Socially conscious tech startup GiftAMeal grows its team—and its reach

St. Louis startup GiftAMeal has announced the hiring of Jeni Couch as its new Account Executive. With over 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry, Couch will help GiftAMeal as the company sets its sights on nationwide expansion. “I just had to be a part of it,” said Couch, who comes to GiftAMeal after…

Image courtesy GiftAMeal
Image courtesy GiftAMeal

St. Louis startup GiftAMeal has announced the hiring of Jeni Couch as its new Account Executive. With over 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry, Couch will help GiftAMeal as the company sets its sights on nationwide expansion.

“I just had to be a part of it,” said Couch, who comes to GiftAMeal after a stint managing the Trainwreck Saloon in Westport, Mo. “I remember thinking how perfect this was for restaurants: an easy way to do good that also helps the business.” 

GiftAMeal Founder and CEO Andrew Glantz expressed his enthusiasm for the addition of this industry veteran to the company’s growing team.  

“To see this passion for what we do, and to have it coming from a place of experience and understanding of the industry and what we offer—it’s incredible,” Glantz said. “We’re beyond elated to have Jeni join our team. It really validates what we’re doing and makes us excited for the future.”

GiftAMeal provides marketing services to restaurants through charitable giving campaigns where restaurant patrons can post a picture of their meal on the GiftAMeal app. For every pic snapped, GiftAMeal makes a monetary donation to a local food bank to cover the costs associated with distributing 1.2 lbs of food, at a cost of between 11 and 23 cents. 

Jeni Couch

Since the food is already donated—usually by grocery stores, farms and caterers—GiftAMeal helps pay for the logistical costs to get it where it needs to go. That means stuff like refrigeration, delivery trucks, drivers for those trucks, etc.

Couch brings to the table more than 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry, an asset Glantz believes will help the company partner with more restaurants and expand the good that it does.

The price of these donations works out to approximately 25% of the company’s revenue, according to Glantz. Participating restaurants pay between $50 and $150 a month to partner with GiftAMeal.

Restaurants listed in the app can be discovered by users based on their location. The app also serves as a kind of social network, where users upload photos of their dining experience. It’s kind of like Yelp without reviews combined with a food-only Instagram. 

Moreover, it’s a tangible example of how the technology we use every day can be repurposed to provide aid to those in need.

“With GiftAMeal, my goal is to make a tangible dent in the hunger problem, making a difference for hundreds of thousands or even millions of people. In addition to the meals that are provided, I hope we help raise awareness for the incredible hunger-relief non-profits we support,” says Glantz.

Glantz believes profit and purpose can be consistent goals. And the success of GiftAMeal would seem to validate this belief. The app has nearly doubled its user base over the past two years, and in June of 2021, the company secured an additional $500,000 in seed funding.

Restaurants interested in joining GiftAMeal’s program can learn more at giftameal.com/join. And local diners can download the free GiftAMeal app at giftameal.com/download. 

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