Food catering, company restaurant and regular restaurants have excess in food that goes to trash. Most of the time it is because it is easier/faster to throw away the extra than to redistribute what they have.
Grocery stores have also products that get rejected and end up going to waste. Here are some of the most common reasons for it:
- Off-Spec: it doesn't meet the strict specifications set by the buyer
- Surplus/Excess Inventory
- Packaging Change
- Short-Coded: gets close to expiration date.
WinWin is a platform that connects the people in need of food with people that have too much.
WinWin, because there is no more waste: we save food for people in need and we save time to people that have excess as they can use WinWin to seamlessly redistribute what they have.
- 40% of the food in the US goes uneaten
- $218BILLION in food is thrown away every year
- 20BILLION pounds of fresh produce go unharvested or unsold each year.
The people that need food the most are also the people with less access to technology and smartphones, so we make sure our services will provide both low tech and high tech options.
If food can be saved, WinWin will save it!
What it does
- Help people find free food.
- Make it easy for food businesses to connect with people
- Display free food on a TomTom® map
- Provide walking/biking(/driving?) directions
- Notify people when food is near them
- Use a collection point to avoid disturbing main business access
- Provide a QR code to mark the collection point
- Allow people with old phones to use the app. The low tech option works with sms notifications, SMS region enrollment and a QR code alternative (regular text code).
How it works
You're a food giver
- Hi! - Enter your phone number and click on the 'I'm Giving' button!
- Pick a QR spot around you - Choose a QR spot to start and select a pick up spot. Keep, add, or remove QR spots.
- Take a picture - Add a picture of the food you are donating.
- Estimate the number of persons that can your food - 1 person, 2 persons, a group?
- Duration - Select your wait time for pick up.
- Finding a new tummy! - WinWin is looking for a match. You have nothing to do, you will be notified when someone picks your food!
- It's a Match! - We found a picker! When the food picker arrives at the location and scans the QR code. You get notified!
- Food exchange - Meet your picker at the QR spot!
You want to get food
- Hi! - Enter your phone number and click on the 'I'm Looking' button!
- Food menu - On the map, you can see pick up zones and the food details (duration for pick up, what you will be eating).
- Choose a food spot - Congrats, you've been chosen! The timer starts, you have [xx] min to pick up your food! If unfortunately someone has selected this food option before you, you will be put on a waiting list.
- Direction - You get the directions to the QR spot. Don't be late, the offer ends when the timer is at zero.
- You ave arrived - Scan the QR code. The food giver is notified!
- Food exchange! How delicious is that?
- Share your feast - Take a selfie of yourself and/or your friends while you're eating! We encourage the sharing economy, if you picked up food for more that 1 person and take a picture of yourself with your friends/family eating food you will be earn points and get priority access next time you want to get some free food!
You're a low tech user
- Hi! Send your geographical area to subscribe to our service offers within the provided area. eg: send
I'm hungry in [the Mission]!to 81212
- Got it! - WinWin acknowledges by sending
Got it, I'll keep you posted whenever something happens in [the Mission]..
- Get notified - You have priority! You will be first to receive a notification as soon as there is a pick up spot in your area!
- Food Alert - You receive a Food alert!
We've got [3 burritos] available in [the Mission]. Reply "Me!" if interested.
- Food Request- WinWin acknowledges by sending:
Congrats, you're the chosen one! Meet me there: [123 Baker Street, 94117 San Francisco, CA]. You have [30 min]!or
Someone's on it already... You've been added to the waiting list, we'll keep you updated.WinWin notifies the Giver that a Taker is on-the-way:
Taker on the way! ETA [15:34] at [Location A].
- Arrival Notification - Taker sends the code on the sticker when arrived, e.g. X90B4D. WinWin acknowledges by sending
You're here! Don't move, I'm coming right away..WinWin notifies the Giver that a Taker has arrived:
Taker is waiting for you at [Location A]!
How we built it
- React and Semantic UI for the frond end.
- Docker and Heroku to deploy WinWin so the world can see it!
- Node.js, Typescript, SQLite for the backend
- Python and OpenCV for our vision/AI stack
We used Twilio for the SMS Handler that is responsible for:
- Sending a SMS notification when a new offer is available within the area of interest.
- Handling "Me!" responses coming from interested takers.
Challenges we ran into
We had a long discussion to decide on what our MVP would be. Also, we are a team of 5 developers so the most challenging for us was probably to find a sustainable business model/strategy. In such a short amount of time, it was also challenging to make sure the tasks repartition was as efficient as possible so we could make the most of our time!
What we learned
This is obviously a non-exhaustive list. First, we got familiar with the TomTom developer platform and learnt how to use its Maps APIs. We used Heroku for the first time to deploy WinWin so the world can see it :) We learnt how to use Twilio to send sms notifications through the app, for our low tech users. We learnt how to take pictures from a web app using the phone or laptop camera. We learnt how to do face detection on an image with OpenCV
What's next for WinWin
Food waste places a drag on companies, which increases food and labor costs without bringing in any additional revenue. Fortunately, businesses can at least recover some of the expense through tax savings from writing off the cost of the wasted food. While it’s important for businesses to track their food waste to make better use of their inventory, they don’t need to figure food waste to deduct it from their taxes.
Our business idea is to facilitate this process by giving a 'no waste' certification. By subscribing and using our service, they can save on tax.
Also, they can sponsor our arty QR spots. Sponsoring price will depend on the QR spot locations, they more they donate the more visibility they will get.
Some interesting reads: