I came to Brighton for culture and for fun, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find a whole community focused on tackling food waste. I’ve discovered our food problems, and learnt some tricks along the way (I’d never heard of chia seeds before university!). In Brighton we have The Real Junk Food Project and FareShare, which is why I can confidently say that Too Good To Go, a new app launched in Brighton this month, will fit right in and likely be successful.
Too Good to Go is a social enterprise with the goal of stopping food waste. Twenty restaurants have already signed up in Brighton; each day, they estimate how many portions they will waste that day. You can then buy this portion (heavily discounted), and pick it up in their last trading hour. The food changes every day, and I can vouch that the portions are definitely value for money – you get so much!
I tried out the app in FilFil, a cute falafel bar located in the heart of the North Laine. I must have walked past FilFil hundreds of times, yet have never given it the time of the day, and this is one extra positive of the app. It’s mainly local eateries that have signed up to the app initially, encouraging you to get more involved in local business.
Harry Hoblin, the Business Development Manager for the app in Brighton, told me how the app started after a group of friends went to a buffet restaurant and realised how much food was wasted. He told me that when the app was first launched in Leeds, local businesses were the most eager to get involved: ‘A lot [of bigger restaurants] have said they liked the idea but it wouldn’t work for them’. However, he hoped that ‘once we’ve got momentum, more and more will sign up’, including chains and even supermarkets. The app was invented in Denmark, and currently has 250 restaurants, so the future seems very promising!
Harry did note that for the app to be successful it needs the ‘development and support from the people of Brighton’. The app is in its early stages, and needs us all to be involved to grow, and work better for our needs. Having experienced the app a few times now, I can see some areas for improvement. The app doesn’t have an introductory slideshow to show you how the system works to start with (the proof of purchase is really daunting when buying your first meal). Also, you can’t filter the restaurants, except by location. It would be good to filter them both by ones that have portions available, and the ones that you can pick up nearest to the current time.
The biggest problem that I can imagine for most consumers though, is that you aren’t told what your portion will contain. Understandably, it changes every day depending on what’s wasted, but each restaurant’s page on the app just describes what they sell in a broad way. It would be good if each restaurant could access their page 24/7, so they could change what they are offering each day. However, these are all minor things. I love the concept and the app, and can’t recommend it enough for anyone living in Brighton. A must!
By Robert Bone