Commitment to Community
We believe that we all share a common responsibility for strengthening and improving the communities we serve and the overall fabric of the Saudi society. That is the spirit and intent of Vision 2030.
While the Innovative Foods and Shawarmer teams are involved in and support a wide range of programs and initiatives that have a positive impact in the community, we have identified two primary areas of focus near to our hearts, our business and to the people of Saudi Arabia:
- Using Innovative Foods as a platform to inspire and support other young Saudi entrepreneurs to bring their visions to life in ways that will contribute to the nation’s economic growth and diversification ambitions and create new job opportunities for other young Saudis.
- Exploring innovative and creative new ways to tackle the nation’s growing food waste problem while strengthening our core business and contributing to food security across the Kingdom.
Entrepreneurialism is in Innovative Foods’ DNA. It starts with the ethos of our founders and is something that over the years we’ve worked hard to build into our culture and employee value proposition. We want our people across the Innovative Foods family to genuinely feel both inspired and empowered to bring their creativity to life through new ideas that make our business better for our customers.
Equally important to the Innovative Foods team is that we help inspire and empower the next generation of Saudi visionaries and business leaders. We work with community partner organizations to create and promote opportunities for young Saudis to bring their visions to life in the form of viable and sustainable commercialized businesses.
Entrepreneurs Tackle Food Waste Reduction …
Innovative Foods and Shawarmer partnered with non-profit social incubator Tesamy to organize a competition to generate business ideas that would help reduce food waste in the country. The winner, Mishal Alkharashi , earned the opportunity to develop his idea and opened his own company that gained great success.
The 2030 Vision Generation: Preparing Leaders of Tomorrow …
In partnership with the ministry of education in Al-majmaa , Shawarmer is helping prepare young women and men to be the next generation of Saudi entrepreneurs and business leaders. More than 600 young people in the Almajma’a area participated in a series of 8 training programs designed to help them prepare and present start-up business plans.
At the end of the close of the 6 months competition, more than 30 participants were awarded for winning projects recognizing the best business idea, business plan, team building and promotional campaign, among other categories.
“Entrepreneurialism and creating new pathways for young people to participate and succeed in the economy of the future is an important part of the foundation of Saudi’s Vision 2030,” said Dr. Saleh Alrabiah “This program demonstrates the power of public-private partnership where community groups can work with company’s like Shawarmer to create opportunities for bright young Saudis to realize their potential while strengthening the core of our community’s economy.”
Reducing Food Waste
Saudi Arabia ranks number one in the world in a surprising category … wasting food. A recent report by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture found some startling statistics:
SR 49 billion
In food is wasted annually across the Kingdom.
30% of all food
Produced ends up in garbage bins.
250 kg of food
Annually is the average Saudi wastes, more than double the global average of 115 kg.
Our leaders are taking this problem seriously. The Shoura Council is reviewing potential laws restricting and enforcing finds for food waste as well as running social awareness campaigns. The General Sports Authority recently partnered with the Saudi Food Bank on a program to promote conservation of good and food waste avoidance.
But government regulation can’t tackle this issue alone. The private sector led by the food service industry must play a key role as well.
For Innovative Foods, investing in food waste reduction programs and partnerships is both good for society and good business.
Exploring innovation in food waste reduction is a cornerstone of our operational excellence and continuous improvement initiatives. And we’ve made great strides in reducing food waste while maintaining our commitment to using fresh and natural ingredients combined with innovative food processing practices.
For example, Shawarmer skewers last no more than three hours before being replaced. Yet at the same time, through investment in a high-tech tumbler system that eliminates the common practice of thawing meats under running water, we’ve improved our overall yield and reduced food waste across all our restaurants from 9% to just 1%.