OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more


Recent contributions


Contribution list

Recent comments

(1) View all

Hannah commented on Catering to the Food Waste from Caterers

Hi Kate Rushton !

Thanks for your comment. Yes, it seems Sachin Bhide and I are addressing similar problems! We are both considering excess food after large events, namely weddings. He is right, in that weddings (which make up a majority of large events) are often intertwined with cultural traditions and having large amounts of food is a signal of celebration and wealth--characteristics most people want to "show off" at a wedding. I want to acknowledge that, and not try to change that ideal.

I like that Sachin focused on improving the RSVP system, and serving food buffet style. I certainly think those ideas help the situation. I have seen food served both buffet style and on plates, and waste seems to be about the same in my opinion..Maybe Sachin Bhide  can share his view there?

In my opinion, I don't think the food waste at events like weddings is the responsibility of the guests/attendees. I think it is the responsibility of the catering companies and party planners. These people need to price/buy accordingly, and take care of waste afterwards. (In fact, waste is to be expected, because no good catering company or good host for that matter, would run out of food mid-event.)

In short, any arguments made in this catering-related vein should be in economic terms, appealing to the catering companies directly. It should also be considered that events are time constrained activities. Once an event ends, everything is shut down as fast as possible, and everyone goes home exhausted, that is immediately. That is to say, staff at the event just want to clean up and go home, not deal with delivering extra food somewhere.

It is my idea that an outside entity (maybe its called "the Picker Uppers" or "After Event Dinners" ... exact name TBD) be in charge of swooping in at the last moment of an event and picking up & re-distributing the food elsewhere.

Any thoughts on what I could be missing in this plan? How could it be better thought out? I'm open!