Last updated on July 11th, 2020 at 11:37 am
The Social Ventures Zone at Ryerson University is home to unique entrepreneurial initiatives that are designed to make a positive impact in a variety of communities, both in Toronto and beyond. See all of our profiles here.
Who’s involved in this project?
Ben Walters (CEO), Josh Walters (CMO) and Dave Freiman (CTO) are all co-founders.
What are your goals for this project?
Josh Walters: Feedback is an app designed to offer customers great food from restaurants at a fraction of the normal price, while helping restaurants reduce their waste. It does this by offering exclusive time- and quantity-specific deals through an app at over 100 Toronto restaurants. The deals range from 20 to 70 percent off.
Diners search for food and order through the app, then pick up their orders during a specific time window. We use dynamic pricing that is similar to the flight and hotel industries to ensure restaurants optimize their customer traffic and aren’t left with waste at the end of the day. To do this, we decrease menu item prices during off-peak hours. For example: a restaurant may have a huge lunch rush but sit empty until dinner. During this time, Feedback will offer their menu at a steep discount to entice customers to order food.
What is the biggest challenge you’re facing?
JW: The biggest challenge we face is balancing our growing community of users with our supply of restaurants.
Can you explain the mentorship process available to you through the Ryerson Social Ventures Zone (SVZ)?
JW: The mentorship process available through Ryerson’s SVZ has been tremendous. We’ve had access to resources ranging from crash-courses in PR to one-on-one mentorship meetings with top industry professionals and seasoned entrepreneurs. The community is supportive, resourceful and has really been an asset to us.
The Ryerson SVZ is all about leveraging innovation to make a social impact. How will your project affect the communities you’re targeting?
JW: In addition to food waste reduction, Feedback matches purchases through the app with meal donations to people in need. We’re partnered with Second Harvest to ensure that we contribute to those struggling with food insecurity in the greater Toronto area. As we expand to other cities, we plan to bring the meal donation “rewards” system built into our app to each one.
Have you been able to obtain any feedback from people who stand to benefit from your project? If so, what have they told you?
JW: Second Harvest has been a great partner of ours, as well as the restaurateurs who have seen a real reduction in waste and optimization of customer traffic at their respective restaurants. Our users constantly reach out to thank us for the cheap eats. They also tell us how they believe in our mission and are excited to contribute in the fight against food waste.
What kind of public or private partnerships are you hoping to make (if any) to help grow your project?
JW: We’re hoping to continue to grow our restaurant base as quickly as possible. We’ve been lucky to garner the support of thousands of diners and hope to continue to grow that community. The more people who join Feedback in the fight against food waste, the larger the impact we can make together.
Imagine if you could scale up your project to its full potential. What would that look like?
JW: There really are no limits to Feedback. All over the world people order food and eat at restaurants, which means Feedback could apply its unique value proposition to the restaurant industry worldwide. It’s a win-win-win for diners, restaurateurs and society.
Timing is a crucial factor that contributes to the success of a social venture. Why is now the right time for your project?
JW: Now, more than ever, people are becoming aware of the negative effects of food waste on the environment. More than $31 billion worth of food is wasted each year in Canada alone, and 40 percent of all food produced doesn’t even make it onto retail shelves. The average diner is now aware of this major issue, and if they can save money while contributing to social causes, using the Feedback app becomes a no-brainer.
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