10 Apps to Order Takeout and Reduce Food Waste At The Same Time

by Cath
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Every day, perfectly good food is being wasted.

It’s scary to acknowledge that when there are still people who die of hunger in the world.

Reducing food waste is one of the most important things we can do to reverse global warming. If you check Project Drawdown‘s website, you can see that reducing food waste can have a lot of impact in reducing emissions.

Food waste that decomposes in landfills releases methane, a greenhouse gas that is more potent than carbon dioxide. Everything that we can do to keep food waste out of the landfill is helpful.

Obviously that food waste occurs in every part of the chain, some of them you can’t do so much about it. But still, in today’s society, voting with your money it’s one of the best things you can do to see a change. Support businesses that make a priority to reduce their food waste and it’s likely that others will follow.

In the end of the supply chain, you as the consumer, can also reduce your food waste.

One of them is as simple as using your phone. Because even when you’re super invested in reducing your food waste, sometimes you’re too tired to do everything yourself.

You’re not in the mood to cook with carrot peels or to make your own vegetable broth with scraps, you want to contribute to less food waste in the world but at the same time all you want now is takeout.

Ordering take-out while being zero waste – yes or no?

When I started this journey, I felt super guilty when I ordered take-out. Let me just tell you that I’m not a takeout person, I prefer to eat simpler meals like bread with something than ordering food, but sometimes we’re just in the mood right? And I felt guilty even though I ordered take-out maybe once every 3 months?

Let me first start by saying: regardless how often you order takeout, never let yourself feel guilty about it.

You have your own circumstances, your own set of problems, don’t be too hard on yourself. I know how stressed out I was and I know it isn’t helpful. Accept it.

OK, so now you know that you want to order takeout. While you can go out and order from your favorite restaurant, you can also see this is as an opportunity to try out companies who are invested in reducing restaurant food waste. Let’s see how.

How much food does a regular restaurant waste?

I’m not in the industry myself but a recent study demonstrated that restaurants can make a profit of £7 for every £1 they invest in cutting food waste. If they can make that much profit then it means that too much is going to waste.

Thankfully, restaurants are being more aware of this and making changes. Altruistic motives or not, most probable just wanting to make more profit, I don’t really care, less food is being wasted.

One of the bakeries close to my home reduces the prices of cakes and pastries before closing up. Not only it’ll allow people that cannot afford them to buy from them, it’ll also reduce the amount of food that they put to waste.

Thanks to technology, there are now apps that allow you to buy cheaper food from restaurants before they close.

You can use your phone AND reduce food waste, how great is that? Plus, you don’t need to cook dinner!

These businesses are reducing their food waste and also have potential new customers try out their food.

We, as customers, are happy to be supporting local business and these apps while contributing to less food waste – even when tired.

Everyone’s happy!!

Apps to reduce food waste and pick up ready-to-eat meals

people holding wine glasses with too good bags

Photo provided by Too Good to Go

Too Good To Go

Available in: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, United Kingdom.

In multiple countries in Europe, Too Good To Go, aims to is to inspire and empower everyone to take action against food waste.

The app, available for iOs and Android, shows stores nearby for you to order and pick up your meal at the specified time.

All these meals are heavily discounted so you can also save money while eating in some of your favorite shops. You cannot choose what you order, you’ll be given a surprise bag/box that’s put together by the restaurant.

Fairmeals

Available in: Germany, Portugal.

FairMeals started when founder Christian Wimmler saw that there wasn’t any solution for restaurants that didn’t sold all their food at the end of the day. Aiming to increase restaurant revenue and decrease food waste, Fairmeals was created.

The app, available only for Android, shows stores nearby for you to reserve your meal.

It allows you to choose exactly what meal do you want and all the payment is done once in the store. You won’t need to pay in the app.

Food for all

Available in: United States: NYC and Boston.

Food for all is a US startup whose mission is to make quality food affordable to all, while stopping perfectly good and delicious meals from being wasted.

The app, available for iOs and Android, shows stores nearby for you to order and pick up your meal at the specified time.

The food is always discounted by at least 50% and you’ll need to pay directly in the app. You’ll need to pick up the food usually about 1 hour before closing hours, but that will be specified when ordering.

No Food Wasted

Available in: Netherlands.

“No food wasted”, created in the Netherlands, wants to be a solution to fight food waste.

The app, available for iOs and Android, shows stores nearby for you to order and you can pay directly in the app or using iDeal.

You can save your favorite places and be notified every time they have food to save.

hand holding phone with karma app open

Photo provided by Karma

Karma

Available in: Sweden, UK, France.

Karma is a Swedish startup founded in Stockholm, November 2016.

Karma’s ultimate mission is to ensure that great food is never wasted.

The app, available for iOs and Android, shows stores nearby for you to order and pick up your meal at the specified time.

You’ll now exactly what you’ll pick up, it won’t be a surprise bag.

The food is always discounted by at least 50% and you’ll need to pay directly in the app. You can save your favorite places and be notified every time they have food to save.

Bring Me Home

Available in: Australia.

“Bring me Home”‘s mission is to make surplus food affordable and accessible to everyone.

The app, available for iOs and Android, shows stores nearby for you to order and you can pay directly in the app.

You can save your favorite places and be notified every time they have food to save.

A bonus of this app is that during checkout, you can donate to their affiliated charities, OzHarvest and SecondBite to help alleviate hunger and rescue more food. Reducing food waste and contributing to less hunger, how great is that?

YWaste

Available in: Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia.

Y Waste is an environmental social enterprise with a commitment to reduce hunger and food waste.

The app, available for iOs and Android, shows stores nearby for you to order and you can pay directly in the app.

Once you arrive to the store, you show your receipt and the merchant confirms in the app that you’ve picked up your food.

Reduce GO

Available in:Japan: Tokyo.

Reduce GO is a platform to reduce excess food at restaurants, cafes and retail stores.

The app, available for iOs and Android, shows foods that are available for you to pick up, ordering them by quantity – first ones means there’s a high quantity of food there.

Different from all the other apps written in this post, Reduce GO has a monthly fee. For 1,980 yen (excluding tax) per month, you can receive surplus food twice a day. This has the advantage of not worrying on paying up every time you want to pick up food, you just need to pay your monthly fee and you’re set.

Nice To Eat You

Available in:Spain.

“Nice To Eat You” is a platform to reduce food waste and make available food in discounted prices.

It’s a web app so you don’t need to install it on your phone, you can access it on your browser anywhere.

The food is always discounted by at least 40% and you’ll need to pay directly in the app.

woman giving vegetables

Photo provided by OLIO

OLIO

Available in: Worlwide!

Last but not least, OLIO! You don’t exactly order takeout but I thought it was too important not to mention.

OLIO connects you with people nearby that have surplus of food and you can also enter your own listings if you’ve things that you’re unable to use up. Great to use before going on vacation.

They also have volunteers that pick up restaurant donations and will list them in the app for you to pick up.

The best of all this? Everything is free. As long as you can pick it up, it’s yours.

The app, available for iOs, Android and you can login in your computer, which I consider a huge advantage of this service.

Since it’s available everywhere, all is required is users. If you don’t see anyone using it in your city, why not promote it to your friends and family? Spread the word and the app will work for you.

Very similar to this app, but in Spain, there’s “Yo No Desperdicio”, with the same goal of sharing food with people close by.

No app in my area!

Unfortunately, these apps are not available everywhere (OLIO is!) but if people take an interest, the apps will surely follow. Make people aware that these kind of apps exist and contact the apps directly to see if they would be interested in participating in your city.

Only by showing interest, they’ll consider working within your area so take action!

Are there any apps that I forgot to mention?

Mention in the comments below if there are other apps out there to order takeout and reduce food waste at the same time so I can add them to the post.

I’ll keep this post updated at all times if any of them retires.

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