With our focus on fresh ingredients and making our food to order every day, we have developed an efficient food distribution and operation system to enable our operations to run smoothly. It also means we rarely have significant leftovers to dispose of or donate. We’re committed to further minimizing our waste and developing food waste solutions that will help protect our environment.
In 2020, Wendy’s partnered with the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio to pilot a food waste diversion program in Columbus, Ohio. This pilot program will be valuable to help us optimize our approach to restaurant food waste diversion and proper procedures and training for the team. Using what we’ve found, Wendy’s and the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio are jointly exploring how waste diversion approaches might work for Wendy’s at scale.
As part of our commitment to quality, Wendy’s assesses our products every day in a lab at our Restaurant Support Center. In 2019, our Quality Assurance department performed a detailed analysis of how much food we use for necessary testing processes. Without sacrificing critical evaluations or product quality, we optimized our approach and used 46,000 fewer pounds of product samples a year. Continuing to find efficiencies, in 2020 we donated nearly $100,000 worth of food to the Mid-Ohio Food Collective. Wendy’s intends to continue this food donation initiative in 2021 and beyond.
In 2019, Wendy’s was part of a pilot program run by the National Restaurant Association in collaboration with World Wildlife Fund to identify and sort our food waste at three Washington DC restaurants. The results revealed that most of the waste was fruit and vegetable trimmings and prepared vegetables—in other words, food scraps that are ineligible for donation. We were pleased to learn that the majority of food was being consumed, rather than thrown in the trash.
Learn more about the 86 Food Waste effort to reduce food waste in restaurants.