This month we are spotlighting teams that thrive, and GotChew has been impressing us all since they came on the scene less than two years ago. The three friends– Ryan, Will, and Justin– saw local food delivery as an unfulfilled need in New Bedford and set out to make a business of it.
As graduates of the EforAll Accelerator Program, GotChew connected with some of our favorite Groundwork! members as mentors, including Matt Medeiros and Kevin Maillet. We’ve watched the team evolve over these past several months, and it is inspiring to see their business take off.
In this interview, Will shares some of the team’s survival skills for keeping it fun and light during workweeks that are typically 10+ hours a day and 7 days. Without further ado, here’s how GotChew keeps it real:
Our mission is to connect the community to their favorite restaurants, and other things by making it easier to enjoy them through online ordering and delivery.
How did you come together?
We have friends for a long time, going on over 6 years. When Ryan came up with the idea for GotChew he reached out to Will to be his partner and introduce it at an EforAll SouthCoast pitch contest in September of 2016. When we received not only a warm welcoming by the community but also a first place and crowd favorite prize, we knew we had to take this seriously and bring it to fruition. We recruited Justin to be the third leg of our tripod and it’s been history since!
What do you do to keep communication flowing?
We maintain an extremely active group text– I don’t think 20 minutes go by without someone talking in it. Seriously, like its non-stop between the three of us. We also hold team meetings on Saturday and Sunday to discuss weekly business and plan ahead for what’s to come. We maintain a google drive that we all have access to which is a great tool for any team to be able to work on projects together as well.
How do you have fun/ celebrate successes?
Our big celebration recently was a trip to California, when we took a weekend off to celebrate a year and a half of hard work with little to no days off. That was amazing and exactly what we needed to motivate us to take GotChew even further in 2018. We try to keep the group atmosphere positive and fun so whenever we break a new record, like orders per day/week and record profits we reward ourselves with a nice meal (at one of our partnered restaurants accompanied by a photo shoot for social media of course) and usually a celebratory toast downtown somewhere.
Have you ever fundamentally disagreed on something important? How did you resolve it?
Oh yes, having three very strong minded individuals working together for a single cause comes with many disagreements followed by extensive debates weighing out pros and cons of each side. We try to remove bias and go with reason and research to handle disagreements. Every move we make is calculated and well thought out, so although we might not agree on everything, we know in the end it is the right decision. We are all very similar and different, and it helps a lot because we have to view our business from outside perspectives. Us having different opinions and views allows us to see how others view our product and services and come up with a consensus, best practice, and way to move forward.
What is your favorite part of working in your team?
We’re all best friends, and that’s what makes our team so strong. It’s more than a business– it’s a friendship and a partnership. When we’re working 10+ hours each and every day (because GotChew is a 7-day a week business nevermind our other full time jobs) having our group’s comedic relief and support of each other is what really keeps us sane and pushing forward. Working with your friends whom you love and respect is the best.
What advice would you give to others about partnerships and team work?
That no matter what happens, whether it’s petty fights or major disagreements on important decisions, don’t let that get in the way of your friendship and cloud your judgement about the matter at hand. Your team is your biggest support in your endeavor and you’re all working towards the same goal. Compromise, respect, and commitment are incredibly important values to hold when working with a team or partner and if you can hold those values true, you should be able to take on any objective at hand.