Winnow saves hotels $1.6m annually through food wastage technology

In an exclusive interview with Hotelier Middle East, Winnow's managing director, Ignacio Ramirez, speaks about the technology's role in the MENA hotel sector

Winnow's managing director Ignacio Ramirez (pictured)
Winnow's managing director Ignacio Ramirez (pictured)

Following its launch in the UAE in 2016, food waste initiative firm Winnow has revealed to Hotelier Middle East that it has saved AED 6 million (US$1.6m) across its 90 hotel units on an annual basis.

Winnow, which works with hotel groups such as Emaar, Rotana, Majid Al Futtaim, Marriott, Kempinski, IHG, AccorHotels, and Hilton in the Middle East, said that each hotel kitchen typically saves around AED 75,000 ($20,400) and is preventing 1.1 million meals per year from being wasted.

Winnow builds artificial intelligence tools to help chefs run more profitable and sustainable kitchens. It recently launched a tool called Winnow Vision, which is designed for kitchens to automatically track food waste. It uses computer vision (a form of artificial intelligence) to help chefs pinpoint waste, cut costs and save time.

Using a camera, a set of smart scales and the same type of machine learning technology found in autonomous vehicles, Winnow Vision recognises different foods being thrown in the bin and calculates the financial and environmental cost of discarded food to commercial kitchens.

Businesses and chefs can then adjust their food purchasing decisions accordingly, reducing their spending and tackling overproduction of food.

In an exclusive interview with Hotelier Middle East, Winnow’s managing director Ignacio Ramirez said they have experienced a fast growth for the technology in the Middle East and has another 30 units in the pipeline.

“Winnow launched in the Middle East in 2016, we started in the UAE as part of Dubai Future Accelerators which was an amazing platform for us to grow in the region, said Ramirez.

"There has been a growing concern regarding food waste globally and especially in the UAE. The hospitality industry is catching on to this as people’s mind sets are changing, they care about being sustainable and reducing food waste.”

Winnow has a presence in 10 countries across MENA region. Hotelier Middle East discusses the topic of combating food waste during our What's Trending video series.

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