Foods on sale at end of shift with Too Good To Go, the anti-waste app

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Bread and pizza, ready meals and deli, desserts and whatnot. There are many foods that remain unsold and are in danger of ending up in the trash. Too Good To Go repurposes with an App the age-old social norm of giving away unsold food from neighborhood stores, bars and restaurants at a discounted price at the end of a shift. Common sense and combating food waste.

Too Good To Go, food on sale in the neighborhood

The anti-waste app was designed in 2015 by a Danish start-up, now certified as a B Corp(Benefit Corporation). It is downloaded for free from theapp store and allows you to locate businesses, even according to their proximity to your location.

At a third of the list price, fresh, quality foods are available for last second purchase every day because they remain unsold. Once you choose the food offered on the app, you pay by credit card or PayPal. At the time of pickup-at designated times close to closing-the merchant may charge an additional fee (0.50 euros) to provide the container to those who have not taken up the invitation to bring it from home.

Surprise Magic Box

The least reassuring element is the choice of food. Unlike the platforms of
food delivery
, Too Good To Go does not allow you to buy what you want by browsing through a menu. Instead, it offers a generic Magic Box, that is, ‘a package’ of unsold food. The type of food can be guessed in relation to the business establishment: bread and pizza, stuffed pasta, roast chicken, pastries, etc. Instead, it remains a surprise when purchasing from restaurateurs.

The risk of receiving less fresh, or otherwise unpalatable, food should be curbed by the reviews posted by customers. A relatively effective tool, as seen in the case ofecommerce. The Danish app moreover summarizes the comments into a single score, up to 5 stars, for quality of food and service.

Win-Win-Win

The initiative is described by the promoters as Win-Win-Win, meaning three times convenient:

  • a valuable remedy against food waste, which still wastes about a third of food production (at least 10 percent of which is at the near-consumption stage),
  • a benefit to merchants, who recoup some of the expected gains on products otherwise destined for waste,
  • An opportunity for consumers to save money on good quality food.

The fourth Win is the advantage for the startup that owns the Too Good To Go app. In fact, on the amounts collected on behalf of merchants, the Danish company retains an annual fee (39 euros) and one per transaction (1.19 euros on a Magic Box from 5 euros) to cover the services of placing the merchant on the platform (with the benefit of advertising as a ‘socially responsible’ operator), the provision of stickers, paper envelopes with logos, the business cards, and the ‘turnkey’ management of a (perhaps) finally effective service to limit the waste of still good food.

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Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".