By connecting restaurateurs and produce vendors with charities, Tekeya is able to close the loop on excess food which usually ends up in a dumpster. Meanwhile the app’s AI-powered system can help excess food from being created to begin with. We speak to the company’s founder to find out more.
Have you ever wondered what happens to excess food in restaurants at the end of the day? The dumpster is probably the common answer - which is unfortunate because the food being thrown out is often totally fine. For a lot of people, having dinner on the table is a real challenge, so instead of throwing it out, Egyptian tech startup Tekeya has created a new system for food vendors to reroute unsold food to those who need it.
“I was amazed by the amount of food that we waste, especially here in the MENA region,‟ Menna Shahin, founder of Tekeya tells us. “And after some research I got insights and more data that drove me to find solutions for this problem.”
Aiming to reduce food waste and fight hunger, especially during the Coronavirus crisis which has seen workers who usually depend on daily wages severely affected by the lockdown across Egypt, Shahin saw an opportunity to give back to the community. The app connects food distributors such as hotels, restaurants and supermarkets with charity organisations or individual consumers. Excess food products and extra meals can be donated to charity organisations or sold for 50% or less of the original price to paying consumers. In a nutshell, Tekeya is closing the loop that saw Egypt rank as the sixteenth largest producer of food waste in the world in 2017.
Tekeya’s food waste initiative initially launched in the Egyptian governorates of Sharqiaya and Aswan and had eight participating hotels donating all their excess food. After this success, Shahin and her team have decided to launch in Cairo and Alexandria to raise more awareness about food waste. She also highlights that, besides the obvious fact that perfectly fine food can be redistributed to people who need it, throwing out food has a huge negative impact on the environment that a lot of people aren't aware of. With an artificial intelligence algorithm, Tekeya’s app also helps restaurateurs calculate their food waste and get suggestions on how to reduce it.
Right now Tekeya is only available in Egypt. But Shahin lets us in on an exciting update; Tekeya is launching in the GCC area very soon and, from there, plans to expand to the rest of the MENA region. After all, food waste is a global issue.
Find out more about Tekeya here.
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