Vinder’s ‘restaurant buyback’ program to offer $1 deliveries of excess food products from local restaurants to anyone in the Austin area 
Today Vinder, the community-driven, digital farmers’ market, launches an initiative that will allow restaurants and small producers to sell their surplus produce, meats, raw ingredients and baked goods through the Vinder app. This “restaurant-fueled farmers market” aims to redistribute excess, perishable goods to the public during the current COVID-19 pandemic, in response to an urgent public need. These goods will be delivered, with no person-to-person contact, to anyone in the Austin area for only $1, aiming to soften the blow to local small producers and the culinary industry on top of supplying people with necessary products. Deliveries will be made Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Vinder seeks to get as many sellers and buyers onto the platform as possible. For more information on Vinder, see here. Android users can download the app here; Apple users can download here.
“Many of our local restaurants, farms, and small producers are taking a massive hit right now, with some on the verge of permanent closure,” said Sam Lillie, Founder of Vinder. “People who can help should help. This is not a time to be lazy. It’s a time to turn to the community to help us through this crisis. Vinder will be able to allow people to shop the farmers market from the safety and comfort of their home and have it delivered to their door without any direct contact.”
Vinder’s new initiative was created in response to the closing of local restaurants’ dine-in options in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. To soften the hit that Austin’s culinary industry is taking, and to make use of the excess perishable goods that restaurants will have, Vinder is providing a way for people to purchase said products, alleviating food costs that weigh down on the restaurant industry. The program also seeks to relieve customers that are currently experiencing overwhelmed grocery stores and rampant hoarding, offering a new opportunity to purchase necessary goods.
When signing up for this initiative, the user will be asked if they are a person or a restaurant – the user must select that they are a person for retail or restaurant for wholesale. If you would like to list items for sale, register as a seller by clicking the green “+” button and enter $1 for delivery fee. The $1 delivery fee will go right back to the seller. Users can order any day of the week. Orders will be delivered Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
“I was thinking about crisis points that weren’t getting enough attention from the media, and food waste while people were struggling to get groceries was one of those,” said John Higley, Community Partner in this initiative and CEO of EQO, a company which participated in MassChallenge Texas with Vinder. “I thought there should be a way for restaurants to sell their perishables directly to people, in a safe way, through a centralized platform. That made me think of my good friend Sam and Vinder. With my biotech background, I can make sure everyone practices proper procedure, using Vinder’s platform, and with both of our logistics expertise, we’re going to make it happen.”
“For those laid off and looking for cash, you can make up to $50,000 a year selling homemade breads, jams and more, direct to consumers under Cottage Food Law,” said Lillie. “We can ease the burden on our food supply chain by creating a neighbor-made food system.”
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