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Restaurant FinTech Startup InKind Names Chief Sustainability Officer: 4 Things to Know

October 4, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

InKind, a FinTech startup that serves more than 1,000 restaurants, has named Chief People Officer Jonathan de Wolff to the additional role of chief sustainability officer (CSO).

Here are four things to know about de Wolff's expertise and InKind's sustainability strategy.

1. Business Scope and Scale: InKind, founded in 2016, is based in Austin, Texas. The company's software rewards customers for dining at top restaurants, and helps restaurants to develop a community of loyal guests. Moreover, InKind Capital provides restaurant operators with debt-free, equity-free funding to build their businesses. More than 450,000 diners leverage the InKind application and the company has deployed more than $120 million in capital to date, according to InKind's website.

2. Jonathan de Wolff's Priorities: de Wolff will focus on inKind’s "$250 million ESG commitment and corresponding initiatives," though we don't know what that $250 million involves or how exactly it will be allocated. Key focus areas include striving to "address the inequities that limit marginalized groups like BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), women and LGBTQ restaurant entrepreneurs."

Jonathan de Wolff, chief sustainability officer, InKind

His key priorities, according to InKind, include:

  • Overseeing and growing inKind’s portfolio of sustainability projects.
  • Building on the company’s nationwide network of sustainability and industry experts in the restaurant sector to address the needs of minority restaurant operators.
  • Upskilling and educating inKind's workforce about the ESG components.
  • Creating the company’s own ESG fundamentals for how it operates organizationall.
  • Creating alignment with board, company leadership, and investors around inKind’s "renewed vision for a timeline and roadmap around company’s purpose and profitability," the company said.

3. Jonathan de Wolff's Experience: de Wolff previously served as a civil rights legislative staffer in the US House, working on various omnibus and individual bills and amendments to empower and provide equality for marginalized groups. On the business front, he founded SumRando -- a cybersecurity company that served marginalized individuals.

Johann Moonesinghe, CEO and co-founder, InKind

4. Executive Perspectives: In a prepared statement about de Wolff's new role, InKind CEO and Co-Founder Johann Moonesinghe said: “inKind will benefit from Jon’s significant insights and experience with identifying and addressing the kinds of inherent inequities that exist in our industry and overall business culture. We launched this commitment to tackle inequities and create greater opportunity for underrepresented restaurateurs, which ultimately is a win for everyone. We look forward to seeing all the ways we can leverage this commitment to help shape the future of our industry and see Jon as a key part of that effort and focus."

Added de Wolff: “This new role is an acknowledgement of the work and goals that are core to inKind's mission. Since its inception, inKind has been focused on how to make restaurants successful and sustainable for the long term. However, up until this point our efforts, while present and perennial, have not had a dedicated champion. Assuming this role, I am satisfying a company mandate to coordinate our efforts, leveraging our resources, experience and network to make significant, cognizable changes within the industry. My goals and initiatives should signal, internally and externally, that our sustainability and ESG commitments are focused and significant priorities."

de Wolff reports to Moonesinghe.

InKind Chief Sustainability Officer: Why Technology Partners Should Care

By 2027, 25% of Global 2000 companies will have assigned a chief sustainability officer (CSO) responsible for meeting their organization’s ESG goals and making ESG-related IT purchasing decisions, according to IDC.

The bottom line: Technology partners need to extend their sales, marketing, engagement and support strategies to successfully fulfill those CSO needs, Sustainable Tech Partner believes.

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