Food waste: an opportunity for hospitality operators to become more profitable

Food waste in the hospitality and foodservice sector is a massive problem. The cost of food being wasted in the industry is estimated at over $100 billion globally. Operators in the field are constantly looking for new ways to be competitive, productive and more sustainable. Maximizing the use of food and reducing food waste in their kitchens are therefore of key importance.

Working with hundreds of kitchens, Winnow’s data shows that between 10-20% of all food purchased can end up being wasted. Food is being wasted from spoilage, preparation, overproduction and from plate waste in different types of commercial kitchens. During the past three years we’ve seen that measuring it and monitoring these areas significantly reduce food being wasted. Actively tracking what food is being thrown away also helps increase waste awareness, employee engagement and improves planning.

We believe that food is too valuable to be wasted, and that technology can transform the way we prepare it. Winnow has been working with hotels, restaurants, and caterers of all kinds who have seen 3-8% reduction on food purchasing cost as advances in technology help kitchens measure and manage food waste.

By replacing the traditional ways of recording food waste with a digital solution in kitchen, operators get granular and actionable information helping them dramatically reduce their operations’ costs. Beyond these food cost savings the kitchens are more labour efficient, sending less waste to landfill, and building stronger relationships with their clients.

Companies like Compass Group and Accor Hotels are using Winnow’s technology to make significant cost savings by cutting their food waste in half. These forward thinking companies are creating competitive advantage by putting avoidable food waste prevention on their agenda.

By cutting food waste they are not only saving money but significantly improve their environmental footprint. Without accounting for greenhouse gas emissions from land use change, the carbon footprint of food produced but not consumed is estimated to amount to 3.3 Gtonnes of CO2 equivalent. If food waste was a country, it would be the third top emitter after the USA and China. Our clients are saving over 1000 tonnes of waste annually from landfill, or 4700 tonnes of Co2 emissions prevented.

Strategically addressing the problem of food waste is one of the most exciting opportunities facing the hospitality sector. If you think Winnow could help your business become more efficient, please get in touch.


This blog comes to us from Erna Klupacs at Winnow, a food waste management business that believes food is far too valuable to waste, and that technology can transform the way we use food.