Home Food + DrinkCoffee This App Reduces Food Waste + Helps You Save Money

This App Reduces Food Waste + Helps You Save Money

by Cristina Lombardi
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Hoboken and Jersey City are home to some of the best and most well-known restaurants, cafes, and bars in Hudson County. But with the plethora of dining options comes an overabundance of food leftover at our restaurants and cafes daily. Around the world, we waste more than ⅓ of our food — and the US is responsible for an enormous amount of that waste, which contributes to greenhouse emissions. While some leftovers are donated or taken home by staff at the end of the day, a large majority get discarded at restaurants. This is due to a few factors, including the health and safety guidelines that the government imposes and strictly monitors. Through the App, Too Good To Go, businesses that have a surplus of food at the end of the day are connected with consumers who can purchase that leftover food at one-third of the cost. It’s an innovative idea that not only helps combat food waste but also cuts down the grocery bill and affords users the opportunity to try a new restaurant or cafe. Read on to learn more about the local restaurants in Hoboken and Jersey City that participate in Too Good to Go.

too good to go hudson county

(Photo credit: @toogoodtogo.usa)

About the Company

Too Good to Go started in Denmark in 2016 and was introduced to the U.S. in 2020. It’s currently in twelve major U.S. cities — including Manhattan, Hoboken, and Jersey City — and seventeen countries around the world. With plans to keep expanding, its mission is to ‘inspire and empower everyone to take action against food waste.’ The team strives to bring people together to fight food waste and generate a positive change in society. This year, Too Good to Go “celebrated the milestone of having saved 100M meals across 17 countries since its founding in 2016,” the site reads.

The initial idea was to focus on food that became wasted at the end of buffets. While developing this concept, the founders realized that it could be extended to all kinds of food service providers such as restaurants and cafes, bakeries, and hotels. The idea quickly spread, and the overall goal is to continue to shake up the food system and make the world think differently about throwing away food. The platform gives consumers a fun, affordable way to make an impact and store owners an opportunity to profit from fresh food that would otherwise be tossed out. And if you ask us, any idea to help the planet and make a difference is one worth trying — and this idea is one that happens to benefit everyone involved, too.

Read More: How to Practice Zero-Waste in Hoboken + Jersey City

How it Works for Customers

Once registered on the ‘Too Good To Go’ app, users create a profile, enter their location, and start exploring the participating businesses in the neighborhood. Participants have the option to search by type of food, dietary preferences, or preferred pick-up time or location. You’ll pay directly on the app (at a third of the price) and will be given a time frame to pick up your ‘Surprise Bag’ of food. The Surprise Bag will either encompass an entire meal — like a sandwich or an entree, or grocery ingredients — like an avocado or apple. Users are able to customize their profiles and search through categories such as Dinner, Baked Goods, Groceries, Vegetarian, Vegan, and ‘Your Favorites.’ The App also allows you to set up push notifications so that when new Surprise Bags become available from your favorite local spots, you won’t miss it.

How it Works for Businesses

From big restaurant chains like Cava, Eataly, and Just Salad to smaller local restaurants in your own backyard, many businesses offer these services through the app. Although Too Good to Go takes a small percentage of each purchase, the benefits are unbelievable. So many businesses have taken advantage of the App to help combat food waste, recuperate losses from discarding fresh food, increase visibility, and ultimately help the planet.

Hoboken + Jersey City Businesses that Participate in Too Good to Go

There are a variety of restaurants + shops that participate on this app, and the list does change — here are some popular current participants in Hoboken + Jersey City:

Hoboken List

annie ems bakeshop hoboken

^ Annie & Em’s Bakeshop

Jersey City List

luna restaurant italian jersey city

^ Luna

The Experience

The experience isn’t perfect and users need to be okay with flexibility. The mystery assortment of goods does not account for food allergies and may be hard for those with strict dietary restrictions or picky eaters. Users need to accept that there are fixed pick-up times (sometimes late at night), and there’s always the chance that you might not end up with food every time. Moreover, you might encounter an employee who is new to the program or is unaware of what your ‘Surprise Bag’ might contain. While it may not be best to rely on for meal planning, we certainly don’t turn down a discount, a chance to help the planet, or a chocolate croissant. The app has also encouraged us to head to places we otherwise may not have visited on a random Tuesday.

See More: Good Bottle, New Jersey’s First Refill/Zero Waste Shop Open in Montclair

Resource Center

Too Good to Go also has an extensive resource center full of data where you can learn all about food waste and the scale of the issue. This knowledge hub contains everything you need to know from topics such as what food waste is and why it occurs; why food waste is a problem; how it contributes to our carbon footprint; and so much more.  TGTG also has an active social media page and blog, which act as another great resource. The team shares helpful and innovative ways to make use of leftovers, preserve fruits and vegetables, store food properly, and suggestions for freezing. For instance, followers can learn how to make applesauce from mushy apples, how to save a dish that’s too spicy or salty, how to save lemon peels to make lemonade, or how to bring salad greens back to life.

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