SeamlessWeb's Seamless Solutions
SeamlessWeb CEO Jason Finger once had aspirations of being a big-time New York City lawyer. He lasted about four months before he was bit by the entrepreneurial bug.
During Jason's four-month tenure at his law firm, like most lawyers, he routinely found himself working late into the evening. It was during these late hours that he realized that something as simple as ordering food was a big headache not only for himself, but for his colleagues as well. Instead of doing important work, they were on the phone trying to find out which restaurants were open to deliver and which ones accepted their corporate card, while also dealing with errors in their orders, getting backlogged in receipts to process for expense reports, and much more. Not fun.
That was when Jason realized things could be much simpler. So, he quit his job and created SeamlessWeb.
This very successful "Cool Runnings" company makes food ordering for professional service companies like law firms and investment banks as simple as a few clicks on the computer. It's as easy as opening an account and placing your order online. The best part: Not only does SeamlessWeb improve quality control and efficiency of orders, it also handles all of the "back office" accounting work as well. So there's no more time wasted on submitting receipts and expense reports while trying to find what budget code applies to what.
While SeamlessWeb could have rested on its laurels and early success, it didn't stop there. Jason realized that his business and revenue model could expand well beyond connecting professional services firms with restaurants. So SeamlessWeb developed strong relationships with restaurants across New York City as well. The pitch was pretty simple: We'll help you grow your business. Matter of fact, we'll actually give your Web site a facelift and provide you with all of the tools you need to work with us. That's something restaurant owners love to hear even if they have to give a small percentage of sales to SeamlessWeb because it's well worth it.
What I love about SeamlessWeb is that, to a certain extent, they're matchmakers. They connect businesses with restaurants and provide each with a unique service while utilizing the same technology. This model is pretty brilliant and something many companies in different industries are probably overlooking. There are two sides to every coin.
SeamlessWeb's story makes you wonder, "Duh, why didn't someone think of this earlier?" Probably because they were too busy submitting expense reports.
Antonio Neves is the host of Business on Main’s Web series, Cool Runnings, and a correspondent for NBC NextMedia Productions.