Executive Chef Brian Deegan runs the foodservice operation at Marriott’s Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville, Spain. The 150-room hotel has five restaurants and bars, with a third of its F&B revenue from banquet events. Chef Deegan is a self-confessed numbers guy. “I like to run a tight ship,” he says. “I don’t want to sound like a scrooge, but we’re a kitchen not a supermarket. I buy fresh food to sell not to keep on the shelves.” He embraced food waste tracking and the insight it provided on how to be more efficient. And he’s shown big results: a 66 percent reduction in food waste by value, and a 58 percent reduction by weight.
Hotel Alfonso XIII’s Path to Success
Leanpath’s office in Spain coordinated set up, training and ongoing coaching with Chef Brian and his team. Very quickly after they began tracking food waste, they saw a trend: the staff canteen was very efficient at lunch, but was producing a lot of food waste at dinner. “Instead of 30 or 40 portions, we were prepping 60 or 70. And just before close we’d put out more big trays of food,” says Chef Brian. They started by simply reducing the number of portions they cooked. Then they put out smaller trays of food on the buffet line. They began cooking some items to order and stopped using the holding oven, to ensure overprep wasn’t happening. Food waste at the staff canteen dropped about 20 pounds per day, or over 7,000 across a year.
The next item that stood out from tracking food waste at the buffet was fruit waste. A week in advance, the kitchen staff know how many breakfasts to prep at any given time. But, as Chef Brian points out, “Chefs have a habit, they like to leave themselves well covered. They want to have too much instead of looking for more.” They had production sheets for some breakfast buffet items, like pastries, but they did not have sheets for fruit service. They developed new production sheets for fruit based on anticipated occupancy. “We fine tuned it for about a month. It’s not foolproof, but I told my team, ‘At close, I’d rather prepare something to order than have too much that goes to waste.’”
“Leanpath basically does your buying for you. You see what items you’re actually selling and what your wasting. It’s amazing.” -Executive Chef Brian Deegan
Chef Brian and his crew use a Leanpath Tracker 360, with integrated food waste photography. The food waste tracking data shows trends and areas to focus their food waste prevention efforts. The photos let him understand why the food was wasted--is their too much fruit left on those melon trimmings, was that dish overcooked and unappetizing. But he also shares the photos with his team to make more of an emotional connection with the problem.
“I’ll go through the photos and see a big full tray of spaghetti carbonara. As a chef you see that, you see your work. You see you’re throwing away 20, 25 rations. Apart from the shock, it helps not just me but the line staff get conscious of the waste. It opens your eyes.”
See how foodservice operators around the world use Leanpath to prevent food waste.