As a food industry sales expert, Gena Allan knows just how much product and money is wasted when restaurants are left with cancelled orders or too much perishable food on hand.
With this in mind, the Georgetown woman has launched the Flavor Savers take-out food app. The concept is simple - restaurants, bakeries and food trucks can post last-minute deals on the platform featuring untouched food orders that would otherwise be thrown away. Local residents can purchase the meals through the app and head down to the eatery to pick them up.
“It’s a win-win-win,” said Allan. “The customer gets a deal and saves money on a lovingly-prepared meal, the restaurant is happy because they don’t have to deal with a loss, and there’s less in the landfill and more in people’s tummies.”
While the app is in its infancy, more than 20 restaurants and bakeries have already signed up, with another 20 in the midst of registering and anticipated to be on board within the next month.
A couple are already offering deals locally through the app, such as Mega Burger and Terra Cotta Cookie Co.
In her experience, Allan said there are a variety of reasons restaurants end up with perfectly good excess food that might go to waste, ranging from construction on their street keeping customers away to weather conditions, seasonal demand changes and more.
“So what do they do with the extra food? Most of the time it’s given away to staff for free or it’s disposed of, and that’s a shame. I said to myself, ‘we need to do something,’” she explained.
As an avid deal-seeker and busy mom with lots of mouths to feed, Allan was inspired by other money-saving food apps that she uses.
The app will also help restaurants give slower-moving foods a boost, test new menu items at a discount and raise awareness about products they offer that the community might not know about, such as bakeries with gluten-free, vegan or keto products.
“It’s all about real-time pictures to give consumers the understanding they’re getting a deal from the owner,” said Allan. “And it gives them (restaurants) a way to stay closer connected to their community.”
The deals are currently available on a take-out/pick-up basis, with delivery being a possibility down the road.
Allan said she would also love to work more with farms and food manufacturers in the future.
For further details, visit flavorsavers.ca.