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…

So back to the two different restaurant groups that we serve and once served. One of these we always assumed would stop using Schedulefly and eventually need more features and more software. We were right. The very first restaurant that ever paid to use Schedulefly in 2006 was a Mellow Mushroom pizza in Raleigh NC. A friend of mine owns 4 of them and eventually they all started using Schedulefly – and so did about 80 or 90 more throughout the south east. We served them for many years and they were a perfect customer – until they weren’t. The group that owned the original franchise sold it to folks who had different plans for the future. So as Wil had predicted in a video blog post years ago – with one swift decision – all 90 of them left at the same time. Poof, gone. They went from the perfect customer to the wrong customer over night. It was not a surprise and it will surely happen again. I could actually make a prediction right now in this post on what customer of ours that will be – but I’d probably be making the wrong assumption.

The other restaurant group is the Big Red F restaurant group based in Boulder, CO. Dave Query is the Founder of this group and has become one of our close friends and a big fan. We are a lot alike in what we believe and I guess that is why we’ve served him and his team and their 13 restaurants for almost 10 years. It’s been a perfect match. The thing about this is that I assumed Dave would eventually need more as he grew….I mean like years ago I assumed he’d move on. I assumed he would need integration with POS (which we do not do) and other features that larger operations feel they need. But that assumption so far as have been totally wrong. We’ve had some awesome conversations with Dave and have spent time with him filming him and recording stuff he says – and if there is one thing I’ve learned about Dave Query it’s this: Don’t assume anything about him. Don’t assume he wants to be like every other guy before him and follow their path with the same tools they did. Nobody puts Dave Query in a corner. Having said that – I won’t be surprised (although sad) if he and his crew eventually leave us for something that is a better fit. They are blazing their own path…and we may not be on it.

So from here on out – I’m going to stay confident that we will serve the right people for the right amount of time. Period. Who they are and how long that is – is not an assumption I plan on making.