At my last job, which was at a pizzeria, we sold pizza by the slice at the walk-up window. When we closed up shop for the night, we almost always had at least some pizza leftover. Sometimes it was a slice or two, other times it was entire pies. The staff would usually take a few pieces home for a snack or to share it with eager roommates, but now and then we’d just have way too much, and it regrettably would have to be tossed. I hated seeing good food go to waste.
Yale Climate Connections reports the rise of a new app called Too Good to Go, which aims to combat the end-of-day waste that so many restaurants and grocery stores experience. It’s currently available in a limited number of U.S. cities, as well as 14 other countries, but is in the process of expanding.
It works like this: You pick a spot, such as a restaurant or grocery store, and order a “surprise” bag. As these businesses don’t always know what might sell out or go unused, the contents of the bag will vary. You can order things like entire meals, fresh produce, or baked goods. And you’ll only be paying about one-third the cost for these items as you normally would.
Claire Oliverson at Too Good to Go says, “Your local pizza shop might make 50 pies per day. And one day they sell 40, one day they sell 48, and they always have a little bit of extra.” See? Who doesn’t want leftover pizza?
The app has prevented 79 million meals from going to waste so far. Not only does it reduce the amount of food going into the trash, it also helps restaurants recoup at least some money on ingredients that would have otherwise been a total loss.
I am 100% on board with this idea. First of all, I love surprise bags full of anything, and second of all, it’s an affordable gamble. There’s an element of fun, and it seems like a responsible way to grab perfectly good food at a cheaper price. Plus, you’ll feel like you did something for the environment. Everybody wins.