Have you ever thought of what happens to all the food waste in restaurants and supermarkets? The people at Too Good to Go have. (So has GreenJobs.com!) Too Good to Go is an app that allows you to save delicious food from going to waste. To date the app has save tons of food that otherwise would have been wasted.
To learn more about the company and service we interviewed Frédéric Ryez, Too Good To Go's Sales Manager for Belgium.
GreenJobs.com - Thanks for doing this interview Frédéric, Can you tell me about yourself and your background?
Frédéric Ryez - I have always wanted to work around sustainability in the value chain, and now I am here working at Too Good To Go as a Sales Manager, saving meals from the bin everyday, and grateful about it. My background is in Business Management and Supply Chain, and I previously worked in bigger companies from the pharmaceutical sector, before doing a second master in Environmental Management.
GJ - Can you tell me about Too Good to Go?The history, of the company what you guys do, the mission, etc.
FR - We're all confronted with issues everyday, and some are easier to ignore than others. Nobody likes seeing food go to waste, but the reality is that it's very common for businesses and households to waste food. However, for us it became clear that something had to be done when we saw perfectly good food being thrown away after a buffet...food that was just 'too good to go'.
Once the seed of the idea was sown, several tech-savvy entrepreneurs around Europe joined forces 5 years ago and came up with a solution that now seems so simple! An app that lets everyone do their bit to reduce waste, while also getting delicious food and supporting local businesses. The businesses get to reduce their waste and also have potential new customers try out their food. Both contribute to a better environment. Win-Win-Win!
We know attitudes are hard to change, but this is what we're here to do. And so far, so good! We’ve grown very fast and thanks to our community we’re now the world’s largest surplus food marketplace.
Our mission is to reduce food waste worldwide, and our vision is to create a world where food produced is food consumed.
GJ - Why focus on Food Waste?
FR - Global food waste accounts for 44% of all waste. 1.3 billion tons of edible food and 0.3 billions of non-edible food is thrown away on a yearly basis from production stage all the way to the consumers, us. It’s about ⅓ of all the food produced globally. It has social, environmental and economical impacts.
We have decided to act on this with a specific focus and become the main organization worldwide bringing every stakeholder of the chain together.
GJ - How much food has Too Good To Go saved from landfills?
We have saved more than 26 millions meals with the help of 35.500 partners and more than 18 millions users in the 14 countries we operate in. It's equivalent to 65.059 tonnes of CO2 saved.
GJ - What does "Waste Warrior" mean to you and the company?
FR - As our mission is to reduce food waste, we work everyday to make sure that more and more food is saved from the bin. In other words, we are fighting food waste at different levels and with all our stakeholders. Therefore, our users and partners are as well considered as Waste Warrior as they are actively proposing and saving food through the app.
What are some interesting things Too Good to Go has learned about the logistics of running a food start-up? I assume timing, packaging, etc. are all considerations right?
We work with food business from all categories, from supermarkets to bakeries, passing by restaurants or event producers or wholesalers. We need to understand how they work and how the waste are created, so that we can find the best solution to help them. Also, we got to learn a lot about managing a business on the operational level by talking to all those businesses.
GJ - Working in different countries must have a lot of challenges. How do you guys handle working in so many different European countries?
FR - The challenge is to ensure a shared company culture and processes between the different countries while making sure there is enough space for innovation or more country specific questions. We manage to do this by having an efficient intercountry communication through different channels and events, and we make sure every decision will benefit the company by considering every country, while there is the flexibility for innovation and country specific features.
GJ - Does Too Good To Go have plans to expand in the United States?
FR- We are looking for different expansion plans but at the moment we do not have any defined strategy for the US.
GJ - I've noticed there are several similar companies and start-ups like Too Good to Go. What do you think makes the company standout among the competition?
FR - I do think our company culture focusing on people and our mission helps us to go further. Also, our strategy is to have more and more impact as fast as we can in order to save more and more food from the bin, what explains why we are already in 14 countries in Europe.
GJ - Do you have recommendations for job seekers that are interested in a green job? Like working for companies such as Too Good To Go.
FR - Create your own projects, develop your ideas, and gather people around it, or find those projects and work on making them grow and florish!
GJ - What is the company's short term and long term goals?
FR - Short term : Inspire 5 millions people / Help 75000 business / Inspire 500 schools / Influence regulations and politics in 5 countries
Long term : being the leading reference when talking about Food Waste
GJ - Can you explain how the app and service works if people want to sign-up?
FR - The app is free to download. Then you'll find all the participating stores on it, and you can choose where you want to save good food!
End of Interview
Thanks so much to Frédéric for doing this interview with GreenJobs.com. If you are in Europe and interested in trying out Too Good To Go's service, we encourage you to try out the app and service. Everyone can work to reduce food waste.
-Founder & CEO GreenJobs.com