Rotana Hotels Champion Sustainability with AI-Powered Food Waste Reduction


In a significant step towards environmental responsibility, Rotana Hotels, a leading hotel operator in the Middle East and Africa, has partnered with Chef’s Eye, a food-waste measurement company, to dramatically reduce food waste across its properties. This innovative collaboration leverages artificial intelligence (AI) technology to not only minimize environmental impact but also streamline operations and enhance guest experiences.

Chef’s Eye: A Powerful Tool for Sustainable Practices

The implementation of Chef’s Eye technology began in late 2023 across Rotana’s properties in the United Arab Emirates. The initial results are nothing short of impressive.

AI-Powered Food Waste Reduction
AI-Powered Food Waste Reduction

Reduced Carbon Footprint: By the first quarter of 2024, Rotana recorded a reduction of 41,246 kg in carbon emissions. This reduction is equivalent to the energy required to fully charge over 2.7 million smartphones for a year.

Significant Food Waste Reduction: The average food waste per guest (cover) has decreased by 25 grams. This reduction breaks down into:

  • 22% reduction in overall production or trimming waste
  • 15% reduction in food waste from buffet stations
  • A staggering 63% reduction in food waste from plated meals

These figures highlight the effectiveness of Chef’s Eye in optimizing food production, minimizing waste from buffets, and ensuring appropriate portion sizes for plated meals.

Beyond the Numbers: Environmental and Business Benefits

Jarrett Beaulieu, Rotana’s Vice President of Food and Beverage, emphasizes the company’s commitment to sustainable practices: “The introduction of Chef’s Eye’s innovative technology underscores Rotana’s dedication to operating sustainably. Food waste isn’t just about discarded meals – it signifies wasted resources like water and energy used in production, both of which contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.”

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Mr. Beaulieu further elaborates on the wider environmental impact: “Not only do wasted resources increase our carbon footprint, but food that ends up in landfills generates methane, further exacerbating the problem. Curbing food waste is therefore a critical objective in achieving Rotana’s overall sustainability goals.”

Beyond environmental benefits, Chef’s Eye technology offers significant advantages for Rotana’s operations:

Cost Reduction: Reduced food waste directly translates to lower food procurement costs.

Operational Efficiency: Data-driven insights enable better menu planning, optimizing inventory management and kitchen workflow.

Enhanced Guest Experience: Rotana can offer a wider variety of fresh, high-quality dishes while minimizing waste.

How Chef’s Eye Works: Empowering Chefs for Sustainability

Chef’s Eye utilizes a combination of cameras and scales to capture data on food preparation and consumption. This data empowers chefs to identify specific areas for improvement:

Identifying Wasteful Dishes and Ingredients: Chefs can pinpoint dishes and ingredients with high waste rates, allowing them to adjust recipes, portion sizes, or menu offerings.

Analyzing Buffet Patterns: Data reveals trends in buffet consumption, highlighting overproduction or unpopular dishes. Based on this information, chefs can adjust buffet layouts and offerings to minimize waste.

Rotana has further implemented proactive measures to promote mindful dining in its Flavours and Horizon restaurants. These measures include introducing smaller plates and serving spoons, and encouraging guests to take only what they need.

Rotana’s Commitment to Sustainability Extends Beyond Food Waste

Rotana’s partnership with Chef’s Eye is just one aspect of their comprehensive sustainability program. Other initiatives include:

Reduced Single-Use Plastics: Rotana actively seeks alternatives to single-use plastics, minimizing their environmental impact.

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Bottling Rooms: The company has implemented bottling rooms across its properties, promoting refillable water bottles and reducing plastic waste from bottled water.

Sustainable, Locally Sourced Breakfasts: Rotana prioritizes sourcing seasonal and local ingredients for breakfast buffets, minimizing transportation emissions, and supporting local farmers.

Partnership with Ne’ma: Rotana has partnered with Ne’ma, the UAE’s National Food Loss and Waste Initiative, demonstrating its alignment with the UAE’s ambitious goal of reducing food waste by 50% by 2030.

Rotana’s commitment to sustainability is a shining example for the hospitality industry. By embracing innovative technologies like Chef’s Eye and implementing a range of eco-friendly practices, Rotana is ensuring a positive impact on the environment and a brighter future for generations to come.

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