A different kind of food service app is allowing loyal customers to pay cut rates in order to rescue restaurant food before it goes into the waste bin.
Too Good To Go, (get it, to go?) offers buyers a grab bag of nearly wasted, yet perfectly good food for take away as a method of cutting back on food waste and helping support the restaurant industry.
“As easy as throwing it away” the simplicity of Too Good To Go is the key to its success. Rather than other apps of a similar sort that allow customers to pick and choose which items they want to save, Too Good To Go offers only bags of whatever food the restaurants have; truer to the spirit of the enterprise, one would think.
The app was among several winners of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Award, who reports that 40% of food in America is wasted.
It’s impossible to know how much food really does end up in landfills, but it is possible to know how many meals Too Good To Go has prevented from going there. Originally available only in a few select American cities, they’ve sold 200,000 meals that were merely hours from going into the garbage.
Over 1,500 restaurants have signed up in cities like D.C., New York, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and Los Angeles.
Now present in 15 countries, 150,000 orders are going out the door per day, across a user base of around 37 million people, saving a mind-boggling amount of food waste.
This also is easier on the restaurants since it’s nearly impossible to guess and predict what will be available at the end of any given night. Decomposing food in landfills is a major source of methane, a short-term greenhouse gas that nevertheless could, in theory, cause climate-related damages before disintegrating after a decade.
“We think we can save more than 2 million meals from the trash in the U.S. in 2021 already,” Lucie Basch, co-founder of Too Good To Go, told Fast Company. “That’s thousands of tons of emissions avoided.”