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After surviving COVID, St. Louis restaurant-focused startup GiftAMeal has growth on its plate

The startup earlier this month inked a deal with St. Louis-based quick-serve roast beef chain Lion’s Choice to join its platform
Credit: SLBJ
Andrew Glantz, founder and CEO of GiftAMeal

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis food and technology startup GiftAMeal began 2020 on a growth trajectory. The startup, founded in 2015, recorded its best months financially on record in January and February 2020.

“Then March hit,” said founder and CEO Andrew Glantz, who declined to detail specific revenue figures. 

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic left Glantz questioning whether his startup, a mobile application that helps provide a meal to someone in need each time a user takes a photo on its app at a partner restaurant, would outlast the virus. 

“The pandemic hit restaurants really hard, so it hit us really hard. From March to May 2020, we didn’t know if this was going to be like a dagger to the company,” Glantz said. 

A year later, GiftAMeal again finds itself contemplating its future. But this time, it has growth in mind. The startup earlier this month inked a deal with St. Louis-based quick-serve roast beef chain Lion’s Choice to join its platform. With 32 locations, Lion’s Choice is the largest restaurant group to partner with GiftAMeal.

The addition of Lion’s Choice, which has five locations in Kansas City, also marks a geographic expansion for GiftAMeal. 

“This has led us to expand to the Kansas City market where we are partnered with the food bank Harvesters to make donations there,” said Glantz. 

Currently, the startup is scouting for other restaurants in Kansas City that could potentially join its app, Glantz said. GiftAMeal has previously added restaurants in Chicago and Detroit, but in recent years focused its recruitment efforts locally.  

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