Waste not, want not: how one app is pioneering a solution to food wastage in the UK

Image: Too Good to go

Did you know that the restaurant industry throws away 600,000 tonnes of food in the UK every year? The rate at which perfectly edible food is shipped off to landfill sites causes untold harm to our environment, but as with most things nowadays theres an app thats using tech innovation to change the food waste situation.

Every day restaurants find themselves left with huge quantities of great food be it a switch from breakfast to lunch menus or when closing for the day. The guys behind Too Good To Go saw this as an opportunity to make a change in the way we handle waste food, and set about knocking on the doors of restaurants they thought may be willing to part with their waste for small payments.

Too Good To Go basically pairs hungry app users with restaurants users are able to locate restaurants with unwanted leftovers, make a quick choice and payment via the app, and show up just before closing to grab their food. The app certainly makes takeaway dining cheaper for app users, as the leftover food is sold at a discounted price. And it took some persuasion from founders Jamie and Chris to get it off the ground.

Starting any business is hard, and convincing restaurateurs to change their long-established processes was a real barrier to the launch of Too Good To Go. Co-founder Chris told Mashable that the two Leeds boys saw “lots of resistance from store managers who failed to grasp the concept.” Chris and Jamie spent months unsuccessfully knocking on doors of restaurants, cafes and bakeries all over London for months on end with only the bare bones of a website. “But after drumming up some interest we decided to move up from a website to an app and join forces with a group of Danish guys who were in the early stages of creating an app.”

Too Good To Go allows restaurants, cafes and all manner of foodie venues to generate a little extra revenue, do their bit for the environment and score some social PR points all without any extra cost. Boosting the economy, the environment, the books of local businesses and the rumbling stomachs of people all over the UK all serves a deeper purpose for the co-founders: “More than a service which allows users to pick up reduced price meals, we want Too Good To Go to revolutionise the way people think about food, and place the lost value back onto food as something that should be eaten and not thrown away as a disposable commodity.” Chris explained, “The fact that each box of food a Too Good To Go user collects is way too good to go in the bin will hopefully make our customers think about food in the home and have a trickle-down effect and reduce the 7.3 million tonnes of food we’re throwing away from our homes each year.”

Combatting food waste in the UK is a great passion point for Too Good To Gos co-founders, who began nurturing their innovative idea while at Leeds University together. “Food waste in Britain is something we feel passionately about tackling, and we’re determined to put a stop to it. To do this we need to educate and inform around a topic that up to now has been kept relatively under wraps. But we’re lucky enough to be in a space that is thriving with vibrant ideas and determined social entrepreneurs, whether it’s transforming surplus veg into hummus or stale bread into beer. We’re learning from the people around us all the time, and we want to be able to pass this knowledge onto the British public.”

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/03/08/too-good-to-go/