5+ years in foodtech. #1 sales person nationwide for corporate tech catering platform.
10+ years in the hospitality industry. Entrepreneur who has founded and sold two companies. Tobacconist & Rum aficionado.
The Story of appapp
We launched in 2018 and but this crazy journey began much earlier and is still just starting.
When One Crazy Idea Sparks It All
Back in 2016, Nick and I worked together at Cater2.me – a Food-tech startup changing the face of corporate catering. We were bitter rivals in sales constantly fighting for that #1 spot – but always there to help the other succeed and improve. I remember when he looked at me for the first time and simply said, “I have an idea, and I don’t know what to do with it.” That idea was the premise for AppApp… reward people right away for choosing to enjoy a restaurant. As a previous bar owner, driving traffic resonates with me, but honestly the fees many times don’t – so we decided to set out and find a way to make this crazy concept work.
The initial concept was simple – restaurants should use their food for marketing.
Research Never Tasted So Good
We went around to restaurants and bars in Hells Kitchen, NYC, our stomping ground, and spoke to managers and owners about the concept. It was then that we really understood just how much current mobile marketing gouged restaurants, typically taking between 35-75% of the bill. This is when we became adamant about making our platform HELP, instead of gouge, restaurants by removing all fees. Top that off with seeing how many of them were excited to offer a free bite to lock in a customer, we knew we had a winner on our hands.
Getting to sample amazing dishes is the greatest perk. Oh, all of these are available on AppApp!
How TechDay 2018 Stopped Us Cold
We launched into our beta just in time for TechDay of 2018. Over joyed and with a lot of hype from people coming up to us we were sure this was going to work…. but it didn’t. Despite hundreds of people giving over info and seeming really excited, we added very few subscriptions. We were so focused on what our restaurants needed that we didn’t take ample time to really learn about what our users wanted. We assumed that everyone would want free appetizers and paying a subscription for any access wouldn’t be an issue – boy were we wrong. We spent the next several months correcting our app and questioning our users to design a unique experience that resonates with them.
Seeing the excitement of people learning about AppApp was amazing!
Rethink, Redesign, Restart, And Our First Raise
In May this year (2019), we launched our first campaign with the goal of raising $30,000 to begin building out our new version and use that as a stepping stone to raise from additional angels. Well, with everyones support we BLEW past that goal and raised over $250,000! With this we were able to dive right into development, hire 2 employees, and get the ball rolling at lightning speed. Since receiving the funds (mid August), we have released a new version to the app store and have a strong timeline of updates coming bi-weekly to the app for the next several months. In those two months we have grown our restaurant base almost 20% and are now prepped to push into user growth heavily. We are well on our path to creating a unique experience for restaurant and our users to reshape how everyone eats out.
Lots of user feedback went into the redesign of AppApp and we can’t wait to release it with your help.
Creating a Blueprint for Growth
The previous year was all about bringing our first batch of restaurants on board… I mean what good is an app about food with no food. The first 2 quarters of this year was working with our beta users to really define what they needed and wanted from our app and then designing it. Moving forward we are all about user growth (don’t worry though, we are still adding new restaurants too!).
To accomplish this, we are working with our partner restaurants to have events at their locations to drive awareness to us and attract customers that can get immediate value from App-App, working with several food influencers to promote the app, being part of various food and tech events throughout the city, and hosting unique food/drink experiences throughout the city to get our name, message, and most importantly our product in peoples hands.
We are excited to have you as part of this journey to change the way mobile marketing works for the the restaurant industry!