Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kyle Dine, founder, and CEO of Equal Eats, located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Equal Eats provides professional translation cards for people traveling with dietary restrictions. Whether it be a peanut allergy, celiac disease, or a diabetic diet, we offer a solution that can help convey your dietary restrictions to restaurant servers and chefs across 50 different languages.
Our customers love to travel but are concerned about their allergies or special diet being understood and catered to when traveling overseas. Both our plastic and digital download cards feature professional translations. Our customers appreciate accuracy as it influences others in understanding and taking their dietary requests seriously.
Tell us about yourself
I first started Equal Eats after experiencing a scary allergic reaction when traveling overseas due to a language barrier. I wanted to create a solution that was both accurate and effective for my community, so we could all enjoy food with less worry while traveling.
Every day I see things getting better for people with dietary restrictions. More awareness, more products in supermarkets, better labeling, and more restaurants who truly want to cater to all diets. It's exciting to be a part of a movement where the world is becoming more inclusive and accommodating.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
In the pandemic, when the world stopped traveling and dining out at restaurants, I used the slow period to redesign my products fully. I undertook an extensive design thinking process where I engaged with nearly 2,000 stakeholders to help design the cards and content. The result is a product that a whole community influenced. I was so proud to include perspectives from chefs, servers, nutritionists, parents, and more. On a customer level, I've heard repeatedly that our cards were the main reason why people got the courage to book a ticket to travel.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
When you own a business, there is a never-ending flow of work. It's hard to sift through the million things and really prioritize what's worthy of your time. Goal setting with short and long-term targets is really crucial for helping cut through the noise.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Get your idea out there and get feedback on it from as many people as possible.
- Launch it in its simplest form and expand and grow upon it.
- Drop the ego and never assume you have all the answers.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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