Hundreds of restaurants from the Czech Republic have started to offer unsold food in mobile apps, where everyone can order them with a discount. According to the Save Food Organization, about 27,000 tons are thrown away every year, even though it is edible.
“If I want to buy some food, it’s simple. I will click for an offer, such as a Dutch schnitzel with boiled potatoes in butter”, shows the founder of the application Nesnězeno, Jakub Henni, about how to order the remaining food from a restaurant in Prague via mobile phone. “I already have a card, so I just click ‘confirm and pay’, and then I have the food purchased” explains.
You must pick the food directly at the restaurant. Nesnězeno is an app that has been running for less than a year, but more and more businesses are offering unsold food, 255 in total. The first ones were in Brno, and then more restaurants were gradually added in Olomouc, Ostrava or Prague among others.
For example, Kolkovna Olympia adds offers about twice a week. “We even have a regular customer there. One lady regularly takes two soups and two main meals”, says the manager Zuzana Dostálová.
Restaurants interest in not having to throw away excess food also proves that such services are more active on the market. Another app is Jídlov. “One evening, we sat in a cafe with a bakery and wondered if the food was going to be thrown. Our conversation was heard by the owner who told us that she would throw away food worth 1500 crowns”, says founder Matěj Káňa.
Food waste apps are running for a short time. For example, in Prague, so far the demand is lower than in Moravian cities, where services started. Approximately 200 portions are sold daily. Unlike supermarket chains, restaurants do not have to donate the remaining food to food banks.
“In a year, about 1125 tons of food were donated to the food bank. 177 out of 190 stores donate, and by the end of the year it should be all 190” explains Václav Koukolíček about the plans of Tesco.
Last year, more than 300 tons of food ended up at the food banks, claimed Jiří Mareček, from Albert. “Through the engagement of other certified organizations and the food donation system, we believe that we will be able to double our food donations by the end of the year”, he says.
According to the executive director of the Czech federation of food banks, Veronika Láchová, extending the obligation to donate food to banks by restaurants would be difficult. “To be able to redistribute food in a safe form for at least 24 hours is problematic” admits.
As stated by Greenpeace, more than 800,000 tons of food is thrown away every year in the Czech Republic from restaurants, shops and households.