cream into a lighter version. Even if the change is not that big, when you practice it for one year, it can have a significant effect on the well-being of yourself and the environment.

sustainability in food service operations

Foodservice operators can support sustainability in many ways

By Anna Skyttä

Most people are probably familiar with the concepts of sustainability or controlling the climate change, and the awareness on these subjects increases all the time. So far it seems – at least to me – that the media emphasizes the carbon footprint of traffic or travelling, and to some extent the carbon footprint of habitation. The fact is, however, that the environmental effect of food is approximately as big as of traffic and habitation. The Consumer Association in Finland organizes a Food Waste Week every year with the aim of getting the consumers to pay attention to food waste – as the most of it is generated in households – but the professional kitchens play their own role with regards food waste, as well.

There are around 1 million restaurant locations in the United States preparing roughly 200 million tons of food yearly. One quarter of food is wasted in restaurants and other food service operations. This includes food waste generated when preparing food as well as food waste from the leftovers both by the kitchen and by the customers. This means that around 50 million tons of food is wasted yearly in the restaurant and foodservice operations.  When you take that down to a shorter time span, 150.000 tons of food is wasted each day in the United States.

The previously mentioned wastage figures are prone to give you goosebumps, and not only because a tremendous amount of food is wasted, but also in that sense, that the wasted food costs a tremendous amount of money. And at the end of the day, the consumer pays the bill as all the costs are included in the menu prices.

Reducing the amount of food and ingredients wasted is one significant way to reduce the environmental effects of food. In addition, the CO₂ values of the ingredients used have their own effect on the carbon footprint. When producing or preparing food, production planning and the right kind of efficiency support sustainability, as well.

Food waste in the foodservice operations comes just partly from the leftovers on the plates

You could easily think that the leftovers on the customers’ plates is what generates food waste in restaurants but in reality a lot of food waste is generated in the kitchen, for example extra food prepared which cannot be utilized again. So, in the professional kitchen, you should consider your operational policies and how they effect on the amount of food waste. And maybe the leftovers on the plates could be reduced with smaller portions…

Recipes and ingredients generate one part of the kitchen’s carbon footprint

In general we know, that animal based foods have higher carbon footprint than vegetable based foods. However, the role of CO₂ values for individual ingredients is not defined before you build a recipe of several ingredients with the chosen measures. The carbon footprint of a recipe can be at a reasonable level even if it included ingredients with higher CO₂ values, if the amount of them is not too big and the recipe includes more of ingredients with lower CO₂ values. In addition to this, you need to consider the impact of the portion size and furthermore that the role of the CO₂ values for individual recipes most often are not defined before the recipe is part of a meal. So, at the end of the day you end up with menu planning.

Food CO2 Calculator in Jamix Kitchen Intelligence SystemA system is an essential tool when calculating CO₂ values for recipes and menus. The CO₂ values for all food ingredients are available in JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System. The program automatically calculates the CO₂ values for recipes and meals, and it includes comparative values based on the average emissions for different types of meals (snacks, main courses, desserts) which makes it easier to interpret the figures. Not only does the JAMIX system help the kitchen manage their carbon footprint, it also provides the option to publish the CO₂ values of the menu online to the end customers. This enables the customers to make their own choice and influence the carbon footprint of the food they consume.

Menu planning is a tool for reducing waste of both prepared food and ingredients

Menu content and how it corresponds to the customers’ needs is obviously one significant starting point in menu planning. Keeping the amount of different meal options at a reasonable level makes the work in the kitchen easier and it helps in controlling food waste, as well. When planning your menu, in addition to appropriate portion sizes you should consider adapting the amount of portions to the amount of diners expected.

A system is a great tool for menu planning, as well. You can easily update your menu options, if needed, and you can easily change portion sizes and the amounts of portions – and the program will automatically take care of all the essential calculations. You can register information on the sales in the system, and utilize that information when planning future menus.

The unique Food Bank functionality in JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System enables you to manage food that is prepared in advance in the system. The program takes the quantity registered in the Food Bank into consideration and calculates automatically how much food needs to be prepared in addition to the food that is in store. All these functionalities help you in optimizing the amount of food to be prepared and further control the wastage of prepared food.

The system calculates a shopping list based on the menu and together with inventory management functionalities helps in optimizing the amount of ingredients to be ordered. You can register traceability information in the system and monitor for example the use by dates for the items in store, which helps in preventing food waste caused by outdated items.

Support sustainability with production efficiency

Running production efficiently saves time and money but efficiency is related to environmental friendliness, as well. In addition to time and personnel, unefficient operations can use too much ingredients or energy.

Jamix Kitchen Intelligence SystemA system makes the work in a professional kitchen easier and more efficient. The unique Mobile Recipe in JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System enables the handling of recipes in production for example on a tablet instead of a traditional printout on paper. You can print all the recipes including instructions with the chosen amount of portions with the production sheet functionality. And here printing means also printing on the screen, so it is possible to work without any paper. When the instructions are clear and the quantities accurately calculated, you can prepare the food efficiently and you will have the right quantity of it.

State of Restaurant Sustainability

Read more on restaurant sustainability in the United States on a report by the National Restaurant Association.

Sources used in this post:

National Restaurant Association

The Guardian


Kitchen technology supports sustainability and provides answers to consumer needs

At present, efficiency in the foodservice industry is a major problem. Estimates show food waste totaling 63-million tons per year across the supply chain, amounting to roughly 218-billion-dollars in waste.

Sustainability is a hot topic in the food service business, as well

– The food service industry is one of the largest employers in the United States as a whole. Everything we do has an impact on so much that takes place, states Certified Master Chef Ron DeSantis. Food waste starts way down at the beginning of the food string. How we order things, what we order, are we using enough technology to help us see what the menu mix is, and order the right ingredients for the amount of food we need to prepare.

– Sustainability has to do with reducing and preserving or recycling resources. If we are able to protect the resources anywhere through the production and distribution and service of the food to the consumers, we’re impacting overall the environment and the economy in a significant way, explains Rafi Taherian, Associate Vice President, Yale Hospitality.

Consumers want information and transparency

The industry is also faced with evolving consumer demands. With concerns about diet and nutrition, food allergies or sensitivities, and sourcing of ingredients, consumers want transparency in the food they consume.

– Consumers are aware of food through social media and other outlets, so they can see what’s going on in food, and people want wholesome ingredients. We can track the boat that a fish came from, we can track vegetables back to their origin to the farmers. No matter what it is there are people behind all of this, making these foods for us on a daily basis. So that kind of transparency is very important. And I think it’s great for the industry across the board, reflects Ron DeSantis the current trends.

Technology provides benefits to restaurant operations comprehensively

– The food industry for many years relooked at the technology for better communication, better planning and better process efficiencies. We are using technology not only to gather information but to also create predictability of future performance. So technology has become a key aspect of operational needs, states Rafi Taherian.

Thanks to advances in technology, kitchen management systems now enable managers to have more control over food production, providing data for restaurants and their customers.

JAMIX is Finnish software company which has been developing and making software for professional kitchens for almost 30 years now.

– We have created a complete, versatile and dynamic software which can be used by any kind of restaurant or restaurant chain, tells Mikko Jaatinen, CEO JAMIX Inc, and continues:

– We have a totally web based system which is supported by apps which we can give to mobile phone users in the kitchen and take everyone on board to using the system, which is so easy to use with this modern technology. It is not just a tool for the managers, it is everyone’s tool in the kitchen every day.

– If you go to any supermarket today, you see more and more people looking at the labels – they are interested in what is in their food. You have to have that information in normal food you buy in the supermarkets. We provide that same data through our system to anyone who visits a restaurant. The ingredient list of a recipe, allergen information and dietary requirements. In addition, the program calculates automatically calories and other nutrients based on the recipes, explains Jaatinen the benefits of the software system.

Jamix software also calculates the carbon footprint, that is the CO2 value of recipes.

Managing items is easy with a restaurant management system

The restaurant inventory and management procurement software helps businesses manage all items easily in the system. It can automatically create purchase orders based on a menu and can then calculate quantities to be ordered, according to what is needed.

JAMIX software is also used in Kay’s Kitchen restaurant chain in Ireland. Bart Glover, Director of Kay’s Kitchen appreciates the benefits for their business:

– JAMIX software gave us the ability to price a plate of food and then be able to link that with back of house. To be able to control the quantities that we are buying.

Allowing recipes and menus to be managed by site, by chain, or by concept, provides the headquarters with control over costs and quality of food served throughout the chain.

– The JAMIX MOBILE allows senior staff members, like chefs and managers to make decisions on the spot, immediately. You can order inventory from our suppliers without having to go to fax machines or sending emails or making telephone calls, it is instant control, explains Bart Glover.

– JAMIX for me is the right type of kitchen system. By having the information there – recipes, ingredients, building menus, inventory control, tracking cost, having the real-time cost from purveyors come in – those are all tools that I can do to manage waste, to manage production and control energy usage. Everything comes from that ability, the right kind of technology. Having it centralized, for me is a very important tool and very important part of what the future of the food service industry is going to be about, summarizes Ron DeSantis.

With 30 years of experience within the foodservice industry, JAMIX continues its mission to make work in the restaurant kitchen easier.

JAMIX was featured in an episode of Innovations with Ed Begley Jr., broadcasted on October 27, 2018 on Fox Business channel. Innovations is an award-winning television series hosted by actor, director and environmentalist, Ed Begley Jr., and is dedicated to bringing viewers the most up-to-date, cutting edge information across a vast array of industries. From health and wellness to global business, renewable energy, and more, Innovations features practical solutions and important issues facing consumers and professionals alike. More information:

Reducing Food Waste will save you money and make your environmental footprint smaller

Kitchen management system helps restaurants and other food service operations in reducing food waste with versatile and comprehensive functionalities.

by Tuulia Heiskanen, Trainer

Reducing food waste with Jamix Kitchen Intelligence System

Food is thrown away every day in households, restaurants and the industry as well as already at the producers. You probably throw away large quantities of food yearly yourself, without even noticing it. Most of this food waste is a result of both unmade plans, but also of not following the plans that have been made. When you cook food in advance for more than one day, as you often do, you might end up eating something else the next day just out of an impulse. After a while, the ready made meals or untouched out-of-date packs are on their way from the fridge into the garbage bin. So there is a place for improvement.

I looked at some statistics on food waste and on the impact it has. Here are some figures:

  • One third of all food produced is lost or wasted (Source: FAO)
  • 150.000 tons of food is wasted each day in the United States (Source: The Guardian)
  • Households are responsible for almost half of the food wasted, but restaurants and other food service operations build up a notable 25 % share, as well (Source: Statista). Food waste could be avoided by better forecasting, or by preparing and storing food in another way.
  • Food that is produced for nothing puts a load both on the economy and the environment. Environmental effects are huge: the carbon footprint related to food waste is almost as big as the road transport emissions globally (Source: FAO).

Food waste is something that we most probably cannot get rid of completely, but it is clear that there is a need to reduce it.


New goals and legislation planned for reducing food waste

Fortunately the excessive amounts of food waste have been noticed in the past couple of years. The UN Sustainable Development Goals include cutting down food waste in half on the retail and consumer levels by the year 2030, as well as significantly reducing food waste within the whole production-distribution chain. Reaching the goals requires functional tools for continuous monitoring and reducing of food waste. Reaching the goal set by the UN, that is cutting down the food waste in half in a decade’s time, requires involvement from each food producer, business, retail store, restaurant and consumer.

Legislation needs to support the reduction of food waste. In France there is a legislation that forbids tossing food in retail stores and restaurants. Legislation really should be revised: The other day I heard from the radio that a part of food goes to waste already at the producers. This is caused almost solely by too strict quality standards for products: If the appearance of an item is not according to the standard, it doesn’t qualify to be sold in a store and it gets thrown away.

In addition to legislation, you need to educate people both at home and at work places, and provide tips and tools for reducing food waste. In Finland the Consumer’s Union has taken a grip on this and the national Food Waste Week is being arranged yearly in September. The campaign aims at encouraging everybody in reducing food waste and at the same time increasing the appreciation of food by providing information and practical tips. The campaign welcomes businesses and organizations as partners, and JAMIX has also been participating the Food Waste Week for several years now.


Restaurant management system helps in reducing food waste

As mentioned before, the lack of planning or the lack of systematic practises cause a major part of food waste. This applies both to households and to restaurants or other food service operations. Just implementing a kitchen management system with basic functionalities often already results in reduced food waste. But you can also maximize the benefits of the system with regards food waste by exploring it more extensively, and utilizing all the functionalities provided.

JAMIX KITCHEN MANAGEMENT system provides a great menu planning tool along with procurement management, which together aim at the best possible match between the amount of prepared food and the sales or consumption. The amount of diners and the portion sizes are easy to plan on the menu, and the system will automatically calculate the right amounts for recipes to be produced. The system creates a shopping list based on the menu, so you will have the exact need for ingredients for producing the meals on the menu. When you compare the list to the existing inventory, you will avoid ordering excessive amounts of ingredients which could end up in wastage.

In JAMIX software, you can also register the sales and wastage on the menu. This enables you to check the figures next time you are producing the same recipe, how much was produced for a certain amount of diners, how much was consumed and how much was left over. This makes updating of portion sizes on the menu easier. You can even let the system update the portion sizes automatically based on the sales and wastage registered in it.

In addition to well executed menu planning, the inventory management functionalities in restaurant management systems and separate HACCP systems support food waste management. Inventory balance monitoring and inventory-take are useful tools in preventing out-of-date items from ending up in wastage, and by setting par levels for items you can prevent excessive ordering.

Customer feedback is another good tool for preventing food waste. Through collecting feedback either with a restaurant management system or otherwise, by listening to it and taking it into consideration in menu planning you can both increase your sales and prevent food waste.

By not producing food for nothing, or by not having out-of-date items to be tossed away, has an impact on the environment as well as on the costs for a kitchen. Ingredients are the biggest individual cost for a kitchen in addition to labour costs, and by forecasting the amount of food to be produced as precisely as possible and by monitoring the wastage you will quickly gain savings. The reduction of food waste might be pushed by legislation in the years to come, so it is worth while to start giving it a thought already now.