GEDI Exchange

Member profile: Friendlier


Selfie of two people with containers and containers filled with food

Friendlier (formerly A Friendlier Company) is an organization with a focus on revolutionizing takeaway packaging through its zero-waste reuse system.  They apply a tech-driven reuse system to reduce waste and be more sustainable for food services and other industries. Also highlighted is their connection to the University of Waterloo and what they hope to get out of the GEDI Exchange. 

In a short pitch, how would you describe Friendlier's offerings (products and services)? What makes it innovative? What industry sectors and/or customers are you focused on?

Friendlier is building a tech-driven reuse system to eliminate single-use food packaging waste. We sell reusable food packaging to foodservice businesses, then facilitate the collection, washing and sanitation, and redistribution to create a closed-loop system. Our unique QR code system provides our clients with sustainability impact data and allows us to engage their customers in an elevated takeout experience. We capitalize on the value of our products; by reusing them, we use less energy and raw materials than disposables or recyclable products because we don’t produce or reprocess with each use. Our strength is in the “reuse” aspect of “reduce, reuse, and recycle.”

Providing more detail, what is the value proposition of Friendlier's offerings? Examples could include the underlying technology, new capabilities, cost reduction, risk reduction, improved performance, new business model, etc.

Friendlier offers a turnkey packaging solution that allows foodservice businesses to track their sustainability impact, engage with their customers, resulting in reduced waste. Our tracking technology lets us create a centralized and scalable system, increasing convenience for consumers and decreasing the cost for foodservice businesses.

 What is Friendlier's biggest achievement/success story to date?

Friendlier launched in October 2020 with five restaurants in Guelph, Ontario, and we’ve been rapidly growing since. We now support 52 foodservice businesses across Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Stratford, and Hamilton.

What does the future hold for Friendlier?

The focus of Friendlier is creating the biggest impact possible in eliminating single-use packaging waste. Our goal is to make reusable packaging as convenient and affordable as single-use packaging. We will continue to grow across the province and country to support as many foodservice businesses as possible.  We also intend to apply this approach to any industry presently using disposable packaging. [At least that’s what they told me: focusing on foodservices for now, but definitely looking to expand outside of that.]

What is Friendlier's connection to the University of Waterloo?

Co-founders Kayli Dale and Jacquie Hutchings graduated from the University of Waterloo’s chemical engineering program in Spring 2020. They met on their first day of their undergrad, after which they became best friends, lab partners, and roommates. During their 3B term, they studied in Sweden together, becoming inspired by the sustainable, circular systems they saw there and wanted to bring similar concepts to Canada.

Why did you decide to join the GEDI Exchange? What are you looking for? What do you want get out of it?

We joined the GEDI Exchange to make meaningful connections with other companies in the UWaterloo network. We are excited to stay connected to the University and are looking forward to connecting with others in the program.

Friendlier was featured in the GEDIx: A 30-minute Exchange webinar with TeTechS on November 16, 2021. A replay of the webinar is linked here.