Aug. 27, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
A new app is helping to fight food waste by connecting users to area restaurants offering discounts on excess food that would otherwise be tossed out.
The app, YourLocal, launched in July, and includes more than 40 eateries in Williamsburg and Greenpoint offering discounts of 50 percent and up on excess food.
The shops include Woops Greenpoint, Di Fara Pizza, Babas Pierogies, Grass Roots Juicery, Key Food, Vinnie’s Pizzeria, and other shops at the new North 3rd Street Market in Williamsburg.
The app works by sending daily alerts to users who “follow” a shop with offers from the participating restaurant. The offer includes the time a customer should pick up the item and its cost, which is paid for by adding a valid payment card on the app.
The app creates its revenue by taking a percentage of the sales, YourLocal said.
At Campbell Cheese and Grocery, for example, an alert has gone off for “slightly bruised and ugly tomatoes” that would still make for a great pasta sauce or salsa, at a price of $4 for two pounds.
At Woops! Bakeshop in Williamsburg, a selection of baked good and sandwiches will be offered in a bag today depending on what will be available as surplus. One bag costs $6.53.
So far, 2,500 people have downloaded the app since launching, with many restaurants having upwards of 200 followers.
The program is only available in Williamsburg and Greenpoint for now, and will expand to other neighborhoods as the number of users grow, according to YourLocal. The platform, according to the app’s founders, requires proximity between eateries and users to be successful.
“Williamsburg seemed like the perfect starting point – it’s a community-oriented neighborhood when it comes to food/drink consumption,” said Maria Budtz, spokesperson for YourLocal. “People have their ‘go-to spots’ and seem really loyal to them in the midst of enjoying all there is to experience in this city.”
YourLocal began as a group text in Copenhagen started by Kasper Kastofy Nielsen and Sebastian Dueholm three years ago. The app became a hit in Denmark, with the sales team beginning to focus on New York City by way of North Brooklyn since the beginning of June. Two to three new stores are being added a week, YourLocal said.
The city, according to reports, throws away more than 650,000 tons of food waste annually.
The app is available on Android and iPhone. For more information, visit YourLocal.org/app.