Tackling food waste with an app

AuthorDirectorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (European Commission)
© ResQ Club, 2018
The location-based mobile app allows for people to f‌ind cheap food options that would otherwise go to waste
Problem addressed
Around 88 million tonnes of food are wasted annually in the
EU, resulting in an estimated cost of EUR 143 billion. In Finland
alone, about 120–160 million kilograms of food are wasted
by households (about 20–25 kilograms per person). This
waste has signif‌icant negative ef‌fects on the environment
as food waste depletes the world of f‌inite natural resources,
such as water, and contributes to global warming.
Innovative solution
The Finnish start-up ResQ Club has developed a location-
based mobile app that enables consumers to buy surplus
food that would otherwise be thrown away by restaurants,
cafes, hotels and grocery stores. The food is discounted by
30–100%. The chosen meals can be bought through the
app, using a payment card or PayPal. Once the transaction
has gone through, consumers are able to pick up the meal
whenever they want from a pick-up window without
having to wait in line. ResQ Club’s overall goal is to limit
the amount of food that goes to waste in restaurants and
reduce it down to zero.
ResQ Club adopts a franchising model but also operates some
market areas itself. Its management remains centralised in
Finland. All of the prof‌its made by ResQ Club are re-invested
back into the company, mostly for hiring purposes.
Key results and benef‌its
The benef‌its of this initiative extend both to restaurants
and customers. Consumers are able to buy food that is
close to its expiry date at a reduced price. Restaurants,
cafes and grocery stores are able to sell food that would
otherwise go to waste. The app has over 30 000 active
monthly users and, in the cities where ResQ Club is active,
sells about 70 000 portions of food each month. The app
has been downloaded 800 000 times and, so far, 7 000
restaurants, cafes and grocery stores have registered on the
app. According to one grocery store owner, daily food waste
at his store ‘has gone down from three shopping carts to
half a shopping cart5’.
Tackling food waste with an app
ResQ Club

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