The Missing Profits
Food wastage runs deep in the industry and most in the business are not even aware
AT 9PM on a Sunday, a Chinese economic rice stall displays an array of 20 food trays barely emptied of its contents – a telltale sign of bad business.
After serving the last customer of the day, the Malaysian workers prepare to clear up. In a clockwork motion, the dishes are brought into the kitchen, two trays at a time, and stealthily poured into a black trash bag placed beside the kitchen door.
In 10 minutes, a worker seals the fate of the curry chicken, steamed egg, stir-fried long beans and other dishes in the bag. That made up around 30 per cent of the food prepared.
“You’ll see the same scale of food waste everywhere,” says cook Kam Wong Jin, 32, who has been working in Singapore for eight years.
Seeing edibles dumped every day, Mr Kam, however, does not entertain the idea of cooking less food. “There will be no business if there’s not enough food. Besides, my boss will scold,” he says.
Speaking to over 50 food retailers, none of them would admit to food wastage.