Around 100 million tonnes of food are wasted each year in the European Union alone. For many of us, it is particularly galling when restaurants throw out perfectly good food rather than giving it away or, at the very least, selling it off at a reduced price.
Now the Danish startup Too Good To Go has found a solution: an app that allows you to snap up a restaurant’s leftovers at bargain prices just before they close. Instead of throwing the excess food in the bin, participating restaurants box up the food, which is then collected from the restaurant by the customer.
The method is simple: meals and baked goods that are left over at close of service can be sold on Too Good To Go via the app or the website. Customers pay online, receive a confirmation on their mobile and can then go and pick up their meal from the restaurant. You can even put together your own box at the restaurant by mixing and matching the leftovers.
Each box costs €2.50 and not only saves food from the bin but helps save energy, too. After all, plenty of electricity, gas and water, not mention farmland and fertilizer, goes into each meal we eat.
“The idea is so fascinating—I asked myself why no one had thought of it before,” the Danish environmental scientist Mai Goth Olesen told Wirtschaftswoche. Olesen and her partner Jon Frisk were so excited by Too Good To Go that they quit their jobs in Denmark and moved to Germany to build the brand there. In Denmark, the app has already had 120,000 downloads—now it’s looking to branch out across Europe.
Keep an eye out for a concept that seems set to be a gastronomic game-changer.