Schedulefly Stories

Growing a software business one restaurant at a time

Month: March 2018

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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Schedulefly vs. $50,000,000

Restaurant employee scheduling software is becoming big business! Over the last few years, other companies aiming to serve the same people we serve have raised over $50,000,000 in venture capital. We’ve raised $0.

It’s not that we haven’t been able to raise money (we get lots of offers). It’s that we don’t want to. Perhaps the best way I can explain this is by sharing an email I sent yesterday to a VC who has been contacting me regularly over the last six months. Until now, I’ve just replied to her emails with some form of “thanks, but no thanks.” However, this time she mentioned the logos on our Home page, and how impressed she is that we serve those places because she is familiar with several of them. So I went a little deeper in my reply. Here you go…

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We left $250,000 (and a million headaches) on the table…

We have some great posts from the last 10 years or so that are timeless – nothing has changed – they are still relevant. Some posts talk about things we did (or did not do) that are more than just a story – they are more like inflection points in our journey – and I think they help people understand what is important to us and why we are here. I like sharing a few of the older ones again now and then for new readers. I’ll start with one of my favorites that Wil wrote back in 7 years ago…

Wes

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November 2011

“Are you crazy? Do you realize how much money you left on the table?” That’s what somebody asked me when I told them the following story:

A couple of months ago a large restaurant chain called us. They were already very familiar with Schedulefly, liked it a lot, and wanted to consider rolling it out to their locations across the U.S. They’d pilot it in about 10% of the locations over the next month, and assuming the pilot went well, deploy it nationally.

I’ll admit I got a bit excited at the possibility at first, so instead of going ahead right then and telling them to call another company in our space that was built to serve chains, I entertained this idea and quoted them $250,000 per year. What can I say? I got momentarily focused on the wrong thing – the money – and forgot about the cost to our business, and to our lifestyles, if we decided to take this on. It was a mistake.

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