It’s a great way of being part of the food waste movement without spending huge amounts of money.Jamie
Too Good To Go is an app created by Chris and Jamie that recently launched in Manchester; it connects customers with eateries in the area to reduce food waste. You simply download the free app (on Android and iOS), put your payment details in, select a place, arrive at the collection time and take the food home with you. Each portion costs between £2 – £4.
In this blog post, I interview Jamie about Too Good To Go.
How did you and Chris meet?
We went to the University of Leeds together back in 2010 where we shared the same halls in the first year, and then we were best mates ever since.
How did you come up with the concept of Too Good To Go?
Back in 2013, I was doing some work with Amnesty International and one of the events was catered by The Real Junk Food Project. It was this that highlighted to me the issues of food waste as I wasn’t aware of it before. Chris went on to do a Masters in Business Ethics and moved to Denmark where I then went to visit him and we had our light bulb moment Three years later, Too Good To Go was born.
What would you tell people thinking that it’s just leftovers they’re getting?
It’s perfectly good food and it was made so that if you were a customer, you would be served it, but due to the nature of hospitality, it makes more sense to produce more food than run the risk of running out of food. This is especially true of places which are catering to the lunchtime rush, where they would make more food if stuff has run out. The food is perfectly edible.
The app also makes choosing what meal you’re having easy. Rather than debating what to have, you can just pick a place on the app and that’s your meal sorted. The discounted price is also appealing. It also gives you the opportunity to try places you may not have thought about trying, just because they are on the app.
It’s a great way of being part of the food waste movement without spending huge amounts of money, as can be the case if you’re buying local organic food. It’s a good way of eating sustainable food at an affordable price.
What would you like to tell eateries who think they will be undercut by people who are after a good deal?
They decide how many portions and they also specify the price, so it will never be the case that you get a long line of people queueing to get a deal. It also provides exposure to people who are using the app who may then try your food, decide they like it and then go on to visit during peak hours.
Getting added to the app is very easy, simply fill in the form this page and they’ll get back in touch.
There are a lot of homeless people in Manchester. Have you thought about working with food cycles?
As part of the app, there is an option to donate £1 to a “Pay it Forward” scheme, where the money would go towards meals for people in need. In London, there are volunteers who come and pick up the food that’s not sold through Too Good To Go and distribute them to those in need; this is a huge undertaking in itself which other organisations are already doing well in. The app approaches the issue from a different angle and focuses on bringing people’s attention to food waste and engaging them to do something about it.
What are the planned future developments for the app?
We want to be the forefront of the food waste movement so we were looking into gamifying parts of the app so that you can compete against friends for who has spent the most food through the app, most frequent visitor to an eaterie etc. We are also thinking of adding filter options so you can easily find vegetarian food, halal food or a specific type of ethnic cuisine. It’s a long process on the development side, so we’re not sure when these will be done by.
Using the app
The app can be downloaded on Android and iOS for free and the process is simple. The screenshots below document my process using the app, starting with the initial search near Manchester.
What did I get when I turned up to Foundation Coffee House? See for yourself!
I received three boxes but ate through one of them before this photo was taken. Each salad box costs around £4 normally so I’m making a fair amount in savings and helping to reduce food waste. Bear in mind I got lucky with this collection as it was soon after the app launched in Manchester. The three boxes just happened to be what was left unsold by the end of the day.
I highly suggest you go check out the app. With plans to work nationwide, currently, they have worked with eateries in Manchester, London, Leeds, Birmingham, Brighton, Newcastle, Aberdeen, Cardiff and Liverpool. You can also use the app in Denmark.
Too Good To Go are also looking to hire in various roles, so go check out their jobs page!
Photographs used in the interview portion are provided by Too Good To Go. Screenshots taken from the Too Good To Go app. Salad box photo belong to Elsa Eats.