We’re 5 guys in North Carolina.
If Schedulefly were a restaurant, we'd have a cozy space with a one-page menu and top-notch service. And we'd rely on delighted customers to spread the word.
How we got started
Wes Aiken created the schedule on paper for an independent restaurant while in college in the 90’s. He’d spend hours every Sunday piecing it together, and frustratingly watch it become irrelevant within minutes of hanging it in the back of the kitchen. But that was how restaurant schedules were handled back then. Meanwhile, Wes learned to write software and in 2007 he created a simple web-based solution to make scheduling and communication easier for restaurants.
Along the way
A couple of happy paying restaurants in Raleigh N.C. got us moving in the right direction. We then tried a bunch of stuff to create more awareness, from individually emailing thousands of restaurants about Schedulefly, to working with a PR company, to using social media, to developing partnerships, to going to the National Restaurant Association trade show, to flying across the country to meet with a large restaurant chain with hopes of growing faster. Here is a funny story about that trip.
But the thing is, we knew all along we were in this for the long haul, and we realized that we wanted to wake up every day to work on things we enjoy and things we are good at. We knew that marketing and PR and partnerships and social media and trade shows and traditional advertising just wasn't for us. That's not what makes us happy. So instead, we stayed focused on keeping our software really simple, on being incredibly easy to do business with, and on taking great care of our customers, with the intent of growing by word-of-mouth. And we put all of our creative energy into projects like our book and video and podcast series, to help spread awareness of our brand by creating content that educates and inspires people in the restaurant industry.
What's happening now
Schedulefly is making life easier at over 6,900 restaurants across the country. Our customers love Schedulefly and tell other people about it, so we've grown through word-of-mouth just as we intended. We frequently get contacted by venture capital firms wanting to invest into Schedulefly, but while every other company in our space has raised millions of dollars from investors, we don’t take those phone calls. We run the business the same way we always have, just the five of us with a focus on growing one independent restaurant customer at a time. We don't have sales people or partners. We don’t have ads following you around the internet. But we are still growing by 1,500+ new customers per year and renewing 99% of our customers every month, and if we ever tried to manage our growth, it would be to slow it down, not accelerate it. What matters most to us is taking great care of the customers we have, not just getting new ones. We have a small team of five people, we all love what we do, and we wake up every day thankful to be a part of something so fun and meaningful. This is our dream company.
Thanks for reading our story,
Wes, Tyler, Wil, Charles and Hank