Current Open Call

Serving Up Food Waste Solutions To Restaurants

We often perceive wasted food as the cost of doing business in independent restaurants. But today, with supply chain disruptions, the growing cost of food, and staffing challenges, those costs are becoming increasingly burdensome, creating an opening to reframe food waste reduction as the critical opportunity it is – to drive operational efficiency, deliver unique customer experiences, improve profit margins, and/or create a competitive advantage.

That's why our current open call for the Catalytic Grant Fund is focused on accelerating the adoption of food waste solutions for restaurants. We're looking for proven or pilot-ready solutions that are simple, affordable, and convenient to implement and/or have a strong business case for small to medium-sized independent restaurants – including increased cost savings, improved staff retention, higher customer acquisition, and more.

And to bolster the catalytic nature of this open call, we're excited to announce that a subset of the selected grantees will get a unique opportunity to pilot their solution with restaurants.

This open call is made possible by the generous support of our anchor funder,, which is dedicated to enriching the food experience for all and creating a healthier, more sustainable, and equitable world. is the social impact arm of Toast, the cloud-based, all-in-one technology platform that helps restaurants streamline operations, increase revenue, and deliver amazing guest experiences.

Open Call Requirements

Proposals for this open call must demonstrate the following in their Letter of Intent in order to be considered for funding:


Are pilot-ready OR successfully implementing proven solutions and best practices in restaurants


Can reduce restaurant food waste in a simple, affordable, and convenient way and/or demonstrate a strong business case


Be operating in the United States OR seeking funding to expand to the United States.

Proposals that could be a strong fit for this open call could include but are not limited to:

  • Solutions that can be easily integrated into existing operations that can compare restaurants’ inventory and sales

  • Modular, refrigerated storage systems to store otherwise wasted byproducts and surplus food for pick-up

  • Solutions to support standardized, consistent portioning when plating food

  • Co-branding opportunities, particularly ones that maximize the value of commonly wasted byproducts and trim in restaurant settings (e.g., coffee grounds, citrus peels, egg shells, etc.) such as upcycling solutions

  • Implementation of varying serving sizes (e.g., full serving, half serving)

  • Solutions to address waste generated on the line in full-service restaurants, where there typically isn’t space for a compost bin

  • AI-powered robots that can minimize prep trim and cut labor costs

  • New food donation, composting, upcycling models, etc. that offer a hassle-free pick-up system (could also offer feedback loops to restaurants with actionable insights on how much and what types of foods they’re diverting from landfill, and/or a compelling economic advantage for restaurants)

Proposals that are ineligible for this open call include:

  • Research proposals

  • Advocacy or policy-related proposals

  • Traditional food donation and compost pick-up services (unless the services incorporate an innovative aspect that remove the existing challenges that has limited restaurant uptake such as costliness and capacity to store food until pick-up)

  • Proposals that do not directly reduce pre or post-consumer food waste in restaurant settings

To learn more about this open call, please review the FAQ page.

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Contribute to the ReFED Catalytic Grant Fund

We are deeply grateful to our anchor funder for the current open call – – and all other donors who share our mission and vision for a more sustainable, equitable, and inclusive food system. If you would like to learn more about the Catalytic Grant Fund and discuss a contribution, please email Alexandria Coari at [email protected] or enter your information in the form below.

Previous Open Call

Consumer Food Waste

Consumers are the largest total generators of food waste, but it's not always easy for them to change wasteful behaviors. This first Open Call is focused on solutions and innovations in need of funding that can enable consumers to actively reduce their food waste at home – as well as in restaurant and foodservice settings – by making it obvious, affordable, and convenient. To bolster these solutions, the Catalytic Grant Fund seeks to support initiatives at a local, regional, and/or national level.

Meet the Cohort

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