Last week, dining card subscription company Foodie Card announced that it raised $1.5 million in its seed funding round, led by Ruttenberg Gordon Investments. Other participating investors include Gary Vaynerchuk, Ryan Harwood of Gallery Media Group, Jamie Schweid of Schweid & Sons, Eric Sobotka of Durational Capital Management and Nat Brogadir of Delivery.com. Foodie Card will use the new funding to hire staff, partner with more food banks, and grow their restaurant partner network across the country. The company will also use the money to enhance their current technology and focus on marketing that will help them expand nationally.
“We’ve been mission focused since inception on saving our members money, driving traffic to local restaurants, and helping feed the community,” said Jared Katz, Foodie Card CEO, in an April 30 news release. “Given the uncertain times, our mission has never been more important, and we’re thrilled to have the resources to expand our model throughout the country.”
What is Foodie Card? Available for an annual fee of $29.99, a Foodie Card gives the card owner a 10% discount off their meals, including drinks, at participating restaurants. For each card purchased, Foodie Card donates a day of meals to people in need through its “Buy A Card, Give A Meal” program. Since its launch in 2018, the membership-based, socially conscious company has attracted 10,000 members and donated close to 20,000 meals.
Of course, certain restrictions apply. For example, the discount applies on restaurant bills up to $100, and restaurants can exclude the following holidays: Christmas Eve, Easter, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving Eve, Cinco de Mayo and Valentine’s Day. Foodie Card cannot be used with any other discounts, coupons or offer, and the cardholder must be present. They cannot give their Foodie Card to someone else to use.
At this time, Foodie Card currently partners with nearly 1,000 restaurants, most in the New York area, but plans to expand that. Foodie Card members can find a participating restaurant on the Foodie Card website (sorry, no app yet) or look for a Foodie Card sticker in the windows of participating restaurants. The company was originally created to encourage members to dine in participating restaurants, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, Foodie Card and its partners began offering the discount on takeout orders as well. Members can visit the restaurant page to determine who offers dine-in and take-out. They can also see featured restaurants as well as new ones.
This is a neat concept where consumers can save on their dining bill while also helping provide meals for those in need. It is at a low enough price point where members can easily save more than they spend. It benefits restaurant partners too, because they may be introduced to new customers. Potential limitations are not having an app, though this seems minor, since their website is responsive and easily viewable on a mobile device. It also has limited reach, but with this infusion of funding, it sounds like this will be resolved in the future. We particularly like that Foodie Card and its restaurant partners were able to quickly pivot to accommodate a new normal – take-out meals versus dining in. We are excited to see this membership-based company grow and evolve.