b.good’s Recipe for Social Good
b.good, founded by childhood best friends Anthony Ackil and Jon Olinto, serves healthy food to not only its loyal customers but also the greater Boston area. I had the pleasure of speaking with Olinto about the company’s social good initiatives and their positive effects on customer relationships. Olinto’s refreshing take on community involvement and customer loyalty drives b.good’s growth as it continues to expand its national presence.
With over 50 locations worldwide, this franchise utilizes technology to benefit the surrounding community. Their app, b.good, allows customers to accumulate loyalty points for free food gifts, which can then be donated. These freebies are distributed to customers through promotions, loyalty programs, and special occasions like birthdays. Ultimately, loyal customers are rewarded with opportunities to donate their gifts – a direct parallel to b.good’s philanthropic initiatives driving its mission.
“The best part is that it’s being used and making a difference,” Olinto said. At b.good, they believe community contribution ties into creating a great business. This app and digital platform around CRM isn’t just focused on simple transactions – b.good prioritizes its community and customer relationships. The app’s interface displays the number of donations made, showing how customers are measured based off of donations. Customers are therefore driven and motivated to participate in the company’s contributions to the community.
b.good’s Recipe for Social Good:
- Use technology to benefit surrounding communities
- Allow customers to donate food earned from loyalty points to the hungry
- Highlight customers that are performing acts of kindness via gamification, personal thank you videos, etc.
- Being good is good for business
b.good just announced its first-ever national program to distribute 4,300 healthy meals from all locations throughout the country to its local Community Partners at once. Over the last four years, b.good has collaborated with customers to give back nearly 19,000 servings of healthy food to people who need it. For example, for the past five years, the company has partnered with Mather Elementary School to provide healthy lunches to approximately 6,000 students. Through the help and support of their customers, b.good has served burgers, kale smoothies, and the like to these elementary students. Additional examples of local support in its communities include Charlotte, NC, a new market for the company which donated 67 meals to the urban farm Sow Much Good, and the b.good restaurant in Concord, NH, which visited Friendly Kitchen, serving craft sandwiches and pasta salad to all 60 people at the soup kitchen. Furthering their digital prowess, b.good even sends involved customers a thank you video to show them the fruits of their labor. This sense of accountability and appreciation runs deep in the company and is a huge factor in its growing support base.
“Because our company stands for something good and positive, our customers stand with us and support us,” Olinto said. In an additional effort to connect their customers to real food and agriculture, b.good took the initiative to restore a farm in Long Island, NY. The Hannah Farm provides customers with a direct and altruistic platform where they can volunteer and feed their community. In the past year alone, the Hannah Farm grew 9,500 pounds of produce and donated 75% of it to people in need of healthy food. Customers have the access to volunteer and visit the farm in person, furthering their involvement with the b.good team. The family and supportive network that b.good has successfully fostered set an impressive model for others to follow.
b.good has successfully harnessed technology in order to further its philanthropic mission. With its digital platform around CRM, product development techniques, and a wholesome team, b.good is impacting the restaurant industry as well as its community in monumental ways.
More About Jon Olinto
Jon is co-founder of b.good, a 54-unit restaurant business that makes “food with roots.” Alongside his business partner and childhood best friend, Jon opened the first b.good in Boston’s Back Bay in January 2004. Now, b.good is a fast-growing fast-casual brand with successful locations throughout Northeastern U.S. and Canada and many more units in development in 2017.
Jon is also founder and chairman of b.good’s foundation. The b.good Family Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) that issues quarterly micro-grants to inspired social entrepreneurs based on the vote of b.good’s community of customers.
Before b.good, Jon spent three years working as a consultant at EMaven, a digital strategy consulting firm. After EMaven’s acquisition by Perot Systems Corporation, he spent a year working as a consultant in Perot’s management consulting division.
Jon received his BA from Colby College where he was Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude, Baker Scholarship winner, and 4-year varsity basketball player.