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Meet Terence Latimer of Food Tribe in Venice

Today we’d like to introduce you to Terence Latimer.

Terence, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Originally launched as a Food Blog in 2015, Food Tribe has grown into so much more. Today, Food Tribe is a socially conscious restaurant review platform. Restaurant reviews suck – Millennial founder Terence Latimer became wary of restaurant review sites for what seemed to be unfair online behavior.

It turns out, 16% of restaurant reviews are fake – whether it’s that restaurant owner paying for reviews, or that kooky diner making stuff up online. Food Tribe’s mission came into focus after Latimer completed a product management course at start-up school General Assembly. There, he learned how to develop an MVP (minimum viable product) – a prototype to see if the problem he saw – crappy restaurant reviews – was shared within the restaurant and foodie communities.

Riding on the wave of crowdfunding success stories, Food Tribe got all the validation it needed after raising 80% of its crowdfunding goal on platform Indiegogo – #JointheTribe: Foodies Feeding Foodies gave Food Tribe the funds it needed to begin building a prototype of a new kind of restaurant review platform.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road hasn’t been smooth – not even by a long shot.

Part of the challenge has been working as a solo founder – my background is in sales and marketing. Doubling down on my project management skills, I took a product management course at General Assembly so that I could effectively learn how to lead a team towards the creation of a digital product.

The problem has been that up until very recently, I haven’t been able to focus on the actual product due to limited resources, the biggest of which are time and money. Food Tribe’s Indiegogo campaign was a big success – from a product standpoint it validated the need for what we’re trying to build, and it also put some much-needed funds into Food Tribe’s bank account. With those funds, I’ve been able to hire people to do the work I don’t have the bandwidth (or most likely capability) to do.

Up until now, Food Tribe has been entirely bankrolled by me: I quit my job and cashed in my 401K because I believe our mission is what separates us from the competition.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Restaurant reviews suck:

There’s that one crazy owner who pays for fake reviews. And that angry diner whose review may have bent the facts.

Meet our friends, Owen and Franchesca. You guys know Franchesca, She’s a “Millennial, a foodie, and eats out 5x/week.” Owen is a restaurant owner who spends 2 – 10% of his revenue marketing on restaurant review sites. Our friends love talking about food. When things are going well, Franchesca and Owen build community together.

For Franchesca a good review means trying new restaurants and enjoying them. For Owen, good reviews make his restaurant better. Today, the community is broken.

Francesca hides behind her computer saying things that aren’t true. Owen, is so busy marketing that he forgets his Franchesca is a customer, and not a number. Enter Food Tribe. Food Tribe wants to build a better community of foodies. Imagine a scoop of Yelp, with a side of Reddit, sprinkled with TOMS Shoes’ biz model.

Our secret sauce is our review formula, an upvote / downvote reddit style game. Franchesa earns points in exchange for reviews that “The Food Tribe,” or other reviewers deem as credible.

Points can be spent at Owen’s restaurant for prizes like free food for Franchesca, or meal donations to Food Tribe giving partners.

What were you like growing up?
I grew up as a latchkey kid – growing up with a single mom meant my older brother and I were left to our own devices. In addition to my big brother, I idolized guys like Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, and Puff Daddy. I spent most of my time buried in books – I was always a daydreamer and had a hard time focusing when it came to school. I always had the intelligence but didn’t always have the organization + motivation to get me through most schoolwork. After dropping out of college, I took a job with entrepreneur + startup investor Ryan Blair. Working as a social media intern, I got a firsthand look at what it took to build a company from the ground up. I was hooked. The startup world sat at the intersection of technology and business, two of my passions.

Pricing:

  • Food Tribe Restaurant Gift Card: Intro Package – $100 + $100/Month
  • Food Tribe Restaurant Gift Card: Medium Package – $250 + $120/Month
  • Food Tribe Restaurant Gift Card: Best Package – $500 + $250/Month

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Ahlyzik Monroe

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