Spotlight 2023

KITRO - Simplifying food waste management

20% of the food purchased by restaurants is being wasted, and 2/3 of that is avoidable food waste meant for human consumption. Not only is food waste a huge environmental problem in terms of CO2 emissions, land usage, water and energy that are needed to produce food, but it also raises significant financial challenges for the hospitality industry.
With KITRO we tackle this global problem of food waste by providing the food service industry a holistic food waste management solution.

Who are the people behind the project and what is your background?

We are a very diverse team with different backgrounds ranging from hospitality management to machine learning, software development and engineering. With multiple nationalities in one startup we foster an innovative and inclusive work environment for everyone to thrive and grow. Key people are:
- Naomi & Anastasia: founders & Co-CEOS (EHL)
- Dominic & Hugo: Co-CTOs (ZHAW & EPFL)
- Benno: Director of Business development (SHL - Hotelfachschule Luzern)
- Philipp: Head of Machine Learning (ETH)

How did your idea come into being?

The two founders, Naomi and Anastasia, both studied at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) and gained several years of experience in the restaurant industry, both nationally and internationally, before founding KITRO. This allowed them to witness first-hand the issues surrounding food waste and inspired them to create a product supporting restaurants to mitigate their waste.
Through their work experiences, they know the processes and challenges in the restaurant and hospitality industry and also have a large network within KITRO's target customer segments.
KITRO's management team has been strengthened over time by Dominic, Hugo and Philipp who cover the technical know-how in hardware, software development and machine learning.

What is your idea to impactfully design a climate positive FOODprint for Switzerland?

Food waste has a huge CO2 impact on the environment and can be mitigated if only it was measured. So with KITRO's measurements we aim to raise awareness for the incredible amounts of edible food that we dispose of every day and of course in a second step support our customers to reduce it.
They can reduce their avoidable food waste by up to 60% and therefore save valuable resources as well as cost.

How do you define the positive impact of your solution on the problem described above?

Since starting KITRO we've saved over 230 tons of avoidable food waste (>500'000 meals being saved) and we continue to increase our impact as we scale.
With the measurement of food waste savings per property we can translate this number into for instance CO2-equivalent impact quite easily using estimates (FAO estimates 2.5kg of CO2-equivalents are emitted by 1kg food waste). Moving forward, we'd love to make these estimates more accurate and tie them to the ingredients that were wasted as well as geography. Furthermore, we plan to also refine a complete life-cycle analysis on our product to ensure that our impact continues to be positive even when considering our manufacturing and supply chain from production, materials to transportation etc.

Mission Model Canvas