a chat with Andrew Glantz, Founder and ceo
How many times have you ordered food or eaten take-out at a restaurant in the past week? How about over the whole year of Covid?
Now imagine if for every time you did, a meal was given to someone in need.
Now don’t imagine, but pick up your phone and download the app GiftAMeal, the brainchild of Washington University graduate Andrew Glantz. With GiftAMeal, each time you order a meal from a participating restaurant, just snap a pic and a meal is donated to Operation Food Search, a non-profit working to end hunger.
And if you share your photo to social media, a second meal is donated. And, actually – a meal is given just by you signing up on the app, so pause reading this and go do it.
Ok, welcome back.
Since the app’s inception in 2015, more than 500,000 meals have been donated.
Knowing how competitive the market is for restaurants, Andrew wanted to “thin[k] through a way to support restaurants from that marketing side, that wasn’t a financial incentive– something socially conscious.”
“Millennials especially are making purchasing decisions based on values,” says Andrew.
How does it work?
For the restaurants, the benefit of GiftAMeal is that “it’s a mix of marketing and giving back..and effectively transforms their business into a social venture.” Restaurants pay a fee to be hosted on the platform, which is what funds the donated food. When you, as the hungry shopper, decide to find a restaurant that is also committed to doing social good, the connection is made and voila, a meal is donated.
Partner restaurants have seen an increase in returning customers, new customers, and an increase in tipping, all which provide tangible financial benefits. And “GiftAMeal has helped provide a source of light and optimism and power for a lot of these restaurants to be able to do something good. Even if they’re struggling,” they can provide meals to help support their neighbors.
Covid forced a creative pivot which has been successful– the addition of delivery and takeout photos being added as options on the app. GiftAMeal has also helped restaurants with social distancing decals, and a podcast series featuring the people who are “putting food on the table.”
Why should you be a part?
“Before the pandemic it was 1 in 7 children who faced food insecurity… now it’s 1 in 4.”
Each meal you purchase from a participating restaurant translates int0 1.2 pounds of food that gets distributed to a food pantry.
“It does feel really good to know that we’re making a positive impact, and it’s not just that we’re doing it, it’s that all of these 40,000 users and 200-plus restaurants are being enabled to make a difference in their communities.”
How can you help?
Just download the app and start browsing local partner restaurants!
If there’s a spot you wish were on the app but isn’t yet, Just connect the owner or manager of a restaurant to Andrew at email@example.com. You’ll get a $50 gift card to eat at their restaurant, and $5o will be donated to a local food bank in your name.
And when you buy from a restaurant on the app, make sure to share your photo to social media and a second meal will be donated.
It really is as easy as pie. Go do it!
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