Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
Anyone who’s worked in a restaurant remembers the struggles when they first started — remembering orders, doing side work and learning when to check on a table — knows every experience pales in comparison to learning the restaurant computer system.
Brett Guidry has been investing in restaurants for years, and he, with his co-founders Bill Schafer and Bill Draper, knew that the “point-of-sale” (POS) systems in restaurants were ripe for new ideas. So Guidry, Schaffer and Draper launched Dovetail, now known as Gusto, a POS system beginning to roll out in Washington, D.C., restaurants.
Gusto held its launch party in late September, and they’re already in one area business, the Embassy Suites in Chevy Chase. Guidry said when they installed the Gusto system, it took less than a day to train the servers.
The Gusto system took more than a year to design — the business was founded in early 2012 — because Guidry and his coworkers knew that full functionality and an optimal design were keys to get restaurants to switch from entrenched industry giants, such as Micros and NCR.
Paramount to the development were the user experience, navigation, ease of use and ease of learning, Guidry said. Gusto also runs on a “hybrid cloud” system, meaning it runs wirelessly over the Internet, but it’s fully capable if the Internet in the restaurant goes down. Managers and owners can also access their financial systems and real-time information from anywhere, a wrinkle that Guidry said has drawn rave reviews.
“The amount of dissatisfaction and frustration in restaurants was stronger than we thought,” Guidry said. “After talking to restaurateurs, it’s much higher than you would expect.”
“If someone’s not in pain, it’s hard to sell them on someone else coming in and solving a problem,” he said.
Although it’s early, Gusto claims it has pinpointed the most profound pain felt in restaurants and found a solution. The next step is curing what ails more and more restaurants. While not ready to announce their next partners, Gusto is ready for any challenge, Guidry says.
“We’ll be able to handle scale,” he said. “From one small restaurant to several thousand locations. We’re an open platform for restaurant technology. Our goal is to be the platform for serious restaurateurs.”
A James Beard award-winning chef has agreed to use Gusto in his upcoming restaurant, but Guidry said he can’t reveal who the chef is or where and when the restaurant will open. There is also discussion with some national chains, but those are preliminary.
Although New York is generally hailed as the food capital of the country, Guidry said D.C.’s burgeoning restaurant industry is the ideal spot for his team’s young business.
“The food scene is expanding in the D.C. area, and there’s lots of new thinking,” Guidry said. “We want to be associated with those new thinkers.”
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Two dogs with the ruff job of sniffing out danger at Reagan National Airport are in the limelight. Ava and Messi — the pair of pooches prowling DCA for smelly…
Join the Alexandria Symphony for their Home for the Holidays concert on December 17-18.
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Grab some friends and sign up for Parks & Rec’s Eugene J. Green Memorial Winter Basketball League! Adults 18+ can register teams of up to 12 people for the ten-game season. Cost is $765 per team. Games are Mondays and/or Wednesdays at Arlington Mill Community Center starting the week of Jan. 4. Sign up here by Dec. 11.
Join us at Art House 7 this Saturday 4-7pm for our Annual Open House – Teacher and Student art show!
- Meet our teachers
- See student and teacher artwork
- Teacher’s paintings, ceramics, notecards will be for sale
- Enjoy beverages and light refreshments
- All attendees get a $20 gift certificate off a class
- 30% off everything in our Supply Store for holiday gifts
Sat. Dec. 3, 4-7pm
Art House 7
5537 Langston Blvd.
Arlington VA 22207
NCE’s Holiday Concert will bring the finest classical masterpieces and holiday favorites together for the whole family. The festivities begin with Leroy Anderson’s classic “Sleigh Ride” and “Chanukkah Festival”, music from the Nutcracker and by J.S. Bach.
Outstanding Young Artist