We’re 5 guys in North Carolina.
We’re on a quest
to build a brand independent restaurants love and admire.
Over the last 10 years, we’ve really doubled down on our focus of offering a simple software product with a small, helpful team behind it. We’ve done this because it makes the work we do, and our lives in general, so much more enjoyable. Since the 5 of us here are just like many of you, (consumers and customers), we truly appreciate those companies that offer just what we need with great service behind it. We know how awesome it is to find one and we know the feeling of loyalty we have for those companies going forward, once we do. It’s almost as if we found something surprising. Something unexpected and something we love. For that reason, we work very hard to be that kind of company too.
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 6,000 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 don't have sales people or partners. We don’t have ads following you around the internet. And we don’t have investors, so we have no pressure to meet anybody else's expectations. But we are still growing by 1,000 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