Are restaurant crowdfunding campaigns effective?

Ideal but still culinary demanding


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The furnishings seem a bit collected - and they are: Tables, chairs, pans, pots and dishes have been donated. That makes the ambience extraordinary. 30 seats are available to guests, which should be reserved in advance. There are virtually no walk-in customers. "That makes it easier for us to plan well and to avoid wasting food ourselves," says Beckmann.

The small restaurant is always fully booked on Saturdays, a three-course menu is served, cost: 20 euros. Roick only knows what is being served once he has rummaged through the crates of the regional food partners. "That's exciting. And then my creativity is in demand. I've never had so much freedom in cooking as here," says Roick, who has worked with well-known Berlin chefs. He is one of six permanent employees in the restaurant. The rest is done with voluntary work: 80 volunteers work in the service, four on the board of the association. The ideal idea is in the foreground, says Beckmann. And enjoyment too. "It's not about preparing a simple meal from leftovers. We have a culinary standard."

And an educational one: the initiators invest the profits from the restaurant business primarily in their educational work at schools. They want to show children and young people what they can do about food waste. They should perceive it as a means of life and learn to appreciate it as such: "To make one kilo of cheese, you need 1,000 liters of water in production," Keuchel gives an example. According to a WWF study, more than 18 million tons of food end up in the garbage every year in Germany, the consumer advice center speaks of 11 million tons for 2016.

Even more appreciation

Other associations and start-ups have also taken on the topic of food rescue: In Frankfurt, for example, the ShoutOutLoud association organizes leftover kitchen catering. There are also plans to soon offer street food made from rescued foods: sandwiches, small burgers and soups. A crowdfunding campaign to finance your own van is already running.

Several start-ups also want to use apps to combat food waste. At MealSaver, food producers from bakers to restaurant owners pack goods in boxes that have not been sold. You can use the app to select a provider, pay online and pick up the box in the store or restaurant. The contents of the box, which costs a maximum of 3.49 euros, are a surprise.

It is different with ResQ, a Finnish platform for food rescue, which is now also available in Germany. Specific dishes can be selected, paid for and picked up in the restaurant via the app. Germany managing director Anna Bickenbach promises that customers will save 30 to 50 percent of the original price of a dish.