No, it's not the unfinished meals left by customers, but rather perfectly good food that would otherwise be thrown out at the end of the day.
Food waste is a massive issue, with an estimated 40% of all food going uneaten in the US alone, and while there are a number of ways to reduce that amount at home, it's harder for food service establishments to do the same. But a new app that recently launched in the UK is taking aim at restaurant food waste by allowing users to buy discounted 'leftovers' from restaurants, cafes, and bakeries.
Too Good To Go (TGTG), which was founded in Denmark last year, allows restaurants and other food service establishments to list their unsold food inventory, which iOS and Android app users can buy directly from their devices at a cost as low as half the original price, and then pick up at a designated time for a low-cost meal. The app, which lists nearby participating restaurants in the UK (currently in Brighton, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, and just recently London), has foods listed for as little as £2 (~US$2.60), with a maximum price of £3.80 (~US$5.00), and has plans to expand to other countries in the future.
"Our mission is to save food, save money and save the planet by placing the lost value back onto food as humankind’s most valuable energy resource, and not something that should just be carelessly throw in the bin. Why? Because if food waste were a country it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, whilst recovering just half of the food that is lost or wasted could feed the world alone. It’s a problem that doesn’t need to exist – and we’re determined to help solve it." - Too Good To Go
TGTG supplies participating restaurants with recyclable to-go packaging for the leftovers sold through the app, which, in addition to cutting food waste, can help food businesses generate more revenue by selling items that would normally be tossed out at the end of the day. The company also has a web version of the app, for those who'd like to take part but don't have a mobile device, and TGTG solicits donations of £1 as well, which go toward meal donations for those in need. According to the website, about "100,000 meals [have been] diverted from bins to bellies since Oct ‘15" through TGTG.
Check it out for yourself at Too Good To Go.