Smart-meter saves hospitality industry £1m in food waste

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Food waste costs the UK hospitality sector over £2.5bn per year
Food waste costs the UK hospitality sector over £2.5bn per year

Related tags: Carbon dioxide

A smart-meter that helps chefs measure and manage food waste has saved hospitality caterers an estimated combined total of £1m, the manufacturer has claimed.

According to Winnow, UK kitchens have now achieved savings equivalent to 3,400 tonnes of CO2, or 680,000 meals, thanks to its system.

The Winnow smart-meter works by automatically measuring what’s put in the bin, giving chefs insight to change their operations and significantly reduce food waste.

Food waste data received from more than 100 sites using its smart-meter has shown the most substantial savings were achieved by reducing over-production, meaning kitchens were able to reduce costs by an average of 65 per cent.

The data also found that the most frequently-binned items were vegetables, salad, chicken, eggs and rice. In addition, kitchens using Winnow reduced their waste as a percentage of sales from 5.7 per cent in week one to 4.2 per cent in week four.

Industry cost

Food waste costs the UK hospitality sector more than £2.5bn per year and WRAP has estimated that this figure could hit £3bn by 2016 unless steps are taken to dramatically reduce food waste.

Meanwhile, DEFRA estimates that almost two thirds of food waste that the hospitality sector sends to landfill can be avoided.

Winnow’s co-founder Marc Zornes said: “We are delighted to announce to the hospitality sector that the Winnow System is now a proven solution to an age-old problem.

“For too long, chefs have had to rely on outdated ways of recording waste such as pen and paper.

"Globally, one-third of all food is wasted, we are confident that by working with our partners we can make a significant reduction in food waste.”

Zornes was speaking at Waste-Works, a waste and resource event for the food and drink industry, which is taking place at London’s ExCeL Centre until 25 March.

SRA help

The £1m in savings achieved by Winnow has been helped by a partnership with the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), as well as large caterers such as Compass Group.

Winnow has also worked closely FoodSave, a European-funded programme that helps restaurants in London reduce the amount of food they waste.

The Imperial in Chelsea, West London, is one FoodSave participant that has used the Winnow System.

According to Winnow, the pub has managed to reduce food waste by over 30 per cent, the equivalent of £10,000 over the course of the year. The smart-meter is now a permanent fixture in their kitchen.

Mark Linehan, managing director of the SRA, said: “Winnow’s technology has played a huge part in enabling us to help London restaurants save almost £500,000 over the last 18 months.

“The detailed data the system delivers really helps to open the eyes and focus the minds of chefs to how they think about and deal with food waste.”

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