Jezeršek Catering using AI to tackle food waste

As a leading company in the catering sector in Slovenia and one of the best organizers and providers of catering services in Europe, Jezeršek Catering recognizes the importance of fundamental changes in the field of sustainable practices for a better tomorrow. As an innovative and responsible company, it has committed to optimizing all its business and organizational activities under the Jezeršek Catering brand towards sustainability. 

In doing so, they aim not only to meet current standards of sustainable business but also to exceed them, thereby contributing to environmental preservation and social responsibility in all aspects of their operations. Their goal is to become a model of sustainable business in the catering industry and to encourage other companies to adhere to the same high standards of sustainability.

Using Artificial Intelligence for Less Food Waste

Jezeršek Catering represents an exceptionally successful case of the effective integration of artificial intelligence into its business processes. With a focus on reducing the amount of food waste, Jezeršek Catering is steadfastly moving toward the future with a sustainability-oriented approach to innovation. 

The company, which has been setting trends in the catering industry for over 40 years, developed a sustainable business strategy for 2021–2027 two years ago, with the primary goal of reducing food waste placed at the centre of its sustainability vision.

Photo: Jezeršek Catering

Food IQ

In its catering activities, which are considered one of the most unpredictable, Jezeršek Catering faces numerous challenges daily. Despite already having a high level of digitalization in processes and a food waste rate of 19% (as of 2022), which is still below the industry average, they decided to introduce artificial intelligence into their daily operations to address the issue of food waste seriously

They have implemented smart scales at their business units and catering events to establish regular monitoring and segmentation of food waste using artificial intelligence-based photo analysis to measure the quantity and type of discarded food.

In collaboration with students from the Faculty of Economics, they developed a solution called Food IQ during the Smart Tourism Hackathon event, as part of the SMART Food Handling challenge. This model uses machine learning to predict the sales of Jezeršek’s signature dish at the Open Kitchen event. This collaboration, which has already yielded visible results, continues with the prediction of food and beverage sales at Jezeršek’s New Year’s stall in the centre of Ljubljana.

Photo: Jezeršek Catering

Impressive Results after Nine Months of Use

Although the use of artificial intelligence at Jezeršek Catering is still in its early stages, both the management and employees are aware of its importance and contribution to combating food waste. Artificial intelligence contributes to better raw material management, provides better quality feedback and data utilization, optimizes dish processes and norms, and consequently leads to lower raw material costs. 

Thus, Jezeršek Catering not only improves its business but also actively contributes to reducing the environmental burden and promoting sustainable practices in the catering industry. In just nine months of using artificial intelligence, the results have been more than satisfactory, leading to significant changes.

Better raw material management and waste segmentation have led to a 10% reduction in food waste, amounting to 1000 kg. By reducing waste, they have impacted the environment, reducing CO2 emissions by 14 tons and improving the ecological footprint of their activities. Despite above-average food price inflation, they achieved a 1.5% annual saving due to sustainable practices and process optimization.

Looking to the Future: Business Intelligence Systems and Prediction of Norms

Jezeršek Catering does not rest on its laurels. With the desire for further improvement and process optimization in the future, they plan to introduce business intelligence systems and even more advanced models for predicting consumption and dish norms. This will further optimize their operations and contribute to reducing food waste.

Photo: Jezeršek Catering

Balancing Artificial Intelligence and Human Knowledge

The use of artificial intelligence in business processes is essential for Jezeršek Catering’s success and competitiveness in the market. With their innovations and sustainability focus, they set standards for the future of the entire catering industry. However, they are aware that a balance must be struck between human knowledge and the use of artificial intelligence since, in their view, it cannot replace the intuitive understanding and creative vision brought by humans. Jezeršek Catering believes in a balance between technological and human elements that together shape their path to the future.

Awareness Campaign “Responsible Cuisine”

To raise awareness about the importance of a sustainable approach to culinary, Jezeršek Catering has devised a new awareness campaign, “Responsible Cuisine”, which aims not only to influence their processes but also the broader public (event guests, clients, suppliers, business partners, etc.).

Jezeršek Catering, which prides itself on being a sustainability-oriented company, advocates for responsible resource management, sustainable food storage, use of doggy bags, etc., with the main goal of reducing food waste and promoting responsible eating in line with the behavioural guidelines of the “Common-Sensitarian” Diet manifesto.

Their efforts are evidenced by numerous sustainability certifications obtained, such as the Green Key, Slovenia Green Cuisine, and Slovenia Green Accommodation, as well as success in European tenders with a focus on zero food waste.

Photo: Jezeršek Catering

At Conventa, Jezeršek Catering will set up a smart scale, allowing guests to measure the amount of wasted food with the help of artificial intelligence.

At the Conventa event, as part of the “Responsible Cuisine” awareness campaign, Jezeršek Catering will organize sustainable catering and invite guests to reflect on how each individual can contribute to reducing food waste and building a better tomorrow. 

As part of the animation, they will set up a smart scale, allowing guests to measure the amount of wasted food with the help of artificial intelligence, further enhancing awareness of the importance of reducing food waste. 

At Conventa, the organisers and Jezeršek Catering will co-create positive changes in our society and environment, striving for a more responsible and sustainable future.

Find out more about Jezeršek Catering here.

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