We all know the ongoing plight of fighting food waste; the topic has been one of the most talked about in the food world. Most of the proposed solutions involve giving food that would otherwise be thrown out to charities. It’s certainly a noble cause, but food waste warriors are looking for other ways to ensure would-be wasted food gets put to good use as well.
With that in mind, a group in the UK has launched an app aimed at reducing food waste called Too Good To Go, which allows restaurants to sell leftover food at a reduced price to anyone interested in a good deal. It’s similar to how a grocery store might reduce the price of perishable goods to help them sell before they go bad.
The app is billed as a win-win-win for everyone involved. Restaurants get a bit of extra revenue, Too Good To Go gets a cut, and consumers get a good deal. Users pay about $2.50 to $5 per dish through the app and then pick up their grub at a predetermined time – typically after lunch or dinner service or at closing time. Meanwhile, everyone gets to help reduce food waste, which, despite the financial possibilities, the team behind Too Good To Go stresses is the most important part. In fact, the company is primarily funded not through revenue, but through university grants. “The ultimate goal is to use it for restaurants to solve their waste management problem, rather than it being about making profit,” Wilson told the Evening Standard.
The app – which is already up and running in Brighton, Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester – has recently launched in London with 95 restaurants on board, though co-founder Chris Wilson admits his company is still hoping to catch some bigger fish. “Most of the places tend to be independent or just small chains because it is really hard to crack the big companies,” he’s quoted as saying. “It is the bigger chains that have the large amounts of food waste but it is hard to even speak to the right people there.”
I know the feeling. Grimace won’t return my calls either.