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This paper examines how and why edible food ends up as waste at various stages of the production and service cycle in luxury hotels. The findings show that the importance of waste prevention is widely recognised among staff, but it is viewed as risky because it may compromise hedonistic hospitality experiences and undermine the corporate brand image. Consequently, edible, nutritious food is rendered ‘unusable’; therefore, food waste is rationalised and normalised. The findings suggest that corporate social responsibility policies and international luxury brand standards interact to disrupt pro-environmental action in the workplace. Hence, integrated control systems and cross organisational policies and practices are required to prevent waste from developing during food procurement, storage, preparation and service. View this paper.