Eat local think global
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 29 seconds.
On a lemon grass flavoured Pacari chocolate in Quito, Ecuador
Connecting local families and tourists through food
To begin with, I still remember the motivational quote that if you don’t start your own venture before you are 25 years old you never start anything. That is clearly not the case with Geert who started ResiRest in his fifties. Early in his life, he visited Jamaica and realized how much energy exists in the local communities which most of the tourists never encounter. 30 years ago that was already a potential that remains in place and is more relevant than ever.
All in all, traveling foreign countries is becoming faster and faster (I am one victim of that). Not only our work but also our values and our society put us in a constant state of hurry. “OK, today we gonna see the top 10 highlights of the TripAdvisor list…” Really? Is that what we want? Is that how we would like to encounter new cultures?
Going global within one year
Geert created ResiRest also against that trend. Through food ResiRest brings local families around the world in touch with tourists that are interested in a genuine cultural experience. Only created in 2016, ResiRest operated in 24 countries with almost 200 involved families. In the next month, they are entering 6 more countries and will involve a total of 400 families.
“Sharing a meal and eating together is in all cultures… connecting to each other. That is my purpose in the sharing economy. It is a human-to-human economy. When I connect a human to another human through food we get an amazing experience.”
Mindset and values
The social business works closely with local NGOs and only focuses on two guidelines working with local families. Number 1 is hospitality and the sharing of local culture. Number 2 is high quality and freshness of the local food. Key partners for ResiRest are local NGOs that understand the community and build relations with the local families to bring back their independence.
How does the social business work? In short, the experience is valued around $15 for a meal with a local family from which 85% go straight to the family. That income gives them their pride back which brings back the culture, Geert mentioned. Moreover, the profits that are collected through the fee enable the business operations and the surplus is even reinvested into the local work of the cooperating NGOs.
On my watch list
I strongly believe ResiRest (also on FB!) is the next big social business in the Netherlands and will have mind blowing social impact. The ideas existed for 30 years. Now his time has come to achieve something unique and beautiful. His mind-set is strongly connected to the sharing economy and is far away from the commercial storm we are in, “When I see a billionaire with his big boat this only is nothing I see as a success.” However, as a social entrepreneur he is aware of the business aspect in a social business. ResiRest is on the path to find a way to sustain business operations with tremendous social impact.
22th January 2018, Lima, Peru