If you missed Wallop of the Week on the Gadget Show, November 9, talking about the Too Good To Go app here are a few more details about this clever way of saving money on food, while also cutting back on food waste:
Too Good to Go app – what is it?
It is a free app (on both iOS and Android) that connects consumers with cafés, restaurants, bakeries and food shops, who are selling heavily discounted food at the end of the day. Strict food hygiene rules mean that most unpackaged food in shops, especially hot food, has to be thrown away within a few hours of it being cooked.
It is estimated that about 900,000 meals a day are thrown away in the UK by cafés and restaurants.
How does the app it work?
Towards the end of the working day, users can check the app to search their nearby locations to see what restaurants have signed up and what’s available. Each restaurant will have a dedicated collection time, usually during the final hour of trading. You can order your food to collect from as little as £2 then all you need to do is go to the store at the given time and pick up your bargain grub.
You have to pay in advance via the app, though there’s nothing to stop you ordering as you stand outside the café. You can book as far in advance as 24 hours.
You usually have to order a set amount of food, say £3 or £5.
In the UK, there are over 350,000 customers and over 1,600 establishments on the app.
Do you get to choose the food?
It depends. Most restaurants choose what meal to give you, but obviously there’s a bit of give and take and most will cater to your dietary needs.
What are the discounts like?
The standard discount is 50% off. Sometimes you can get up to 75% off.
What are the downsides?
There are not many big chains on there, with the exception of Yo Sushi! But the range of independents, I think, makes it interesting.
There are hundreds of establishments on the app in London, Manchester and Leeds, but far fewer in small towns.
You can only pick up during the designated slot at the end of the day – this is great if a café closes at, say, 6pm and it is on your way home from work. Possibly not so great for a curry house that you can only pick up from after 9.30.
Finally, none of the main supermarket chains on the app. There are, however, a lot of bakeries, sandwich shops, salad bars and cafés, all of whom have a lot of food with very short shelf life.
Is it good value?
I think so.
Here’s £3 worth of food I got from one of my local bakeries in north London, the excellent Benita Bakery.