When you eat, they eat

Did you know that one in six North Americans will go hungry tonight? And, chances are, your child has a friend whose only meals are served to them right there in the cafeteria – breakfast and lunch. It’s hard to imagine that such deprivation exists in a nation where fast food is available on nearly every corner…but it does.

Enter Andre Angel, a tech entrepreneur who created “an app for that.” Dallas-based TangoTab is a new movement focusing on a win-win-win model of business. Their tagline is, appropriately, “When you eat, they eat,” adding a new element to the successful “daily deals model” of companies like Groupon, LivingSocial and Zozi. Except with TangoTab, everyone wins, including a hungry family in your city.

At a high level, TangoTab is an application-based software for use on your smart phone, Facebook or the web that offers users incredible discounts at participating restaurants (currently in nine cities across the U.S. and Canada). However, YOU don’t have to pay for the deal to get it. And, restaurants can choose when the deals can be used, therefore offering a way to fill up during typically slow times of day. So, you get a 20 percent discount or buy-one-get-one deal (free), and the restaurant fills seats that normally are empty on Mondays from 11 to 2. The absolute best part (and the reason I’m an avid TangoTab user here in Dallas) is that a portion of your bill is donated to a local food bank to feed the hungry. To date, TangoTab has fed 167,959 people – in its startup phase and just from people like you and me going to eat at partner restaurants. It’s that simple.

What Andre has tapped into is a great business model – one that has a cause at the heart of its organization. How is that of benefit to TangoTab? Companies are always charged with giving back – at least, the public expects them to give back and show corporate responsibility. It’s one of the main ways to build goodwill with target audiences. Why do you think BP is feverishly working to clean up the Gulf of Mexico and its beaches (and the image of BP itself) following the oil spill of 2010? Of course, TangoTab is much smaller than BP, but it’s hit a strong chord that will ring success as they grow into new markets – offering people an opportunity to be philanthropists just by eating dinner at a restaurant.

Not every company can have a mission that serves a group in need, but every company should have a want and need to give back to the community in some fashion, whether monetarily or by allowing its people to donate their time to causes they support or that the company supports (like Hilton Worldwide, which partners with organizations each year with monetary and volunteer support). Corporate outreach is a hallmark for creating “good” publicity, and while TangoTab has a great built-in story to tell along this vein, your company can also tap into serving the needs in your community.

But, for now, because you’re going to go out to eat at least one time this week, why not use TangoTab? See where the deals are available on their website and download the app for your smart phone and Facebook and start making an impact just by eating. And, don’t forget to take advantage of special opportunities, like volunteering at the local food bank, with your employees!