Employer Interview with Too Good To Go

This week, as part of our ‘Work for UN Sustainable Development Goals’ series,  we’re chatting with Too Good To Go’s Head of People and Culture UK, David Palliser, to discuss Too Good To Go’s vision and mission for the future, as well as what UN SDG Goal 12. Responsible Consumption and Production means to them as a B-Corp certified organisation and pioneer in the industry. 

EJ: First off, can you describe what your company does, its vision and mission? 

DP: Too Good To Go has a simple mission: to make sure all food gets eaten, not wasted.

In 2016, a group of entrepreneurs witnessed restaurant staff throwing away fresh food. The food’s only problem? It hadn’t sold in time, and no one was around to take it off the restaurant’s hands. The group pioneered a seamless solution: an app that lists businesses’ unsold food so local diners can find, buy and enjoy it.

Now, thousands of Magic Bags are rescued from businesses such as supermarkets, restaurants, and bakeries every day. The success of the app powers Too Good To Go’s wider efforts to drive a food waste movement, working with schools, industries, and governments to build a planet-friendly food system.


EJ: In terms of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, where do you think your organisation has the most impact? What is the importance of this goal from your perspective and what is your organisation doing to contribute towards achieving this goal? 

DP: The goal where Too Good To Go has the most impact is Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production.

SDG Target 12.3 aims to halve global food waste at the retail and consumer levels by 2030.

Since 2016, Too Good To Go has saved 109 million meals, which is equivalent to 109 million kilograms of food. By partnering with MyClimate, Too Good To Go calculated that each meal saves 2.5kg of CO2e from being wasted. This means so far we’ve saved the equivalent carbon footprint of 58,642 flights around the world from being wasted.

The business model works across the whole food service spectrum from small independent restaurants to large multinational supermarkets. Renowned brands including IKEA, Starbucks and Carrefour have become partners, allowing Too Good To Go access to new customers and employees to engage with and to save even more food. 

Awareness and education are key and Too Good To Go uses social media, PR and marketing to raise awareness of issues such as food seasonality, proper storage and other food saving solutions. It is fundamental that all activity the brand develops leads to behaviour change.


EJ: In your opinion, what progress has been made since 2015 and what key actions still need to be taken? 

DP: One thing is for sure, awareness of the issue of food waste has increased significantly since 2015. I’m proud to say that Too Good To Go has played a huge part in that.

However, there is still a lot that can be done. 40% of all food is wasted and this is responsible for 10% of the world's global greenhouse gas emissions. 10% is a lot. Especially when you consider that aviation is responsible for 2.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, plastics 3.8% and deforestation 2.2%.

The UK Government has put legally binding policies in place to tackle all of these important areas, but to date food waste has been ignored. To drive forward change, we recently launched a petition to ask the government to make the SDG 12.3 goal of 50% reduction in food waste by 2030 enshrined into UK law. This attracted 20,056 signatures and 2,533 letters to MPs. Our work to get food waste on the table at future climate change discussions continues as we feel that it is this recognition that will fuel widespread behaviour change.


EJ: Ethical Jobseeker promotes "Use your skills to make a difference". We aim to illustrate that purposeful organisations require the contributions of operational talent as well as field expertise to succeed. What are some of the specialist roles you recruit in your organisation? 

DP: We’re a growing organisation and as a result our team is expanding fast.

We now have over 100 employees in the UK alone - over 1,400 across the world. Some of the roles we recruit include:

  • Sales: engaging independent businesses to help them reduce their food waste by signing up to our app
  • Key Accounts: working with big name brands to bring them onboard our app and partner with us in the fight against food waste
  • Success: helping our customers and partners have the best experience when using or working with Too Good To Go
  • Marketing: building awareness of our brand for businesses and consumers


EJ: What general business or support roles do you recruit for most often? 

DP: It really is a mixed bag. As a growing business we are continuously looking to recruit for open roles in Sales, Key Accounts, Success and Marketing, as well as People & Culture.


EJ: What qualities or attributes do you look for in a candidate?

DP: Firstly, and most importantly, we look for candidates who are passionate about the issue of food waste and who want to be part of the solution. Everyone at Too Good To Go plays a huge role in how we achieve our goals and this shared passion is what makes us all click and get the job done.

Secondly, we look for people who have the right skills and traits to do the job. This doesn’t mean they have to have done a role exactly like the one they are applying for before. Transferable skills are just as important to us. Being able to showcase this in the application stage goes a long way.

Finally, we love team players. We’re not a bunch of individuals doing a job here at Too Good To Go. We are an incredibly collaborative workplace and so we want people who are ready to jump in where they’re needed, come up with solutions, and focus on what will make the biggest impact in the fight against food waste.


EJ: Do you have any independent recommendations for candidates who want to find out more about the issues we’ve discussed?

DP: WRAP has many resources publicly available to help people to get to grips with the food waste issue.

I’d also check out organisations like WWF and Feedback who offer valuable insight on the topic of food waste.


EJ: What is the best advice you can give a career entrant who is thinking of applying to work with you? 

DP: Do your research and understand what we do and what kind of careers we offer across our various roles. You might find that a role you hadn’t considered before is actually a better fit for you based on your skills and experience.

Show us why you are a good fit for Too Good To Go - that could be in what you have studied, any work experience you might have had before, or any hobbies or volunteering work you have done. We want to understand who you are and what you would bring to the company should your application be successful.

And above all take your time to fill in your application. This is the time to make a good first impression, so it’s not about being the first to apply, but being the best to apply.


EJ: Any advice for career changers? 

DP: Firstly, we want to understand what you have learnt from your previous roles which give you the necessary skills for the role for which you are applying. It doesn’t matter to us if your career to date has been in a completely different industry, sector, or discipline, but you need to showcase the transferable skills which you have as this enables us to learn if you are the right fit for the role.

As with career entrants, we want to find out why you are a good fit for Too Good To Go. Tell us what you are passionate about and why you think you are a good fit for our team.


EJ: Looking forward, tell us about Too Good To Go’s culture. What is good? And are you working on anything big for the future? 

DP: The culture at Too Good To Go is really special. Everyone is motivated by the same thing: they want to be a part of the solution in fighting food waste. This shared goal means that we work collaboratively, not just within our specialist teams but also across different functions. It is not unusual for a project to involve colleagues from Marketing, Sales, Success, Key Accounts and Movement, all contributing and sharing responsibilities.

And because we’re all in it for the same reason there is a real team spirit. It’s so important to us that everyone who joins the company is aligned to our values and this has resulted in a team that takes care of each other. This has been so important over the last few years during the pandemic where we switched to predominantly remote working. We’ve made sure that our culture is supportive and has everyone’s wellbeing in mind over the challenging period inside and outside work. 

For us now, it’s all about planning the return to the office. We want to make sure that the office environment gives everyone what they need to do their jobs well, so a revamp is on the cards!


EJ: Sounds Exciting! Finally, tell us a bit about your focus for 2022 going forward. 

DP: Our focus for 2022 is all about continued and sustained growth. We still have so much to achieve in the

UK and we know that we can play an even bigger part in fighting food waste across society.


Website links

Too Good To Go are hiring now across a wide range of roles. To check out open opportunities click here

Find out more about the UN Sustainable Development Goals