For Media and Press

Smart Kitchen at Scandic – digitalisation helps ensure food safety and reduce food waste

Smart Kitchen at Scandic – digitalisation helps ensure food safety and reduce food waste

Scandic, one of the leading hospitality companies in Scandinavia, uses SmartKitchen solutions in all its 150 hotels in Finland and Sweden. Roll out is now underway at Scandic hotels in Germany. Digital solutions support the daily operations of management and kitchen staff.

Scandic’s ambition is to lead sustainability activities in its industry

Responsibility work began at the Scandic hotel chain already in the early 1990s, when customers were asked to hang up their towels if they wanted to use them again without having to automatically switch to a new one. Scandic was also the first Finnish hotel chain to introduce the ResQ Club service and the first one in Sweden to connect to Karma’s digital service.

Scandic’s goal is to meet the criteria for an environmentally certified hotel no later than one year after the opening of each hotel. Gaining the Nordic Swan Ecolabel for a hotel means, for example, accurate metrics for carbon dioxide emissions, energy and water consumption, waste management, and the amount and quality of chemicals used. In Germany and Poland, hotels have Green Globe or EU Ecolabel, respectively. The SmartKitchen solution is one of the digital tools that help Scandic achieve these goals.

Measures to reduce food waste

Scandic, along with top management, is interested in the quality and quantity of food waste. Waste reduction measures are being considered at all levels of the organisation. The SmartKitchen service is integrated into Scandic’s management reporting system. The amount of food waste is therefore also included in the management’s reporting. This is an example of advanced leadership.

Scandic systematically monitors and reduces food waste and biowaste through professional planning and staff guidance. Best practices are easy to share with all hotels directly on SmartKitchen. The measures taken have a significant impact on the food loss and, of course, on the financial margin.

“We should not think that there is a lot of technology to be mastered, but that the systems are just tools to make our job easier,” says Ali Suviala, Executive Chef at Scandic Grand Central Helsinki.

Because the devices are automated and easy to use, it is also easy to encourage the use of the solutions widely. When not in use, even the best tool is useless.

Real-time self-monitoring

Automated cold room monitoring plays an important role in large companies. All that is needed to cause significant and costly food waste is for someone to accidentally leave the cold storage or drawer door open.

“We have been able to avoid losses thanks to the SmartKitchen self-monitoring system. In the event of a cold room fault, an alarm has been sent directly to the mobile phone and we have been able to react immediately,” Suviala says.

Organisation level management

SmartKitchen is well-suited for managing and monitoring actions across a food service organisation with multiple locations. Through the service, the management can notify the whole organisation about issues related to food safety or the reduction of food waste, providing good tips and implementing best practices. SmartKitchen also helps detect the effects of seasonal changes on losses and track how quickly even small improvements affect the amount of loss per country.

The visual and easy-to-read front page of the service speeds up data analysis. Regional managers keep an eye on the operation of the kitchens in their area, and sustainability managers review the information at country level. An individual hotel is responsible for the actions in its own kitchen.

“The service can be accessed with a mobile phone or laptop, and it is easy and interesting to keep track of the measures. It also inspires to achieve better results. From the report we see the quantities in kilograms, the number of customers, and food waste per customer. If the amount of food waste suddenly increases, it can be noticed and dealt with immediately. The main thing is that the equipment works properly, and the staff knows what to do. The simpler the process, the better,” says Suviala.

Complete self-monitoring information is automatically stored in the SmartKitchen cloud service. The system is virtually invisible without causing any extra work. The data from hand probe devices is saved to the same solution with the Kitchen Helper application.

Easy Start packages

All Scandic’s deliveries were made as Easy Start packages, and the solutions were up and running in three hours without any need for technical installation or configuration. Scandic staff is used to utilising digital solutions and learning was swift.

SmartKitchen is a Finnish, Oulu-based company developing the cloud service further based on Scandic’s and other customer’s needs. The service consists of several digital solutions for professional food service companies. Customer selects the ones needed. The use of solutions can be easily expanded and modified. Finnish know-how since 2013.