Founder's Journal

Feedback co-founder Ben Walters

When Josh reached out to me last summer and told me about the experience he had at a pizzeria in Italy, and how he envisioned a platform that connected hungry consumers like him and his peers with restaurants who often have perfectly good food that gets thrown out – I could not sleep for a few nights thinking about it.

I started walking around and seeing everything differently. The waste was everywhere! I was instantly drawn in… and so the brainstorming began.

The problem was obvious, as a society we’re wasting an enormous amount of food while millions of people go to sleep hungry every day. We knew that we wanted to build a company that walked the line between driving positive social impact and profitability, but Josh and I grew up in Toronto, I worked most of my career in the US and we knew that the restaurant industry would be difficult to penetrate. We needed to create a product or service that was as practical and convenient as it was socially responsible.

All of us are constantly inundated with choices and options every single day. We’re part of a generation accustomed to convenience, and I knew that in order to invoke positive social change we had to come up with a solution that did not sacrifice comfort or convenience for all parties involved. From day one we remained committed to finding ways to give back, while staying nimble and agile enough to constantly act, react and adapt - and so our business was born with a single underlying principle - Win, Win, Win.

The restaurants benefit through the generation of incremental revenue, reaching new consumers, and reducing waste.

The customers get access to great food for less, contribute to reducing their carbon footprint and feeding the hungry.

And society benefits through the reduction in food waste and our meal donation matching program through Second Harvest.

The foundation of Win-Win-Win was that each win was equally critical. We believe that to really make the biggest impact, we needed to complete the feedback loop. While it has been almost a year since Josh called me, and Feedback has certainly come a long way - we are not naïve to think we have even arrived at base camp just yet. Our journey has just begun.

We have incorporated, changed our name, quit our jobs, won a couple of awards, brought on some amazing talent, moved into our first office, partnered with over 30 restaurants and Second Harvest, and are finally just about to have completed V1 of our mobile app to be released in September.

So far this journey has been everything I could have hoped it would be; I am constantly making mistakes and learning so much. For the first time in my life I am waking up excited to go to “work” every day. No matter how this journey materializes, one day I will look back and remember that first call from Josh and know that I would not have done it any other way. Our core values are what we live and breathe. Like us, they will constantly change and mature, but one of them will never waver - Win, Win, Win. In North America we are brought up believing that a win must come at someone else’s expense. Here at Feedback, we believe the opposite is true. To truly make a difference, we have to make sure everyone benefits, and that if we can find a way to make sustainable eating convenient, cool and financially sensible, we can start a feedback loop that creates real, lasting change.

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