IHG introduces AI to reduce food waste

Food waste in a bin.

IHG is integrating an artificial intelligence system to help its hotels reduce food waste.

The Winnow Vision AI enabled technology it's using is estimated to cut down food waste by 30 percent.

The system uses cameras, smart scales and AI-based smart meter technology during food preparation and on plates returned to the kitchen to assess which food items are wasted and in what quantities. This builds up data to inform the hotel’s buying decisions and help shape menus.

“With more than 5,600 hotels right across the world, a commitment to operating responsibly is at the hear of all we do,” said Kenneth Macpherson, chief executive officer, IHG.

“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.”

The technology has been installed in seven IHG hotels across Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Already, the InterContinental Fujairah Resort in the UAE has reduced its food waste by 50 percent using the system.

IHG is currently rolling out the system to the Americas and the Greater China region.

“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,” said Marc Zornes, founder and CEO, Winnow.

“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.”