Indiana Economic Development Corporation on SnapShyft

JAN 04, 2018

SnapShyft, which provides a platform to help food and beverage venues of all shapes and sizes operate smarter, announced plans to scale up its operations in Indianapolis, establishing its corporate headquarters here with plans to employ up to 40 associates by the end of 2019. 


“In Indiana, we’re committed to propelling innovation and ensuring that Hoosiers are at the center of solving 21st century challenges and creating tomorrow’s solutions,” said IEDC president Elaine Bedel. “SnapShyft is a perfect example of why it’s crucial to create an environment that allows innovators to thrive and focus on what matters most – their product and their business. From pitch competitions to co-working spaces and incentives geared toward entrepreneurs, Indiana has the resources needed to spark new ideas and ensure we are a hub for innovation.”


SnapShyft launched its on-demand mobile and desktop app in September, allowing food and beverage venues to connect with qualified contract service professionals looking for shifts in their area. The company has rolled out its platform in Indianapolis and surrounding areas, and it plans to expand into additional markets, including Bloomington, Greater Lafayette, Muncie and at least four additional major metros outside of Indiana in 2018. Since the initial launch, nearly 200 venues have created accounts on the platform, including some of the most prominent food & beverage operations in the city, and the app has been downloaded by more than 1,500 hospitality professionals in the Indy metro area. Demand is growing beyond Indianapolis as well, with platform downloads in more than 130 cities spanning 42 states. 

To support increased demand and planned growth, SnapShyft plans to invest $433,000 in its Indianapolis operations which will officially be designated as its corporate headquarters over the next five years. Initially, the company plans to lease space at both The Speak Easy downtown and Level, located at 55 Monument Circle, and will evaluate other options within Marion County for an increased footprint as its team grows. 

“After months reviewing various metro areas that fit our criteria for growth, Indianapolis rocketed to the top of the list with the tremendous growth in tech witnessed since 2010 and being ranked at or near the top in a number of event-based and tourism-related business categories,” said Thor Wood, co-founder of SnapShyft. “Being in or near downtown Indianapolis was a true no brainer for the team, housing more than 400 food and beverage venues, an amazing pool of tech talent, and access to surrounding markets like Fishers, Carmel and Greenwood. We are excited about the growth happening in Indiana’s core city, and can’t wait to add to that.”

SnapShyft, which was co-founded by Stephanie Corliss and Wood, has already hired seven employees this year and plans to add another 20 associates to its team in 2018. The company plans to hire for management and administration, engineering and technology development and deployment, as well as customer success positions. New positions are expected to offer average salaries above the state and county average wage. 

The company was first established in 2016 soon after Corliss and Wood beat out 14 other potential businesses for first place in the inaugural 2016 Indy Startup Challenge, hosted by Elevate Ventures and Logika USA, which the co-founders said provided the quality road map to help launch their business model. SnapShyft has also utilized the state’s Venture Capital Investment tax credit program, which helps innovators attract capital more quickly and efficiently by giving Indiana investors an incentive to invest in early-stage firms, to raise start-up funding in 2017.

“The story of SnapShyft is one of innovation and rapid growth — a company that has the potential to transform the market, born from the thriving start-up incubator that Indianapolis has become,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “SnapShyft is a representative of our city’s tech ecosystem, producing solutions for the challenges of the 21stcentury and we look forward to celebrating continued innovation for years to come.”

SnapShyft allows venues, such as restaurants, bars, event facilities and catering companies to connect with qualified contract service professionals. The platform, which is available for download in both the Apple App Store and Google Play, is free for venues and workers to create accounts. Allowing business owners and managers to fill both last-minute staffing needs, as well as any future shifts up to 90 days out through its newly-released Advanced Scheduling feature, ensures venues can provide quality customer satisfaction and provides workers the ability to pick up extra hours on the fly that fit their schedule. 

The IEDC offered Avail Productivity Systems (dba SnapShyft) up to $300,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $150,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. These incentives are performance based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. The city of Indianapolis supports the project at the request of Develop Indy, a business unit of the Indy Chamber. 

How do you even gauge what’s appropriate when partying is part of the culture of your business?

How do you even gauge what’s appropriate when partying is part of the culture of your business?

published by Thor Wood – Founder/CEO

 

I recently dove into an excellent article from Bon Appétit that highlights 5 acclaimed chefs that chose sobriety and purposefully continue on that path. Shining light on a chaotic lifestyle, that is unavoidable in many respects… at some point, whilst working in the industry, you will encounter (or perhaps become shrouded by) the dark side of the food & beverage industry. Working in the F&B world is a high pressure environment. It’s a system where each respective position relies on it’s counterparts, and being short staffed is certainly a major contributor. Many factors go into the creation of the high pressure, and quite possibly the relief. 

“A lot of young cooks look up to chefs in the press, and the common stigma is, ‘I need to be a badass, I need to be able to drink and hold my liquor and then work through the hangover.”

 

“This industry can tear you down if you let it,”

 

Kudos to Andrew Zimmern, Sean Brock, Gregory Gourdet, Michael Solomonov, and Gabriel Rucker. I highly recommend reading the full article.

 

“I want [sobriety] to be something people are proud of rather than shameful of. The simple fact that you have made the decision to take better care of yourself? That should be the proudest moment of your day.”

 

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the highest rates of illicit drug use are found in the accommodations and food services industry, and workers in that industry have the highest rates of substance use disorder: 16.9 percent compared to 9.5 percent on average across other industries. The highest rates of heavy alcohol use are in the mining and construction industries, with accommodations and food services coming in third.