Genuine help and genuine reviews
If San Franciscans can't decide where to have lunch, they take out their phone and ask Yelp or another review site for advice. Anyone can post a review on Yelp, and not only about a restaurant but about a florist or a dentist as well.
While Yelp may have power in numbers, Jutta Weigh, a start-up entrepreneur living in San Francisco, predicts that it will soon have more industry specialized alternatives.
“You need to take Yelp's restaurant reviews with a pinch of salt as they can be written by anybody in any kind of mood.”
Weigh prefers the Chef’s Feed app, where the only people allowed to write reviews are chefs – whose names and faces are displayed.
“Chef’s Feed offers honest and positive feedback. You can use the app to check what the best dish in a particular restaurant is or to see where a particular dish is at its best.”
Jutta Weigh found the co-founder for her own San Francisco startup through a web service.
Weigh is enthusiastic about food and restaurants. Before moving to San Francisco she worked as a restaurant manager in Kiasma and Ateneum in Helsinki. It was on the Kiasma terrace where she came up with the idea for her own start-up company, Appthetable. The app allows customers to order their food and drink from their seat, freeing the waiter to focus on delivering the orders faster.
Appthetable wants to create a communication channel between the customer and the restaurant.
“If a customer rates a dish and gives it two or three stars - similar to Uber, the restaurant can contact the customer afterwards and then improve their service.”
When Weigh is too busy to go to a restaurant, she orders a delivery using GrubHub, Caviar or Munchery. New food delivery services pop up in San Francisco all the time.
Women still tend to be a minority among the managers of these start-ups. Weigh was inspired when she heard that Grace Garey had founded the charity organisation Watsi where people can directly fund healthcare for individuals who live in third-world countries. Watsi's administration is funded separately, which means that every dollar donated goes to those in need.
“I like it that the founder is a young woman who decided to make her dream come true. I admire her solution-focused approach.”
During its first year of operations, Watsi managed to collect more than a million dollars from private donors.
Profession: Co-Founder, CEO
What do you do in Silicon Valley? I develop my app, called Appthetable, with two other employees. Appthetable allows customers to place their orders sitting at the table in a restaurant. It generates more sales for the restaurant, makes it easier to make impulse purchases and waiters can focus on customer service instead of taking orders and payments.
What do you expect to achieve in San Francisco? I try to communicate with various kinds of people and receive feedback on Appthetable every day. You can meet amazing people anywhere in this city: in a burrito queue or when sharing an Uber ride.
The most significant experience you’ve had in San Francisco? I met my partner McCall Vollum through CoFounderLab, which works like a dating site except that it brings together start-up entrepreneurs and potential employees. First you exchange messages, then talk on the phone, and finally you meet face to face. Two months after the meeting, McCall left her job and moved from Chicago to San Francisco.