Food Waste & Disposal

TheBTeam Field Research

22, نوفمبر 2010

Research Questions and On-Campus Interviews:

Some questions we asked dining hall patrons to consider:

What influences the type and amount of food someone chooses?

What factors contribute to food waste in dining facilities?

What are the main reasons customers leave food on their plates?

How does the dining environment affect the food experience and the food itself?


“Sometimes there will be a food I want to try because it looks pretty good, but then when I put some on my plate and eat it it isn’t good at all. It just ends up sitting there.” -Victoria Falk

“When I walk in and I’m really hungry I take a lot of food, then I realize I wasn’t actually that hungry after a while and I just don’t finish all the food.” – Brijal Patel

“When I get my food I just kind of take a spoonful or two without really thinking about it that much.” – Nate Damen

“I think people don’t really know what they want so they just grab a bunch of whatever. When they sit down they realize that they really only wanted a few of the things they got.” – Alex Irlik

Additional Questions:

What do you like the most about the dining hall?

What do you dislike about it?

Do you think there are enough options available?

What about for vegetarians and special cases?

How long does it generally take you to get food and sit down?

Do you generally like to eat the same thing everyday or do you try new things?


“There’s usually a good amount of choices, including vegetables and stuff.”

“I wish they had more fresh fruit at all times, not just during breakfast.”

“I’m vegetarian and if I get to the dining hall late, all the vegetarian food is gone and I have to really look for something to eat.”

“I’m always a bit hesitant to put something on my plate if I don’t know what it is.”

“I get tired of having the same food all the time so I like the option of having many different choices.”

“I kind of do a quick run-through of all the lines before i actually grab a plate.”

“I go straight for the pasta line because i can ask the chef for a uniquely made dish.”

General Observations:

  • The food choice and layout seems a bit overwhelming upon first entering the cafeteria area.
  • Some food items do not have labels
  • It is sometimes difficult to tell which items are vegetarian or vegan
  • Many of the plates with leftover food consist mostly of side items such as vegetables or rice
  • The dining hall employees do not usually leave food waste on their plates
  • Most people pick up a little bit of everything as they proceed down the food line
  • The food lines in the center are more frequented and have longer lines
  • When in line, there is some amount of pressure from the people behind you to move along the line, which doesn’t give much time for thoughtful choices, and causes you to feel rushed

Chart of reasons for food waste based on IGD The food and grocery experts:

  1. For customers that eat at dining halls
  2. Who are concerned with the amount of food wasted.
  3. Our innovation offering is a kiosk mini-screen and sampling system
  4. That provides awareness of your amount of intake,
  5. Unlike traditional all-you-can-eat buffets.
  6. Our innovation has pre-sized selections that are based on past preferences, which may be manually saved on your Buzzcard.


10, نوفمبر 2010

Allison Applegate

Krista Patel

Kelly Evanish

Smruti Keshani

Broad topic: Sustainability

Narrowed topic: transit systems – improving on the services and interactions in large airports