Melco Resorts & Entertainment, the global leader in integrated resorts behind flagship properties City of Dreams and Studio City in Macau, is planning to scale up the adoption of AI-enabled technology Winnow Vision in a bid to eradicate preventable food waste from its operations. The decision follows a successful six month trial in which food waste was more than halved in its employee dining facilities.
Sustainability is high on the agenda for Melco, who have set an ambitious goal to generate zero waste across their resorts by 2030. With food waste contributing as much as 8% of global greenhouse gasses, a core part of Melco’s strategy is to prevent avoidable food waste across its global food and beverage operations. ‘What gets measured gets managed’, and so earlier this year, the team at City of Dreams begun a journey to test the benefits of adopting Artificial Intelligence in its kitchens to automate food waste management.
The F&B team at City of Dreams installed Winnow Vision into the employee dining area of the City of Dreams Macau. Using a camera, a set of smart scales and the same type of machine learning technology found in autonomous vehicles, Winnow Vision ‘learns’ to recognise various foods being discarded and calculates the financial and environmental impact of such food waste for commercial kitchens. Chefs can then adjust their food purchasing decisions accordingly, reducing spending and tackling a fundamental problem of overproduction.
Following a baseline period where the team took stock of where and why food waste occurred, the team identified dishes such as noodles, potatoes and rice served to employees as key opportunities to reduce waste. Waste levels steadily reduced over the six-month period as the team adjusted production volumes using Winnow’s analytics. Overall food waste in the employee dining area reduced by 67%, the equivalent of 3,915 KG food waste saved, or almost 17 tonnes CO2E.
Denise Chen, Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer of Melco Resorts & Entertainment, said, “Melco is dedicated to tackling one of the industry’s biggest challenges, food waste, while inspiring others to follow suit. We are excited about continuing our collaboration with Winnow across our resorts to lead the charge against food waste in Macau. The A.I. system initiative allows us to maximize operational efficiency and data accuracy across both front- and heart of-house food outlets, with the ability to significantly reduce food waste as we work towards our goal of achieving zero waste and contributing to circular economic leadership in Asia by the year 2030.”
Launched in 2019, Winnow Vision helps teams automate the collection of food waste data whilst providing visibility for teams to make operational improvements using Winnow’s analytics platform and food waste photos. A win-win for both cost reduction and the environment, Melco are joined by IKEA, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Hilton, ISS, Compass and over 1,300 kitchens using Winnow in over 40 countries.
With time running out to meet the Sustainable Development Goal to halve food waste by 2030, the team at Melco provide a important blueprint for other operators to follow.