Reducing food waste at AccorHotels – A chat with Laurent Noury from Novotel Fujairah

Posted by Maria Sanu / 4-Mar-2020

Novotel general manager

Since launching in 2013 we have worked with hundreds of General Managers from all over the world helping them cut food waste in half while saving them time and resources.

General Managers have an incredibly important role of looking after the day-to-day aspects of the hotel's operations. They oversee everything from budgets to staffing, planning events and the food offer. 

Today we speak with Laurent Noury from Novotel Fujairah. Laurent talked to us about the role that technology plays in the fight against food waste, his journey with Winnow, and much more.

  • How did you get started here?

I’ve been working in the hospitality industry for over 35 years. I started off as a chef. What I remember from my very first day was my head chef’s motto - “If you control your waste, you control your food cost and you control your profitability.”

  • In this fast-paced world, how do you stay relevant?

Innovative thinking is critical to success as a business leader. You have to constantly press the reset button to have an open mind and rethink what you thought you previously knew because the world is constantly changing. 

That’s where smart kitchens come in. They can help better analyze food preferences and make preparation more efficient and effective. The right tools will give chefs the space to be more creative with what they make, something that’s both healthy for our guests and better for the environment. 

  • What piece of kitchen technology interests you at the moment? Apart from Winnow of course.

I love smart chiller rooms that can be controlled remotely with a smartphone. They provide information on the refrigerator temperatures, products stored, expiration dates, etc. 

  • Why do you think reducing food waste is important?  

The benefits of reducing food waste are global. When food decomposes it releases methane - a gas more potent than carbon dioxide into our atmosphere. When we save food we lower our carbon footprint by reducing our CO2e and methane emissions which in turn prevents global warming. By saving food you not only reduce waste but also save all the resources that go into making this food like labour, transportation, land, and water. 

See how Accor is leading the food waste revolution in UAE

  • What are some of the interesting feedback you have been receiving from clients?

I find the most interesting and also rewarding when chefs tell us that they wish they had started using Winnow earlier!

  • What changes have you implemented within your operations after using the Winnow system?

The first focus for change within our kitchen team was to accurately record food waste using the Winnow system. This allowed our chefs to understand how to review food production on a daily basis to be more committed, collaborative, and accountable on our journey to reduce waste. 

We managed to focus on this by acting on simple actions like measuring food waste on a daily basis. We implemented a scoreboard and reviewed it weekly to focus on the engagement of chefs with the system and the reports Winnow provided us with. I realized that these reports made each of our chefs feel accountable for what they put in the bin, and eventually we saw amazing results from each of our chefs because of this.

  • How would you describe Winnow to another General Manager?

Winnow is the perfect intelligent technology to measure food waste for portion control. It helped my kitchen focus on minimising the production of slow-moving dishes that get wasted more. It helps reduce costs while improving our guest experience, as they get more of what they like. As the saying goes - what gets measured gets managed. 

  • Why is being sustainable important for Novotel?

    Novotel is part of AccorHotels, so positive hospitality is important to our ethos as we care for millions of guests across our hotels. We are committed to becoming more sustainable through our Planet 21 charter. As a global organization, we want to reduce food waste across all our hotels by 30% by 2020. 



Topics: Food Heroes

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