What if getting someone great to fix your restaurant’s equipment problems – or even patch the hole in your ceiling – was as easy as hailing a ride?
“The best way to describe SendaGuy Now is to think of this as the ‘Uber’ of restaurant repairs and maintenance,” said Steve Keltz, Chief Marketing Guy. “SendaGuy Now is a mobile app that provides New York City chefs, managers and kitchen staff at a variety of different types of restaurants with what we call ‘Restaurant Repairs On Demand.’”
How does it work? Let’s say you’re a chef or a pizza maker, and your Hoshizaki icemaker or your Baker’s Pride pizza oven is down, and you can’t operate your kitchen. “With SendaGuy Now, you go into the app, enter your location, enter what’s specifically broken, and indicate when you need someone to come – even if it’s within the next few hours. The app automatically matches the details of the restaurant’s service request, with the credentials and skills of a qualified repairman who’s already working nearby,” Keltz explained. “We’re not just sending any guy with a hammer. Our technology matches specifically credentialed contractors in a variety of trades who can service a specific piece of equipment when you need them.”
The company is currently focusing on independently owned and -managed restaurants in Manhattan. “That’s anyone from the corner restaurant, to a Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee, all the way up to a hospitality group that operates many restaurants, all under different names and managers,” he noted. The app essentially helps foodservice operators get things fixed when they don’t necessarily have quality relationships in place or when their regular guy isn’t available. “Our mission ultimately is to educate restaurant owners about the importance of maintaining and repairing their equipment properly,” Keltz noted.
SendaGuy Now’s parent company is ServiceChannel, the leading SaaS service automation platform for facilities managers and contractors, which was originally founded on the idea of helping contractors report service data to their large retail and restaurant customers. “Helping contractors is in our DNA,” he reported. For more than 15 years, ServiceChannel has been providing enterprise software to retail and restaurant chains to manage their contractor networks worldwide.
“We have years of data about restaurant equipment repairs and maintenance which puts us in a great position to educate the independent restaurant owner.”
SendaGuy Now is a solution for independently owned restaurants, franchisees and hospitality groups that don’t have relationships with quality service providers but need help fast when they need repairs and maintenance.
SendaGuy Now maintains that it’s a two-sided equation. “On one side is the restaurant owner or foodservice professional and on the other is the service professional. “If you look around the streets of New York City, there are hundreds of service vans parked all day long doing work for contract clients. We know that they’re not always busy. They have excess capacity. So we can basically identify and use that capacity to work for smaller restaurants that they’re not currently in contract with. It’s a win-win.”
Currently, the three most common service requests SendaGuy Now gets are commercial cooking equipment, handyman services, and refrigeration work. “We also cover plumbing, electrical, fire safety, even junk removal. Handyman services are an interesting thing because we found more and more restaurants are looking for this,” he asserted. “They may not have equipment that’s broken today, but they could use some handyman services. So we started to beef up our handyman resources because we saw a real need. It could be anything from fixing tiles to a hole in the ceiling that needs to be patched or doors that need to be hung correctly, etc. It could be anything.”
SendaGuy Now will also send someone to a restaurant site to do a complimentary equipment survey.
“A lot of times restaurants have inherited used equipment that they don’t really know the condition of,” Keltz said. “So it’s a good idea to have somebody come in to check things out, especially right before the holidays, it’s a must. We’ll go in and look at everything they have and give them a report that says, here’s what we see, here’s what we suggest,” he continued. “There’s no charge for the report. We’re offering essentially a no-obligation analysis to show you what the restaurant staff can perform and what you will need a contractor for. This way you’re not paying for services you don’t get or need.”
SendaGuy Now is also working on an asset-tagging program. “We survey all your equipment for you and tag each item. Down the road contractors will basically just tap their phone to the tag on each piece of equipment. Our system will then pull up the service history of that piece of equipment. Saving the technician time and the restaurant money,” he added.
Contractors servicing Manhattan restaurants are embracing the SendaGuy Now model. “We are a lead generator for a service contractor,” Keltz added “We guarantee that a contractor’s diagnostic fee will be paid once he accepts the job and shows up at the location. That takes a lot of risk out of it for the contractor,” Keltz noted.
“The goal of a mobile app like ours, similar to what people experience on Uber, is that it becomes second nature. It naturally just works without you actually having to speak to anybody. You don’t even have to be at the location receiving service. The idea is that, wherever you are, you can manage repairs for your restaurant. What the app does really well is communicate to the user. It lets you know that we’re searching for a perfect match. When we find that match, the app lets you know and presents the contractor’s rate– which we monitor to ensure that it’s fair and commensurate with the task,” he stated. “And then, if you accept that contractor, it tells you when the repair technician is on the way and when he shows up.”
But the app isn’t done once this happens. Keltz said that the company actually watches the transaction in the background to make sure everything is connecting. “We make sure that if a customer is presented with an estimate, the customer doesn’t miss the deadline for responding to that estimate. Or, if a contractor is accepting a job, and says he’ll be there within two hours, he actually shows up within two hours. That’s why our customers love this.”
SendaGuy Now also has a mobile parts warehouse. “We have a van stocked with the most commonly requested equipment parts – it’s basically like the ice cream truck that drives around the neighborhood, with the idea being that, if a contractor is at your location and needs a part, we want to increase his first time fix rate,” he said. “And if we’ve got the part he needs on our van, we’ll bring it to the location that day.”
Down the road the company will be adding more analytics which will be viewed from a web-based dashboard. “You will be able to log into a website and see reports and dive deeper into the repair data of your equipment inventory,” Keltz concluded.
The SendaGuy Now app is free and is available for download at the Apple App Store and Google Play App Store. Interested restaurant operators and potential repair service partners can also go to their website or call 800-214-5410 for service.