'Too Good To Go' app helping Detroit restaurants combat waste by selling extra food for half off

Too Good To Go
Posted at 4:48 PM, Jun 05, 2024

(WXYZ) — Every year, it's reported that 22- to 33-billion pounds of food waste are accumulated from U.S. restaurants.

"Restaurants, even small cafes are throwing away food all the time," said Asher Van Sickle, co-owner of Cafe Noir.

In Michigan alone, it's reported that 2.8 million tons of food went to waste in 2022. But starting this June in Detroit, we have a new way to combat the waste.

It's an effort that Cafe Noir owners Asher Van Sickle and Evan Fay are involved in. It's called Too Good To Go.

Too Good To Go is an international app company that connects food businesses with extra end-of-the-day food to customers, who can buy that extra food through “surprise bags” for half the price.

This month it's launching at 70-some Detroit food businesses, including Cafe Noir — they've been using the app for weeks.

"Towards the end of the day, if we know there is going to be a little bit more like ‘hey we’re looking, we’re going to have a lot more extra coffee, a lot of extra sandwiches,’ then we can plus up those bags, and then they actually get snatched up pretty quickly," said Fay.

How the app works is very simple: you sign in, you set your location range, and then it gives you options for where you can grab a bag in your area.

"He just told me to download it and immediately I used it," said Nas Sorrell, who lives in Detroit and uses Too Good To Go.

Sorrell tells me he heard about the app through a friend out of state and has now been using it to save on multiple meals a week.

Too Good To Go spokesperson Sarah Soteroff says to date the concept has saved 11 million meals from waste across the U.S., and globally it’s saved 320 million meals.

Detroit is now their 22nd city.

"In Detroit alone, we’re not even technically at our launch date yet, and we’ve already saved more than 2.6 thousand meals from waste already," said Soteroff.

If you’re looking to help cut down on food waste, support local, and save yourself a few bucks, this new Detroit option could be good for you.

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