PHILADELPHIA - A new app is helping local restaurants during the pandemic by selling leftover food so nothing goes to waste. Customers get a good meal for major discounts before the shop closes, and restaurants can make some extra cash on food they may have otherwise thrown away.
The app "Too Good To Go" just hit Philly and shows a map of restaurants onboard, including Di Bruno Brothers, Scoop Deville, Mac Mart, Bakeshop on 20th, and Baology in Center City.
"The best thing a restaurant can do is minimize the amount of waste that we produce," said Baology owner Judy Ni. "It’s a smart economic decision, it’s better for the environment this way. It makes sure we fully utilize our resources and make the most of every dollar we spend."
Running a restaurant during the covid pandemic is no small feat. Ni considers her shop and her staff lucky. They are dedicated to minimizing food waste in Philly and she says this app can connect them with new customers fighting the same mission.
"If they didn’t know about us before, they will appreciate the values we are trying to support in our business."
Too Good To Go users can pick up food before restaurants close for the day, or during a specific time window. The specialty box never costs more than six bucks and comes as a surprise.
"We had all these extra bits of vegetables that we couldn’t make a full meal out of so we were able to make that box for someone and give it to them," Ni said.
Co-founder of Too Good To Go Lucie Bash helped launch the app all over Europe and has now brought it to major cities in the U.S.
"It’s a win-win between local stores that have some food left, and the consumers," Bash said. "And make sure they do something great for fighting food waste."
Too Good to Go also partners with Philabundance to play a part in the food rescue ecosystem and fight food insecurities in the Philadelphia community. A company spokesperson said the goal is to "save perishable, smaller quantities of food that are often not accepted at food banks or shelters.
Right now Baology offers the specialty box on Tuesdays and Fridays. They are operating as take-out only, and as vaccinations continue in Philadelphia, they will assess when they can safely bring back indoor and outdoor dining.
"By the end of this month we will all be fully vaccinated which means we can start to assess what we want to do going forward," Ni said.
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