DER Touristik Aims to Avoid Food Waste in Hotels

Successfully Implemented Pilot Project at the lti Asterias Hotel in Cooperation with the Sustainability Initiative Futouris

According to current estimates, approximately one third of food worldwide is destroyed annually. In German hotels alone, 200,000 tons of food waste is produced per year, most of which is avoidable.

In order to improve this situation, DER Touristik has joined the project ‘Avoidance of food waste in hotels’. In cooperation with the sustainability initiative Futouris e. V., the organization ‘United Against Waste e.V.’ and other member companies, investigations have been carried out in selected hotels in Greece, Turkey and Italy for more than a year. The goal was to develop practical measures against food waste.

The result of the recently published final report is impressive: A hotel can save around 400 kilograms of food waste per week.

One of the hotels that participated in the project was the lti Asterias Beach Resort in Rhodes, which is affiliated with DER Touristik. First, all the leftover food in the kitchen was collected and sorted into warehouse waste, production waste, overproduction and return of plates. Using a waste analysis tool, waste volumes were systematically measured over several weeks. Based on this, potential savings were identified and appropriate measures were developed. The biggest challenge was the ‘All you can eat’ concept, which is common in all participating hotels and leads to an above-average return of plates.

Since the summer of 2017, the concept of food waste prevention has already been implemented in the lti Asterias hotel. One example is the pre-order system introduced for the à-la-carte restaurant. Guests can order their meals one day in advance at the reception desk, which allows the kitchen personnel to plan more accurately. The introduction of even more ‘live cooking’ as a complement to buffets has also proved successful, since portions can be calculated more easily. Making guests aware of the topic has also proved to be important. Especially presenting information about local products and specialties has resulted in a more conscientious approach to food.

“DER Touristik Hotels are aware of their responsibility to avoid food waste. Therefore, I am very happy that we have begun with the lti Asterias – other hotels will follow,“ says Karim Baaziz, Head of Operations and Entertainment at DER Touristik Hotels & Resorts.

In October 2017, a control measurement confirmed the success of the first measures implemented: Food waste was reduced by 18% on average. Regarding lunch and dinner, the reduction in waste was between 30 and 60%.

In 2018, DER Touristik will extend the concept to further hotels in the group. Initially, the measures will be implemented in the lti alpenhotel Kaiserfels in St. Johann in Tyrol and in the lti Bellevue Park in Tunisia. Employees from the food & beverage sector will also be trained in sustainable food supply and the avoidance of food waste.