Sweden is known for its commitment to sustainability, waste management and its respect of the environment. It’s also known for its technological prowess. So it’s no wonder that ResQ Club, an app that launched in May 2017 to help you “find meals that would otherwise go to waste” is already gaining a strong following throughout the country.
Founded by two people on a mission to combat inefficiency, ResQ Club in its present form was born of the merger between ResQ Club (founded in Finland in 2015) and Meal Saver (founded in Germany in 2016), and is currently saving food in Finland, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Estonia (with more locations to come).
Rather than restaurants being forced to throw away (and lose money on) good quality, well-prepared and delicious, but uneaten, food and people that enjoy dining out having to eat through their spending budget too quickly, ResQ app unites these two parties together to help restaurants find people to purchase extra meals for a discounted price, “resq-ing” said meals from the garbage bin, where it would become an environmental problem that would cost money to dispose of.
All someone has to do is download the app and search for meals available near them (the best time to do this is right after the lunch rush), then choose a meal, purchase it, and pick it up from the restaurant that evening. You save money, the restaurant makes money, and you both show respect to all the people, crops and animals that provided that meal by keeping it out of the trash.
The original version of the app launched in January 2016 and in a year and a half it’s already saved 200,000 meals, which is about 40,000 kilograms of food and equal to the CO₂ emissions from 5,000,000 km driven!
I tried the app for the first time today, logging on early in the day to see if any meals were available for me to pick up and take home for my husband, son and myself to enjoy. Turns out that M. Seger, one of my favorite Swedish homecooking spots in the fantastic Östermalm Saluhall, had quite a few options available for dinner tonight. I selected Beef Rydberg with horseradish cream, a lamb burger with rösti and tomato sauce and Biff á la Lindström with potatoes and bacon in a red wine sauce—all for at least 1/3 of the cost it would be normally.
Then, all I had to do was finish my work day and swing through Östermalms Saluhall on the way to Humlegården (pictured above) for my bus home and dinner was done!
Once home, we set the table, warmed everything up, and gathered around to dig in. And the best part? No pots and pans to wash!
Given how easy the entire experience was, from downloading the app and setting up my preferences to being notified about an available meal near me and from selecting and paying through the app to the Uber-like experience of picking it up (with the payment already taken care of digitally), I’m pretty sure we’ll make good use of ResQ, especially on the days that pull us in many different directions (with the kitchen not being one of them) or on days when we’d just rather play with our son or enjoy Stockholm without having to worry about dinner.
*The first ResQ’d meal that my family enjoyed was complimentary.