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Ep 73: Andrew Glantz / Founder of GiftAMeal

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Studies have shown that 84% of Gen Z shoppers are more likely to purchase from a brand if the brand gives back and 71% of Millennials would pay more for a product if they knew that some of the proceeds were going to a good cause. That’s the inspiration behind GiftAMeal, an app created by Andrew Glantz that makes a donation to local food banks when diners take photos of their meals at participating restaurants. In this episode of Forktales, Michael and Andrew talk about cause marketing, the profits-with-a-purpose business model, entrepreneurial spirit and how GiftAMeal beat out thousands of competitors to win a $25,000 Amazon Business grant.

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Ep 73: Andrew Glantz / Founder of GiftAMeal
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Show Notes

GiftAMeal is an app that allows diners to take a photo of their order from a partner restaurant. For each photo taken, GiftAMeal donates to a local food bank to provide a meal to a family in need. 

Each month, more than 40,000 meals are provided through more than 100 local food banks in 37 states via GiftAMeal. In the last year, GiftAMeal has grown from 200 to almost 1,000 partner restaurants. 

Andrew fell in love with the profits-with-a-purpose business model as a student at Washington University. While there, he owned and operated a non-profit storefront dedicated to reuse and sustainability. Later, while interning at a venture capital firm, he developed the idea for GiftAMeal on his lunch break. 

GiftAMeal works with individual restaurants and franchises or franchise groups of restaurants like Red Robin. 

Making GiftAMeal an easy plug-and-play concept for restaurants and larger chains is a goal in 2024. 

 

QUOTES

“Making an impact is something that’s always been important to me. I also love the creative autonomy that comes with entrepreneurship and trying to find those win-win scenarios and align incentives for different parties.” (Andrew) 

“We’ve seen that guests using GiftAMeal are returning 39% more frequently, they’re spending 20% more per visit and they’re tipping 32% more than a standard guest.” (Andrew) 

“We started off as a mobile app, but we’ve always paid attention to the different technologies that were being developed.” (Andrew) 

“Fuse Marketing and 5W PR studies found that 84% of Gen Z were more likely to purchase from a brand if (the brand) gives back and 71% of Millennials would pay more for a product if they knew that some of the proceeds were going to a good cause.” (Andrew)  

“Entrepreneurship is not an easy journey.” (Andrew) 

 

TRANSCRIPT

00:00.00

vigorbranding

Hello everyone today’s episode of flirk tales I am joined by someone who takes cause marketing and entrepreneurial spirit to a new level. His name is Andrew Glanz and he’s the founder of gift a meal. Welcome Andrew and tell us a little bit about yourself and some of your backstory.

 

00:14.43

Andrew Glantz

Yeah, of course. Um so I’m originally from Los Angeles and I came out to St Louis to go to wash you for college when I was a student there I owned and operated a nonprofit storefront to promote reuse and sustainability and volunteered for various causes and. Ah, then when I had a summer internship at a venture capital firm and got exposed to the startup world I fell in love with the scalability of it and found out about the idea of a profits with a purpose business model that you could do well while doing good and came up with the idea for gift and meal when I was on a lunch break break and kind of ran with it and put my savings into it. Graduated in May Twenty seventeen and started out in St Louis and now started to really scale it up and grow it into what it is today.

 

01:01.68

vigorbranding

That’s very cool now like you know I’m I’m somewhat of an entrepreneur I started my own business when I was 27 and grew several companies and I love it. I mean I Just think it’s ah a great way to be and and I love the energy of it. So How did you become this entrepreneur. How did you all? sorry. Family of entrepreneurs I mean just had ideas tell me about you like what would would motivate. You.

 

01:21.14

Andrew Glantz

Yeah I mean I think that making an impact has always been something that’s important to me and then I also just like the creative autonomy that comes with entrepreneurship and trying to find those win-win scenarios and align incentives for different parties and so with gifted meal I was trying to look at how we could. Create a win for the restaurants in terms of marketing win for them and and an easy way to add a community engagement program for them and then for food banks in terms of their fundraising and not taking a lot of effort for them to connect and be able to raise more funding and for diners to be able to discover and support socially conscious restaurants and. So I kind of combined all those together along with Tom shoes warby parker buy 1 give 1 model and applied it to the restaurant industry where guests can just take a photo of their food or drink at a restaurant that’s a partner and then we make a donation to a local food bank to give a meal to someone in need in their community so tried to make it. Easy and align all those stakeholders.

 

02:19.11

vigorbranding

It’s fantastic I Mean it’s a great Obviously it’s a great cause it’s ah it’s a great concept and it’s ah it’s really, ah, a very smart model I mean I’m I’m really intrigued I Want to learn more about this. Um, so the gift of meal. How how does it work like you know you know you talked about it started. You had the idea you went to school. Um, you want to do good all good things. But how does how does it work like I mean I’ll say this from the entrepreneurial side I mean we all got to make a living I mean you know you have nice clothes on I’m sure everyone’s got to make a living. How does the model work like teach me teach me how it works.

 

02:40.96

Andrew Glantz

Um, yeah.

 

02:47.85

Andrew Glantz

Absolutely so the program is funded by the restaurant and free for the guest who’s dining at the restaurant and so the restaurant’s paying a flat monthly program fee to be involved so for a single unit mom and pop. It’s $59 a month then each time a guest dines at the restaurant whether it’s. Dine in take out her delivery. They can scan a Qr code off of signage from the restaurant which launches gift to meal on their phone. They then take a photo of their food or drink and when they do that we make a monetary donation from that program fee that the restaurant pays to a local food bank to cover its cost of providing a meal to someone to need in their community. And then the guest is invited to share that photo on their personal Facebook Instagram or Twitter x and we give an extra meal for each platform they share on since then they’re promoting the restaurant to their friends in a positive way. Um in terms of the donation component. The donations are all local so we match. Each restaurant location to a food bank that services the county that they’re in and each of these different food banks gets food donated to them by supermarkets food distributors community food drives and in storeing these big distribution facilities and then where gifted meal comes in is donating money to help fund the distribution costs. Getting that food from these big facilities to the hundreds of neighborhood pantries where those in need could actually access the food. So typically the food banks have listed on their website for every dollar donated they could provide 4 meals to those in need or 5 meals or three meals. So approximately it costs about twenty five cents to distribute a meal’s worth of food in bulk.

 

04:19.56

Andrew Glantz

Um, and so that’s the amount that we’re actually donating per photo taken.

 

04:23.27

vigorbranding

That’s awesome. So then you’re helping facilitate Basically the outsourcing of the food or the the backend or back office. It’s not really a food thing but I mean you’re you’re funding the the distribution the distribution model. So that’s wonderful and then I mean so you know the the the.

 

04:33.92

Andrew Glantz

Um, yeah.

 

04:40.34

vigorbranding

Restaurant themselves in they get to tout the fact that they’re doing this. They can feel good about themselves obviously but from a marketing perspective. They really get to sort of like ah say hey look. We’re really supporting our community here. How are they? how are they taking advantage of that.

 

04:44.63

Andrew Glantz

Um.

 

04:48.94

Andrew Glantz

Yeah, yeah, Absolutely I mean the restaurant could be posting about it on their social media channels about how many meals they’re providing and everything but more than that one step further with gift to meal. It’s an interactive level of social responsibility. Where the guest feels good about themselves because they’re putting in some amount of effort to take the photo but they feel that sense of gratitude towards the restaurant because the restaurant’s the one that’s ultimately paying for it and so it really creates that sense of emotional connection between the guest and the restaurant.

 

05:14.14

vigorbranding

Um.

 

05:18.83

Andrew Glantz

And makes them feel good about choosing that restaurant in addition to encouraging them to promote the restaurant to friends on social media and so we’ve seen that the guests using gift a meal on average are returning 39 % more frequently. They’re spending 20% more per visit and they’re tipping 32% more than a standard guest. Because of that sense of emotional connection. They have raises and satisfaction rates. You know the restaurant’s getting Goodwill with these customers and they’re also getting more word of mouth recommendations as a result on their social media to their friends and everything so it is something that’s really cool to be able to see a true marketing return without having to. Ah, discount or offer Coupons or anything that slashes the margins for the restaurant.

 

05:58.88

vigorbranding

Yeah, it’s it’s brilliant I mean because I mean let’s face it. We are a marketing firm we market and and help market restaurants and you know a lot of times. It’s all the different deals and the the value meals and all these kinds of things that you got to try and entice customers and you you brought forth a really smart ah program.

 

06:13.95

Andrew Glantz

Next.

 

06:15.31

vigorbranding

And it’s It’s pretty remarkable and and I love the fact that you know your numbers I mean you can you’re you’re able to tell talk about the the growth and sales the tipping which is really important to the servers and we got take care of the servers I think it’s really an interesting ah model Really really, really cool so you should be yeah, be very proud of what you built.

 

06:22.60

Andrew Glantz

Enough.

 

06:32.14

vigorbranding

So like Okay, so how do you? How do you sell Now you know again be an entrepreneur come up with ideas. Great idea. Brilliant idea. Got the numbers. How do you sell like how do you go out and market it and what’s your best way and what’s it like are you knocking on doors are you making phone calls. Are you going to shows I mean how do you get this this program to.

 

06:49.74

Andrew Glantz

Yeah, it’s a great question I mean originally I when I didn’t have a car when I was in college I was going up and down the street in the snow between 2 and four thirty p m to mom and pop restaurants to try to talk to the owners and to have them join and.

 

06:50.34

vigorbranding

To the right people.

 

07:05.62

Andrew Glantz

Ah, pitched them on the program and then from there we were able to sign up some restaurant groups and then we had some franchisees join and then we had a 30 location regional chain sign up for gift to meal and then we started to expand from there now we’re in 37 states across um, almost a thousand restaurants and. Um, at one point seven million meals provided to those in need and so it was kind of continually de-risking ourselves with different types of restaurants and larger restaurant groups. Um, so now we work with multiple brands that you know have over 100 locations system-wide so we work with all 100.

 

07:38.76

vigorbranding

So.

 

07:42.32

Andrew Glantz

30 locations of Lee’s famous recipe chicken all 110 pizza factory locations we work with 162 gong chaw locations and we also work with franchisees of brands like Jimmy John’s and chick-fil-a and um and lots of others and fuzzy talker shop and so red Robin Tgi fridays and so it’s something that’s been really exciting to connect with all these different types of brands in terms of where I meet them. You know sometimes they reach out to us on our website after you know, seeing us in the news. Sometimes it’s introductions from our current restaurants other times it’s going to conferences and. Ah, Mike you’ve said other times it’s just kind of cold reaching out to them with a Linkedin email or phone call and just trying to start up a genuine conversation from a cold interaction and finding those brands that could be a likeminded fit.

 

08:31.70

vigorbranding

You know I love it and I love the ah the started in the college and no car. You know I have a friend one of my very best friends. Extremely successful guy. He he went to college with his brother. Ah, he ended up going for pizza the first night. Ah. Didn’t know what else to do second nigh second they were hungry. Let’s go for pizza. Third night they were hungry. They went for pizza so 3 nights and early get a pizza shop. They said the pizza guy hey look if we pass out Coupons for your pizza shop. Do you think? maybe you give us like a discount on pizza guys like sure. Yeah pass them out to all the college or that created a thing called the coupon clipper. Coupon clipper is a hugely successful magazine across the country I think there’s something like maybe I get this number wrong. But I’m going to suggest 125 magazines coupon clipper magazines at 1 point in time around the United States it’s ah a huge company ended up being sold to kinet.

 

09:16.76

Andrew Glantz

Man.

 

09:23.13

vigorbranding

Ah, anyway, just like you did like just a so a simple like I’m going to go out I’m going to knock on a door I’m going to find something out I’m going to go to the next one knock on the door So congratulations I Just I’m always in awe of entrepreneurship and just the people in the and the fortitude that that bring these things and these ideas forth. It’s awesome.

 

09:37.76

Andrew Glantz

Thank you.

 

09:39.75

vigorbranding

Um, if you ah if you can say I mean who’s your who’s your biggest client and have you are you trying to talk to some of the you know so the franchisees The actual franchise are you having any a look there.

 

09:48.99

Andrew Glantz

Yes, it’s a little bit of a mix I mean we can work with all different types of organizations whether it’s something system-wide like we could work with a brand across a thousand locations. We could work with a brand if they’re an 100 location brand or a thirty location brand. Ah, for us. We’re really flexible to however the organization does budgeting. So for example for gong cha with their 162 locations. Lee’s chicken 130 and pizza factories one 10 um, those are all paid for by corporate out of their marketing and advertising funds and they pay for all the franchisees to be on gift a meal.

 

10:18.37

vigorbranding

Ah.

 

10:24.18

Andrew Glantz

Um, but then we also work with the franchisees directly um like a red Robin Franch franchisee Lehih Valley Restaurant group in Pennsylvania has 20 red robins and so we just just work with them directly and they pay for gift and meal. But we don’t have any interaction with corporate on that side. So you know I’d love to have red Robin as a brand across all locations.

 

10:29.64

vigorbranding

He.

 

10:40.51

vigorbranding

Sure.

 

10:44.17

Andrew Glantz

Um, that’s one of those things where you know we can hopefully prove out the value to the franchisees get introductions from one franchisee to another get introductions to corporate and continue to go that way so we go both a bottom-up approach and a top-down approach and in terms of the size of the brands like you know there’s. Brands that we’re having conversations with that have thousands of locations and it’s something that’s really exciting there and we’ve gotten feedback from them and built new product offerings where we’ve created and essentially a white labelbeled version of gift ameal that’s custom branded to their brand colors and everything.

 

11:02.90

vigorbranding

Awesome.

 

11:13.30

vigorbranding

Hey.

 

11:18.16

Andrew Glantz

Could be integrated into their own mobile applications. Their online ordering solutions to have it really feel like a native solution for them. Um, and so that’s something that we’re really can be focused on in 2024 Um, is you know how can we work with these larger players and have get to meal be in really easy plug and play. Social Responsibility Community engagement tool for them.

 

11:36.55

vigorbranding

Yeah I Love that idea I think that’s brilliant. The the white labeling and letting them sort of for lack about a word get credit for this concept right? I mean because you know it is it really is your your success is is all dependent upon their their success and and and their brand and that’s why they’re doing it. So.

 

11:44.42

Andrew Glantz

Yeah, yeah.

 

11:55.92

vigorbranding

I Think that’s fantastic I Think it’s super super smart. How I mean what is the Ah how how likely are people to download the app I mean what are your I mean everybody’s got turbulence. Everyone hits like speed bumps like you always have things, especially it’s not entrepreneur. There’s things you have to overcome.

 

11:56.30

Andrew Glantz

Um.

 

12:07.11

Andrew Glantz

Yes.

 

12:12.77

vigorbranding

I mean the first thing might have been the first restaurant to stop to jump on. Okay, great. So but you have a great story. Ah you you bring forth. Ah, the time when you had your first restaurant you you didn’t have any traction so you couldn’t say we’re going to increase your tips we’re going to increase your sales you were going to increase your visits but you had a great idea so someone took a chance on you and your concept which is great.

 

12:23.40

Andrew Glantz

Yeah.

 

12:31.68

vigorbranding

But as we grow as you grow What? what are? what are some of the stumbling the roadblocks and I was wondering I guess is is getting people to download the app or or things like that does that become any kind of a friction point.

 

12:42.90

Andrew Glantz

Yeah, absolutely. Um and so we we started off as a mobile app but we always paid attention to the different technologies that were being developed so Apple released and a concept called an app clip and Android released something similar called an instant app where you could just scan a Qr code and launch. The app on your phone without having to download an app onto your device and so it’s a really clean and quick full-screen experience. So it’s kind of like a light version of an app. Um, and that’s kind of what we’ve adopted with most of these partner restaurants nowadays that we’ve developed over the last year is this app clip version of gift a meal. Don’t actually have to download the full app onto your phone in order to participate and take your photo. It just gives that quick experience skim the qr code take a photo to give a meal and then you’re done and there’s no account creation or download required. Um, if you want to download the full mobile app you can and you can see the list of all the partner restaurants on there. You can see the photos that other customers have taken and you can have a profile you can see friends photos and all of that. Um, but we realized that there were kind of those 2 different types of consumers. The consumers that wanted that full experience and consumers that just wanted something really really quick and easy. And so that’s why we created both avenues so people can kind of choose how much they want to engage.

 

13:53.71

vigorbranding

Yeah I Love it. That’s great. That’s great. Do you ah different. Obviously you mentioned some of your your customers. Um, do do any fine dining restaurants as anybody like that got involved and I guess you know you’re looking for scale so you’re probably looking for larger groups. But I mean like if it was ah you know? ah. Ah Pf Chang or or any it’s something more than a a simple qsr and anything anything like that has anybody like that jumped on.

 

14:18.71

Andrew Glantz

Yeah, and I mean we have plenty of casual dining and fine dining restaurants and lots of you know we’re about half mom and pops and restaurant groups compared to chains and um, you know we’ve seen that they’ve done well on gift to meal too. It’s just figuring about.

 

14:26.83

vigorbranding

Um, sure.

 

14:31.99

Andrew Glantz

How to promote the program in a way that fits into the restaurant’s customer experience seamlessly. So for instance at a qsr like fast casual brand. They might be able to have a table tent up on the table or a window cling in the drive-through window.

 

14:36.34

vigorbranding

Here.

 

14:49.67

Andrew Glantz

Ah, so that customers know how to participate in gift a meal and they can scan the Qr code at a fine dining restaurant. You’re not going to put a table tent on a white tablecloth and so it’s figuring out. Okay are you going to have something on the menu so customers know how they can participate. Is it going to be something in like a check presenter. Is it going to be a little menu insert.

 

14:58.74

vigorbranding

A.

 

15:07.83

Andrew Glantz

And so we’ve had fine dining restaurants be successful, but um, you know there’ve been in terms of our kind of core restaurant grouping it more falls in the line of qsr fast casual casual dining. Um at the elevated casual dining. Um and not as much like super. $4 sign fine dining restaurants.

 

15:29.50

vigorbranding

That’s great. So like um obviously ah businesses have um times where they’re They’re busy like sales times and gift and meal. It lends right into the holidays gift right? And so I would think this is a great time and probably arguably.

 

15:39.29

Andrew Glantz

Yeah.

 

15:43.92

vigorbranding

Maybe the middle of the summer would have been the time you’re out there really pushing this but during the holidays this gift meal seems like it could be a great time for you to really kind of like catch fire and and and again I know that ah the last thing the food banks probably needed on Thanksgiving or the day before is a turkey right? They’re probably pretty well covered. Unfortunately and and it’s an important thing to to be honest, all year round for sure I mean this is something the the food banks need food probably more so ah other times a year than than during the the heart of the holidays I guess I’m just wondering. Ah, do you find this to be a good time to talk to people because again the gifting a meal and and feel people sort of feel maybe a little more. Ah, apt to be generous this time of year so selling through and maybe even seeing. Do you see more participation with the the customers in the restaurants at this time of year.

 

16:29.73

Andrew Glantz

Yeah, it’s good question so I’ll kind of walk through those 3 different groups. The food banks the diners at the restaurants and the restaurants themselves for the food banks I mean they do have a big need in the holiday season and just in the winter season in general when it’s cooled outside. They have a spike in the need for services. In the summer months that is particularly challenging for kids that are facing food insecurity because they don’t have access to the school lunches and um, you know so filling that meal gap for the kids is something really important for the food banks but you know they really just need more support all year round for the food. Banks.

 

16:54.55

vigorbranding

Um.

 

17:06.25

Andrew Glantz

On the ah you know diner side of things that people dining out at restaurants. You know we see that in the season of giving in the holidays people are really apt to use a program like gift a meal and kind of lean into it and something that makes them feel good about themselves and that they’re really actively looking for and so it stands out to them in a really positive way. Um. Again throughout the whole course of the year you know we’ve seen that people are looking to give back I mean there were a couple consumer culture reports. Um, that were done by fuse marketing and 5 wpr and it found that 84% of Gen Z would said that they would be more likely to purchase from a brand if they give back and.

 

17:42.70

vigorbranding

A.

 

17:44.88

Andrew Glantz

71% of millennials said that they would pay more for a product if they knew that some of the proceeds were going to support a good cause and that’s regardless of the timing of the year in terms of the restaurant side of things this time of year is tough to get the ear of restaurant owners and executives just because you know holiday season people are busy.

 

17:53.97

vigorbranding

But.

 

18:01.11

vigorbranding

Yeah.

 

18:03.24

Andrew Glantz

Um, and so you know typically in terms of you know those types of conversations we get a lot of people saying this is great. Let’s talk in January for the next year but then we also see people that say hey let’s talk now because we’re setting our budgets in November and December Four 24

 

18:18.29

Andrew Glantz

Um, or you know we want to launch this on January First we have a number of restaurants that are already set to launch on January first and so that’ll be something really exciting. So you know it’s a little bit of a mix of everything sometimes restaurants are looking for things for the holiday season. Um, but once we’re already kind of in it. Um, you know, just. People in general at any job get busy during the holidays and yeah.

 

18:38.75

vigorbranding

Yeah, they got to make their way through right? So and you know I mean um, again I keep sound I’m impressed by the model I Love it and we you know in in in our company. We have several different agencies and one one is an agency that focuses on restaurants vigor and I will. I Going to be sure to talk to our clients about your your your product I think it’s ah think it’s a great I Think it’s a great product I think it’s ah I think makes ah you know you always look for win-win in a way I mean your’s like a win-win win right? The food banks and the folks the food banks are helped the people going to the food banks are helped. The patrons are.

 

18:57.17

Andrew Glantz

Thanks.

 

19:10.56

vigorbranding

Feeling good about themselves and it’s it’s great marketing for the restaurant so you got like 4 wins there and that’s ah, that’s pretty unheard of so.

 

19:15.23

Andrew Glantz

Yeah, and tad and another one something that’s kind of cool from the marketing agency perspective um is that with gift tomeal. We give a restaurant access to a dashboard where they could access all of the user-generated content created from the program and they have the rights to use that content in their marketing and social media efforts.

 

19:28.88

vigorbranding

Nice.

 

19:32.58

Andrew Glantz

And so we’ve had our partner restaurants give their marketing agency access to the dashboard so they can create some really cool engaging. Authentic user-generated content pieces to push out in their marketing efforts. That’s been something really cool to see and what the marketing agencies have kind of.

 

19:37.80

vigorbranding

Love it.

 

19:48.97

Andrew Glantz

Taken and run away with with gift a meal.

 

19:49.21

vigorbranding

So if I if I did the math race. It’s around seven hundred bucks a year per location is that is that simply how it breaks down at $59 a month or whatever something like that. Yeah.

 

19:58.41

Andrew Glantz

Yeah, so that’s the price for an independent restaurant to join for a single location if a restaurant has 5 plus locations we discount based off the number of locations. So if a place has over 30 locations then it’s $39 a month per location if they pay monthly or 34 if they pay annually.

 

20:05.32

vigorbranding

Um, okay.

 

20:14.22

vigorbranding

Gotcha.

 

20:17.65

Andrew Glantz

Um, and so you know discount rate for more locations they can go month to month with no commitment and cancel at the end of any month. Um or they can pay annually for a slightly discounted rate because it’s you know it’s more predictable cash flow for us and um for budgeting but um, but yeah, so you know it’s a.

 

20:30.12

vigorbranding

Sure. Absolutely.

 

20:36.71

Andrew Glantz

Try to make it affordable and have a flat predictable rate for budgeting for the restaurants and we cover all the cost of the donations from there. So we have 6 of us on the team right now. So you know we’re small and scrappy stay lean.

 

20:42.57

vigorbranding

I Love it How many employees do you have nice, very cool. That’s hey it’s a way to be if you’re an entrepreneur and you you want to make it. That’s what you got to be? you know the last thing you need is is lots and lots of Pete mouths defeat. But.

 

20:53.00

Andrew Glantz

Even.

 

20:57.82

vigorbranding

Are you doing all the sales are you the guy hitting the the payment or you have a team now.

 

21:01.94

Andrew Glantz

Um I have a team. Um, yeah Allison and Danny are also working on the sales as well and they’re wonderful. Um, and you know like they’ve you know they’ve started to have some really great ones like I mean Lee’s famous recipe chicken with 130 locations

 

21:13.58

vigorbranding

Awesome! yeah.

 

21:16.52

Andrew Glantz

That was Danny who brought that in in pizza factory with 110 locations that was Allison and then gong cha with 162 that was me and so you know the 3 biggest sales were all from 3 different people on the team and so to you know, really progress in the business to not just be founder led sales is something that.

 

21:26.34

vigorbranding

That’s awesome.

 

21:34.48

Andrew Glantz

Has been really exciting because it shows me that you know we actually have something here. Um, that’s beyond myself and um, you know it’s something where I always want to be kind of involved in sales because I want to be having that customer interaction and be learning what customers need and how to further adapt our product and.

 

21:36.36

vigorbranding

Is.

 

21:51.79

Andrew Glantz

Ah, you know at the end of the day sales is what’s going to be most important both to grow the business grow our revenue and then also to grow our level of social impact and give the most meals possible. Um, but you know where you can grow a lot faster with people like Danny and Allison on our team.

 

22:07.86

vigorbranding

That’s great and obviously too I mean scalability is huge right? So you can’t be the guy all the time. So the more that others can can I’ll say enjoy and feel good about the sales. Ah the better it is for your company. It raises right? You know high tide rises up all the boats. So that’s ah, that’s fantastic. So.

 

22:11.89

Andrew Glantz

Yeah.

 

22:21.57

Andrew Glantz

And.

 

22:23.30

vigorbranding

Again as an entrepreneur like you know and have a lot of respect for what you’re doing here. You’re grown fast and you recently beat out 35000 applicants to win an Amazon small business grant. Can you talk about that talk about the program and and it so makes you be very proud of.

 

22:36.44

Andrew Glantz

Yeah, yeah, I mean I thought it was throwing a dart at a very far away dartboard when I applied for it. I mean like you said 35000 applicants and um with a big name competition from Amazon Business it was something I thought we had no shot at. Ah, but you know I fill out the application because why not it took me 10 minutes to fill out the application talking about kind of our traction our growth over the last year we’ve doubled in size and kind of the vision for where we want to go and um I got the alert that we were 1 of 10 finalists and. Ah, you know that was something that was really exciting and started to think okay, maybe this is something that’s possible and then Amazon business opened it up to everybody with an Amazon business account to be able to vote. Um it was blind voting so we had no idea how many votes we had um and as one but vote pre Amazon Business Accounts no one could really rig it. Um, and it. You know we ended up finding out that we won and we got a $25000 non-dillutive grant and that was something that was incredible and Amazon actually flew out here to St Louis and they had a team of like 11 people to film a video and take photos and all this stuff and that’ll be coming out soon and. Ah, you know it was just something that was a really cool experience and to feel the support from the Amazon business team was incredible. Um, and you know the funding um to be able to support us goes a really long way and so yeah I mean it was something I was.

 

24:05.54

Andrew Glantz

Pretty flabbergasted with and a positive way and very very grateful for to really push forward with our mission.

 

24:07.18

vigorbranding

It’s awesome.

 

24:13.76

vigorbranding

That’s great. So ah I mean so there’s more people on the on the camera crew for Amazon than in your company.

 

24:17.39

Andrew Glantz

Yes, it was. It was a wild experience like we filmed at the food bank that we work with in St Louis we filmed at one of our partner restaurants and it was it was quite the production.

 

24:28.70

vigorbranding

That’s great, very cool and so $25000 you probably just went out and what had 1 hell of a dinner right? So what you know I’m just kidding what it ah caviar jets champagne no.

 

24:35.40

Andrew Glantz

Not not quiet I I think that that that goes kind of right in you Yeah not not quite more on sales marketing and products. Yeah.

 

24:44.21

vigorbranding

Yeah, excellent, Okay, good true. Um entrepreneur I Love it I Love it I Love it. That’s fantastic. What other what other advice. What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs who have a dream or have an idea is there anything you want to? ah you know, throw out there.

 

24:57.51

Andrew Glantz

Yeah, that’s a good question I mean for other entrepreneurs I Think the big thing is if you have an idea talk to people in the space, especially those are that are going to be your potential partners or customers to figure out the problems that they’re facing and the pain points I think something with gift to meal.

 

25:11.61

vigorbranding

In.

 

25:15.31

Andrew Glantz

Um, but I figured out is that everybody is busy and figuring out how to make things as easy and plug and play as possible was what we found a lot of success with so making it no effort for staff. No mental energy for the restaurant to have another program to have to think about just be really simple and easy. Um and have every touch point.

 

25:21.71

vigorbranding

Um.

 

25:34.77

Andrew Glantz

Um, with the customer be something that’s important is something that I figured out and then I think more than anything. It’s just getting out there and doing it and seeing what the response is like and learning and being willing to fail and having a low ego so that you know you could admit when you’re wrong and.

 

25:35.76

vigorbranding

Yeah.

 

25:50.80

Andrew Glantz

Continually iterate and learn and and like reimplement and just kind of go from there and I think that if you’re also just kind of a kind person and put yourself out there that you know people will want to help you succeed People are generally good and. Um, don’t be afraid to ask people for help in a reasonable way and um, then also you know always make sure to give that back to support everybody else along the way just as those have supported you.

 

26:18.46

vigorbranding

That’s great and you just like probably put together what you could put a book together on because I mean as far as being an entrepreneur I mean like some of the things you hit I just think are just absolutely ah poignant. Ah, you know don’t be afraid to fail I mean you know I personally have started businesses I’ll be honest I’ve started businesses that were better than the business. Better ideas than the businesses that were successful timing might have been wrong just didn’t quite hit it right on the ah the scale the luck scale or whatever you want to call it and I mean I think you do make your own luck. But I mean sometimes it’s a timing thing and but you can’t be afraid right? You can’t be afraid to fail. 1 thing I did years ago I talked to my I had 2 daughters and we were in a restaurant somewhere and we were just talking about like like just work and business and life and all stuff and I said to my girls I said look around see this restaurant and they’re like looking around and so I said everybody in this restaurant everybody in this restaurant has an idea or had an idea for a business or a product. Everybody everybody said one day I’m going to start this or hey we should do this or I’m gonna do this or I have this idea and I’m gonna make and you know what hardly any of them probably executed on it and that’s really it comes down to it’s like to do it like you said just do it you you sat there. You you had your you were at that break you you know you looked at other other business models which is smart and you had this idea.

 

27:20.13

Andrew Glantz

Right? so.

 

27:30.35

vigorbranding

And you’re like Wow, It’s a good idea and you two choices right? You can just say oh that’s a good idea and just like go do whatever else you finish your sandwich. Whatever you’re doing lunch or you sort of take this further and start to build on it and execute and actually execute spend time that you’re not getting paid for ah that you could be doing candidly something else. Ah and then doing it and applying yourself and it says. People don’t realize it so there’s nights that you were working on this thing or this time or this the dedicated time that you put into this ah that that no one sees they see this. They see you now they see the success and all that and you think that’s what that’s easy or that’s what you do, but people don’t realize all the. The nose that you probably heard along the way or that’s not really a great idea or whatever you heard I’m not I’m sure you heard stuff but it’s ah that’s the hard part right? and then people know about that. They’ll just see the success and they’ll read the article. They’ll see the hey liquid he built and it’s it’s ah it’s tough. You know, but it’s it’s cool like there’s nothing more Fulfilling. Um.

 

28:07.50

Andrew Glantz

Yeah.

 

28:22.83

Andrew Glantz

Yeah, absolutely and I mean now looking back people are like oh that’s such a simple like great idea. But at the beginning you know it was something was like oh well, anybody actually do this thing and before we had the case studies with the restaurants this show that there was a boost in revenue that resulted in visit frequency and tip size.

 

28:22.88

vigorbranding

Then then building something.

 

28:28.79

vigorbranding

Like.

 

28:41.34

Andrew Glantz

Um, you know it was something where people were skeptical um about if this was something that would be sustainable. Um, and you know there were 5 different times in our company’s history where we had one month of runway left in the bank account before you know we’d go under and I either had to like sign up a new restaurant close an investor with a pitch competition.

 

28:41.96

vigorbranding

You.

 

28:50.70

vigorbranding

A.

 

28:59.45

Andrew Glantz

Cut costs and find a way to make things happen and you know now as a company we found a way to have it grow in a sustainable Way. We’re almost at breakeven for a comp for the company and you know it’s something that’s really exciting but you know it’s not entrepreneurship is not an easy journey by any means. But. You know like I mentioned earlier the creative autonomy that comes with it is something that I cherish and that’s really exciting and to be able to build a company culture in the way that I envision for how true people should be treated and in order to figure out how we’re going to have our impact be On. All these different stakeholders whether it’s our investors or whether it’s the restaurants or the patrons arepoint to the restaurants or the food banks and manching those relationships in what I deem to be the right way is something that is just extraordinarily special to me and to be able to see gifted meal as kind of like my baby start to grow is. Um, something that is just incredibly meaningful and makes all of the hard work and the long hours and the challenging times be worth it.

 

30:01.51

vigorbranding

Yeah, it’s fantastic, Very cool, very cool. Is there anything else I mean are you working on anything else any other ideas. Ah percolating I mean anything else you want to talk about with gifted meal. Is there anything else you want to bring forth.

 

30:13.15

Andrew Glantz

Um, That’s a good question I’m not working on any other ideas outside of gift to meal get to meal it kind of takes up everything for me and I put my all into it. Um, but yeah I mean I think it’s something where with get meal. We’re constantly Innovating. We’ve launched some really cool tech integrations. Ah, like we’ve launched integrations with the online ordering platform olo with loyalty and marketing marketing platforms like Lunchbox. Thanks and incent Tv where now Gifty meal can be integrated as.

 

30:32.31

vigorbranding

A me.

 

30:43.20

Andrew Glantz

A button into the restaurant’s own white labeled mobile white labeled mobile app so there could be a button within there to gift a meal or at the end of their olo online ordering experience. There could be the prompts to gift a meal and so you know those types of innovations of. Working with these other solutions in the food. Tech ecosystem is something that’s really exciting as well. And um, you know it’s something. That’s you know we’re excited to see the impact grow as we work with more partners of these different vendors in the space that work with restaurants and how we can help them provide value to their clients. As well as you know as we look to work with larger and larger brands and more food banks and we’re now working with over 100 food banks across the country in 37 states and you know our goal is to be in all 50 states by this time next year and 2024 so um, you know I’m just.

 

31:31.49

vigorbranding

It’s awesome.

 

31:33.96

Andrew Glantz

Incredibly grateful for doing what I do every day and grateful to people like you for helping give me a megaphone to share this with the world.

 

31:41.39

vigorbranding

Absolutely I’m proud to proud to to to do this with you I mean and I said and I’m I’m a man of my word we have restaurants that we work with I think this would be a a really smart add on so we’ll definitely keep this conversation going. So my last question I asked is to everybody every guest. Ah, if you have 1 final meal.

 

31:50.30

Andrew Glantz

Thank you.

 

31:58.41

vigorbranding

What would you eat and why.

 

32:00.24

Andrew Glantz

Um, if I had 1 final meal I think ah it’s actually funny their gifted meal partner in St Louis ah it’s called posture. yeah yeah I know ah it’s ah it was. It’s ah it was actually one of it was like our 1 of our first.

 

32:09.23

vigorbranding

Ah, free plug. Ah.

 

32:16.38

Andrew Glantz

Ah, like well-known like James Beard award winningning restaurants in terms of like more finer fine dining place called posteria and it’s italian it’s just italian food to to the max problem in the Us. Ah, and ah yeah, no their their bolognnaise is just incredible and.

 

32:20.18

vigorbranding

E.

 

32:27.92

vigorbranding

Be here.

 

32:35.30

vigorbranding

Yeah.

 

32:35.30

Andrew Glantz

You know also get a pizza and something else there. So I’d say a comprehensive full meal at Posteria um would be my final meal.

 

32:42.60

vigorbranding

Fantastic. That’s very good very good I do actually have 1 other question too because just the the way you know the entrepreneurial side of me and how you start out. Did you have to ah like your first restaurant when you try you have this great concept. You know you came up with this pricing of ah $70 a month or you know whatever 69 whatever it was a month did you have to give one away for free. Did you have to do 1 restaurant say hey look you know what? I’m going to cover this. You do this? Let’s see that this works did you have to do that or talk about that just that very quickly.

 

33:10.43

Andrew Glantz

Yeah, at the very beginning it was the first forty restaurants that we did for free. Um and you know we no longer have that free plane anymore. But um, you know it was one of those things where like you said it’s the chicken or the egg of like you know, getting people to use it and getting validation and.

 

33:11.90

vigorbranding

Wow.

 

33:22.40

vigorbranding

It’s right sure.

 

33:25.40

Andrew Glantz

But even getting restaurants to sign up for free for something was tough because it’s another thing for them to think about that wasn’t proven and so is kind of me going in there saying hey like this could be a value to you. It’s going to make an impact for the community If you’re an early adopter that like we depreciate it like help help out this young guy who’s trying to do good in the world and um.

 

33:39.64

vigorbranding

E.

 

33:43.66

Andrew Glantz

You know and then we were able to prove out the concept and then sign up others and convert those restaurants to be on sustainable plants for the long term and yeah, but you know it’s one of the things where at the beginning you have to you know? Yeah, you have to prove it out.

 

33:54.86

vigorbranding

<unk>s what you got to do yep, give it away. Yep good for you andrew I mean you’ve all the grit in the world of an entrepreneur. Obviously you’re successful I congratulate you on your success and appreciate the time this is really ah, really an enlightened conversation all right.

 

34:08.30

Andrew Glantz

Yeah, thank you so much for the opportunity.

 

34:12.60

vigorbranding

We’ll talk soon.

 

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