Responsible TourismMelco Resorts & Entertainment combines AI with the latest thinking in behavioural science to cut plate waste by 35%.

Melco wants diners to eat sustainably and reduce food wastage

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Artificial intelligence is employed in all employee dining rooms across Melco’s integrated resorts in Macau and Manila to measure and reduce plate waste.
Artificial intelligence is employed in all employee dining rooms across Melco’s integrated resorts in Macau and Manila to measure and reduce plate waste.

Melco Resorts & Entertainment has in one year cut plate waste in employee dining areas by up to 35%, thanks to a combination of advanced technology with the latest thinking in behavioural science.

In 2020, Melco launched the Winnow Vision, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system, across its properties to eliminate overproduced food waste in employee dining room kitchens.

To combat plate waste, Melco collaborated with Winnow and London School of Economics (LSE) on a project to combine Winnow’s new post-consumer waste measurement product, Winnow Sense — a touchless system designed to measure plate waste, with a study to monitor consumer behaviour.

According to Winnow, in most commercial kitchens that serve pre-prepared foods, around 5% to 15% of all food purchased ends up being wasted. Around 30% of such food waste purportedly occurs because diners take more than they can consume and leave unwanted food on their plates. To test whether strategically placed communications could help diners make more sustainable choices, a study was carried out at Melco’s employee dining facilities in Macau at City of Dreams, Studio City and Altira Macau resorts. The three properties combined serve over 11,000 employee meals daily.

The study involved a series of experiments conducted by the LSE Department of Psychological & Behavioural Science which concluded that anthropomorphised food (i.e. pictures that depicted happy and sad food) had significant impacts on behaviours leading to reduced levels of food waste.

The project has been successful, with interventions shown to reduce food waste by as much as 35% and qualitative feedback from colleagues showing a shift in behaviour both at work and at work. While Winnow Sense has been installed in all employee dining rooms across Melco’s integrated resorts in Macau and Manila, Melco and Winnow are not in the process of exploring applications in consumer-facing dining areas.

“We couldn’t be more proud of the team at Melco who have already cut food waste significantly with Winnow but wanted to go even further,” Marc Zornes, CEO and co-founder of Winnow said.

“The blueprint designed in collaboration with world renowned experts from the London School of Economics presents huge opportunities for operators everywhere to help their diners make more sustainable food choices whilst maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction,” Zornes added.

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