Hotels are saving £7 for every £1 invested in food waste reduction measures, according to a new report by the Champions 12.3 initiative.
The global study found that hotels that actively look to combat food waste can save seven times the amount of money invested in their efforts to do so over a three-year time frame.
Analysis of data from 42 properties across 15 countries found that nearly every participating hotel achieved a positive return on its investment to reduce food waste.
More than 70% of sites recouped their investment within the first year of implementing a waste reduction programme. The proportion of hotels making their money back rose to 95% within two years.
Key strategies for achieving food waste reduction were to measure the food waste, engage staff, rethink the buffet, reduce food overproduction, and repurpose excess food.
Dave Lewis, group chief executive of Tesco and chair of Champions 12.3, said that food waste reduction "isn't just the right thing to do. It also makes good business sense".
"So even if the moral imperative doesn't move us, the business case for reducing food waste should persuade every CEO," he added.
Food waste represents a cost to the UK hotels sector of £318m each year or £4,000 per tonne, according to the UK waste charity WRAP, which co-authored the research with the World Resources Institute on behalf of Champions 12.3.
WRAP chief executive Marcus Gover said the report demonstrates the "compelling business case" for reducing food waste in hotels.
"We have clearly shown that with simple measures, hotels can save money, protect the environment and still satisfy the needs of their customers," he added.