top of page
  • Jenica Barrett

Best Apps for Getting Leftovers from Restaurants and Reducing Wasted Food

One-third of food produced worldwide is wasted before someone can eat it. Recently app manufacturers have stepped in to create systems for redistributing food that normally would have gone to waste. Specific apps designed for restaurants to sell leftover meals and for grocery stores to market discounted products near expiration are becoming the norm. These apps promote food waste reduction while providing customers with cheaper, local meals. Some companies have even created platforms where anyone can post their household leftovers or extra food for someone in the neighborhood to pick up.

The Problem with Food Waste

Wasted food happens for a variety of reasons but most often occurs in our households because we don't eat it before it rots. 40% of what we send to landfills in the U.S. is compostable material and 22% is solely food waste. We are filling up our trash cans with edible food and it's a huge problem. Food waste is one of the largest producers of greenhouse gases worldwide!

Food Waste Wastes Money

It is estimated that 1/3 of your food budget is getting thrown in the trash (or compost) each week when food is left to rot in the fridge. Restaurants lose money when they end the day with leftover meals that didn't sell or ingredients that won't last until the next shift. Grocery stores also lose money when they dispose of products nearing their expiration dates or have a surplus of produce that isn't selling.

How Using These Apps Reduces Food Waste

Food waste on an individual and industry level has a financial cost. Many of the apps listed below provide a financial incentive for businesses to participate as they are able to recoup some of the cost of the otherwise wasted food. When you buy their extra bagels, unbought sandwiches, and day-old doughnuts, you're showing them that their food still has value and it's WORTH IT to post it on these platforms. You'll also save yourself some money in the long run, too!

Apps for fighting food waste from restaurants Pinterest Pins

Apps for Fighting Food Waste


Location: Across 15 Countries Worldwide

iOS & Android

Too Good to Go connects customers with near-by restaurants and markets that have leftover food at the end of the day. Surprise Bags, as they call them, are sold at a dramatically reduced costs with a specific time window to pick them up during. You pay directly through the app itself and pickup your meal at the restaurant. Although you don't know exactly what will be in your meal bag, brief descriptions are usually provided and based on the type of restaurant it is, you can take a good guess.

Location: Worldwide

iOS & Android

Unlike many other food waste apps, OLIO allows anyone to post their leftovers or food items up for grabs. You can search based on your location to find neighbors with extra items to give away near you. Food Waste Heroes also partner with restaurants and grocery stores to pick up unsold items and then disperse them directly on the app.

All food on OLIO is FREE so there is no cost to pick up something to eat.

Location: Canada, USA

iOS & Android

FlashFood partners with grocery stores across Canada and the U.S. to sell items nearing their expiration dates at discounted prices. Simply download the app and search for a grocery store near you that participates. You'll be able to see all of the food items available and pay for them directly through the app with any major credit card. It'll also tell you how close it is to the expiration date. Next head to the FlashFood zone in the grocery store and confirm you order with the customer service desk on the way out.

Don't be fooled by expiration dates! Read why expiration dates don't all mean the same thing.

4. Karma

Location: Sweden, UK, France

iOS & Android

Grocery stores

Location: New York City (USA), Copenhagen (Denmark)

iOS & Android

Restaurants, bakeries, and markets can place their extra items up for sale at the end of the day and customers can purchase them at a reduced price. Available in just two cities, YourLocal is a must have if you live in either Copenhagen or New York City, but won't do you any good if you live outside of the zone.

iPhone with takeout food waste apps

Location: Boston and New York City (USA)

iOS & Android

With Food for All, individuals can use the app to find meals near them that haven't been sold by restaurants and reserve them for pickup (typically one hour before restaurants close) for ~50% off the typical price. You pay straight through the app too so no need to carry cash on hand when picking up. They have partnered with over 200 restaurants across the two cities so far!

7. ResQ

Location: Finland, Sweden, Poland, Germany


ResQ connects people with restaurants and grocery stores offering up food items. Grocery stores likely fill bags with produce that are available instantly once purchased. No need to wait to pick up the items you buy until a specific time with ResQ! Coordinate pickup with your typical errands or when passing by! Food items are typically ~50% off and are purchased directly through the app.

Location: The Netherlands

iOS & Android

Location: España (Spain)

iOS & Android

*Only available in Spanish. Este app funciona como casi igual al OLIO. Cualquier persona puede registarse y ofrecer comida excedente. Tambien puede buscar comida disponible cerca y comunicarse con la person que ofrece la comida para reunirse. Todo es gratis sin costo de registarse y sin costo de recibir alimentos.

Have you used any of these apps to get rid of unwanted food or buy a otherwise "wasted" meal? What has been your experience with them?

13,029 views4 comments

Recent Posts

See All


lekor adams
lekor adams
Mar 14

In the bustling world we inhabit, where excess often overshadows mindfulness, the emergence of apps designed to salvage restaurant leftovers and curb food waste is a beacon of hope. These innovative platforms not only offer a sustainable solution to reduce food waste but also provide an opportunity for consumers to enjoy high-quality meals at a fraction of the cost. Among such initiatives, companies like Bliss Yoga Retreats and WheelofBliss stand out by championing a holistic approach to well-being. They serve as sanctuaries where individuals can reconnect with themselves, others, nature, and spirit. By stepping away from modern distractions, reaffirming connections, and returning stronger, these retreats embody the essence of sustainability. Integrating the practice of mindful consumption through the use of…


Nathan Adrian
Nathan Adrian
Nov 30, 2022

The creation of such applications is very important because they provide users with additional convenience. In addition to applications, games are now popular, such as Argentics games. Educational games contribute to human development and bring pleasure.


Albina Konovalova
Albina Konovalova
Nov 15, 2022

It seems to me that in the era of covid and restrictions, it is very difficult for restaurants and similar establishments to even survive, let alone develop. But as for me, there is such a cool and convenient thing as qr code menu. It allows you to scan and order food contactless, a great thing in these times.


Lula Strong
Lula Strong
Nov 07, 2022

Software for pest control business you will be able to qualitatively organize the work of your company. We are the best in what we do. Extensive experience and a wide range of services will leave no doubt about our professionalism.

bottom of page