CauseTalk Radio Ep81: eatiply Fights Hunger with Buy-One-Give-One

Today on CauseTalk Radio, Megan and I talk to David Woodbury, founder of eatiply, about his meal-for-meal food donation project to fight world hunger.

Every time you dine at an eatiply supported restaurant and choose a featured entree, a meal is donated and provided to someone in need.

David talks candidly about the challenges of running a cause business and working with local restaurants that are as focused on the bottom-line as they are on giving back.

If you run a cause business, or are just a fan of the model (e.g. Tom's Shoes, Warby Parker), you'll learn something from this episode. We did!

Tune in now!

Show Summary (Prepared by Megan Strand!)

:00 - 1:55

Joe and Megan introduce today's guest, David Woodbury, Founder and Chief Meal Giver of Eatipy

1:57 - 2:53

David explains Eatiply's background and its one-for-one giving model for restaurants. Currently there are 60 restaurants in 6 states.

2:55 - 4:18

As do many cause start-ups, Eatiply struggled with their business model initially. David explains how their first go at the cause business is slightly different than its current format and how they "made it right" for businesses to drive sales.

4:23 - 5:00

Megan digs a bit deeper into the ROI behind Eatiply's business model. With a couple months of data, David shares that Eatiply restaurants using featured menu items are experiencing, on average, a 36% sales increase.

5:04 - 7:15

Feeding America partners typically advertise a .$07 donation equals one meal. David explains that since restaurants are local, it's important to keep their donation dollars local. Their donations end up being more like $.02. Joe challenges the complexity of working with multiple smaller nonprofits.

7:28 - 9:19

Joe identified Eatiply as one of the top cause marketing programs of 2013 and explains why they earned that designation in his eyes and asks David to weigh in on his experience working with small restaurants. Instead of discounting, Eatiply helps these small business owners increase sales and be philanthropically minded.

9:26 - 11:23

Getting compliance at the table level is always a challenge. David explains the merchandising package Eatiply has created for their restaurant partners.

11:23 - 14:17

One of the most common questions Eatiply gets is why an individual restaurant couldn't just implement this model on their own. You might be surprised by David's answer. Joe shares that Panera attempted to have a featured menu item benefiting a cause that ultimately was removed from their menu because it wasn't getting enough attention.

14:25 - 16:55 

Joe scoffs at Megan's suggestion to use a special sandwich board and instead offers the suggestion to combine iBeacon with a local restaurant. Yelp is discussed.

17:00 - 19:00

It's never enough for a business to lead with a cause. Eatiply acknowledges this and leads with the business case and considers themselves a marketing company. Why it's important not to just be another charity.

19:40 - 21:02

Learn where you can find out more about David and Eatiply; Joe and SelfishGiving and Megan and the Cause Marketing Forum.