A social enterprise started by two young entrepreneurs is helping to reduce food waste in restaurants and stores - by offering great meal deals to diners who sign up to their app.

With food waste becoming an increasing problem in homes and restaurants up and down the country – each year, over 10 million tonnes of food is thrown away – the app allows diners to enjoy perfectly good restaurant meals that would otherwise be destined for the bin.

Too Good To Go, which was launched in the UK by Chris Wilson and his best friend  Jamie Crummie in 2016, allows food stores, cafes and restaurants to sign up and post the left-over meals that they have at the end of the day and the discounted price they want for them.

The pair, who say the app was inspired by a Danish concept, stated that the businesses involved get to reduce their waste and also have potential new customers try out their food.

 

A post on the firm’s website reads: “Each year, one-third of all food produced worldwide is thrown away. At Too Good To Go we want to put an end to food waste by creating a world where food produced is food consumed.”

Founder Wilson, who said he stumbled across the idea while attending a technology event in Denmark, told the Evening Standard in 2016 that he thought it was the “best idea ever”, he said: “The UK is the biggest waster of food in Europe. There is this huge social injustice. We have all this surplus food on one side and people going hungry on the other.

“We should be treating food as precious and the most valuable energy source and not something to just throw away.”

After designing the app, the two Brits partnered up with the Danish team behind the original idea.

The resulting social enterprise has grown dramatically and now has 200 employees across Europe.

They recently revealed that over 10 million meals have already been saved by the app’s users – dubbed ‘Waste Warriors’ by the TGTG team – and that they now have 1,683 partner stores and restaurants across the UK.

They state that the eventual aim is to have 50m users signed up by the end of 2020.

‘Magic Bags’

Subscribers can choose from not only restaurants and stores but also bakers who have leftover bread or coffee shops with unsold sweet treats and pastries.

Restaurants put their unsold meals into Too Good To Go’s ‘magic bags’ which users collect.

Bigger brands like Yo Sushi! and Patisserie Valerie sit side by side with smaller local companies ensuring users have plenty to choose from, though you won’t know exactly what you’re getting until you pick you up your ‘magic bag’.

Though with prices ranging from £2- £4 and some great food on offer, the TGTG team say it’s not too much of a gamble for customers and can often lead to some incredible deals.

And, despite reasonable concerns, the firm state that none of the food on offer is scrapings from customer’s plates or out of date and that all of the meals and produce on offer will be fresh and unused.

• The Too Good To Go can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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