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Winnow’s Insights: reducing food waste with David Achard

Posted by Liv Lemos / 20-Dec-2017

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A team of dedicated and passionate professionals are behind our mission to reduce food waste in the hospitality sector. Throughout our journey, we have inspired thousands of chefs to work together to reduce food waste. As a result, we’ve learned many valuable lessons to help you optimize your kitchen’s workflow, saving you both time and resources.

This time, we speak with David Achard, Business Development Executive at our headquarters, in London. With a wealthy knowledge of the hotel industry, combined with his passion for sustainability, David helps businesses realize the great financial and environmental opportunities that come with reducing food waste.

  • Why were you drawn to the hospitality industry? What was it that attracted you?

Being brought up in a multicultural environment, and having the chance to travel and stay in beautiful hotels has shaped the vision I have about hospitality. For me, hospitality is the art of creating authentic experiences away from home through service excellence. The moment you step into a hotel, all is done for you. From your breakfast to your bed with every little detail in between.

What is there not to like about this industry? You get to travel, meet people from around the globe, and try food that you would have never even dreamed of.

  • How did your career begin?

DSC_6033.jpgAfter high school, I was unclear on my career path and spent a couple of years studying subjects that were not the right fit. Luckily for me, Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne was close, but I ended up missing the application date. This gave me a whole year to fill up with experiences to make my application even stronger the following year.

During that year I had the chance to work as a runner at the Palace Lausanne. Also, I spent 3 months working at The Raisin in Cully where Gwendal Comellec - the head pastry chef - taught me everything from baking bread to making the most beautiful soufflés.

At University, I learned everything from cooking to finance. I had a wonderful time, and I even had the chance to work in Costa Rica. After I graduated, I was sure that working in hotels was where I wanted to be, but sustainability is something that I also hold close to my heart. Luckily, I found Winnow. The absolute link between the hotel world and making the world a better place.

  • What is the best part of your job?

A big part of what I do is identifying businesses that would benefit the most from measuring their food waste resulting in the strongest environmental and financial impact. The best part of my job is having visibility on the entire journey our partners embark on. From the moment they first ask about how we achieve impressive global results (11 million meals not going to waste annually), to the day they are exceeding their food waste reduction target (50% on average).

  • What interesting feedback have you received from clients?

In hospitality, listening to guests to make improvements based on their feedback is key to creating a seamless experience for everyone. The same applies at Winnow. We are building a tool for chefs and we can only improve by listening to what they have to say. I always smile at the first reaction people have when faced with the value of their waste. But, they quickly rest assured when realising this is the first step to making an impact.  

  • What is the project you’ve worked on that has made the most difference to date?

When I arrived at Winnow we were in the process of identifying the best way to build the system at scale. I was lucky enough to become the build room expert and set up the first process that would start our strong expansion. I have moved away from that role but am really proud of Jon, who has now taken it to the next level preparing shipments for Cruise Ship orders in no time.

  • What is your piece of advice to hotels looking to reduce food waste?

Pretty simple, give us a call. You can also start your project by measuring how much you waste, so you can realize the cost. The following step is to understand where the waste is coming from, so you can find ways to make improvements to reduce it.

That’s exactly how Winnow can help you. With our detailed reports, you can identify why and where food waste is happening, to start making smarter production decisions. 

Check how Novotel Warsaw Centrum reduced food waste by 67% within tree months  

  • How do you see the hospitality industry changing in the next 3 years?

I believe the hospitality industry as a whole is shifting to a greener mindset. However, the sector will always prioritize the guest experience and financial growth. The challenge is in finding the right balance.

At the moment, more and more concepts are harvesting the power of technology to reduce costs, such as labour, energy, water and food. We are already on the way to creating the connected hotels of the future. On top of this, guests are more informed and demanding increasing pressure to innovate in this already very competitive market.

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