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The Balancing Cart

The balancing cart is a holistic concept which addresses the issue of food waste by including all the stakeholders.

Photo of Gaurav Sharma
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I am an Entrepreneur and own a restaurant in Mumbai. The idea of the balancing cart stemmed from my own personal observation in my restaurant. In spite good inventory control there is always leftovers. And Like me there are many restaurant owners who face the same challenge. So I asked myself a question "How do we get a balance"?

My Idea

To have a balancing cart. An app which lets you see the restaurants of your choice, the cuisine of your choice. The leftovers would be segregated into buckets of different cuisine and you would just need to pay a nominal delivery fee. This is mainly targeted to those who are in need or someone who is having a budget constraint.

Some of you might be wondering what if the food is stale, how will we come to know how old the food is , What if I get food poisoning etc

To find a balance to those questions  I will have to tell you what a balancing cart is and how it works?

What is a Balancing Cart ?

It will be a mini refrigerated Van with branding of all the restaurants it has tied up with and it would roam across the city.It will be a CSR initiative for the restaurant and would also give them a free branding platform . The refrigerated cart will have day wise leftover stocks of all the restaurants its tied up with . The food would be stacked inside the van  as per the cuisine it belongs to.If a particular food from a particular restaurant is not consumed within 3 days, it will be used as a bio waste to generate energy.

How it Works?

1) Download the app from Play store. ( Note : Its not yet developed)

2) Select the area you are in or switch on Auto detection

3) You can see and track the balancing cart in real time

4) Select the cuisine of your choice

5)  Pay a nominal delivery fee . The food is for free!

6) Relish your food

Note All stocks >3 days will be highlighted in red and would not be up for consumption.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

I see food being wasted everyday, I was walking out after having a buffet in some restaurant and happen to meet a person who was literally starving. He owned a little shop right across the street, he skipped meals as sales weren't high. He had to save every Rupee he earned and whatever he earned he gave to his family. That's when the idea of The Balancing cart came in my mind

Tell us about your work experience:

I am an Entrepreneur. I love working on diverse challenges and like creativity. Its a small world and I want to contribute and shape my society for a better tomorrow.

This post emerged from:

  • An Individual
  • A Kitchen Diary

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Photo of Kate Rushton

Thank you Gaurav Sharma for your post! Roughly percentage of the food produced at your restaurant is wasted in total and by type (kitchen waste, spoiled food leftovers) etc? 

We were discussing this issue in this post here -https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/food-waste/research/a-restaurant-sending-patrons-home-with-leftovers-and-recipes

I would really like to know your insights and perspectives. 

Photo of Gaurav Sharma

Hi Kate !

I am glad you found my post. I own a Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) in Mumbai. Its been 3 months since we have started our operations. Based on our observations during these months we see an overall food wastage of  30% which mainly comprises of leftovers from a consumers plate, spoilage.
I would like to give you a little insight on the consumer behavior of people who walk into my restaurant.My restaurant is located in Bandra,Mumbai. which is known for its night life The food is economically priced compared to my competitors.Well People tend to order more than they can eat especially in this area , mainly due to sheer curiosity of the cuisine and affordable pricing .
They like ordering more starters on a limited budget and tend to spend the rest on pubs and enjoy the night life. Thereby we are left with huge leftovers of such consumers. On the other hand the food wastage in pub chains only ranges between 6 %to 12% to that of 30% in a QSR as they tend to order limited food items in pubs.
 

Photo of Kate Rushton

Thank you so much for this! This is incredibly useful. Delia Kulukundis - here is some insight on food waste for a QSR in India. 

I would really like to know your perspectives on OzHarvest - https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/food-waste/research/ozharvest

and Olio:
https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/food-waste/research/olio-the-food-sharing-revolution

I think there might be some useful insights here. 

It sounds like your restaurant has been a huge success. 

Photo of Delia Kulukundis

Hi Gaurav Sharma - thanks for sharing a bit of insight on yours customers' behavior!

Photo of Gaurav Sharma

Hi Delia!
It's my pleasure. 

Photo of Gaurav Sharma

Hi Kate!
Thank you for sharing those links. It's a good initiative and it feels great to see people thinking in the right direction. I agree to the fact that households contribute to around 50% of food waste. But when I talk about human sentiments people in our society don't want others to know how much is their leftover, as they feel they might be embarrassed. Well  I feel there should be community gatherings in parks,residential complexes etc where people get together and  are educated about food wastage first.

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