InterContinental, Winnow reduce restaurant food waste with AI

Photo by Stefan C. Asafti

InterContinental Hotels Group has partnered with technology company Winnow to help its hotels automatically track, measure and reduce food waste for more sustainable and efficient restaurant and bar operations.

IHG is the first global hotel company to use the Winnow Vision AI-enabled technology, which will help its hotels achieve a 30% reduction in food waste.

Through the use of an intelligent camera, smart scales and AI-based smart meter technology, Winnow Vision analyses ingredients during food preparation, as well as plates returned to the kitchen, to assess which food items are most wasted and in what quantities. This builds up a bank of data which in turn informs buying decisions, shapes menus and hones food preparation techniques.

Winnow’s technology has been installed in seven IHG hotels in its Europe, Middle East, Asia & Africa (EMEAA) region, with installation due in a further 30 properties in the coming months. 

“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,” said Kenneth Macpherson, chief executive for EMEAA at IHG. 

“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,” Macpherson said.

He added that some IHG hotels in the Middle East are already seeing significant food waste reductions. He looks forward to seeing this technology take off in more and more of their hotels around the world.

Marc Zornes, founder and CEO of Winnow, said that without visibility into what is being wasted, kitchens are wasting far more food than they think.