Faisal KanjiJan 30, 2024
Innovating and Competing in the Crowded World of Food Delivery
A Conversation with Faisal Kanji, Co-founder of hungerhub
New Books Network 2024
Richard and Kimon speak with Faisal Kanji, co-founder of hungerhub, an innovative catering company. Based in Canada, hungerhub combines the quality of traditional catering with the convenience of a delivery service like UberEats.
With typical business or party catering, companies and planners will order communal trays from a single restaurant. This is often unsanitary and inconvenient, especially for those with dietary restrictions and allergies. With hungerhub, each attendee receives a log-in ahead of time where they can select customized meals from restaurants of their choice. Hungerhub compiles these orders together and handles delivery and logistics.
Founded in 2018, hungerhub has grown considerably, generating over $10 million CAD in revenue this past year with 30 employees. Part of what makes hungerhub different than UberEats or other delivery services, is the ability to plan ahead to minimize the number of drivers required to complete a delivery. Instead of needing 100 drivers for 100 different meals, hungerhub is able to serve 100 meals with just a few drivers.
Currently available only in the English-speaking parts of Canada, hungerhub is looking to expand internationally. Faisal discusses the challenges of international expansion, especially into the United States. He highlights the competitive nature of American market and the significant amount of research required to launch there.
Faisal speaks on balancing growth versus stability. He wants hungerhub to grow, but most importantly, he wants it to grow in a way that maintains quality.
Also in the interview, Faisal describes how he met his co-founder, Sari Abdo, on Angel List. Sari already had the idea and was looking for a partner to help implement. Part of the idea arose from seeing the common practice of free lunches offered by tech companies. In Toronto, most tech companies did not offer this perk, so Faisal and Sari saw an opportunity to find an affordable solution.
Faisal also talks about the importance of their first client. This client provided significant and “tough” feedback, which helped them improve their methods and rethink issues quickly. Great clients that are willing to constructively criticize can be essential for businesses as they try to grow and solve issues that might not be obvious.
To find their first clients, Faisal and Sari went about cold-calling and showing up in person to pitch their product to companies. Once they started getting clients to agree to trial periods, they ensured that they were generating efficiencies beyond how companies were already going about lunch catering.
Faisal’s journey to running hungerhub was years in the making. At an early age, he worked in restaurants. When he turned 18, he got his real estate license and began selling. He then opened and ran a coffee distribution business, which taught him many of the lessons he would need to run hungerhub.
Towards the end of the conversation, Faisal talks about his competitive nature and how he stays motivated. He’s a true entrepreneur in both spirit and deed.
Richard Lucas is a business and social entrepreneur who founded, led and/or invested in more than 30 businesses.
Kimon Fountoukidis is the founder of both Argos Multilingual and PMR. Both companies were founded in the mid 90s with zero capital and both have gone on to become market leaders in their respective sectors. Kimon was born in New York and moved to Krakow, Poland in 1993. Listen to his story here.