Deals Entrepreneurship Food Waste Restaurants Sustainability Technology

Groundbreaking App Lets You Rescue $15+ Worth Of Food For Just 6 Bucks

Photo: Les Kaner // Too Good To Go

Food waste has persisted as a global problem that many companies are trying to find solutions for. Upcycled foods and waste reduction are two industries that have formed to combat excess food waste, but 1.4 billion tons still gets tossed every year, the majority of which is at home or at restaurants.

On the restaurant end, there’s a large network of connected local restaurants called Too Good To Go that’s striving to make a massive impact on rescuing food that would otherwise go to waste.

Photo courtesy of Too Good To Go

Consumers can tap into this network via the Too Good To Go app, which allows them to reserve “Surprise Bags” from spots around them that are in the system for $5-$6. What you get in return is approximately $15 worth of food that the restaurant would have otherwise thrown out.

Overall, the restaurant wins by making a little extra money off of food they would’ve lost, you get to score on a massive discount for some food, and Too Good To Go profits slightly off of the cost of the bag. Pretty much, everybody benefits, including the planet, as food waste is cut and helps lower waste and resulting greenhouse gas emissions.

It’s not just restaurants that you can get food from, however, as Too Good To Go partners with restaurants, bakeries, supermarkets, and hotels. Currently, they’re linked with 75,000 different spots worldwide.

Photo courtesy of Too Good To Go

Too Good To Go, founded in 2016, is currently in the midst of a massive push to expand globally. They’ve recently made a debut in San Francisco, and can also be seen in New York City, Chicago, Austin, and other metropolises worldwide.

It’s one of the biggest ways to fight against food waste, and it pretty much works the same for a customer as a food delivery app would. Sure, there’s a lot more we can do at home to combat food waste too, but this is a pretty convenient way to get started.

Grocery News

Newest Whole Foods 365 Market Could Be Glimpse Into Tech Advances From Amazon Influence

When I think of a typical grocery store, the only technologically advanced system is the self-checkout aisle. Us self-righteous millennials demand more!

In case you’ve actually been living under a rock (no judgments), Amazon acquired Whole Foods last June in a $13.4 billion deal. While we can only imagine the technological advantages that will manifest from this (*praying hand emoji* please be drone delivery) we do know that Amazon recently revealed a “smart convenience store” where registers aren’t even required.

While we begrudgingly wait for more announcements, the convenience store concept further demonstrates the importance of technological pioneering within the e-commerce giant, meaning it can only get more tech from here.

Good thing 365 by Whole Foods Market already has.

The fifth location of the Whole Foods wallet-friendly spin-off has made the treacherous journey across the 101 FWY in Los Angeles to become a Westside neighborhood staple.

With a carefully curated stock, 365 locations boast “no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives or hydrogenated oils” within their product lines, but there’s another key ingredient that the store has subbed for success: in-store technology.

365 tech assets consist of kiosk ordering via iPads, electronic shelf labels, home delivery via Instacart, an energy efficient area for chilled produce, and digital punch cards for multiple products across the store. Oh, and there’s also an iPad that doubles as a sommelier because… wine not?

“It’s not technology for technology sake, it’s meant to be useful and help you,” explained Turnas, president of 365 by Whole Foods Market. “I think a lot of what we try to do is more of a digital presence… so I think that appeals to a broad range of people.”

The Whole Foods Market 365 concept prides itself on simplicity and convenience — not to mention lower prices in which its Whole Foods parent is infamously not known for. “The pricing is really competitive,” stated Jeff Turnas. “Our concept is one where we’ve got Whole Foods market quality which is delivered in a little bit different setting.”

So Santa Monica health-nuts and Venice yogis rejoice! You can now have your organic salad bar and eat it, too (for way less). As for Amazon’s technological influence? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see what’s in store.

Fast Food Restaurants Technology

Taco Bell Takes A Strong Stance Against Machines Replacing Jobs

Photo: Jeepers Media

In a world where several fast food companies are looking to technological advancements to cut costs and take over jobs in the workplace, Taco Bell is going against the status quo.

The fast food giant has declared their staunch opposition to ever using automation and technology to replace workers in their restaurants.

This comes in stark contrast to rival fast food companies that are looking to replace jobs with automation. McDonald’s recently unveiled kiosks that would replace jobs at the front of restaurants nationwide, and Wendy’s aims to do the same in 1,000 of its restaurants to reduce labor costs by 5%.

Taco Bell spokesperson Matt Prince states that the basis for this unique modern view came from what the chain learned when they tested out their “restaurant of the future” twenty-five years ago, which included an impressive automatic taco robot that produced 900 tacos per hour.

Taco Bell’s “Automatic Taco Machine,” developed in the 1990s and no longer in use. (GIF courtesy of Taco Bell)

“We tried it, and learned that you can’t get away from the human element that restaurants have.”

Taco Bell’s CEO, Brian Niccol, reiterated that position while speaking on a panel during Edelman’s Trust Barometer event.

“The caveat on technology is that tech is only as good as the experience that a team member creates. It’s an enabler for managers and team members to create a better experience.

If tech brings people together, good things happen. If it separates people, bad things happen…. A team that communicates face to face is much stronger, and technology brings teams together.”

Taco Bell has learned its lesson from past experiences, and values the team member experience over production capability. Prince told Foodbeast that if Taco Bell decides to implement technology, it will not be to replace employees, but to “enhance the team member experience” by replacing tasks and responsibilities so that employees can focus on key aspects like food quality, food safety, and the cleanliness of the dining room.

“As a business that’s fueled by the energy and passion of people serving people, our team members are our front line and biggest brand ambassadors,” says Frank Tucker, Taco Bell’s Chief People Officer.

So will Taco Bell go high-tech? Yes, but not as high-tech as other fast food chains. While other chains may entirely be run by robots one day, Taco Bell doesn’t want to lose the human element of their restaurant, as they’ve already learned the consequences of doing so in their own tests.

As Prince puts it:

“People who work in the restaurants matter.”