CEI Asia - Conference organisers must give food a thought

Event planners can do more to prevent food waste," says Craft House founder and director Yvette Jong

Food waste at events makes me cringe – and the reasons sometimes make me embarrassed to be in this industry. Too few venues and organisers donate unused food to charities.
Excuses range from lazy (‘the client paid for it’) and greedy (‘they want to get their money’s worth in food’), to fearful (‘regulations will hold me responsible if someone is sick’; or, ‘it’s easier to just chuck it out’).
The good news is that we can all reduce food waste with three measures that won’t impact the delegate experience.
Serve what people want to eat: I was once served lamb and half the table did no more than move it around the plate a few times.
Reduce portions: I was once served a dessert the size of my iPad. You aren’t cheating the system by serving portions that make sense. If someone wants more, give it to them.
Stop overproduction: I’ve seen entire banquet halls practically empty, but tables fully set with poured water and dishes served. If history says half your attendees leave before lunch on the last day of conference, then reforecast your numbers, even if lunch is included in the price.

Craft House Founder and Director, Yvette Jong, is a regular contributor to CEI Asia, Asia-Pacific's leading source for conferences, events and the latest incentive travel industry news, venue listings, case studies. Her contributions address operational challenges and solutions across the MICE industry. 

Click here to read more on the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act in the US the protects companies from liability.