He became an IT consultant after graduating, and in his spare time he built an easy web-based restaurant scheduling application, housed it on a server in his closet and let a few restaurants try it for free. They all loved it, and once he found a few to pay for it, Wes realized that instead of having a side project, he had a legitimate business. In 2007, Schedulefly was born.
I love that story. I love all stories I hear about people "scratching their own itch" and turning the solution into a business. And over the last few years, I've heard from quite a few customers who've done just that. We thought it would be cool to tell their stories, and Sam Rubin is the first person I thought of when the idea for this series hit me...
Sam (that's him in the pic along with....Taylor Swift....wow!) started working in the restaurant industry at the age of 15. Working his way up from Bus Boy to Server to Bartender, he noticed that many restaurants were spending all of their marketing dollars on trying to attract new customers and they were doing very little to retain their current customer base. His wheels began to turn, and a he took action while still in college:
"I started Restaurant eMarketing in 1997 as part of an Advertising Sales course at the University of Florida. At the time 'email' was the new/hip thing and I noticed that people graduated college and moved across the country. When they did this they normally would change their cell phone or home phones, and their addresses would change - but their emails would never change. Many people have had the same email address for years and years and are hesitant to change it because they do not want to miss connections from old friends and colleagues. I saw this as a perfect way to reach someone from a marketing perspective."
Since that time the program and service has evolved from text-based emails to graphic emails that accurately represent each client’s brand and image to it's present form, a "total marketing solution" for the restaurant industry which bundles email marketing and all of the major social media applications into one product offering (basically a one-stop-offering), along with a very personalized touch. The company has been recognized five times over the past year by Nation's Restaurant News - most recently for their Security Enabled Facebook Fan Offer application.
I asked Sam what he'd like to share with restaurant people that read this post: "If you are looking to enhance and grow your email marketing and Social Media presence without increasing your in-house labor, you owe to your guests to check out Restaurant eMarketing. We are so confident in our services that we do not require any long term agreements and can get you up and running within days. If you contact us, be sure to tell us that you read this blog post for special pricing."
Sam has run the business while also being involved directly in the restaurant industry, most recently with Dolce Group. He recently decided to spend 100% of my energy on Restaurant eMarketing, and moved to Park City, UT to live in a place he loves while growing the business he loves.
We wish him the best and we're all inspired by his story.
Labels: Scratch your own itch