Studies show that roughly half of all our food goes to waste. Too Good To Go is an app that allows users to order food from local restaurants at a big discount – food that would otherwise be thrown away.
App users choose from a selection of restaurants, pay through the app and travel to pick up their meal. Restaurants normally offer designated pick-up times for food, usually at closing or after peak eating times. The meals cost between £2 and £3.80. The service provides participating restaurants with recyclable takeaway food containers and includes an option to donate meals to people in need. So far, the app is only available in certain UK cities: Brighton; Birmingham; Manchester and Leeds, and London.
Anything which cuts food waste and helps people save money has to be a good thing. Might you be able to organise something like this with local restaurants in your area, perhaps splitting the revenue? Something to think about.
Sometimes you can’t predict where a money making opportunity will come from. A British schoolgirl from Gloucester has made £48,000 by helping Chinese parents name their babies!
Many Chinese parents are fascinated with Western culture and want to give their children English sounding names. But because of censorship, they often don’t have access to relevant naming websites. Sixteen year old Beau Jessop was asked for advice whilst travelling in China and hit on the idea of setting up an accessible website which links English names with the Chinese tradition of basing names on the elements.
Site visitors get to pick from a shortlist and pay 60p for the final choice. They then get a certificate detailing information about the name including an example of a famous person who shares it. Over 200,000 Chinese parents have been helped to find names so far.
It’s very easy to focus on the home market because, well, that’s where you are. But there’s a huge world out there. In China alone for example, there are almost £1.4 billion people – over 20 times the population of the UK. Some time spent figuring out what they might want to buy, could deliver huge dividends.
Some of the best ideas come by solving a problem for separate parties simultaneously. Start up businesses often struggle to afford the overhead associated with running a full time office, and restaurants are effectively, non-earning dead space for much of the day.
That’s the background to ‘Spacious’, a start-up founded by Preston Pesek and Chris Smothers in New York, which makes use of empty restaurants by offering them up to freelancers and others without an office as an alternative to crowded coffee shops. More than 2,000 restaurants in Manhattan and Brooklyn are closed before 6 p.m. every day, according to the company, and it’s some of this space which they’re putting to us. Users pat $29 a day of $95 a month to use the facilities.
If this can work in New York, it should work in other major cities too. Thinking more broadly, there’s under-utilised capacity in many sectors and spheres. How might you fill it for profit?
One of the big trends of the last few years is peer to peer services…cutting out big companies and bringing individuals together for mutual benefit. We’ve see it in accommodation through the likes of Airbnb, in lending through the likes of Zopa and now Grabr is taking the concept into the delivery market.
The platform enables travellers to take a little extra baggage for a small fee. A buyer chooses their item and anyone heading for their town or city can bid for the job. The buyer then selects who they would like to make the delivery and arranges a meeting place. The service takes advantage of journeys already taking place.
What other services, currently the domain of big companies, could lend themselves to the peer-to-peer treatment.