In September I left Lockheed Martin to start a company with my very talented colleague Ian Lotinsky. Today is a very proud day for us, as after several months of private beta we have just publicly launched SandwichBoard.
What is SandwichBoard?
SandwichBoard is the best way to create and maintain a restaurant’s website. We’ve worked really hard to make managing a restaurant’s website with SandwichBoard as easy as writing an email, updating a Facebook profile, or writing a blog entry. We let restaurant owners and managers update their menus, events, locations, and news from a web browser without having to learn anything about HTML or web design.
The best way to describe SandwichBoard is to show it in action, so please go check out our introductory video.
I started working in restaurants when I was still in high school and paid my way through college as a busboy, waiter, bartender, and manager. I love restaurants. And I saw how painful it is for most restaurants to manage their web sites.
Every restaurant needs a web site, but getting a good one is currently an expensive and time consuming proposition. First, you have to hire a graphic designer, then you have to find, set-up, and pay for web hosting. Most of the time this involves signing a multi-year contract. One restaurant I know just spent upwards of $20,000 on a site redesign.
And after all that you can’t easily update your site. Every time you change your menu or want to make a change to a page you have to call up the designer and pay them more to make the change. This leads to restaurant web sites being out of date. And the only thing worse than not having a web site is having customers show up to find out that you now close an hour earlier than your 2 year old web site says.
SandwichBoard solves this problem. When a restaurant signs up for SandwichBoard they can start building their site immediately. In minutes they can create a basic site, and in about an hour they can create about a complete site. We give them a choice of several pre-built themes. They can use the theme as is, customize the theme themselves, or higher a designer to build them a custom theme. Once the theme is set up they can easily manage their entire site without the need to involve (and pay) the designer.
We’re so confident that restaurants are going to love SandwichBoard that we let them try it free for a month. We also don’t lock them into a long term contract, so they can cancel at any time.
Please Help Us…
Making it to launch is a big accomplishment, and is cause for celebration (And believe me, I will be celebrating tonight)
But now comes the truly important part: getting customers. So please help us spread the word. If you know people in the restaurant business please let us know. If you’re going out to eat please check and see if they have a web site. If they don’t, let us know. If they do and it’s bad, let us know.
If you know graphic designers who are interested in some work let us know. We would love to refer restaurants to them. We manage all the hosting and software, so designers can focus on design. We’re not looking to make money off the designers, they keep whatever fee they negotiate with the restaurants, we just want to get good designers building beautiful web sites on SandwichBoard.
Thanks to everyone who has put up with me for the last several months while we built this application. I flaked on plans, was generally a bad friend, and for that I’m sorry. For those of you I’ve been bad about keeping up with please know that you are in my thoughts and I hope to catch up with you soon.