Conversation with Faiez Rana, Founder and CEO of Prep to Your Door
The COVID pandemic might actually have a positive consequence. It seems to have given life to a new era of business for good. Although COVID-19 may have pushed socially conscious business into popular culture, it has always been a modern and strong American undercurrent. Faiez Rana, CEO and Founder of Prep to Your Door, didn’t need a global crisis to inspire action. His pursuit to represent social entrepreneurship in the plant-based food world addresses issues in the social, cultural, and environmental realms. As we awaken to the increasing demand for social entrepreneurship, more people contemplate jumping into the space, but not enough.
Many are still under the impression that purpose-driven businesses aren’t profitable. Others shy from the inevitable uncertainty of entrepreneurship entirely. Faiez urges people to lean in and take the first step: “I like to think of it as going from idea to product, product to a company. In the idea phase, you have a lot of freedom and flexibility to create a minimal viable product. There is no step two if you don’t get past step one.” During a time when we need bold ideas to drive radical change, we had to ask, “What if your idea is so alternative that it’s difficult for people to buy into your idea?” Faiez believes you can start by convincing one person. If you can get a thousand people to absolutely love what you’re doing, you can build a company. His bold idea: plant-based meals straight to your door.
Prep to Your Door’s meals produce 0% waste and are 100% wow-factor guaranteed. If a customer isn’t thrilled, their team does its best to gather feedback, rectify the situation, and build trust. “We’re solutions-oriented. We talk to you like a person that had to get up and leave something important to go deal with this issue — that’s frustrating,” says Faiez. This demonstration of empathy is not reserved for hardcore vegans. Aware that the food space can be divisive, Faiez made the active choice not to use the word ‘vegan’ in PTYD’s marketing, and instead to meet people where they are. “Whether it’s about politics, education, or food, people have strong opinions. It’s important to listen and empathize, rather than attempt to change people.” While Faiez won’t thrust change on anyone, he is on a mission to drive meaningful impact.
Prep to Your Door uses the triple bottom line approach to measuring its success — an extensive assessment of their financial, environmental, and social impact. Revenue, excess food waste (which is redistributed, not thrown in the trash), employee, and customer satisfaction are valuable pieces of the puzzle. Faiez continuously gathers feedback not only to measure progress but to affirm core values: “At every step of the journey, we’ve had the option to forgo standards. For instance, it may boost our bottom line by sourcing cheaper, non-organic ingredients — but in the long term, our business would decline because that’s the very reason people come to us. The feedback helped us to understand what we won’t compromise.” Prep to Your Door’s commitment to transparency and embodying empathy are only two of the three indicators that it rightfully belongs to the social entrepreneurship ecosystem. Here’s the third: healthy competition is welcomed.
PTYD’s zero-waste business model is one of it’s most marketable selling points. The company hopes that food culture will begin to favor zero-waste as an industry-standard in the future. Prep to Your Door hopes that is industry standard. Faiez knows that you have to inspire others to join the movement when you’re on a mission to change an entire food system. Already, Prep to Your door has partnered with a handful of local businesses to implement zero-waste business models within their respective operations. Faiez’s perception of competition is motivating: “If another meal prep company were to do a better job, they deserve to have more customers. Complacency is unacceptable.” We agree — our world can no longer afford for us to be complacent.