Too Good to Go app offers restaurant food at a discount

A mystery box of food from Custer Donut. Photo By Tejal Dhan | Managing Editor

Convenient, cheap, and sustainable, the Too Good To Go app is a must have for college students looking to fill their stomachs without emptying their bank accounts.

Too Good To Go, a mobile app, allows its customers to buy discounted bags of leftover goods from local restaurants. Started in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2016, the company aims to connect customers to restaurants to sell surplus food and avoid waste. Now, the app is available for free for both Apple and Android users in 17 countries and saves more than 100,000 meals per day between them. Participating restaurants near UTD include Shipley’s Donuts, Tiff’s Treats, Mughlai and Tre Stelle.

The app came to my attention when my sister came back from living in Bonn, Germany, where most bakeries had surprise bags available on the app for only a couple euros each. When she returned, she was adamant on continuing the practice of trying new treats for a lowered price in the United States. Luckily, the app launched in the Dallas-Fort Worth area on May 17, 2023, so we could explore the options around us. With new options being added every day, Too Good To Go is the perfect way to find your new favorite cafe, bakery or restaurant without committing to the full cost.

For students, the app is especially helpful for getting large amounts of food for a great value. I once received a bag from Heartland Bread Co. in Dallas that contained four fresh baked loaves of bread for about $4. Whether you share with friends or freeze the food for later, the app has plenty of options from Indian to Chinese to dessert foods. You can also check cafes for eclectic bundles of all of the day’s leftovers. Tre Stelle’s baked goods bundle provided me with two croissants and a jalapeno kolache for only $4 as well. However, since each bag depends on what is left at the end of the day, the next order may be different. If you like the items you get, you can get them again on your next study break at the cafe.

In order to reserve your surprise bag, you must download the app and browse the restaurants near you that offer the service. Since bags sell out almost instantly every day, it’s a good idea to check what time your surprise bag of choice sold out the day before you plan to order. Once you have decided what you want, you simply reserve a bag by paying through the app. Each restaurant has different instructions, but generally they provide packaging for the food and suggest you bring a bag to carry everything. However, some places may request that you bring your own container to further encourage sustainability and waste reduction.

For students who are struggling financially, the app is a great way to get a large amount of food on a budget. Most surprise bags range from $4 to $10, but have values of more than triple the price. And by helping to reduce food waste created in your community, sustainability has never been more delicious as it is with Too Good To Go.

Whether it be scrolling through the app while exploring a new city or simply ordering food from local restaurants to fill your fridge, Too Good To Go has become a go-to way to indulge my constant desire to try new food on a budget.

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