Food Waste in Three-Star Hotels in Egypt: Quantification and Potential for Reduction

Document Type : Original Research Articles



Food waste, by its very nature, is extremely inefficient. It represents a missed opportunity to mitigate environmental and economic impacts throughout the food supply chain. A few scholarly publications have focused on measuring and monitoring the volume of food waste generated in the Egyptian hotels, although this information is valuable for planning and for setting benchmarks to compare the performance of one hotel against another, or of one hotel through a timeframe. Therefore, this study took the quantitative approach to identify the quantity, source points and causes of food waste in three-star hotels in Egypt. Besides, the study aimed to examine the status of food waste prevention activities currently adopted by the investigated hotels. Data have been collected through the direct weighing method using the tracking sheet approach to get certain descriptive data from three-star hotels about the quantity, type, and origin of food waste. Additionally, semi-structured interviews were conducted with hotels' executives to explore food waste prevention activities followed by the investigated hotels. The average food waste per hotel was estimated to be around (192.1) kg/day. The service/buffet stage had the biggest problem with food waste, which accounted for an estimated (48%) of all food waste produced in the investigated hotels. The majority (83%) of food waste at this stage was estimated to be avoidable food waste. These apparently high waste values were attributed to factors such as poor planning, types of food being served, facilities and technical constraints, eating behavior of customers, and lack of top management and employee support. Finally, intervention strategies were proposed based on the previous findings.


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