Too good to go. Food for thought

Foto credit: Peter König

The English version of the text is also available. Scroll down with pacience and determination. 🙂

Am vrut sa va povestesc despre aplicatia “Too good to go” imediat dupa ce am descoperit-o, adica la putin timp dupa mutarea noastra aici. Si e mai bine ca n-am facut-o atunci, pentru ca as fi scris doar din perspectiva mea de utilizator. Vineri, intr-un eveniment organizat de un hub pentru antreprenori de aici, menit sa “intilneasca” antreprenori care au reusit cu cei care isi doresc sa (nu ca as face parte din vreo categorie, eu doar vinez idei bune despre care sa scriu), l-am cunoscut si am vorbit cu Brian Christensen, Co-founder si Lead developer Too Good to go. Din prezentarea lui si din intrebarile pe care i le-am pus dupa, pot sa va spun acum mai multe despre aplicatia care mie mi s-a parut super interesanta. Si acum si mai si.

“Too good to go” e o aplicatie prin care poti sa iei acasa din restaurante (cafenele, brutarii, patiserii, etc)  mincare mult mai ieftina. Pentru ca oferta apare dupa programul de inchidere al restaurantului (in jur de ora 21.00) si consta in mincarea care a ramas nevinduta in acea zi. Este, asadar, si un mod foarte simplu prin care poti sa reduci food waste (daca asta e o preocupare si eu cred, sincer, ca ar trebui sa fie). De fapt, asa le-a venit si ideea. Unul dintre cei care mai tirziu avea sa fie parte din echipa de dezvoltare a applicatiei, lucra intr-un restaurant. La finalul fiecarei zilei, constata ca raminea multa mincare pe care o arunca, pentru ca nu avea ce sa faca cu ea.

Si atunci s-a intrebat: Cum as putea vinde mincarea nevinduta?

Era august 2015 cind el si alti 4 prieteni au raspuns la intrebare: Too good to go. In luna octombrie a aceluiasi an, aveau 30 de restaurante care s-au alaturat aplicatie si un business plan. Si-au dat demisiile din joburile pe care le aveau, s-au mutat cu totii intr-un apartament de 3 camere ce le-a fost si casa, si birou si au inceput sa lucreze la aplicatie. La inceput, doar prietenii si familiile comandau prin aplicatia lor. Si nici ei prea des, daca media era de 1 comanda pe saptamina.

In decembrie 2015, aveau deja 100 de restaurante si atentia mass media, desi n-au cheltuit nici o coroana pe marketing sau PR. “Applicatia pentru IOS worked-ish, cea pentru Android era totally screwed”, povesteste Brian stind in fatza unui slide cu un timeline care, pentru noi, cei din audienta e o poveste rapida de succes. Pentru el, pare sa fie o poveste care inca il chinuie. Multe ore de munca, senzatia ca niciodata nu va termina taskurile…nici macar nu va rezolva jumatate din ele, urgente, reactii si intimplari neprevazute. Ups and downs. Chinurile clasice ale unui start-up. Ce nu a fost atit de clasic e ca au inceput sa aiba succes mai repede decit gindeau, credeau si erau pregatiti. De exemplu, in februarie 2016 au lansat aplicatia in Norvegia, dar numai pentru ca s-au simtit “presati” de o aparitie la tv, intr-un program matinal. Aproape instant, 150 de restaurante s-au inscris. In acelasi an au urmat, Germania, Elvetia, Anglia, Franta.

In octombrie 2016, aveau 1000 de restaurante si 300.000 de comenzi, cifre care au avut drept consecinta venirea investitorilor. Anul 2017 a fost despre organizare si rezolvarea problemelor care au continuat sa apara inevitabil. De exemplu, echipa cu care au lucrat in Germania i-a parasit si au dezvoltat o aplicatie concurenta si foarte asemanatoare. Aplicatia din Anglia nu a mers si au fost nevoiti sa regindeasca intreaga strategie. Si apoi, problemele inerente si consumatoare de timp ale unui start-up: contracte, programare, vinzare, organizare si re-organizare, dezvoltare.

Detalii practice despre cum functioneaza aplicatia si cifre care intregesc povestea:

  • Restaurantele se inscriu gratuit in ea, nu platesc nimic in nici o etapa a colaborarii. Ele stabilesc si pretul la care vind mincarea la sfirsitul programului, intre niste limite stabilite de Too good to go, pentru a pastra ideea de cheap food.
  • Utilizatorul isi downloadeaza aplicatia, vede ofertele din restaurantele din proximitatea lui. Plaseaza o comanda, platind in-app si se duce sa o ridice la ora stabilita de restaurant, in principiul seara/ noaptea.
  • “Too good to go” (TGTG) incaseaza un flat fee de 10 kr (1,34 euro) pentru fiecare comanda in aplicatie. Tot ei sunt cei care pun la dispozitia restaurantelor ambalajele (caserole sau/ sau pungi de hirtie).
  • Pretul mediu al unei portii este de 35 kr (4,70 euro), redus de la pretul “normal” care variaza intre 150 – 225 kr (20-30 de euro). (Nota mea: preturi din Odense).
  • In general, poti sa ridici mincarea la inchiderea programului, intre 19.00 si 21.00, uneori pina la 00.00. Din acest motiv, aplicatia se adreseaza in special studentilor,  pensionarilor si tuturor celor liberi ca pasarile cerului. Adica mai putin familiilor, pentru ca familiile au luat cina la ora aceea, ba chiar copiii dorm. Insa, am observat ca sunt si restaurante (cel putin in Odense) cu timp de colectare (de obicei cam o ora) in timpul zilei (adica in jur de 15.00).
  • 1.3 bilioane de tone de mincare sunt aruncate in fiecare an, in toata lumea.
  • Pina acum, prin aplicatie, au fost salvate de la a ajunge la gunoi 2,5 milioane de portii de mincare.
  • Aplicatia a fost downloadata de peste 3 milioane de oameni. Recordul a fost de 12.000 de portii intr-o zi si a fost stabilit recent (acum o saptamina sau doua).
  • In acest moment, sunt prezenti in urmatoarele tari: Danemarca, Norvegia, Belgia, Anglia, Franta, Olanda, Germania, Elvetia.
  • Initial, cei de la TGTG din Danemarca au lucrat in sistem de franciza pentru a ajunge in alte tari. Modelul nu a functionat, asa ca in acest moment, fac mici echipe TGTG in fiecare tara in care lanseaza aplicatia.
  • Unul dintre programatorii aplicatie e roman 🙂

Sunt curioasa ce parere aveti. Cum vi se pare ideea/ aplicatia? Ati folosi-o? Va ginditi la food waste? Ati comanda prin aplicatie? Daca da, de ce? Pentru mincare mai ieftina sau pentru ca v-ar placea sa faceti ceva, oricit de mic sa reduceti food waste? Si, si? Ar putea ideea asta sa se transforme intr-o adevarata miscare/ campanie impotriva food waste?

Mi-ar placea sa aflu parerile voastre. Eu sunt foarte incintata de aplicatie, de cind am descoperit-o, tot povestesc despre ea prietenilor. O folosim, desi nu atit de des incit sa ne calificam la categoria “hard users”, dar asta tot din comoditatea programului de family.

So, too good to go sau too good to be true?

Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/toogoodtogoDK

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/toogoodtogo.dk/

IOS app: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/too-good-to-go

Android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps

 

In English (Yey! You’ve made it!)

I wanted to tell you about the “Too good to go” app just after I discovered it, that is, shortly after our move here. In a way, it is better I didn’t it, as at the time I would have only written from my user perspective.

Last week, I met Brian Christensen, Co-Founder and Lead developer at Too Good to Go during an event hosted by Co-Working a hub for entrepreneurs which “meets” entrepreneurs who have succeeded with those who want to. Not that I belong to any category, I just show up where good ideas are to write about them. From his presentation and from the questions I asked him afterward, I can tell you more about the application that I find super interesting. Now, even more.

“Too good to go” is an app that allows you to take home cheap food from restaurants (cafes, bakeries, pastries, etc.). The offer consists of unsold food from that day and can be taken before the restaurant closes (usually, around 21.00). It is also a very simple way to reduce food waste (if this is a concern of yours, and I believe it should be).

In fact, that’s how the idea of Too good to go came into being. One of those who later would be part of the application development team was working in a restaurant. At the end of each day, he saw that a lot of unsold food went to trash.

And then he wondered: How could I sell the unsold food?

It was August 2015 when he and other four friends answered the question: Too good to go. In October of the same year, they had 30 restaurants in the application and a business plan. They resigned from their jobs, moved all to a 3-room apartment in Copenhagen that would be both their home and office for the months to come. At first, only their friends and families ordered through their application. And not too often, if the average was one order per week. In December 2015, they already got100 restaurants and mass media attention, although they did not spend any crown on marketing or PR. “The IOS app worked-ish, the one for Android was totally screwed,” says Brian standing in front of a slide of his presentation with the timeline. For the audience, that slide tells the story of success.

For him, the slide seems to generate pain still. The pain of many hours of work, of that torturing sensation of never getting all you want/must do (and not even being near finishing tasks), the pain of emergencies, of the unknown. The classic ups and downs of a start up. What was ”classic” at was the success of the app which came faster than they thought, believed and were ready for. For example, in February 2016 they launched the app in Norway, but only because they were under pressure after a TV appearance in a matinal program. Almost instantly, 150 restaurants enrolled in the app. In the same year, they launched in Germany, Switzerland, England, France.

In October 2016, they had around 1,000 restaurants and 300,000 orders, figures that made the investors step in. The year 2017 was about organizing and resolving issues that continued to appear. For example, the team they worked with in Germany has left and developed a very similar and competing application. The application in England did not work, and they had to rethink the whole strategy. And then, the inherent and time-consuming problems of a start-up: contracts, programming, selling, organizing and re-organizing, developing.

Practical details about how the application works and figures that complete the story:

  • The restaurants enroll for free; they do not pay anything at any stage of the collaboration. They also set the price at which food is sold, but within limits set by Too good to go, to keep the idea of cheap food.
  • The user downloads his application, sees the offers in nearby restaurants. He/ she makes an order, paying in-app and goes to pick it up at the time set by the restaurant, usually in the evening/night.
  • Too good to go (TGTG) charges a flat fee of 10 kr (1.34 euro) for each order. They also provide the restaurants with packages (paper bags).
  • The average price for a portion is 35kr (4.70 euro), while the “normal” price varies between 150-225kr (20-30euro). (My Note: prices in Odense).
  • You can pick up the food at the end of the program between 19.00 and 21.00, sometimes until 00.00. The application targets students, pensioners and all those as free as birds. And not necessarily families, as most of them have already had dinner by that time and luckily enough, children sleep. However, I noticed that there are also restaurants (at least in Odense) that have pick up hours during the day (i.e., around 15.00).
  • 1.3 trillion tons of food is wasted worldwide every year.
  • 2.5 million meals have been ”saved” from trash through the app. The record was 12,000 meals / a day and was set recently (a week or two ago).
  • 3 million people have downloaded the app so far.
  • At this moment, the app is present in the following countries: Denmark, Norway, Belgium, England, France, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland.
  • Initially, TGTG could be franchised in other countries. The model did not work, so at the moment they establish small TGTG teams in each country where they launch the application.
  • One of the application programmers is Romanian. 🙂

I’m curious to find out what are your thoughts. What do you think of the idea/application? Would you use it? Do you think about food waste? Would you order your food through the app? If so, why? For cheaper meals or because you would like to do something to reduce food waste? Both? Could a simple app like this turn into a movement against food waste? Would you join?

I would love to hear your opinion. I’m very excited about the app. Ever since I discovered it, I have been telling my friends about it. Although we use it, we do not qualify as “hard users,” but that’s because we are from the ”family” category.

So, too good to go or too good to be true?

Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/toogoodtogoDK

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/toogoodtogo.dk/

IOS app: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/too-good-to-go

Android app: https://play.google.com/store/apps

Cresc copii, povesti si visuri.

Comments 2

  1. Vlad Gidea says:

    Intradevar, o solutie simpla la o problema importanta. Sunt in continuare o companie noua, care probabil vor experimenta mai mult cu preturile si cu serviciile oferite. Stiu ca Mette, fostul CEO Endomondo, s-a alaturat echipei pentru a o ajuta cu procesul de internationalizare. Si mie mi-a palcut si o folosesc din cand in cand, mai ales ca am un restaurant bunicel langa mine, si oricand dupa program este foarte multa mancare disponibila.

    Vor intampina greutati mari, mai ales in functie de cum fluctueaza cultura locala. Sa cresti si sa modelezi o asemenea afacere intr-o tara unde indicele de incredere este foarte mare este diferit de alte tari europene. In plus, proprietarii restaurantelor nu isi permit amenzile usturatoare si nu vand mancare statuta. In alte tari s-ar putea sa nu fie asa de vigilente autoritatile, si proprietarii restuarantelor sa nu tina cont de reguli.

    In unele tari va prinde, probabil cum ai observat si tu, in jurul unor campusuri de studenti sau in cartiere mai “hip” unde ai si restaurante misto, dar si clienti curajosi.

    Un prieten foarte drag care era interesat de risipa din Romania, a inceput un proiect asemanator. Mai mult, recent au fost selectati in etapa finala a unei competitii dintr-un mare incubator din Bucuresti. Va fi greu si pentru el, dar nu imposibil.

  2. Joe says:

    Da, mincare care ramine nu inseamna ca e veche sau stricata. Aici e dificultatea. In Danemarca, totul e reglementat super strict din ce am inteles. Adica poate chiar prea mult, de exemplu, nu ai voie sa donezi acceasi mincare homeless-ilor tocmai din cauza regulilor foarte stricte. Si problema cu mincarea risipita ramine, indiferent de tara. Ii tin pumnii prietenului tau sa reuseasca. 🙂

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