Kitro is the name of the Zurich-based start-up that is becoming a true game changer. While studying at the École hôtelière de Lausanne, the two founding partners, Naomi MacKenzie and Anastasia Hofmann, gained an insight into the harsh reality of work in kitchen and service areas. Here they found themselves facing a problem that many people had previously not even recognized as one: enormous quantities of usable food are thrown away every day.
THROWING AWAY FOOD MEANS THROWING AWAY MONEY
Naomi and Anastasia began investigating food waste more thoroughly. Sustainable food handling became their mission – not as an expression of concern, but in order to develop a process that would culminate in the first ever fully automated solution for reducing food waste. After all, wasting food also means wasting money. And this is the point at which large-scale caterers sit up and take notice.
KITRO REDUCES FOOD-WASTE UP TO 40%
What’s the difference between a communal waste bin and a Kitro box? The box contains software based on image processing and machine-learning technologies. This software was taught to recognize and differentiate waste. As soon as something is thrown into the box, the software identifies what it is and how much there is. This tracking procedure gives the user, in this case the kitchen, a regular analysis report – and with it an overview of the waste produced, the resources wasted, and above all the cost this entails. This data can then be used to plan the quantities of food purchased more efficiently. Kitro is still in the pilot phase. The screen in the Mensa café at the Université de Lausanne is already showing how much food is saved each week. The SV Group, a Coop restaurant and other universities are also saving food by using the Kitro concept. A considerable number of catering firms have expressed an interest – taking steps to reduce food waste is therefore gaining ground in public awareness. And if companies can increase their profit margins at the same time, all the better, don’t you think?