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RIYADH: The growth of the restaurant industry has resulted in a significant amount of food waste at the end of the day, which poses a challenge for restaurant owners.

A group of young Saudi entrepreneurs has set up an app called Barakah to help prevent food waste by creating a way for restaurants to notify consumers of deals on ready meals.

Rabah Habiss, one of the co-founders of the app, said: “Barakah is a Saudi start-up that aims to harness innovation and social awareness to tackle food waste in restaurants, bakeries, hotels and grocery stores by offering a discount on their surplus products. thanks to an innovative real-time mobile application.

The app helps businesses increase revenue and empowers them and their customers to join the global movement against food waste.

“What sparked this idea was that we identified a persistent problem in the restaurant industry; discarded fresh consumable food. These are foods that consumers can enjoy, guilt-free, and foods that restaurants can still sell while helping to reduce our carbon footprint,” Habiss said.

Startup founders Abdulaziz bin Saud, Munira Almuammar, Rabah Habiss were driven to create Barakah by a commitment to sustainability and a desire to solve the widespread and systemic problem of food waste.

“We did market research and found that 40% of all food is wasted. In monetary terms, this equates to $1.2 trillion globally and SR40 billion in Saudi Arabia. Another important factor that influenced the initiative was our Islamic teachings, which stress the value of preserving food rather than throwing it away.

Baraka has an impact that goes beyond financial savings and increased income; it fosters a sense of community and environmental stewardship, enabling businesses and individuals to be more efficient and sustainable.

The app started operations in select areas of Jeddah this month, with many local restaurants partnering with the app, such as COZ, Biscotti Amna Bakery, Broots, Meraki, etc.

The app will be rolled out across the Kingdom over the next few months, aiming to cover major cities in Saudi Arabia by the end of 2022.

“We target both businesses and consumers. For businesses, we work with restaurants, bakeries, cafes, hotels, buffets and grocery stores to put their surplus on the map, generating an untapped revenue stream for our suppliers. For consumers, our app is aimed at savvy and environmentally conscious customers,” added Habiss.


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