The Foodie Card:
A 'WIN FOR EVERYBODY'
BY JENNA BAGCAL
The creation of the Foodie Card
happened organically for Neil Foster
and his wife Emma.
What started out as a Facebook
group to share "the good, the bad and
the ugly" of everyday dining experi-ences,
in the words of Foster, turned
into a service that gives people restau-rant
discounts while providing meals
through a local charity.
Nearly three years ago in 2015,
Foster and his wife founded the
Tri-State Restaurant Club (TSRC),
a closed Facebook group which he
compared to a "real-time Zagat." The
concept is simple: group members
can give restaurant recommendations,
leave reviews or post food photos from
anywhere in the world.
In the beginning, the East Hills,
Long Island resident said that the
group had a few hundred people, but
has since grown to over 61,000 food
enthusiasts who regale each other
with their varied experiences.
"The interaction is tremendous,"
He adds that the group is closed
to the public and each member must
be approved by him. His reasons for
a closed group are to keep out adver-tisements
or self promotions, and also
to ensure that members of the group
are from the United States.
After two years of running the Face-book
group, Foster wanted more. He
said that in October 2017 he woke
up and realized that the TSRC was
taking up much of his time with zero
return. He thought about ways to give
back to charity that would be a win for
both the restaurants and the custom-ers.
So in January 2018, the Fosters
launched the service and the Foodie
Card was born.
For $29.99 a year, customers can
purchase a Foodie Card, which takes 10
percent off the dine-in bill at any of the
participating restaurants listed on their
website. Foster said that it does not cost
restaurants anything to participate in the
Foodie Card program and restaurant
owners who are interested can email him
to be added to their ever-growing list.
With every purchase of a Foodie
Card, Island Harvest and City Harvest
donate one full day of meals to a per-son
in need. Foster estimates that for
every $1000 made, 3000 meals are
donated by the organizations.
46 JULY 2018 I LIC COURIER I www.qns.com
"It's a win for everybody," Foster said.
In addition to founding the Foodie
Card, Foster was also one of the taste-makers
for the April World's Fare in
Flushing, which showcased the cui-sine
from over 100 countries around
the globe. The event was created by
Joshua Schneps, founder of the LIC
Flea & Food and Astoria Flea and
Food markets, as an homage to the
1964 World's Fair.
As a lead up to the 2019 World's
Fare, the organizers will host the
World's Fare Passport Series start-ing
in August. Those interested can
get a taste of The Americas (Aug.
11-12), Europe (Sept. 8-9) and Asia
(Oct. 20-21). The events all take place
at 525 46th Ave. on the Long Island
In the future, Foster has plans to
expand the Foodie Card's reach, but
is content with where the service is
for the time being.
"Our goal is to knock it out of the
park in Long Island and New York
City," Foster said. He added that
once the Foodie Card's reputation
has been solidified, they will expand
to other areas.
Photo courtesy of Neil Foster