Winnow takes aim at food waste problem at restaurants, letting chefs to monitor what and how much they are tossing into trash

winnowExcess food that are discarded by us in restaurants and cafés may not amount to much on its own. But, collectively, the globe wastes an enormous amount of food, food that could feed those in need. British startup Winnow wants to do its part to correct the issue, offering a system that enables organizations operating kitchens to track the food that they are tossing out and to get a better idea of where they should be spending their money.

The system works by making the kitchen “smart” by allowing users to place waste bins on the scale and track the amount and type of food that they end up throwing away. From there, the system sends the data to chefs via daily email reports. The system is not cheap, setting users back 3,600 British pounds for a one-unit setup (plus 200 pounds for the software) or 4,000 pounds for the first of multiple units (again, 200 pounds per month for the software) and another 1,850 pounds for units after that. At this point, the company says that 100 businesses across the United Kingdom have adopted their platform.

Many startups rush to raise external funding in order to get their business off the ground, but it is certainly not required and some do just fine without it. Winnow, for example, launched their service in May 2013 and grew to the point that they currently report helping to organizations like schools, caterers, restaurants, and hotels more than 1.3 million British pounds in annual costs. But, they are now ready for external backing and announced this week that they have pulled in 900K pounds from Mustard Seed, D:Ax, and several private investors, which they anticipate using to fund their plans for international expansion.

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