First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Ryan Liu: Thank you for asking. My family and I are doing fine. We are following the general safety guidelines in our daily life, we are trying not to go out if not necessary, and keep our masks on and hands washed if we have to be outside.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Rushable.
Ryan Liu: I’m an immigrant, and I moved to the states around 14 years ago. I studied hotel & restaurant management as my major but never graduated, which I’m not proud of. Later on, I got into the restaurant business and became a district manager of a large chain, but before I was 30, I felt a desire to get out and do something I truly enjoyed. So I resigned from my good paying job and started optimaninja.com with my friend, which mainly provides services such as website design and software and mobile app development. Even though that business is going well, we knew for a fact that starting this company would ultimately lead us to build up a team and to get financially prepared for a SaaS product we want to develop. And finally, in the month of June 2020, we brought it live – Rushable. A digital service suite and everything a restaurant needs to succeed online.
How does Rushable innovate?
Ryan Liu: Rushable provides restaurants online ordering capabilities that allow customers to easily order from their website directly, with no commission fees ever. With our online ordering system, restaurants build their own internet clientele and won’t pay the crazy 30% commission that the giant food ordering platforms demand. We want restaurants to keep their already-tight profits.
Rushable creates a direct ordering page on a subdomain of a restaurant’s own website, but nearly half of our clients choose to let Rushable build the entire website for their restaurants, so sales are boosted through ever greater user experience. Studies show that over 70% of customers prefer to order food directly through a restaurant’s own branded website because they want to feel like you’re speaking directly to them. In fact, many customers change their minds when the order button takes them to a different website.
We also have statistics based on data from restaurants using Rushable services, showing that 15% of the web traffic our clients’ sites receive will become actual customers. That means if a restaurant’s current website doesn’t make sales to at least 15% of site visitors, there may be a problem with the website’s user experience, and that’s where Rushable comes in handy.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business, and how are you coping?
Ryan Liu: I wish the pandemic never happened, but we need to adapt to what’s happening. I would say the pandemic changed the way many companies run their businesses, and it also pushed people to try alternative solutions that they wouldn’t have otherwise.
Online food ordering is definitely one of the niches that are currently being greatly impacted. Rushable happened to be rolled out during the middle of it, so we keep perfecting it every day. I would say that with what we currently offer, Rushable is the best pick out of commission-free online food ordering systems.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Ryan Liu: Yes, absolutely. As a startup, there are a million things ahead of you each day. Sometimes we try to get everything accomplished, and things may not turn out exactly as we hope, especially for a software development team. Some days we’ve even released 2 product updates on the same day just because we are so eager to perfect the product, but then we are constantly encountering new bugs, and the team gets frustrated.
So later on, we give ourselves a guideline in which we split and prioritize tasks into sprints. Every week we’ve got one sprint, and for each sprint, we complete what is planned and roll out that updated version. Ever since we’ve started using this system, our team can constantly feel the achievement and be motivated to do better and better.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Rushable in the future?
Ryan Liu: I think every startup is having the same anxiety, such as how we will make it big or even survive? I mean, every day, you have all kinds of mixed feelings from everything you encounter. On a good day, I wake up and feel like the entire world belongs to us, and on a bad day, I think about what I’m going to do if we fail, how can I be responsible for our team if that happens.
Honestly, I don’t have a solution to solve this. I would love to get some feedback from other entrepreneurs who have handled this well. But most of the time, when I think of our product and compare it with other similar products in the market, I feel very positive about things. I believe Rushable will get its name out there soon and become the No.1 choice among online ordering solutions for restaurants.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Ryan Liu: Currently, we are aiming to take on ChowNow, who has a very similar product to what we offer and are well established. However, we have already developed many key features that they aren’t offering but which are very important to the restaurant industry, so we think if potential clients compare ChowNow and Rushable hand-in-hand, 100% of the time they will choose Rushable, not just because it’s more affordable, but because Rushable offers what ChowNow doesn’t.
Your final thoughts?
Ryan Liu: I feel grateful to have our awesome team so that we can deliver together an awesome product to the restaurant industry with Rushable. Rushable offers the best online food ordering solution that is commission-free and built-in to your website. Pricing is at $79/mo for an annual plan, and we even recently rolled out a special offer of $5/mo plan for restaurants that want to give it a try. On top of that, there is also a 60-day money-back guarantee, just for the peace of mind of restaurant owners.
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