Americans throw away 30-40% of the food produced in the United States
The search for solutions led to the creation of Too Good To Go. It is an application that allows restaurants to sell food that they would otherwise throw away.
“When you look at such a big, pervasive problem, we really wanted to come up with a solution that was super simple, super accessible, and that’s really positive,” Too Good To Go’s Claire Oliverson said.
Every day, restaurants create loot bags using food they would normally throw away. For a pizzeria, that might be a few slices. At a bagel shop, customers can get half a dozen day-old bagels.
The bags are selling on the Too Good To Go app at a reduced price.
“Nobody wants to go out and look in the trash and see a thrown away whole-wheat loaf, a thrown away baguette, thrown away salads,” said Michael Stansfield, restaurant manager for New York bakery chain Le Pain Quotidien. “It was, for us, very exciting because we deliver our product to the customer instead of leaving it lying around in a bin.”
Through its partnership with Too Good To Go, Stansfield says Le Pain Quotidien has saved nearly 4,000 meals over the past 30 days.
“Especially during the pandemic, there are a lot of people who can’t afford to buy a full-price item or don’t have the opportunity to do so every day,” Stansfield said. “For us, we wanted to be able to give back to the community in a meal-saving way, but also offer them a discounted price so they could enjoy something they never would have had.”
Some restaurants use the app in addition to donating food.
The app is now available in all 12 cities in the United States. There are plans to expand access by the end of the year.