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Soup Waste Reduction Project

Background
In Mac Hall Café, the head chef, Sam, makes new soup daily. He uses original recipes
and utilizes excess vegetables from the previous day to cook delicious soups for customers.
Normally, he makes one with meat and one that is vegan-friendly and contains no meat, gluten,
or dairy. Customers are able to self-serve the soup in 8-oz., 12-oz., or 16-oz. containers ($3.25,
$4.25, and $5.25, respectively). However, at the end of each day, there is an abundance of soup
leftover. This leftover soup is thrown away each day since the risk of contamination from
serving it as self-serve soup prevents Mac Hall Café from serving it again the next day.

Data
Weight
Date Soup Unit
Leftover
8.31.16 Gingered Butternut Coconut 133.2 oz.
Pork, Mushroom, Tomato w/ Bacon 0.0 oz.
9.1.16 Vegan Roasted Eggplant Sesame 174.9 oz.
9.2.16 Manhattan Clam Chowder 189.1 oz.
Vegan Zucchini, Corn, Kale w/ Tofu 119.6 oz.
9.6.16 Vegan Zucchini, Kale, Chickpea 182.0 oz.
Spicy Turkey Chicken Vegetable 0.0 oz.
9.7.16 Chicken Corn Chowder 207.8 oz.
Vegan Roasted Tomato White Bean 166.9 oz.
9.8.16 Vegan Coconut Curried Chickpea Vegetable 154.4 oz.
Sausage Apple Kale 140.5 oz.
9.9.16 Mexican Seafood Chowder 67.7 oz.
Vegan Sesame Roasted Eggplant 255.8 oz.
9.14.16 Green Pea w/ Ham 187.0 oz.
Vegan Butternut White Bean 255.9 oz.
Total 2234.8 oz.
Table 1: Soup waste produced each day

Over the span of 8 days, the leftover soup was weighed each day at closing time. When
there was any left, it was almost always over 100 oz. of soup leftover. The total amount of soup
wasted was 2,234.8 oz., equating to about 139 servings of 16-oz. soup ($730 worth of soup). An
average of 279.4 oz. of soup was wasted daily—an amount that could have fed about 17 people
each night!
One pattern noted was that the soups labeled as vegan generally generated more waste
than non-vegan soups, suggesting that there may be a stigma against vegan products. On
average, there was 81 oz. more leftover vegan soups than non-vegan soups, though it was not
always consistent. One possible solution may be to label “vegetarian” and “dairy-free” on the
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soups instead of “vegan”. This could help increase the sales of the vegan soups and decrease
the amount leftover every day.

Proposal
To combat food waste and simultaneously help Mac Hall Café earn extra revenue, a
soup waste reduction program could be implemented promoting purchasing extra soup for
dinner near closing time. Since the soup cannot be served a second time, the soup could be sold
at a 50% discount after 3pm each day. The soup that will be taken home for dinner can be self-
served in quart-sized reusable containers. Customers interested in purchasing soup can
purchase the reusable container once and then reuse it each time they want Sam’s soup for
dinner. The discount soup in 32-oz. containers could be sold for $5.25. With this program, Mac
Hall Café could potentially be making about $45 additionally each day (based on the average
amount of soup wasted per day), if customers participate in the program.
The program would be easy to implement, as food service workers at 3pm would put
out a sign next to the soups indicating that the discounted soup for dinner will begin at that
time (sign on page 4). Another flyer briefly explaining the program and how it works (page 3)
should be posted visibly in Mac Hall Café for customers to see throughout the day. The program
will be advertised to OHSU employees through a newsletter blurb:

Like the soup at Mac Hall Café? Take some home for dinner for you and your
family! We are now serving each day’s soup at a 50% discount, when available,
for you to eat for dinner. At 3pm, you can purchase a reusable 32-oz. soup
container and fill it up with soup for a discount, then just bring back the
container the next time you love the soup of the day. We’re hoping that this
program will enable more people to enjoy the soup, as our chef Sam makes
delicious and original soups each day for everyone at OHSU. Come check out the
soup and take some home today!

The cost of the reusable 32-oz. soup containers would cost Mac Hall Café about $1.28 each, but
could be sold at about $2 each. Customers can self-serve the soup they want to take home for
dinner and then pay for the soup each time, requiring no additional labor from the food service
workers. Since the soup is being served as takeout, there is no need for labeling or nutritional
analysis of the soup recipe. Overall, there are very little labor and budget requirements for the
implementation of the waste reduction program, but there are high benefits: less food waste,
more revenue, and more customer awareness of Sam’s delicious soups.
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-SOUP FOR DINNER-
If you like today’s soup, come back
after 3pm to grab some for dinner and
enjoy 50% off! (When available)

Why are we doing this?
We are hoping to reduce food
waste at OHSU and ensure that
the delicious soup our cooks
make is fully appreciated by all.

How does the program work?
Just purchase a reusable quart-
sized soup container, fill it up
with soup, and take 50% off the
soup of the day! The next time
you want to bring some soup
home for dinner, bring your
reusable container back and fill
it back up with new soup.

How long does the soup last?
It is best to eat within 24 hours,
making it a great dinner—just
re-heat and eat!

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LOVE TODAY’S SOUP?
Take some home for dinner!
Enjoy 50% off soups in dinner containers after 3pm
to help us reduce food waste

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