In February 2016 I ceased operations after determining the market would be too difficult for me to enter based on my knowledge and entry into the industry. I still believe in the product but it was time to admit defeat and take what I learned into my next venture.
I was sitting on a beach in the Dominican Republic in August of 2012 reading Lucky or Smart by Bo Peabody and I had an idea.
Fast forward almost 3 years, 2 attempts at starting How Was It/FeastBot (it’s previous names), and Feast is finally becoming a reality. But why Feast? Why am I devoting every waking hour to a review app? Like any good story, there are a couple reasons.
I have tried this before. Colupon was the biggest learning experience I have ever been through and I don’t regret a single second of it. Part of what we were doing was trying to give the average, small business owner some feedback on how they are doing from qualified customers. This is still a need that I feel needs to be filled better than the incumbent is doing so but more than that, Feast zeros in on a need that is not being filled at all. There is no way for a waiter/waitress (or as I refer to them, servers) to know how they are doing, how to improve and how to get the most out of their job regardless of whether they plan on working there for months or years.
I’m writing this wearing my brand new Apple Watch and the main reason I got it is to track my activity during the day. It is providing me feedback so I know exactly how big of a lazy person I am and providing me with reminders to get up and get moving. And then at the end of the day it tells me how I did so tomorrow I can improve. Now tell me how a server improves currently? I don’t have an answer for you because there is no outlet for them.
A server can keep an eye on how much they are getting in tips each day but that is by no means an accurate measure of performance. Every week there is an article on a server getting a hundred dollar tip from a wealthy regular just because they were feeling nice that day. Every month there is an op ed somewhere that explains how poor we are as a culture in tipping properly. And we have all heard about the disrespectful group of teenagers that leave a “tip” of several hundred coins. Short version, tips are meaningless and completely subjective.
A server can also look to their supervisor and ask them how they are doing. Two issues here:
- Who does that? No one.
- How can a manager know how someone is really doing when they are busy dealing with CS issues and have 10-20 other servers to keep track of? They can’t.
Based on the logic above, Feast is needed and needed badly. So why me?
For the past 6 months I had the wonderful opportunity to be apart of the awesome group that makes up the Danbury Apple Store. This dedicated group relies on their NPS to tell them exactly how they are doing; what they are doing right and where they have room for improvement.
Each Apple Store has many people working everyday and it is impossible for the managers to know exactly how well a particular Specialist, FRS, Genius, etc is doing without the NPS in their back pocket (see point 2 above multiplied by several factors).
This experience has shown me how well a store can function when the right measures are put in place and how it should be in the restaurant industry.
Even though new startups are popping up each and every day, there are still problems that need to be solved and Feast is going to allow restaurant owners and managers to see a fuller picture of their operation and giving them more time to focus on providing the best experience for their customer.
If you want to get involved, as I can’t do this alone, please head to feast.software and send me a note. I’m looking at you developers, sales people, graphic designers, and restauranteurs/people that know owners and managers.