Jacob Mohrmann, BSBA’16, chief marketing officer, and Andrew Glantz, BSBA
GiftAMeal study validates ‘socially conscious eating’

Jacob Mohrmann, BSBA’16, chief marketing officer of GiftAMeal, provided this update to the Olin Blog.

Washington University student startup GiftAMeal has recently published results from a seven-month-long case study with two locations of St. Louis’ Rich & Charlie’s restaurant.

The company—founded on campus by Olin business students and now operated by alumni—found from its research that customers who used GiftAMeal consistently spent 24 percent more per check compared to standard guests. Additionally, guests returned 45 percent more frequently and even tipped staff 14 percent more.

GiftAMeal markets a mobile phone app that promotes “socially conscious eating” by allowing users to donate to local food pantries when they eat at partnering restaurants. The service is available in St. Louis, Chicago, and Detroit.

“These results validated the trends we observed in the power of social impact when we decided to create GiftAMeal,” said Andrew Glantz, BSBA ’17, founder and CEO of GiftAMeal. “At the end of the day, we want to provide financial returns for our partner restaurants and prove that they can connect with customers in a way that does not require constant price-slashing and discounting.”

Rich & Charlie’s owner, Emil Pozzo, said “the positive feedback from customers has been really exciting to see. The staff has embraced the program as well. They see it as an easy way to help those in need.”

Other Updates on GiftAMeal

The past month has been one of the most successful in GiftAMeal’s history:

  • We won two major grants ($13,359 from the Skandalaris Center and $5,000 from Dartmouth).
  • Buffalo legislators reached out to us to pitch GiftAMeal expanding to their area.
  • We reached 118,781 meals provided in St. Louis, Chicago, and Detroit.
  • We became a Top 100 Finalist in the 2018 FedEx Small Business Grant Contest.

We received a letter from legislators in Buffalo requesting that we expand to their region. We are in talks with them. It is an honor just to see grassroots interest and enthusiasm for our business in an area of the country we have not previously explored.

Just a week later, we heard that we were selected to receive a grant for $13,359 from the Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. Right after that, we received word that we won the Dartmouth Founder’s Grant for $5,000. Given by Dartmouth College, the grant backs startups with ambitious entrepreneurial plans that have demonstrated a high commitment to learning and execution.

Most recently, after asking our users to vote for us out of thousands of companies, we were chosen as a Top 100 Finalist in the FedEx Small Business Grant Competition. We look forward to hearing from them in the coming weeks to see if we made the Top 10.

Last, but certainly not least, we recently tallied the numbers and made our food bank donations, and found that our users have helped provide 118,781 meals in St. Louis, Chicago, and Detroit. No specific milestone here, we just always love to see that number growing. Every meal counts!

I talked to Andrew recently and he said, “There is still much more work to do to make the most of all of these opportunities, but the future looks bright for GiftAMeal and the ceiling has never been higher for our potential growth.”

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