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How to minimize food wastage in parties

One of the prime attractions in any party or functions is food. People are attracted towards the food as they get to eat the tasty and wide variety of items which they do not get at their home. This leads to people taking more food in their plates then they can eat and ultimately leads to a lot of food wastage. This article attempts to give some tips to avoid unnecessary food wastage in parties.


Whether it is a marriage, housewarming, birthday or a reception party it will be always accompanied by lunch/dinner or snacks and generally large number of people are invited to such occasions. But if we see the amount of food wastage happening in such parties it is really alarming. If you notice the dish tub where the dishes are dumped after eating and the dustbins where the wet food items are disposed you will notice a lot of wastage food thrown away. Sometimes outside the marriage halls when everything gets over you will see a lot of wastage food lying among the garbage piles.
Why are people so insensitive towards food wastage? When on one hand there are people who are struggling for a grain of food it is really annoying to see such a wastage. But what are the factors responsible for the food wastage and what measures can be taken to avoid it? Let us see below.

Tips to prevent food wastage in big parties

  1. Measure your hunger - Sometimes people get obsessed by the variety of tasty food in the parties and start taking more and more into the plate without actually measuring their appetite. Ultimately when they start eating they feel that they cannot eat what they have taken into their plate. Hence the food they are not able to eat gets wasted. Hence we should always judge our hunger and appetite first and then only take into the plate as much as we can eat. If we want more we can always go and take more so we should not fill our plate unnecessarily for the first time.

  2. Monitor the children - Many times children account for more food wastage in the parties compared to the adults. Small kids do not understand the importance of avoiding food wastage and end up taking into the plate everything just for the sake of taking. They are not able to eat much and also many items they don't like. Hence they end up wasting the food. Here it is the responsibility of the parents to stay with their child when they are taking food or food is being served to them and ensure that they only take what they like and as much they can eat. They should also educate their children about the food wastage and make them conscious regarding this. If a child is very small then parents should ensure that they feed them from their plate instead of taking a separate plate for them. Also, care should be taken that children do not spill and drop the food while eating as this also leads to a wastage.

  3. Instruct the caterers - Now let us talk little bit about host's role in eliminating wastage. Party hosts should clearly instruct their caterers not to put too much at a time in children's plate. Even if they ask they should instruct them to politely deny them telling them that they can take after finishing the earlier one. For the adults also caterers should be instructed not to put too much at a time in the plate while serving. If people want more they can always request the caterer to add more.

  4. Do not fill your plate - One of the common things that happen with the guests at the party is that after seeing so many food items they get greedy and fill their plate with all of them and make it crowded. But when they start eating they get confused about seeing so many items in the plate and they are not able to eat anyone properly. This is a human psychology that if you will have too many things in your plate to eat you will feel half full on just seeing the food items and not feel like eating more. Too many things on the plate will also make the plate crowded and things get messed up as well. For example, curry gravy mixes with the sweet item and makes the chapattis in the plate soggy. Hence it is always better to take few items at a time in the plate, enjoy their taste and finish them and later go for more. Some guests fill up their plate thinking that who will go again and again to take the food and they sometimes also feel shy in going to the caterer, again and again, to ask for more. I think they should not have this kind of feeling.

  5. Keep the waste bins manned - Hosts should go ahead and take an extra initiative to keep a person from their side deployed near the food waste bins and the dish drop tubs in the party. They should carefully observe the children coming to drop their plates and see if they are wasting and throwing away the food. If it is so they should politely tell them to finish the food and let their parents know. This way people will be discouraged to take more and then waste it.

  6. Apply some innovative ways - Apart from these normal ways hosts of the party should try to apply some innovative ways in reducing the wastage. They should try to do the things like displaying the banners and placards in the party hall where the food is served saying " Food is precious. Do not waste it", "Take only what you want" etc. Hosts can also keep small prizes like chocolates or small gift items for the kids whose plates are clean and empty just to motivate them not to waste the food.


It is high time where we get conscious about avoiding the wastage of food in big parties. Every wastage prevented can serve to remove hunger of those who do not get to eat. For us, it may not seem a big deal when we throw away small quantities of food but the real value of food is felt by those who live in food scarcity. Let us not be insensitive towards food wastage and try to take all measures to minimize it. It will be a great service to the society.

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Author: Natarajan28 May 2018 Member Level: Gold   Points : 7

A timely article about reducing food wastage. Most people pile up items at a buffet or a served lunch as if there are no second rounds. Such people should remember that extra food would be served or can be got from the buffet counter if we need it. It is just a question of ask or walking a few steps. Also, a huge pile of food in a single plate would be frowned and give a wrong impression.

Children and parents are both happy to be away from each other during food time at parties or marriages etc. Children like everything they see and load their plates only to find that the taste is different or they are not hungry. Parents should take the initiative of serving what is needed for the child a few times first, so that the child learns this habit to take what he/she needs.

The hosts and guests can always tell the catering staff to serve smaller portions and if needed serve more with a smile on their faces. The hosts also need to be more conscious by limiting the number of dishes prepared for that evening or afternoon. We should learn that the number of varieties we serve at any function should be guided by our desire and not an arrogant attitude to display our wealth and affordability.

Many people have the mindset, what's wrong if we prepare extra or if we waste food, it's just one time and not a regular affair. But if we look at what is wasted, the amount is too much.

Recently at a wedding reception buffet, I found posters with the images of the hosts with folded hands requesting " We would be blessed if you could enjoy the food. We humbly request to please do not waste it. This evening, the leftover untouched food will be given to 'this' poor people home/shelter. Thank you." I think, the hosts can put up similar posters so that it acts as a gentle reminder at weddings, where people are busy with so many other things.

Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao28 May 2018 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 5

We have every right to eat food as much as we want. But at the same time, we have no right to waste the food even though we are procuring the food with our money or even when it is coming free of cost to you. You may have the right to waste the money you earned but you should not waste the national resources. Always remember that many people outside are dying without food to eat.

The hosts should be always wise in ordering the food. Generally, in parties, we will order many varieties and with so many varieties people can't consume very high quantities of each item. So when you are placing an order on a caterer, please order for only 80% of the people you are expecting. That will be more than enough for all. Let the caterers use small spoons than bigger ones for serving each variety so that only small quantities will be served.
Even after taking all the precautions if you are finding some food left over after the party, don't throw it out. Please distribute it to the needy. These days some people are coming and collecting the excess food and serving the needy. You keep such phone number with you and help them if you are left with food items after the party.

Guest Author: Yasmin08 Dec 2018

This is a terrific article! Thank you so much for the pointers! I am a preschool teacher and during the holiday seasons I see a lot of kids waste food during holiday parties at school. But it is even sadder that the teachers do the same. They would fill up their plates with food, take two or three bites, and dump the whole plate with food down the trash. It breaks my heart to see this and everytime I see someone throwing food, I picture millions of families going hungry for days and malnutrition rampant in the poor nations due to scarcity of food.

Author: T.M.Sankaran12 Dec 2018 Member Level: Gold   Points : 3

This problem is well taken care of by many people. However, still, the problem persists in society. A little care is to be taken by everybody who hosts large parties.
Generally, the service at these parties will either be as self or served by others. In the first case, the individual can take the items as per his preference and requirement.
The other mode is to be served by a team of waiters, who supply one item after the other in a 'queue'. They may be doing it speedily. This may sometimes lead to the supply of unwanted items and also more quantity.
Hence to avoid wastage, self service will be a better option.

Author: Sanjeev Gupta16 Dec 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 2

Nice article by the author about minimizing the food wastage in parties.

Its a very common problem which most of us face as people don't know how much to eat and ultimately throw away the left over. I would suggest hosts should arrange takeaway boxes so that the guests can pack and carry the leftovers. Some of them will be travelling long and some will return to their hotel room and will definitely require midnight snack, that will help to reduce the wastage.

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