This UK App Sells Cheap Leftovers From Restaurants For A Good Cause

Are you a fan of leftovers? Do you like cheap takeout food? If so, then you need to know about a new app allowing people to order discounted leftovers at restaurants. Too Good to Go, co-founded by Chris Wilson and Jamie Crummie, may be a useful tool to help people avoid cooking and save money, but its ultimate goal is a noble one. According to the website, Too Good to Go wants to help reduce the amount of good food being thrown away at restaurants’ closing time.

The app allows users to pick from a list of restaurants, order food, select a pickup time (typically near closing time), and head to the restaurant with their order confirmation so they can enjoy their discounted meal. Prices for the discounted meals runs from 2-3.80 pounds (approximately $2.59-$4.93) via the free UK app, which is available for Android and iOS users, as well as those who create a website login. Yes, you read that right, it’s not currently available in the United States, but there are plans to expand to other countries and take over the world with the awesome app.

Crummie recently spoke out about the UK’s massive food waste problem in relation to its effect on the environment and how Too Good to Go is a way to address the issue. He also revealed his desire to help the approximately one million people who depend on emergency food parcels to meet their basic nourishment needs.

He told Business Green’s Michael Holder, “The restaurant industry is wasting about 600,000 tonnes of food each year, and in the UK alone there are one million people on emergency food parcels from food banks.” He continued: “Why do we have these two massive social issues that are completely connected, yet there is not much going on to address them?”

Too Good to Go is battling the food parcel problem with its “Pay-It-Forward Scheme” — an option that allows the user to donate funds toward providing meals for others in need. The app has found success in Brighton, Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds and has plans to expand to London before the end of August. The app’s success isn’t surprising because it’s beneficial to everyone involved in the ordering process. The restaurants involved get to make a little extra cash on food they would have otherwise tossed out, Too Good to Go collects a fee from every purchase, and app users get to either grab delicious food at a low cost or donate to others who could use a good meal. Everybody is happy and a little bit richer.

There aren’t any apps like Too Good to Go in the U.S. (yet) but it wouldn’t be a bad idea. If you have ever worked in food service like me, you are probably well aware of the ridiculous amount of waste produced by restaurants every day. As a matter of fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says food waste from homes and restaurants equals about 30-40 percent of the total food supply. That is a lot of good food going to waste, especially considering the U.S. homeless population is estimated at almost 565,000 and there are lots of other people who depend on food banks for sustenance.

Will apps like Too Good To Go solve all of the world’s problems? No. But it is good way to stop junking up landfills, help others, and even help your own bank account all by ordering discounted food through an app. Sounds like a win-win to me.