What is Planet Table currently doing?
Planet Table is working to connect farms to restaurants to minimize food waste and maximize sustainable impact. Using an online platform, restaurants can request exactly how much food they expect to need each day. Planet Table’s delivery program, Send, collects the food from farms and delivers it to the restaurants, ensuring that fresh and local food is being prepared and consumed each day.
What is the problem?
Although Planet Table has drastically reduced farm to restaurant food waste, 31% of food prepared in Japanese restaurants each day is disposed of while still edible. We broke down the numbers to get an estimate of just how much food this is:
Japan wastes about 20 million tons of food per year. If half of this is from restaurants, then each of Japan's 474,100 restaurants wastes 21.09 tons of food per year.
This is 1595 kg of food per month, and
53 kg per restaurant per day.
The 160,000 restaurants in Tokyo waste a total of 9,376 tons of food per day.
31% of this is still edible. That's 2,636,786.88 kg of edible food wasted per day in Tokyo.
The average adult eats 1.8 kg of food per day.
This means that Tokyo's daily edible food waste could feed 1,464,881.6 people.
Meanwhile, 750,000 people in Japan still lack food security.
Each of these people could be fed 1.95 times on one day's worth of edible food waste.
Even with Planet Table, restaurants order extra ingredients each day to account for the maximum amount of consumers that could potentially eat at the restaurant each day so that they don't run out food. Inevitably, some of this is going to go to waste.
All food used for a purpose
No food goes into landfill
Food goes full circle.
What we want to do:
We propose reconnecting Send with restaurants to pick up edible food that hasn’t been consumed at the end of the work day. This makes use of Send’s delivery and distribution services to pick up food at a small cost and re-distribute to locations with high food need. The price point for the second wave of food distribution is calculated to be above costs incurred, while keeping costs low to appeal to second-wave consumers.
- Restaurants benefit from not having to pay disposal costs
- SEND profits by distributing food to other locations
- Japan benefits from:
Further reducing food waste
Cutting down on landfills
Reducing dependence on foreign goods
How can this make a profit?
In order to ensure that Planet Table is making a profit that is greater than the resources that the project requires, we propose several sources of revenue:
- Charge a pick-up fee for edible leftovers from restaurants at the end of each day. This fee will be less than the cost of sending the food to the landfill (restaurants still profit) but will help offset delivery costs.
- Offer restaurant partners the option to pay a monthly membership fee instead of pick-up on request.
- Planet Table collects leftover food from restaurants and sells it for a highly discounted price to kid's cafeterias, soup kitchens, schools, or other established partners.
- Inedible leftovers can be composted or turned into animal feed and sold back to farms for a profitable price that is still lower than if farms were to buy it from another market.
The key is to create working relationships with the restaurants and the final recipients of the food to ensure that food delivery and revenue is consistent coming from farms, to and from restaurants, and to other network partners.
Can Planet Table actually profit from this project? We broke down the cost/profit using a very conservative estimation. This is approximately the minimum profit that could be made through this project.
Planet Table currently has 10 trucks available. If each truck drives 30 km per day for this project and gets 7 km/l, then each truck uses 4.5 liters of fuel per day. At 1.10 USD (125 yen), the cost per truck is $4.95 (559 yen) per day, which results in $49.50 (5590 yen) per day for all ten trucks.
If the 10 truck drivers are working an extra 4 hours per day for this project and earning $20/hour (2260 yen), this costs Planet Table $800 (90,350 yen) extra per day.
Taking into account potential unforeseen expenses, this project would cost Planet Table an estimated extra $900 (101,640.60 yen) per day, or $27,000 (3,049,218 yen) per month.
We propose to charge a $10 (1,130 yen) fee per month to each restaurant that partakes in the project. This is still less than the $15 (1,700 yen) average that restaurants pay per month to send food waste to the landfill.
If 200 of Planet Table's 1000 restaurant partners take part in the project, that's $2,000 (225,868 yen) in revenue per month.
The 200 restaurants provide 3,300 kg of available edible food. At the supermarket, 1 kg of produce costs about $5 (565 yen) on average. We would resell this food reduced to $1 (113 yen) per kg.
If each of Planet Table's trucks hold 50 boxes of 2.5 kg of produce, Planet Table has the ability to redistribute 1,250 kg of food per day.
At $1 (113 yen) per kg, this equals $1,250 (141,168 yen) of revenue per day and $37,500 (4,235,025 yen) per month. Combined with the $2,000 (225,868 yen) of membership revenue, this is a total of $39,500 (4,460,893 yen) per month in revenue.
If we subtract the monthly cost of $27,000 (3,049,218 yen) from the total monthly revenue, Planet Table receives:
$12,500 (1,411,675 yen) in monthly profit.
Food starts at farms. Food ends at farms.
We want to complete the cycle.