CITYWIDE — Pigging out at a restaurant has never felt so good.
Entrepreneur and CEO Kenneth Hepburn and Lee Hanson announced the launch of Livngiv.com to give food lovers the luxury of dining at a restaurant while giving to charity at the same time.
Customers can go to the website and create an account. Next, customers can choose a charity, a restaurant and the amount of money they are going to spend while eating out. When the waiter gives a customer the bill, 20 percent will go to the charity.
Hepburn came up with the concept last year and brought in a team of engineers and computer programmers to help him create the website, which was launched on Nov. 12.
“This is the first time people have been able to contribute money to causes for no cost out of pocket, just by living their lives and going out to eat,” Hepburn said. “People like to spend their money with companies that like to give back.”
Livngiv has already partnered with various restaurants on the Westside, including Sonoma Wine Garden, Farmshop and Hostaria del Piccolo, which are located in Santa Monica. Hepburn expects that more restaurants will partner up with Livngiv.
“We’ll probably add another 20 or 30 more on the Westside,” He said.
The CEO explained the benefits that restaurants have when partnering with Livngiv, one of which involves eliminating a restaurant’s labor costs associated with being charitable.
“We make it effortless for restaurants to give back into the community and to get more great customers,” Hepburn said.
In addition to forming partnerships with restaurants, Livngiv has also reached out to local charities such as No Kid Hungry, Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross and many others. Hepburn said that there are more partnerships in the works.
“There are probably lots of charities, but we want to feature ones that are in the Westside,” he said.
The CEO said Livngiv’s most notable partnership is with No Kill LA, a coalition of animal welfare organizations in Los Angeles that is dedicated to preventing the killing of animals in shelters.
“We have already sent $1,000 to No Kill LA,” Hepburn said. “We are very stoked about that.”
While Livngiv is in its infancy, Hepburn is planning on expanding his fundraising site beyond the Westside. He mentioned that he was in Chicago on a business trip and that former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley invested in Livngiv for the Chicago market.
In addition to being on the web, Livngiv can also be downloaded as an app on the iPhone when callers text “living” at 313131.
Several thousand people have created accounts on the website, Hepburn said.