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Jet-setting with Richard Branson

Local entrepreneur Jon Carder is one hot success story

By Erin Meanley

We first met San Diego local Jon Carder in 2011 when he nabbed $2.4 million for his start-up venture, MOGL—a restaurant loyalty program that automatically gives customers ten percent back, and donates meals to Feeding America along the way. And now Carder has partnered with Virgin America and Richard Branson—Branson himself even blogged about it last Thursday. We checked in with Carder to find out more.

Tell us about your new partnership with Virgin America.

MOGL was chosen to be the dining rewards partner for the Virgin America Elevate frequent flyer program. You still get all of the perks of MOGL membership (10% cash-back, jackpots and meal donations when you dine out at your favorite restaurants) but can now choose to exchange your cash-back for Elevate points ($1 in cash-back = 30 Elevate points). You can new rack up Elevate points to earn free flights, simply by dining out!

How did you ever get “in” with Richard Branson? And what’s he like? 

I was fortunate enough to get invited to his private island with a group of entrepreneurs. For me, it was meeting my hero. I have so much respect for Richard, and think he’s one of the best—if not the best entrepreneurs alive today. He’s incredibly humble, approachable, funny and charismatic.  He also has amazing hair.

Jet-setting with Richard Branson

Jet-setting with Richard Branson

Fun fact about Necker Island?

There are a few: 1) They serve sushi in a floating canoe in the pool. 2) The island is home to hundreds of wild animals—flamingos, lemurs, turtles, parrots…. 3) Richard has a three-person submarine that you can cruise around the island in (I did it—see photo).

How’s Mogl going? How many restos are signed up now?

We now have 2,000 restaurants throughout California—800 of those in San Diego. We are the fastest-growing restaurant loyalty program on the west coast!

Congrats on the Feeding America milestone. 200,000 meals! Do the meals go to San Diegans?

We’ve donated more than 230,000 meals so far—145,000 of those have gone to San Diegans in need. Our members love that we offer an easy way for them to make a positive impact when they dine out.

What other cities are you planning to roll out in? Any updates?

We are now in five markets throughout California: San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Ventura County, and San Francisco. Our goal is to expand to 20 cities nationwide this year! Stay tuned.

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