Month: April 2020

  • 22 Days of #SavePhillyEats

    Well, it’s technically 27 days, if you count the 5 days pre-launch. Ask my wife how many days I have been missing from helping her homeschool our five kids. She knows 🙁

    …. but the social impact startup continues. Full throttle.

    I forgot what it was like to operate at this clip and with so much changing daily. I’ve also never worked like this with a remote team. So many Zooooooooms… (stop making your backgrounds Joe Exotic. I get it. It’s funny and timely, but it’s time to move on. RIP Travis.)

    I skipped a week 2 update because things have been bonkers and I had no time to write anything. I have also at this point completely absolved myself of creating any new video updates for SPE moving forward. There are better ways to push things forward and I have a half a mullet.

    In case you don’t live in Philly, here’s a quick snapshot of the last 14 days, since the last update. (If you want to help, skip to the end for current needs)

    We teamed up with Fuel The Fight Philly to raise money, awareness and deliver 3,500 Chef-prepared gourmet meals to the medical front lines of seven area hospitals on Easter Sunday. We called it #GivePhillyEats and live broadcasted the hour-long “show” featuring some of Philly’s most legendary and generous culinary artists.

    Special thanks to Top Chef Jen Carroll and her husband Chef Billy Riddle for being linchpins in helping recruit such amazing Chef talent to the cause. Another nod goes to superstar media production and editorial maven Dustin Carpio, who essentially produced the entire live show on his own in 3 days.

    I can now add “local telethon host” to my resume right below former D-list YouTube video guy. Here is the live broadcast. I’m still amazed we put this all together in less than 96 hours.

    SavePhillyEats has more than doubled our list of restaurant and bar partners in the last two weeks and offers on the site regularly sell out.

    There also are now 17 volunteers, including me, along with five contractors working on this as we plan to evolve our presence in Philly and roll out new beachheads of local impact in DC, NYC, LA, Baltimore and the Twin Cities shortly. None of those numbers include the countless chefs and owners who have helped create so much connectivity along the way. (Marc Vetri, Jen Carroll, Chris Morgan, Ange Branca, Lonny Sweet, Andrew Zimmern etc)

    Were calling the macro effort #SaveTheEats. (no website yet)

    Next we’ll begin incorporating giving in Philly. We should also start curating the best offers in local takeout. We will all have to keep finding reasons to give restaurants money if we want them to have a chance of making it. Ordering out is an easy win as often as it can be afforded.

    Lastly, SPE has Logo Merch! You know you love the merch. Go buy a tee. All profit goes to Fuel The Fight, which uses the money to buy meals from restaurants to be delivered to the medical front lines. It’s a virtuous cycle that feeds and funds. Everyone can use the help.

    Current Needs:

    What I need now is what I needed two weeks ago. More helping hands in more places. Can we amplify our impact beyond Philly? We’re going to try. Help us connect.

    I need “get stuff done people” who potentially want to take our tools and playbook to their city and run with them. Is it you? We have the Chef network, we’ll you up. We have a killer PR network. We’ll link you. Send us a note if you want to be the Founder of your city or connect us with someone who might.

    I’m grateful for the amazing people who have stepped up, tapped in and answered the call.

    I think we’re doing our best to help save the restaurants and bars that make Philly, Philly – and we’re not done.

    We want to help more people save the restaurants and bars that make their city, their city.

  • 7 days of #SavePhillyEats

    I just posted the following passage to the News and Updates section on We turned a week old today.

    The concept is working ($100k+ sales in the first few days) and we want to expand rapidly into other cities. Restaurants typically have 3 weeks of cash on hand. They need our help now.

    I need team captains (operators) to pair with our national chef network to spin things up in new places.

    They don’t need to be a CEOs (although former founders would be great), they just need to care about their foods, cultures and cities enough to spend time pushing this. They need to be digitally savvy and be able to manage a small team, marshall resources and execute.

    If anyone immediately comes to mind, please send them my way.

    Hello culinary world!

    This site is a week old and off to a running start. What a blur, like being shot out of a cannon.

    We have had over 20,000 sessions, have begun to amass a following of thousands of supporters and most importantly we estimate we have generated between $100,000 and $150,000 in revenue for the establishments we’re trying to support.

    We even had one Chef tell us, “You generated $36,000 for my currently closed restaurant, in the first 5 days”. Whoa…

    To all the Philadelphians who have supported the effort and spread the word, thank you.

    To the 46 different bars and restaurants who have tapped in, we got your back and we look forward to helping your compatriots.

    To the 8 SPE teammates, I have the pleasure of working with daily, exhale. The work matters and it’s having an impact… but I can’t promise you won’t keep getting calls and emails from me from 8am to midnight.

    So what’s next?

    • Scale our impact
    • Scale our geographic footprint
    • Scale our ability to delight our visitors into helping our expanded list of restaurant partners
    • Scale our ability to digest all of your feedback and rapidly improve

    What do we need?

    • The next 50 great partners on the site
    • Tell your friends and buy what you can
    • Strong Team Captains for other cities

    We’ve only just begun…

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