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Cut food costs with app for restaurant leftovers

Snag cheap eats. The app that allows you to get restaurant leftovers for a third of the price.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Fight high food prices with cheap eats. The Too Good To Go app connects diners with restaurant leftovers at a deep discount and helps reduce food waste.

A Way To The Heart restaurant in San Antonio dishes up fine dining. Yet it also has an off-menu way to fill your stomach by serving up leftovers for cheap through the Too Good To Go app.

“At the end of our week we do have produce and proteins and other things leftover that we don’t necessarily need or use,” said Jerrell Williams, a chef at the restaurant.

The app allows you to find mystery bags of food that you pick up from area restaurants.

“You don’t know what you’re going to get when you make the purchase, but by choosing the partner that you’re purchasing from, you can roughly make a guess,” said Chris MacAulay, the USA director for Too Good To Go. “So if it’s a bakery, you’re going to get baked goods and if it’s a pizzeria you’re going to get something that’s on their menu.”

You will pay $5 or $6 a bag and get $15 to $18 worth of food.

“They are paying a third of the price of what they would normally do at the grocery store,” said Williams. “So we think it’s a steal. You know, we don’t hold back on the bags. We really like to let them have some goodies.”

What is in the bag depends on A Way To The Heart’s menu. Here is a sneak peek at what can end up in a mystery bag:

“We put anything from fresh tomatoes. We have onions, all the root vegetables, and certain proteins can appear in those mystery bags,” said Diego Gonzalez, a chef at the restaurant. “I know we have some quail leftovers, sometimes frog legs, regular beef steaks that can happen to or just simple stuff as drink mixes or marshmallows. Whatever we’re working with that week.”

You will mostly need to cook the ingredients yourself, but there can sometimes be a few prepared items included. Other area restaurants you will find on the app include:  Tiff’s Treats, Fresh Donuts, Pasha, Opal & Onyx Cookie Company, Alebrije Bakery, and Baklovah Bakery and Sweets.

Book a bag 48 hours in advance. Customers will need to schedule a time to pick up their bag. Quantities are limited and they go quickly. 

“It does depend on how much excess food we do have for the week,” Gonzalez said. “Some weeks are busier than others, so sometimes we’ll do less bags, but for the most part, on average about six bags.”

It is a win-win for customers and businesses. Customers get food at a reduced cost and restaurants are reducing the amount of food thrown away.

“They are taking something headed to the trash and they’re turning that into an asset so that they make it available on the app and they get paid a part of the money that their customers are spending for that food,” MacAulay said.

New restaurants continue to be added to the app in the San Antonio area.

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