SIN-ning Just Got Better With OffShift
Service industry night (SIN) is when waiters, waitresses, hosts, hostesses, bartenders, barbacks, cooks, busboys and wine stewards get together, usually on Sundays or Mondays, to celebrate some time off and enjoy multiple drink specials at the nightclubs, bars and restaurants they work at and frequent.
Next Monday, July 11, 2016, Concierge Solutions, a local application development startup focused on the service and hospitality industry, will launch a new exclusive platform designed to bring this community even closer.
At a free party at Fulton Alley, 600 Fulton St., from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Concierge Solutions will introduce their new OffShift app to the New Orleans market, offer live demonstrations, provide one-on-one on-site support to new users and invite launch party attendees to an exclusive off-site after party.
“OffShift’s greatest benefit is fostering a sense of community among the industry,” James Lambert, Founder and CEO of Concierge Solutions, said. “Users will be able to promote, interact and share what the industry is doing in real time. As a company, our mission is to advocate for and provide digital solutions to an industry we believe is talented, diverse and underappreciated. With OffShift, our goal is to have the industry recognize how important it is.”
Lambert said the new app will connect and deliver content, share industry-related news, advertise available jobs and increase camaraderie among the hospitality industry.
“Traditional social networks like Facebook and Twitter allow any individual or group to sign up,” Lambert said. “Recently, there has been a shift towards niche social media networks like Nextdoor. Outside of POS systems, the service industry has not caught up with the 21st century due to lack of interest from development companies or the industry itself. As of today there are over 14 million people who work in the industry nationwide, and there are projected to be over 84,000 people just in the Greater New Orleans area alone. The service industry continues to grow, despite state trends in job losses. As a team, we saw this as a perfect opportunity to launch OffShift.”
About 40 users are currently beta-testing the free app, and Lambert said New Orleans is the perfect city to launch it in.
“We believe that if a city, known internationally for its service and hospitality industry, could get behind not just OffShift but what we stand for as a company, there is no limit to our success,” he said. “If OffShift can be verified and trusted by the local service industry, then we can take the platform into different markets.”
Lambert said service industry news and events are usually advertised by word-of-mouth, texting and Facebook posts. OffShift, he said, is taking that word-of-mouth communication to a digital platform where only industry insiders can access.
“OffShift is exclusive to those who work in the service and hospitality industry,” he said. “The platform relies on multiple verification methods, including Facebook, to prove if you are in the industry. The biggest factor built into OffShift is a peer to peer recommendation system. If you are in the industry and sign up for OffShift, you will be able to invite and recommend the platform to your friends and colleagues in the industry. If you happen to see a user on OffShift that you don’t believe is in the industry, then you will be able to notify that venue through the platform warning them of a fraudulent user. Ultimately, our goal is to have the industry verify the industry.”
Lambert, a graduate of Loyola University, worked as a server for three years while in college. He said the idea for his business was conceived in a college dorm room, and he’s proud to bring the flagship OffShift platform to the hospitality business in his hometown of New Orleans.
He founded Concierge Solutions last year and said everyone on his team has experienced working in the service and hospitality industry. This gives them the edge, he said, to bring a better insight into how they shape their future platforms and serve as advocates for and bring digital solutions to the service and hospitality industry.
Logan Griswold, Concierge Solutions’ Director of Development, is currently a student at Loyola University, where he studies Computer Science and Philosophy, and Jordan Hillman, Concierge Solutions’ Director of Operations, oversees business operations for the company. Also a graduate of Loyola University, Hillman has experience in launching venture startups.
OffShift will incorporate two revenue streams: in-app advertising and paid promotions.
“The largest feedback we have gotten in terms of advertising has been from liquor brands who see OffShift as a way to promote their products directly to the industry,” Lambert said. “With promotions, users can promote other users once a day for free. Promotion allows individuals to feel validated about their positions and receive endorsements from the industry. If a venue, brand or user would like to promote an individual repeatedly throughout the day or a scheduled period of time, then we would charge for that promotion.”
OffShift will be available on iOS, Android and Windows 10 devices.