Selling food surplus at discount price through an online marketplace
Born in Finland, ResQ club mobile app is a marketplace for restaurants to sell their surplus portions at a discount and individual consumers to buy surplus portions near them. Portions are announced by the restaurants and depending on the settings a consumer has chosen; the application notifies users nearby. Consumers purchase the portions directly in the app and pick up the orders in person from the restaurant within the timeframe the restaurant has specified.
For the restaurant, using the service doesn’t require any special setup or additional equipment. Selling portions through the app is possible for the restaurants within the normal health and hygiene legislations.
ResQ club company is encouraging the interaction between consumers and the company with a Facebook group for ResQ club users, where the regional managers of the company contribute to the discussion and answer the feedback given by the consumers. Consumers also share their experiences and pictures of the portions to rouse discussion on the suitable size, price and information provided regarding the surplus portions announced. ResQ club has proven to be a very efficient way of reducing food waste and attract new customers. Based on ResQ club's own data, ResQ users who get to know the restaurant first time through ResQ, have an 80% likelihood to return to the restaurant.
Capital, innovation, digital and community management skills.
As a private sector innovation, exact figures for budgeting development and implementation costs are not available. The costs also depend on the scale and style of how the application would be modified for transfer.
Evidence of success
By July 2018, over 700,000 meals and 80,000 tonnes of food saved with around 1,900 venues announcing their portions and 300,000 registered users purchasing them.
• On average, 65% of the surplus portions announced in the app are sold.
• Established in Finland, but currently operating also in Sweden, Germany, The Netherlands.
Over 22 restaurants are using the service in 3 towns of South Ostrobothnia.
Potential for learning or transfer
Every day over 10% of prepared food in restaurants is thrown away.
ResQ club mobile app was founded to offer a triple win solution: providing savings for the restaurants and discounts for the customers while reducing food waste. Similar companies grew up elsewhere in Europe to empower restaurants, bakeries and take-outs to sell their leftover prepared food for discounted prices.
The solution has transfer potential to public sector in two ways: the surplus meals of public providers could be sold in ResQ club or a similar type of solution could be developed for one or several municipalities, a region or regions or even nationally.