No lunch to waste

The challenge: Find a way to reduce  food waste at organized lunches, starting at the municipality.

Description of the problem

Organized lunches at the municipality of The Hague often have more food delivered than the exact amount that will be consumed. Although we already try to minimize food waste, we still see left over lunches. Reasons for this vary. Sometimes the number of people attending is not exactly known, not everyone eats the same portions, sometimes dietary wishes or habits are unknown and a significant factor is that we want to be hospitable and have enough food to serve.

Lunch leftovers that go to waste are a problem for two main reasons. Firstly, producing food requires costly resources such as water, energy and ingredients. Every leftover sandwich that is thrown away means the baker baked bread for nothing, the delivery trucks drove for nothing and we wasted valuable natural resources such as water and energy. The second reason is the financial gain that can be realized if we can have a more accurate balance between supply and demand. That is why we want to find innovative solutions that will reduce food waste.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for an application that allows consumers to indicate what he/she wants to have for lunch ‘last minute’. By choosing from a standard range of products, the customer can order lunch for example by replying to an email, calendar request or via a chat-bot. If this solution is proven successful on a small scale, we want to help you scale it.

Nice to have

It would be great if the solution gives consumers information about the most responsible choice. For example, by illustrating the ecological footprint of the chosen lunch.

An additional feature we would love to have is that the application keeps track of the food waste so that we can monitor progress.

The target group

The target group is people who are offered a business lunch at one of the locations of the municipality of The Hague. Employees who order lunch at their own expense are not part of the target group.


From a longer term perspective the solution should offer possibilities to introduce concepts like Deliveroo/UberEat for workplace use. The starting point of thinking is that we try to keep the time-frame between ordering and consuming should be as small as possible, which should reduce the chance of food waste.

What are we not looking for?

  • We are not looking for a new caterer or an external delivery service
  • We do not need a recycle/upcycle concept for food waste

Background information

Reduce worldwide food waste by 50% by 2030

By 2030, the United Nations (UN) wants to reduce food waste by 50% worldwide. The European Union (EU) has also adopted this objective and developed plans to achieve this. Together with consumers, businesses and government organizations we want to tackle food waste and need the help of startups in order to succeed!

Reducing food waste a primary objective of the municipality of The Hague

Reducing food waste is an important objective for the municipality of The Hague. See for example the letter about Conscious Consumption (RIS295366) and Circular The Hague (RIS299353). The municipality is usually facilitating, connecting and informing.

Useful links