A new digital application enables hospitality industry professionals to supply customers with products they haven’t sold through their traditional sales channels.
Consumer trends indicate that businesses are moving towards a more sustainable form of catering. As already mentioned in other content such as Hunters, sustainability in restaurants can apply to different things: food, furnishings, etc. On 27 September 2017, the first web application was launched in Spain that will help hospitality professionals to reduce food waste, an essential part of managing a restaurant, bar or café and making it more sustainable. Eat You Later is the name of this app, which provides a link between consumers and catering businesses to avoid the latter having to throw away products that have not been eaten.
Europe as a whole is urging us to think about the growing importance of reducing waste. For some years there has been active promotion of the circular economy, and many countries in Europe have passed strict regulations; some have already implemented applications and tools to reduce waste. France and Italy, two countries with a similar culture to ours, already have their own instruments. It seems that the time has now come for our own restaurateurs. ‘We believe this is the ideal moment to launch this application. There is an increase in social awareness about food waste. Most people who were concerned about this issue used to distribute food that was going to be thrown out among their staff. Other restaurants don’t follow this policy but they do deliver to social canteens.’ These are the words of Arancha Duro, the founder and CEO of Eat You Later.
Arancha Duro in the Arúgula restaurant in Madrid, which has already signed up to Eat You Later
Eat You Later, which is already available in a beta version with a web app, will start operating definitively in a few weeks. The starting point is Madrid, but it will be expanded to other large cities very soon. The origin, as one might suspect, is from outside Spain. ‘We found this innovation abroad, at a technology trade fair in Germany. We saw it as an innovation, but apart from that there was an emotional factor in terms of its usefulness to other people,’ explains Arancha Duro.
How does it work?
The operation for the restaurateur is simple and once the content has been uploaded (which only needs to be done once) they just have to post whatever stock they have available. The process for starting to use the tool is as follows:
1. You register your restaurant.
2. You upload the products you have prepared. You can leave it as a draft and activate it as many times as you want. You establish the price.
3. The user purchases it using a digital payment gateway.
4. The user comes to your restaurant at the agreed time slot for collection. In the future, home deliveries may be possible.
Why is this application a good idea to reduce food waste?
Every hospitality professional has different reasons, but the issue of reducing food waste appears to be sufficiently important for them to devote a little of their time to it every day. We asked Arancha about the benefits of this system for hospitality professionals, which can be summed up in six points.
1. It generates revenue: The first big advantage of this new tool is that it allows the sale of a product that would otherwise end up as waste. Rather than being a total loss, you can at least recover some of the raw material and preparation costs. It won’t be a very significant addition to the business’s revenue, but at least it avoids wastage. Moreover, the tool promotes cross-sales and serves as a showcase for the restaurant’s products.
2. Ease of use: Technological innovations are intended to make our lives easier and this is also the case with this tool. According to Arancha Duro, after setting up the initiative the first impressions from business owners are very positive: ‘The system is very straightforward, although for restaurants it entails quite a big change in their habits. It goes down better with restaurants that already have a certain sensibility towards doing the right thing.’
3. Corporate Social Responsibility: A restaurant’s social responsibility is something that many customers rate very highly. Some restaurants are already implementing different CSR actions, and this is another one. ‘Those who wish to continue supporting their own CRS initiatives can donate what they get from the app to their chosen projects. We also have a charitable environmental project for channelling these funds if they wish to use it,’ says Arancha Duro.
4. Innovation: Some restaurants that are already offering their products via this platform acknowledge that it is also a way of mitigating people’s fear of innovation. ‘Restaurants take bigger risks with their dishes because they know they can always sell them via the platform, so they can try out new things.’
5. Legislation: : ‘The economic crisis has made us all a little more sensible with our everyday consumption on both a personal and professional level. Yet unfortunately people are driven by legislation.’ Arancha Duro is very clear that it is legislation that pushes society towards greater sustainability. The forecast for the next few years is that there will be greater restrictions on organic waste. Restaurants, bars and cafés will need to bear this in mind. ‘According to new European legislation, its Member States will need to reach zero waste by 2050 and waste must be reduced by 20% between now and 2020. In Spain we’re always lagging a bit behind. But now is the moment to act.’
6. Increases your clientele: The first thing that comes to mind is the millennial consumer, those who are already used to using web and mobile apps to order food, but the range of potential customers is much wider: ‘Most of them are from the millennial population segment, but we have also seen different people using it. divorcés, singletons, working mothers who don’t finish until late, etc.’