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Can digital solutions help in the minimization of out-of-home waste? An analysis from the client and business perspective

Luca Secondi (Department for Innovation in Biological, Agro-food and Forest Systems, University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy)
Ludovica Principato (Department of Business Studies, ROMA TRE University, Roma, Italy)
Giovanni Mattia (Department of Business Studies, ROMA TRE University, Roma, Italy)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 12 September 2019

Issue publication date: 28 April 2020




Halving food waste has been included within the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Food wasted out-of-home is the second source of food waste. However, the majority of the studies have focused on home generated food waste, and still little is known about out-of-home food waste and how it is managed by food service companies. The purpose of this paper is to adopt a double perspective in analyzing food waste generated at a food service level, by focusing on both the client and business perspective.


First, from the client perspective, the authors aim at analyzing consumer out-of-home habits, self-reported waste quantification, and doggy bag usage by reporting the results of an exploratory survey which involved 411 individuals living in central Italy. Second, from a business perspective, the authors analyzed an award-winning practice that manages out-of-home food waste in Italy by combining food surplus management and digital solutions with a profitable business model innovation.


Results obtained from the two perspectives of analysis support the need of business investments in innovations and digital solutions, in order to meet client needs and behavior, thus contributing to better manage and reduce food surplus and waste.

Practical implications

This study will raise practitioners’ knowledge on the advantages of digital solution in food surplus management, along with a better comprehension on food waste behavior from the client perspective.


This is the first study that analyses out-of-home waste from both the client and business perspective, emphasizing how digital solutions can help in reducing the phenomenon.



The authors thank the Regusto start-up and, in particular, its Chief Operating Officer Paolo Rellini for the support in collecting the data for the case study, and for his availability and enthusiasm about this study.


Secondi, L., Principato, L. and Mattia, G. (2020), "Can digital solutions help in the minimization of out-of-home waste? An analysis from the client and business perspective", British Food Journal, Vol. 122 No. 5, pp. 1341-1359.



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Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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