Tag: GiftAMeal



Jacob Mohrmann, BSBA’16, chief marketing officer, and Andrew Glantz, BSBA

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.”




Andrew Glantz, GiftAMeal

Conceived on a lunch break, born in undergraduate school and funded before Andrew Glantz’s graduation, GiftAMeal has made headlines and garnered attention from the startup world before. Now, the company’s cofounder and CEO has been featured with a Q&A in the St. Louis Business Journal outlining how the idea came about and why it’s expanded into three cities since its 2015 launch.

In a Dec. 21 piece on the Journal’s website (subscription required for full article), Glantz, BSBA ’17, said the company was conceived as a way to help promote restaurants and contribute to a social good at the same time. “It’s a free way to give back to the community and be a part of the solution to the hunger problem,” Glantz told the Journal.

GiftAMeal operates a mobile app that makes it easy for diners to “turn a photo into food.” They can find restaurants they love and donate a meal to an area food pantry by simply posting a photo as they have their meal.

The Journal feature covers how the idea launched, its early efforts to get funding, the challenge of signing on its first restaurant partner and the biggest challenge it faces today: “Figuring out how to scale GiftAMeal from what we have, to being a nationwide company.”

The company now serves Operation Food Search in St. Louis (where it has 75 restaurant partners), Lakeview Pantry in Chicago (25), and Forgotten Harvest in Detroit (six). Glantz said the company is at a breakeven point—though he’s not yet taking a salary yet—with monthly revenue up 195 percent over last year.

Olin Professor Cliff Holekamp told the Journal the app’s values goes beyond what it provides to the pantries, but also to the participating restaurants.

“Not only does it position them as a socially conscious business,” said Holekamp, senior lecturer in entrepreneurship and academic director for entrepreneurship, “but it delivers them tangible marketing value in the process. It’s a win-win for both the restaurants and for the people who are being helped by the meals donated through the platform.”




Students in the CELect Entrepreneurship Course, held at the T-REx startup accelerator, are sharing their team projects with the Olin Blog. Student team Anna Cossio, Mark Gum, Nick Rafferty, and Shannon Turner describe the experience of consulting for their client, alum-founded GiftAMeal. 


The CEL entrepreneurial consulting team course (CELect) provides WashU students the opportunity to work with and solve business challenges for St. Louis-area startups. Our team is working with GiftAMeal CEO Andrew Glantz, BSBA’17, to develop a marketing strategy for the company’s St. Louis region. Through this marketing strategy, we hope to increase downloads and engagement on GiftAMeal’s mobile app.

GiftAMeal is the perfect example of the amazing work for-profits can accomplish when they tackle social causes. Since 2015, Andrew and his team have worked with various mentors, accelerators, and investors to develop an app meant to address food insecurity by providing meals to food banks.

[RELATED: Gift A Meal doubles donations]

Here’s how it works: Download the app and check out one of your favorite participating St. Louis restaurants. When your meal arrives at the table, take a picture of your food, and share with your friends via the social media outlet built into the GiftAMeal app. Once your photo has been shared, GiftAMeal will donate a meal to Operation Food Search in St. Louis at absolutely no cost to you. It’s as simple as that!

[RELATED: Glantz named to AKPsi 40 Under 40 list]

Our team has loved working with Andrew and his team on this project. His drive to address food insecurity in the community has proven to be contagious. Beyond that, it is inspiring for us to know that our recommendations will translate into a larger impact for GiftAMeal. Not only are we learning how to formulate and communicate our recommendations in a professional setting, we are also contributing to the success of an application that will provide support to many families in need.

Working on this project has given us the experience of working from the ground up to understand the current needs of clients and users of the app. We have interviewed restaurant owners who are registered under the GiftAMeal application, analyzed feedback from current app users, and experienced using the app first-hand by donating meals as we dine at restaurants. Each of these steps have allowed us to begin formulating ideas for the recommendations we will provide Andrew and his team in the following weeks. Stepping into the business world has given us the opportunity to attain real-world knowledge, an experience not often available to students stuck in the classroom.

Guest Bloggers: Anna Cossio, BSCS/BSSSE ’20, Mark Gum, Law ’18, Nick Rafferty, BSBA ’20, Shannon Turner, MBA ’18 




Andrew Glantz, BSBA’17, at 22 years old, is one of the youngest people named to the Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity’s 40 Under 40 list. With 163,538 members around the world, Glantz reports he is, “the third youngest to be included on the list that includes individuals such as the Co-Founder of Reddit and VPs at Lyft and UBS, and another WashU student – Sara Miller!”

Glantz is co-founder and CEO of GiftAMeal, a for-profit social enterprise that invites customers at participating restaurants to use the GiftAMeal mobile app to share photos of their meal. For each meal shared, a donation is made to a local food bank.

Jacob Mohrman (left) and Andrew Glantz.

“I am honored to represent WashU on the Alpha Kappa Psi list. After graduating Magna Cum Laude with the Joseph W. Towle Prize for greatest potential in organizational leadership, I am excited to announce that I will be remaining in St. Louis to work full-time on GiftAMeal.” Olin faculty, mentors, and St. Louis investors can share in the excitement when a home-grown startup remains in the city’s burgeoning entrepreneurial community to evolve and and expand.

GiftAMeal won multiple awards while Glantz was an undergrad including being named a “Top 3 Student Startup” in the country at the South by Southwest Conference. The company received its first investment of $100,000 from the Capital Innovators accelerator in St. Louis, marking the first time that the group had invested in an undergraduate startup.

GiftAMeal helps restaurants acquire and retain customers, while also feeding the hungry in our communities. To date, the company has provided 68,499 meals to those in need.

Related Blog posts.

Alpha Kappa Psi is a Professional Co-ed Business Fraternity founded in 1904 with the purpose of developing its’ members into principled business leaders. Originally founded by 4 men at New York University, the professional organization now has over 240,000 initiated members at 265 universities in 3 countries. Alpha Kappa Psi has grown to be the oldest and largest business fraternity in the world.




Student startup, GiftAMeal, the mobile app that allows users to donate to local food pantries when they eat at partnering restaurants has expanded to a third city: Detroit.

“Foodies in Detroit can now get in on the GiftAMeal action at one of our six initial locations there,” said Jacob Mohrmann, BSBA’16, Chief Marketing Officer of GiftAMeal.  “Meals will be provided through Forgotten Harvest, an organization in Detroit that rescued, harvested and distributed 48.8 million pounds of food this past year.”

And Jacob shared more good news:

“We are also happy to announce that we have now provided over 50,000 meals (St. Louis, Chicago, and Detroit combined).  This is a huge step, but as Andrew [Glantz, BSBA’17] said in his interview with WGN TV,  ‘in terms of how big we want this to become, we want it to be, not in the thousands, but in the millions of meals donated.’ “

GiftAMeal is also featured on the cover of StreetWise Magazine in Chicago this month.

streetwise cover giftamealAccording to the article, GiftAMeal has partnered with “20 Chicago-area restaurants and Lakeview Pantry to provide meal donations locally.  Now, each time someone in Chicago uses GiftA-Meal, meals are provided to someone in the Chicago area through Lakeview. In less than a year, the app has been downloaded over 3,000 times in Chicago, and these users have been quick to rack up 10,000 meal donations on the app.”

 

 

giftameal logo 1


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