Toronto startup getting very popular with discount meal offers
The app’s success has been exponential: what started as a roster of 25 restaurants has grown to partnerships with around 200 downtown eateries like Pai and Kenzo Ramen, deals with La Carnita and Sweet Jesus along the way, and over 17,000 app downloads in Toronto alone.
Not much of that success, however, can be attributed to the app's initial main selling point: end-of-day discounts.
While a noble cause, Feedback’s original concept gained less traction than expected – surprising, considering the allure of contributing to a philanthropic cause while pigging out on cheap food.
Founder Ben Walters realized that the company needed to make an adjustment to Feedback's function, and took the app in an another direction.
"Restaurant partners wanted to use it in other ways," he says.
The team behind Feedback decided to start offering users access to all-day restaurant discounts rather than focusing solely on end-of-day sales, and found that both customers and restaurants gravitated much more quickly to the idea.
Applying the same dynamic pricing tactics as the flight and hotel industries, Feedback now capitalizes on blasting out different types of promotions during off-peak hours throughout the day, a pricing manoeuvre Ben calls “reverse surge pricing for food.”
Imagine it as combining the functions of ridesharing and food delivery, but in reverse: while apps like Uber and Lyft increase prices during bouts of bad weather, Feedback sends out restaurant promotions to users, alerting them of extra food savings.
And unlike delivery apps like Foodora and JustEat, buyers can take advantage of the deals – which range from 20 to 70 percent off – on the condition they pick up the meals themselves.
It was a smart move, considering the only thing most people will leave home for is food, especially if its cold, and even more so if it's cheap.
According to Ben, the move drove four times the amount of people to participating restaurants who would have otherwise stayed home.
“We want to keep adjusting prices all day,” he says.
While the company still needs to collect more data on customer spending and how it’s affected by factors like seasonality, restaurant proximity, and time of day, partnering restaurants have already benefited from the data play.
A franchises like Pita Pit, for example, had heavy lunch rushes but was lacking in dinnertime business.
Using Feedback's data, the company decided to extend its dinner time window to a start time of 4 p.m. and an end time of 10 p.m. rather than 7 p.m – a result which has doubled their nighttime business.
Despite this game-changing feature, Feedback's main mission is still the same as its outset: to be an app that helps to reduce wasted food.
A percentage of every meal sold through the app is donated to Second Harvest, a GTA-based food rescue organization. So far, over 1,500 meals have been donated to the agency, amounting to 10 a day: a stat you can track on the app's Feedback Community page.
“What we’re excited about," says Ben, "is the more people we can have using the app, the bigger the impact on the end-of-the-day food waste."
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