The food industry is one of the most wasteful in the world. Already struggling to feed its population, in India the average restaurant wastes 10% of its produce. That’s why food tech is big business, as entrepreneurs try disruptive solutions to cut down the problem, and dine out (or in this case, in) on the vast opportunities created by ‘big data’.
A buzzword of our times, big data can target customers by analysing online behaviour. While McDonalds may use information to maintain standardisation and Starbucks to record preferences, new fast food tech service Petoo – the Hindi word for ‘gluttons’ – scrutinises the food service lifecycle, from manufacturing to the dish being served, to cut wastage. Launched by Ritesh Dwivedy, the founder of JustEat India, and two other self-confessed ‘technologists, strategists and foodies’, Petoo predicts consumer habits by tracking past behaviour and local eating-out trends. Then they can calculate exact food volumes to order in any given location.
Dwivedy feels the restaurant business in India is disorganised and inefficient, rarely using insights from technology to improve practices. If his success with JustEat is anything to go by, other restaurants will start to take note – and too reduce their food waste.
Ritesh Dwivedy, Kumar Setum, and Abhishek Mandal, Co-founders