InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has partnered with AI technology firm Winnow in a bid to tackle food waste and ensure more sustainable operations.
The technology provided by Winnow – which has been rolled out into Europe and is being considered for the Americas – will allow the company to automatically track, measure are reduce food waste – with the technology firm estimating that a 30% reduction is possible using its solution.
It marks the first time that a global hotel company has signed up to use the technology.
Winnow Vision uses an intelligent camera, smart scales and AI-based smart meter technology to analyse ingredients during food preparation and plates returned to the kitchen.
It is then able to assess which food items are most wasted and in what quantities, therefore building up a bank of data which in turn informs buying decisions, shapes menus and hones food preparation techniques.
The technology has so far been successfully installed in seven IHG hotels in its Europe, Middle East, Asia & Africa region, (EMEAA) with installation due in a further 30 properties in the coming months.
60 more hotels in the EMEAA region have expressed their interest in signing up to the technology and IHG is currently exploring rollout to its other two regions – the Americas and Greater China.
Kenneth Macpherson, CEO at IHG, said: “With more than 5,600 hotels right across the world, a commitment to operating responsibly is at the heart of all we do.
“We know there’s always more that can be done to make a greater difference – whether that’s minimising waste through the removal of plastic straws or introducing innovative technology to reduce our environmental impact.
“Our partnership with Winnow will help our hotels be smarter and savvier in their approach to creating compelling menus that result in less waste whether it’s a grab-and-go breakfast, a family restaurant or a Michelin dining experience.
“I’m delighted that this is being led by some of our hotels in the Middle East, who are already seeing significant food waste reductions, and I’m looking forward to seeing this technology take off in more and more of our hotels around the world.”
Marc Zornes, Founder and CEO, Winnow, added: “Food waste is a global issue, and one that kitchens around the world are struggling with. Without visibility into what is being wasted, kitchens are wasting far more food than they think.
“It is a privilege to work with such a forward-thinking hospitality chain as IHG and help them become the first global hotel brand to significantly reduce food waste globally by using Artificial Intelligence while improving their responsible processes in their food and beverages offer.”
This partnership is part of IHG’s long-term commitment to minimising waste across all of its hotel estate and operations.