In Germany, tons of food are wasted every year. According to the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the annual food waste in Germany is 12 million tons. One of the main causes is the overproduction of food in restaurants, bakeries and supermarkets. In addition to various options for planning food consumption and thereby avoiding food waste in the catering trade, there are also good initiatives and apps to use food without having to throw it away. We will show you which alternatives are available and which ones are best for whom.
1. The blackboard
The Tafel is a non-profit organization that collects food from restaurants, supermarkets, wholesalers and producers and passes it on to those in need. The Tafel pursue the goal of reducing food waste by companies or individuals and at the same time helping people in need. Those in need can obtain food from the Tafel upon presentation of proof. This ensures that people really depend on it.
Groceries that are no longer required, such as baked goods, fruit and vegetables with small blemishes, packaged goods that are approaching their best-before date or, in exceptional cases, have passed their best-before date, seasonal items after the end of the season (e.g. chocolate Easter bunnies or barbecue sauces) and refrigerated and frozen products can be sent to the table to be donated. It becomes difficult with open fresh goods, leftovers from buffets and goods with an expired use-by date and alcoholic beverages. The Tafel cannot accept these goods and must be used elsewhere.
In order to be able to donate to the Tafel as a restaurant or company, you must register your restaurant with the Tafel. The easiest way to do this is through the direct contact person at the Tafel in your area. If there is a donation, you will be asked to sort your remaining groceries so that employees of the Tafel can pick them up directly from you.
Advantages & Disadvantages The Blackboard
- The Tafel is an established organization that includes a network of volunteers who distribute the food almost everywhere in Germany.
- the remaining food is not only saved from wastage, but goes to those in need who really need it and do not normally have the opportunity to buy groceries for a balanced diet.
- The food is donated, which means there are no costs for your restaurant.
- The Tafel has no capacity to sort the goods. If you want to donate food to the board as a restaurant, it must be sorted by your restaurant.
- Restaurants or hotels that have leftover food from the buffet cannot donate it to the board.
- By passing on groceries through third parties, the Tafel, you as a restaurant owner do not come into contact with the end consumer.
2. Food sharing
Food sharing is an initiative that also campaigns against food waste and is a good addition to the food bank. Similar to the food bank, people who use food sharing usually rely on it. In contrast to the Tafel, no one has to provide proof of their need for food sharing and anyone who is not in need can take part in food sharing.
Supermarkets, bakeries and private individuals can donate food that is still edible. The volunteer "Foodsavers" pick up the groceries from you and distribute the food to clubs, the Tafel, soup kitchens, interested parties from the foodsharing network and to publicly accessible food distributors for self-service. Interested parties can then pick up and use this food.
Food sharing is also a good option for restaurants to avoid food waste. After contacting us by email, the initiative will discuss with you individually when they will pick up your surplus groceries. You don't have to worry about anything else. The Foodsharing team takes care of the sorting and distribution. Leftover food can be offered on the platform. Foodsharing's legal agreement allows donations of food that are not allowed to be donated to the food bank. Foodsharing tries to fully utilize all surpluses.
Advantages & disadvantages of food sharing
- Foodsharing takes care of everything. From picking you up at your restaurant to distributing to those in need, relatives and filling Foodsharing's public food distributors.
- Food sharing as a supplement to the Tafel relieves you of the work, in that the company picks up the food that can be donated to the Tafel from your restaurant and sorts it for you.
- Foodsharing works together with Tafel or Foodsharing passes on to Tafel
- Donate food to needy and non-needy people.
- You are dependent on the efforts of the foodsharing community in your area. If the food distributors are not maintained, Foodsharing will close them down in case of doubt and there will be fewer opportunities to distribute the food.
3. Too Good To Go
Too Good To Go is an app that makes it possible to sell leftover food from your restaurant at a discounted price and reduce food waste in restaurants and businesses. Leftover food can be offered through the app, which can generate additional revenue and bring food rescuers to your restaurant. However, it must also be noted here that the groceries must be picked up within a certain time window, which can be freely selected by the restaurant.
It is a good idea to choose a pick-up time just before or at the end of the day, as you can then estimate how many portions of food are left at the end of the day and can be released for sale in the app. As a restaurant owner, you can set the price of your portions in the app. As a rule, one third of the original value of the goods is chosen as a guideline for the price of the portions. You can also set the prices completely freely.
Once you have released one or more servings for sale, customers can purchase your servings in the app. Customers pay for portions through the app and Too Good To Go pays you quarterly sales. It is important for you as a seller that using Too Good To Go incurs costs for your restaurant. From the sales you generate via the app, you still have to pay a commission per portion sold and an annual fee to Too Good To Go. The commission is €1.09 per serving and the annual fee is €39. A portion with an original goods value of, for example, €12 could be offered by you in the app for €4. After paying the commission, you still have €2.91. So after the 14th portion sold in the year you would have the annual fee of 39 € back and you would even make a small profit from the sale of leftovers.
Pros & Cons Too Good To Go
- You can offer any food that is still edible, whether it's ready-made food, leftovers from the buffet or other fresh goods with small quirks.
- The app is well known, especially among young people, and can help to find new customers.
- You sell your surplus groceries for a small price.
- You get in direct contact with the people who pick up the food at your restaurant.
- You have to pay a royalty to Too Good To Go in the form of an annual fee of €39 and a commission of €1.09 per portion sold.
- The app could create a barrier and be inaccessible to certain groups of people.
- If food is not picked up or not all portions are sold, you are left with the food.
4. ResQ Club
ResQ Club is another option for restaurants to sell leftover food and reduce food waste in the hospitality industry. The Finnish company works with restaurants and cafes to sell their leftover food to interested customers. Restaurants can offer their leftover dishes directly through the ResQ Club app, which can then be picked up by customers. With ResQ Club, payment is also made via the app and the company pays you your sales monthly. Unlike Too Good To Go, ResQ Club does not have a usage fee. The only cost with ResQ Club is a commission of 25% of the net sales of your sales via the app. So if you don't sell anything through ResQ Club, you don't have to pay anything to ResQ Club.
Pros & Cons ResQ Club
- So far only represented in Berlin, be the first restaurant in your city!
- ResQ Club has no usage fee and you earn from the first portion sold.
- There is a commission of 25% of the net sales of the portion sold.
- Little-known app, overshadowed by the competition, Too Good To Go.
- The app could create a barrier and be inaccessible to certain groups of people.
No matter how you ultimately save the remaining food from wasting. All offer a better alternative than the dustbin. But what is the best solution for your restaurant?
If you have a restaurant or cafe that prepares the food itself and has leftovers mostly unprocessed ingredients that don't need refrigeration and are no longer suitable for sale, and you have time to sort through the excess groceries, and especially great value make sure that you help needy people with it, then we recommend the board.
If you offer a lavish buffet and/or processed food as a surplus, as is often the case in hotels, it is advisable to resell the food using one of the two apps, Too Good To Go or ResQ Club, to avoid wasting it . You have recovered the costs after the 14th portion sold at the latest and can even record a small plus.
Our pro tip: A combination of several routes. If you want to donate to those in need, but also want to pass on processed food so that nothing is left over, then first choose the Tafel or Foodsharing to donate the unprocessed food. You can still offer and sell the goods that the Tafel and Foodsharing do not accept for logistical and hygienic reasons for a small fee via Too Good To Go or ResQ Club.