Forty percent of food in the United States ends up in the trash can.
Too Good To Go – an app connecting businesses that want to eliminate their food waste and recoup lost revenue by selling their surplus food at a discounted price to consumers – is on a mission to bring that figure down.
Stirring up buzz and savings in cities like New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago, the app is now live in Miami.
“We see Miami as an important city for us to grow in,” Chris MacAulay, managing director for Too Good To Go’s U.S. markets tells New Times. “It’s one of those cities that we feel has the right combination of food partners and consumers to take advantage of what we are doing. We can make the most impact here, with such a density of businesses and people wanting to save, particularly amid the current climate of inflation.”
Too Good To Go is billed as a win-win. Businesses – mainly restaurants, supermarkets, and cafés – can list their surplus food on the app as a “Surprise Bag.” From there, consumers search for Surprise Bags within geographical, dietary preference, or category (e.g., bread/pastries or groceries) parameters. Then, customers pay through the app and schedule a pickup. Consumers can save 66% off or more on goods from their favorite spots.
According to MacAulay, there are now more than 65 participating restaurants in Miami. These restaurants currently include Talkin' Tacos, Panther Coffee, Pizza Rustica, Misha's Cupcakes, El Bagel, and Just Salad, with bags starting in the $5 range for offerings that would typically be $15-plus.
"We're really just starting to scratch the surface," says MacAulay. "We want to tap into the localized food types – we're thinking Cuban restaurants and more Latino-based food businesses for Miami. We are certainly looking to expand."
As Too Good To Go's popularity inevitably gains steam in South Florida, MacAulay has some advice for those wanting to secure goodies from their favorite spots.
"Once you get a better sense of who is participating, definitely use the favorite button to track the places you get great Surprise Bags from," he says. "You may also need to use your phone's alarm system to check the app at a certain time. Some of these bags go very fast."