Restaurant discount card program encourages healthy choices, with the convenience of eating out
“It was an eye-opening experience,” Yovetich said. “I grew up eating a lot of rich Serbian food. We realized as a family that we needed to learn how to live a more balanced lifestyle.”
As a result, she pursued a career working in corporate wellness and nutrition. But even though she had the skills and knowledge to eat better, her busy professional schedule often got in the way of preparing healthy foods at home.
To keep her nutrition habits on track, she began researching healthier options for dining out. Yovetich wanted to share what she learned with others, but wasn’t sure how to turn the seeds of her idea for GoFit Dining into a real business.
Dining Out Without Sacrificing Health
Lacking entrepreneurial experience, Yovetich turned to Open to Business for advice. Advisor Kathleen Duchene explained the process of legally establishing a business in Minnesota, and Yovetich decided to forge ahead. Duchene was impressed with Yovetich’s motivation and persistence in completing the many tasks required.
“Marissa is well organized, knows what she needs to do, and understands the value of networking,” DuChene said. “She is an absolute delight to work with.”
DuChene brought in Open to Business Advisor Kris Maritz, who has extensive connections in the restaurant business. Maritz introduced Yovetich to a number of restauranteurs, which was a turning point in transforming GoFit Dining from just a good idea into a viable business strategy.
After months of hard work recruiting partners, GoFit Dining officially launched in June 2018. Healthy-minded foodies purchase a pack of 70 discount cards featuring restaurants, cafes, and farmers’ markets. The cards give GoFit Dining participants an exclusive monthly deal at each participating resturant. The current set of cards are valid through May 2019. Each card is marked to let diners know if the restaurant offers gluten free, organic, or vegetarian options.
“GoFit Dining is a health and wellness movement,” she said. “Our motto is ‘Dine fit. Live fit. Go fit.’”
Giving Back to Encourage Balanced Lifestyles
Yovetich has plans for the brand that go well beyond discount cards. Driven by another family connection, Yovetich is inspired to wake up and get to work every day because of her commitment to giving back to the community. A portion of the proceeds from each sale of GoFit Dining cards goes to Living Free Recovery Services, a drug and alcohol recovery program. That partnership is personally important to Yovetich, because her brother struggled with addiction for many years.
“The restaurants we partner with are a catalyst for change, allowing GoFit Dining to give back,” said Yovetich. “That’s why I do what I do. To help change lives.”
Despite how new the business is, Yovetich has worked hard to establish additional community partnerships. To encourage daily movement, Yovetich is partnering with local health clubs and corporate wellness programs to offer GoFit Dining cards as an incentive for their members. She’s also partnering with local nonprofits, such as Appetite for Change, that teach people how to cook healthy foods at home. The entrepreneur said that her goal is to show people they don’t need to be perfect—they just need to make sustainable changes.
“We’re promoting a balanced lifestyle. We want people to realize that small changes like working out more and making better food choices add up,” Yovetich said. “GoFit Dining helps people do that with a discount on healthy, convenient foods.”
For more information, visit GoFitDining.com.