Josh Walters was so excited about launching Feedback App that he almost didn’t graduate from Queens University.
“It was tough to not leave before my last semester,” the 21-year-old entrepreneur admits, “but my family talked me out of it. So I started working fulltime on the project immediately after final exams.”
Walters is cofounder of the Toronto-based company, which aims to eliminate wasted food at restaurants by giving them a way to sell it at deeply discounted prices.
It’s a project he’s been working on for nearly a year with his cousin Ben Walters. It was one of many business ideas they brainstormed, but the first to leave them both excited.
“He didn’t shoot it down immediately,” says Walters, “so I knew we were onto something.”
How does Feedback App work? At the end of the day, restaurants can post that they have a certain number of meals available. Consumers can purchase the remaining meals for up to 80 percent off normal prices.
“Restaurants hate throwing away food, especially prepared foods,” says Walters. “This app benefits restaurants and customers at the same time.”
A wide range of restaurants have already signed on the dotted line. That means once the app launches this summer, consumers in Toronto can order everything from salads to sandwiches to whole pizzas. (Walters says he’s psyched that North of Brooklyn Pizzeria, with the “best slice in Toronto,” was the first business to make its food available on the app.)
Walters, who studied biology and chemistry, says entrepreneurship has always been a hobby and is thrilled he could jump into it fulltime.
“It’s the hardest I’ve ever worked,” he says. “You don’t have nights. You don’t have weekends. You have to back out of plans with friends if something comes up at the last minute. But honestly, I’ve learned more this past month than ever before.”
Walters has been working from his cousin’s one-bedroom apartment. But he knew they needed a more permanent base — preferably one where they could make connections with other entrepreneurs.
Feedback App will be one of the first members to move in when Toronto’s WeWork Richmond Street West opens in August.
“I had a friend tell us about the WeWork,” says Walters. “When I looked into it, I saw it was opening an office in Toronto. We went to a couple of events, and we were impressed. We signed up right away.”
Photos by Katelyn Perry