EasyJet holidays looks to AI technology to cut hotel food waste

EasyJet holidays looks to AI technology to cut hotel food waste

Pilot scheme to run at Tenerife resort

A pilot scheme to monitor the reduction of food waste in one of easyJet holidays’ most popular hotels has been unveiled.

The budget airline’s tour operating arm aims to support hotels in cutting food waste by using artificial intelligence tools and running more sustainable kitchens.

The initial project at the 510-room Bahia Principe Sunlight Costa Adeje resort in Tenerife comes as part of an initiative with AI developer Winnow.

The pilot is a result of the work the operator undertook in partnership with Oxford University to create the easyJet holidays Sustainable Tourism Programme.

The programme was created to equip students with the transferrable skills needed to lead transformative change in relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

As the lab’s founding partner, easyJet holidays worked alongside students to identify and deliver solutions to help develop sustainable travel, with a focus on Majorca and Tenerife. 

Research and reports from the students found that food waste is a sustainability challenge, with 18% of food waste in Tenerife generated by the hospitality sector alone. 

Winnow technology was identified as a solution for the operator’s hotel partners having no measure in place to prevent and reduce food waste, or accurately quantify the lack of food waste generated.

Using the same kind of technology found in a driverless car, Winnow’s AI technology learns to ‘see’ the food being wasted.

Using a connected terminal with a motion camera, data is collected quickly and stored in the cloud. Teams then receive reports that pinpoint waste, giving them the insight to make operational improvements. 

Typically, kitchens using Winnow see food waste halved within 12-18 months cutting food purchasing costs by 2%-8%.

EasyJet holidays’ customer and operations director Matt Callaghan  said: “We’re delighted to be launching a food waste reduction pilot in one of our biggest partner hotels, investing in artificial intelligence solutions to hotels cut their food waste in half. 

“We’re the first tour operator to be supporting hotel partners in tracking food waste and offering a real-world solution to a problem faced by our entire industry.

“The brilliant research and recommendations we received from the University of Oxford students has led to this scheme, so we’re really excited to be continuing the easyJet holidays Sustainable Tourism Programme to look at tackling some of the big sustainable tourism challenges.

“We’re really excited to see what a positive impact a collaboration between a three-year-old holiday business, an 800-year-old academic institution and a revolutionary technology can have.”

Winnow co-founder and chief executive Marc Zornes added: “Food waste is a massive contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions and the hospitality sector needs to take action. 

“At the same time with food inflation at record levels, there is a strong business case for hotels and resorts to tackle it. Winnow is delighted to partner with easyJet holidays to scale our impact together. “