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Hotel group uses artificial intelligence to reduce food waste

InterContinental Hotels Group has announced a partnership with technology company Winnow to help its hotels automatically track, measure and reduce food waste.

IHG is the first global hotel company to use the award-winning 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 successfully 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. One hotel already benefitting from this approach is InterContinental Fujairah Resort, UAE. In six months, the resort has been able to reduce food waste by more than 50%. 60 more hotels in the EMEAA region have expressed their interest in signing up to the technology and IHG is currently exploring roll-out to its other two regions – the Americas and Greater China.

The announcement was made on World Sustainable Gastronomy Day, which raises awareness on the role gastronomy can play in contributing to sustainable development, in support of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Kenneth Macpherson, Chief Executive Officer, EMEAA, IHG, said,

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. 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. I’m delighted that this is being led by some of our hotels in the Middle East, who are already seeing significant food waste reductions, and I’m looking forward to seeing this technology take off in more and more of our hotels around the world.

Marc Zornes, Founder and CEO, Winnow, said,

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.  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.

This partnership builds on IHG’s long-term commitment to minimise waste across all of its hotel estate and operations.

Four in five travellers have trouble sleeping

Four in five travellers have trouble sleeping

A global study commissioned by InterContinenal Hotels Group has revealed that a lack of sleep is a primary concern for travellers, with four in five stating they have trouble sleeping when travelling away from home.

The launch of the findings coincided with World Sleep Day, an annual day devoted to tackling important sleep issues.

The findings from the survey revealed:

  • The business traveller loses around 58 minutes of sleep each night when staying away from home, averaging just five hours and 17 minutes of sleep, per night.
  • The biggest causes of a restless night’s sleep for those travelling are:
    • Different environment (44%)
    • Unfamiliar noises (35%)
    • Working late (35%)

Dr. Steven W. Lockley, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School commented:

It’s no secret that travelling can be challenging for our health, particularly when it comes to maintaining our normal sleep patterns. Light is the major environmental time cue that resets the circadian clock in our brains each day, which is easily thrown off when travelling.

Over two thirds (67%) of those surveyed stated they feel more tired when they are away from home. To aid sleep, nearly a half either try listening to music (47%) or watching TV (45%) to try and fall asleep. To help travellers combat a restless night away from home, IHG has piloted the use of portable and versatile JOURNI Mobile Task Light designed to help regulate sleep when travelling.

Dr. Lockley continues:

Light can also be a stimulant, directly alerting the brain, or promote sleep before bedtime, depending on the spectrum and intensity of light exposure. Having greater control of light exposure when travelling can help promote sleep at the right time or wake at the right time, preserving some sense of sleep normalcy when on the road.

Brian McGuiness, IHG’s Senior Vice President of Global Guest Experience, commented:

With so many travellers experiencing sleep disruptions when they’re on the road, we want to do everything possible to make sure our guests at any one of our 16 IHG Hotels & Resorts brands have a restful sleep while staying with us.

We’re excited to be the first hotel company to pilot this technology that uses LED lighting to improve guest sleep, and it’s just one of the many programs we’ve introduced over the years to improve guest experience, such as our Crowne Plaza Sleep Advantage programme with premium bedding and aromatherapy kits and our Holiday Inn pillow menu.

Crowne Plaza Atlanta Airport will be the first IHG Hotels & Resorts property to install the JOURNI Mobile Task Light as part of this pilot project. Guests can easily adjust the light from the blue-enriched white spectrum to boost energy and performance when awake, to the blue-depleted spectrum for use in the evening in preparation for bedtime, to promote a more restful night’s sleep.

Contact your GTM Account Manager when you need to book hotel nights at any IHG hotel property, including the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Airport.