Founded in 2016 by Hjalmar Ståhlberg Nordegren, Ludvig Berling, Mattis Larsson and Elsa Bernadotte, Karma allows customers to collect food that would otherwise go to waste from restaurants, cafes and grocery stores at a 50% discount.
The app has already amassed a list of 50 restaurants that will sell via the app, ranging from Michelin-starred operators including Aquavit, to mid-market restaurants such as Calcutta Street and Tibits, to the fast-casual market players such as Detox Kitchen.
The app is said to benefits restaurants, as it allows them to reach new restaurants as well as minimise waste.
The app’s founders say that using Karma gives its partners the potential to increase their yearly revenue by up to £30,000, purely through selling food that would previously have gone to waste.
The app works by allowing restaurants to upload details of the products they have. Karma customers then place an order and pay for the food through the app, before collecting it as a take-away within a specified time.
In Sweden, Karma already has 250,000 users and 1,000 partners, including Sweden’s three biggest supermarkets.
It has been praised by big players in the restaurant industry, including Hakkasan and Wagamama founder Alan Yau who has described it as a “truly amazing concept".
“Its success is its simplicity”, says Hani Nakkach, founder of Aubaine which is also partnering with the app when it launches in London.
“It creates a win-win situation for everyone involved while preserving our environment.”
For every meal eaten in a UK restaurant, nearly half a kilo of food is wasted – through preparation, spoilage and what gets left behind on diners’ plates- according to the SRA’s Too Good To Waste campaign.
Food waste costs UK restaurants around £682m per year according to WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme).
Skye Gyngell’s London restaurant, Spring, trialled a ‘Scratch’ concept menu last March. This involved misshapen vegetables and leftovers from the restaurant’s other menus were re-purposed before being served as a three-course, pre-theatre set meal.