This App Lets You Buy Leftover Food From Your Favorite Restaurant

Too Good To Go gives food a second chance.

May 27, 2021
This App Lets You Buy Leftover Food From Your Favorite Restaurant | Too Good To Go gives food a second chance.

Some ideas are so innovative that they just have to be recognized. And the Too Good To Go app is one of them. This innovative way to match leftover cooked food to people looking for take-out has just been named a winner in the apps category of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Award.

Too Good To Go is an app that lets you buy whatever food your favorite restaurant has left when it is about to close. It could be your favorite pasta dish, fresh sushi, or a delectable dessert. But you never know what you are  going to get, it’s always a surprise according to the anti-food-waste app.

Since there are usually small portions left at the end of day, it is too small an amount for a food bank to pick-up according to Fast Company. Most restaurants would end up throwing the extra food away and that is exactly what the folks behind the app want to avoid.

Food waste in the US is so pervasive that it amounts to between 30 and 40 percent of all food produced. When food is sent to a landfill, it turns into methane gas when it decomposes. So instead of feeding a hungry person, leftover food actually contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Now there is a way to keep food out of landfills and into hungry bellies.

While other food-waste apps exist, none of them include the surprise element that you get from the one-price bag of whatever the restaurant has left on hand. Just order on the app and pick up your bag. It’s really that simple.

Too Good To Go launched in New York and Boston in September 2020 (the Danish app first launched in Copenhagen in 2016) and over 500,000 people have already signed up. This saved over 200,000 meals from going into landfills. Since then, the app has expanded into Washington DC and Philadelphia and will be in ten US cities by the end of the year, Lucie Basch, cofounder of Too Good To Go, told Fast Company.

The app doesn’t just partner with restaurants and cafes, but also with food stores, grocers, coffee shops, and anywhere food can be wasted according to NY Eater. Some of the more well-known NYC eateries include: Breads Bakery, Tartinery, Stumptown Coffee, and Black Seed Bagels.

The service is free for customers to use and the app takes a cut from the sales price of the food which is usually about one-third of the price of ordering from the menu. Being able to sell the leftover meals is a win/win for the customers and the owners according to Nicolas Dutko, the founder of French cafe mini-chain Tartinery. While he doesn’t make a profit on the bags, he does recoup the cost of the food.

As part of being environmentally conscious, Too Good To Go does not do deliveries and relies on customers picking up their meals in person. Helping the planet by cutting food waste one meal at a time is what they do and they are already making a big difference.

“We think we can save more than 2 million meals from the trash in the US in 2021 already,” Basch told Fast Company. “That’s thousands of tons of emissions avoided.”

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Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.