What's it like running a Startup in the Hospitality Industry during a Pandemic.
Anyone who has worked in a professional kitchen can tell you about “the rush”. It’s when dinner service kicks into full swing with a packed restaurant and tickets and orders start pouring in. The rush is when your fight-or-flight senses start kicking and screaming at your body to do something while the myriad of orders and curveballs thrown by hungry customers and vegans with special requests continue piling up. The end isn’t in sight.
As a first time founder and amateur in crisis handling, the changes presented by COVID smacked just like that first kitchen rush. To start the year we were smooth sailing with a strong rhythm. The first version of our app launched in January, by February we had over 300 qualified local professionals looking to fill shifts on the platform, and in early March we were already looking at expanding into a second market.
“Slow is smooth, and Smooth is Fast. Breathe in. Breath out. Shut up. And get the fuck to work.”
When I was hit by my first rush as a young cook, I was certain I was going to break. At my lowest point, I was grabbed by the shoulders by my kitchen manager, Dylan, who imparted some Jedi-Esque wisdom: “Slow is smooth, and Smooth is Fast,” he told me. “Breathe in. Breath out. Shut up. And get the fuck to work.”
At the time, I didn’t know where he was stealing that from but it worked. You put your head down, focus on what matters, and take it slow, work down one ticket, one day at a time. You focus on what you can do immediately.
Eventually, a new pattern and new rhythm emerges, one that thrives under these new rules. Running a startup in this space means you need to get flexible and gritty and focus on your priorities. Because these tickets are just going to keep coming.
Adjusting to the New Rhythm
You don’t think it’ll end, but as you start knocking down tickets, even the new ones don’t rock you. You adjust, adapt, and let the rhythm work itself out.
COVID may have smacked the industry down, but anyone who’s been in a rush will tell you that we’re down, but not out. People need restaurants and restaurants need people. Owners and operators all across this industry are evolving to continue putting good products out there. And when they need us, our people will be there.
Right now we’re getting into a new rhythm, adjusting to the new swing, and changing with our industry. Our plan is to relaunch-a brand new app, a new process, and new support for our professionals. If you’re looking to see what we’re serving up, stay tuned, your ticket is up next.