Every night, restaurants, supermarkets and snack bars are left with unsold baked goods, prepared meals and unprocessed food. Therefore the company “Too Good To Go” has set itself the task of saving these deliciousnesses from the bin.
1. How To Save Leftovers?
Participating restaurants and grocery shops upload their leftovers of the day in the form of a “Magic Bag” within the app. You can then pick them up on site. The range of products is limitless as “Too Good To Go” cooperates with many different shops. Traditionally, bakeries pack baked goods in their bags, while restaurants and cafés provide complete meals and snacks. Breakfast from the hotel or leftovers from buffets can also be part of a bag. Even florists will leave you leftover plants and flowers. The offer ranges from fresh food to packaged products that will soon reach their best-before date but are still good and tasty.
As the name suggests, you never know exactly what will be in your “Magic Bag”, because logically the firm can never plan exactly what will be left over. However, there are categories, such as bakery products, fruit and vegetables, juices, etc., so you know roughly what to expect.
2. How to Use The App "Too Good To Go"?
You need to turn on your GPS to see shops and their available “Magic Bags” near you. And if you are interested in what’s available in another city, you can manually enter a location in the banner at the top of the app. You can also change the radius between 3km and 30km.
The main view then shows the participating businesses in your selected location. By clicking on the supplier, a description text will pop up explaining what kind of food is typically left in this shop and whether your bag is already prepared for your collection or whether you can select the contents on site.
On the left, a traffic light system shows you how many portions the shop has left. Green means 2 or more bags are available. Yellow means that only one portion is left while grey indicates that all portions are already sold out.
Next to this the time period, in which you can pick up your “Magic Bag”, is displayed. It is important that you stick to this time slot so that the shop can plan accordingly and your “Magic Bag” does not end up in the bin. If you still can’t make it to pick up the bag, you have the option to cancel it. However, this is only possible up to 3 hours before the pick-up time.
Below the time period the price is shown. The app also offers filter options to narrow down a specific pick-up time or to determine the category of the “Magic Bags”.
3. How To Get A "Magic Bag"?
If you like an offer, you can reserve it with one click. The “Magic Bag” will then be put aside for you in the shop.
Once you have confirmed the pick-up in your app and picked it up within the specified time slot, the payment is initiated. This happens via credit card or PayPal, depending on which payment method you have chosen. You will immediately receive a digital payment confirmation, which you can then show to the shop staff.
The prices are usually between 3 and 4 euros and are at least 50% below the regular shop price. One euro is donated to “Too Good To Go” to fund environmentally friendly packaging materials for the shops and to pay their staff.
4. What To Do With The Products?
In case of processed produce, you probably have no choice but to eat it all – not the worst option. In the case of overripe vegetables, there is often the option of freezing them if you can’t use them all at once.
We’ll show you exactly how we use our bag in a further blog post, so stay tuned!
This much we can reveal: Of course, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to test the bags. However, we will not only evaluate our experience, but also show you how we use all the products, so that nothing is left over.
5. "Too Good To Go" Is Not Available In Your Country? - No Problem!
The app is currently available in 13 European countries – Germany, Denmark, Great Britain, France, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Poland. The leap to the USA is allegedly also planned, but not yet realized. Therefore, we have started looking for alternatives that are also available in other countries.
connects neighbours (private households, as well as local shops) so that surplus food and other household items can be shared for free and not thrown away.
The app is available in 51 countries – so really almost worldwide.
is a Finnish company that connects restaurants, cafés and grocery shops with consumers to save surplus food. You don’t even need the app to do this, you can just use any web browser.
It’s available in Finland, Sweden, Germany and Poland.
6. What You Should Not Overlook?
Even though “Too Good To Go” aims to tackle food waste and creates an incentive for participating gastronomers to save surplus products from the bin, it only looks at the end of the food supply chain. Ideally, the overproduction should not only be distributed to end consumers, but should not even be created in the previous process. The actual source of the problem is therefore unfortunately not addressed by the app.
There is also concern that apps like “Too Good To Go” could overtake the food bank. Products that can be sold at a lower price are still sold rather than donated to aid organisations. However, large retailers such as Rewe assure that the Tafel would always have priority and would continue to be supplied despite the sale of “Magic Bags”.
How you wanna deal with this criticism is, of course, up to you. What matters most is the fight against food waste, because every little contribution you make helps. Let’s fight food waste together!
Do you have ideas for recycling your “Magic Bag” products or would you personally like to share experiences with “Too Good To Go” or another app? Then feel free to send us a message!