Food waste: what’s your hidden cost?

If food waste was a country it would be the third largest producer of greenhouse gases (source: World Resource Institute). A pretty shocking fact.

Since its launch, Grub Stub has uncovered some shocking facts too. Including that up to 40% of ordered crew meals go uneaten. That’s two in five meals going to waste.

Grub Stub’s data has revealed the food waste caused by a huge difference in meals ordered versus meals redeemed at events. Assuming a meal costs £5, festivals on average were spending £23,500 on uneaten crew meals, and up to £100,000 for events with more than 35,000 crew meals.

Not only does this have a dramatic impact on your catering spend it has an impact on the environment too. Cooked food cannot be salvaged for donation so it usually ends up in the compost or general waste bins, with the cost of disposal a further burden on the budget.

Food waste is especially harmful when not disposed of properly. When food is sent to landfill it not only produces six tonnes of CO2 for every one tonne deposited it also produces methane, which is up to 23 times more potent as a greenhouse gas.

Average environmental impact of one event without Grub Stub

Average environmental impact of one event without Grub Stub


An average event will have to dispose of 1.6 tonnes of uneaten food with some large events dealing with up to eight tonnes. This is over six tonnes of CO2 per event, up to 35 tonnes for a larger festival.

But food waste is an issue that can be addressed head on. Grub Stub has been active in the industry for over five years and, with data collected from over 50 events, is in a unique position to understand the reasons why meals go uneaten; and how caterers and event managers can accurately estimate the number of meals to cook.

To find out how Grub Stub can revolutionise your meal management, contact our team at or on +(0)117 937 6367.