Schedulefly Stories

Growing a software business one restaurant at a time

Making assumptions. A tale of two restaurant groups.

This is a tale about two very different, yet very popular and successful restaurant groups. They are similar in ways – but what makes them different and unique is not just the food they serve or the atmosphere of their restaurants – but what the people who own and operate and run the restaurants believe in. If you peel back the layers on who these people really are and why they do what they do – you’ll see very different human beings on very different paths. Serving them both well and treating them the way they like to be treated and the way they treat their guests is impossible. This is why we try not to make assumptions at Schedulefly and you’ll never see marketing content that suggests we are going to make life easier or better for anyone and everyone running a restaurant. In fact – if I were a restaurant owner and I was shopping around for a solution for something and bumped across one that assumed my entire industry was going to be changed by what they offer – I’d move on. I’d keep shopping…

So a bit more on the topic of assumptions. Making them and believing they are true feels like gambling. It’s like flipping a coin. I try not to make them – but it can be difficult not to. It’s hard to plan and I guess it’s why we read so many stories about businesses and people that “pivot” and change direction. I think, in general, the more assumptions I make, the better chance I’ll have to pivot. But hey I guess that’s life and it’s why we are all on one big long journey (hopefully) of pivots figuring out what we really want to be…

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10 things we’ve not done in years at Schedulefly

This is a list of things we did not do that I posted at the end of 2015. I stumbled across this list recently and realized all 10 were also true at the end of 2016 and 2017. And all signs point to it being true at the end of 2018. I am re-posting it because we are all so proud of what we’ve done with just 5 people. And we’ve been 5 since 2012….so we have not hired anyone in almost 6 years. That is what I personally am most proud of. So the example we are setting is not on how to create a business that creates jobs, but rather how to create a business that can’t afford to ever become complicated – ultimately resulting in one that is a pleasure to own and to do business with. And it’s a business that will never become something we wish were different.

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Restaurant Owner podcast…

We recently hosted our 50th episode of the Restaurant Owners Uncorked podcast, and we’re going to keep cranking out episodes even more frequently. We’re so thrilled to have the opportunity to serve thousands of independent restaurant owners, and we want to tell as many of their stories as possible.

If you are interested in starting a restaurant, own a restaurant and want to learn from your peers, or simply enjoy hearing the stories of people who’ve poured their hearts, passion, time, money, energy and love into their dreams of building successful restaurants, you’ll enjoy this podcast.

You can subscribe in iTunes here

The Schedulefly Crew

Less technology, more service

When I reflect on Schedulefly and what has made us and our industry successful in the past and where I see it going in the future – one simple phrase comes to mind…

Less technology, more service.

Since we do not sell to chains that are slowly removing human service and adding more technology to stay consistent, I am 1000% confident that the restaurants we serve will always need reliable human beings to be successful. And I also think that they will see out companies that offer simple solutions to their problems backed by service from warm, approachable human beings. Unlike a self-checkout at the grocery store that we currently use or a futuristic drive-thru only McDonalds that’s run on 100% software and machines – great independent restaurants that sell more than just food – will always need nice, helpful humans to help with solve their problems.

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Friends of Schedulefly: Jeb, Chad, Rob & Craig at Cantina 76

“The guys at Schedulefly remind us a little bit of ourselves because they have a clear focus and know their audience and they provide a great overall experience each time we interact with them and their software. We need simple software that is easy to use, quickly, making scheduling and communication lightening fast and enabling us to spend our time focusing on delivering excellent hospitality. The Schedulefly crew gets that and we are happy to be a part of their growing family of independent restaurant customers. ~ Rob Ward”

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Friends of Schedulefly – Aaron Siegel at Home Team BBQ

“The Schedulefly staff is a part of our team and partners in our day to day work. Their software is accessible and user friendly. Communication is so key to success, and Schedulefly makes it easy for our growing team to stay on the same page.” ~ Aaron Siegel

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Friends of Schedulefly: Paul Wise at Christianos Pizza

“The guys at Schedulefly have truly become friends and are committed to helping us grow! That is a powerful relationship to have and something we are thankful for.” ~ Paul Wise

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What’s the Rush?

We are in our 11th year here at Schedulefly and in many ways just now finding our stride. I mean that in terms of what we believe in and who we want to serve. Financially – we grow slower than we used to – simply because we have more customers – so there are more to lose. That’s expected. So we lose right at 1.5% of our customers each year for a variety of reasons including restaurants outgrowing our software (and needing more features) and also restaurants going out of business. That means we retain 98.5% of our customers each year and that is a number we are proud of and I think a number that could only be consistently reached with a simple product like ours. We could certainly grow much faster and add more restaurants than we do – but that would require a different sales and marketing model than we have and would likely cause that 1.5% churn rate to tick upwards. It’d be like casting a bigger fishing net to catch more fish with each throw – only to THROW BACK a larger % of what we caught right away that were not the fish we wanted (by-catch). I’m more of a sight fishing kind of guy. I catch less, but when I do – it’s the one I wanted to catch. This equates to customers sticking around much longer and keeping our retention rate at 98-99%.

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Friends of Schedulefly: Karen Hoskin

“I get the Crib Sheet every morning so I can monitor labor costs, and I use the site when I am away and need to get help from someone on the ground. Nobody can say they “didn’t know” because every tool is right there with them. We’d be lost without it.” ~ Karen Hoskin

Montanya Distillers is nestled high in the Rocky Mountains at 9000 ft. in the charming downtown of Crested Butte, Colorado. Our high alpine location makes great sense for making rum, since the altitude positively affects almost every aspect of fermenting, distilling and aging rum. Their non-GMO sugar cane comes from family farmers in Louisiana, who grow and mill directly for them. Their water comes from one of the purest spring and snowmelt-charged aquifers in the USA.

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Friends of Schedulefly: Meherwan Irani

“”Not only does Schedulefly give us an indispensable product but they deeply care about what they do and how they do it, and that’s a level of authenticity that makes us proud to be their customers and friends.” – Meherwn Irani

Created by husband and wife team Meherwan and Molly Irani, the Chai Pani Restaurant Group was first introduced in Asheville, N.C. in 2009 with the opening of Chai Pani. Doing away with traditionally formal Indian dining, the Chai Pani team continues to deliver a menu and atmosphere as diverse as the country’s own culture, changing the preconceived notions that most Americans have about Indian food while serving up mindblasting chaat, thalis and more.

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