We connected that solution to the problems we faced in our own professional careers with lunch [options] and then decided that if we can apply some technology and some innovative thinking to it we can make this work here in the U.S. as well.
We actually started the business the Monday after graduation. I taught myself to code and Rodrigo went out and found all the fresh foods and customers, and we ran it first out of my dorm room; then out of Rodrigo’s second bedroom.
Best Success Story:
I think the time that I felt happiest about was the first time I went out and talked to a large set of our customers. [It was personally] rewarding seeing was how happy our customers were when they talked to us.
For all the critical feedback we get from customers, things like “the food should be more salty” or “it should be a little bit different,” by far we have taken a part of their life that was sort of a chore before and made it something they look forward to every day. Hearing that from the customer’s mouth the first time I went to make a customer visit was the best thing.
Biggest Startup Challenge:
We had a problem at the beginning of the company where we had to find both customers and partners. To get companies to work with us we had to buy a minimum amount of food. The first couple of weeks we had to order about 20 meals to keep the restaurants happy, but we’d sell one.
So I would end up eating Indian food for breakfast, lunch and dinner through the weekend as a result because we were paying for the food with our own money. In the beginning, it was really live, breathe and eat your own business.
#1 Tip for Entrepreneurs:
I think it can’t be overstated that you need to assemble a team of people that you trust with your life. When you start a new business, things change so rapidly and there are so many hard times; without [a good] team of people, it’s impossible to succeed.
We’ve been lucky enough to have built a team that I am extremely proud of everyday when I work with them.
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Photo: Kevin Yang
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