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Indy Star: An Indy guy created the brilliant app we all wish we had thought of

Monday, September 25, 2017   (0 Comments)
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An Indy guy created the brilliant app we all wish we had thought of

Amy Bartner,

Published 8:52 a.m. ET Sept. 18, 2017 | Updated 7:06 p.m. ET Sept. 20, 2017


Bartender Sarah Spencer was hanging out Downtown one Friday in September when she got an alert on her phone.

Because of massive crowds for the Ed Sheeran concert at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Rebar Indy needed help. They notified Spencer through a new, locally created app called SnapShyft.

The Franklin resident accepted the shift — even though she'd never worked at Rebar Indy before — and immediately went to work for the night at the crazy busy bar.
"I think it's going to take service industry to the next level," Spencer said. "I wasn't working at the time, so that was kind of the way to supplement my income. If you are working, it's a way to make some extra cash."

Before SnapShyft launched earlier this month, it was just an idea that came to Thor Wood while he was kinda hungover one morning two years ago. 

The 34-year-old said he was chugging coffee, battling a headache, "getting my wits about me" and preparing for work at a recruiting company when the thought kept recurring: What if he could make it easier for servers, bartenders and others in the service industry to pick up shifts for extra money and, in turn, help restaurants and bars with qualified staffing.

Essentially, he wondered how to create the Uber of the contract "gig economy." Wood, who spent 16 years in the service industry, called it SnapShyft (http://www,, and launched it earlier this month with his "better half" and co-founder Stephanie Corliss.
SnapShyft connects two users in immediate need: A restaurant or bar own

er who might have had one too many servers call off right before the rush and a server (or bouncer, cook, host, etc.) who might already have a steady job but hopes to pick up last-minute shifts for more money. 

Wood doesn't have developer experience, but he joined the service industry at 14, working in "every position at some point or another" in swanky lounges and catering companies. As part of his research for the app, he talked with catering companies, bars, restaurants and other companies who need service industry employees.

"I've seen both sides," he said. "Staffing is their No. 1 headache."

A staffing issue amounts to more than just an irresponsible no-call, no-show from a server here and there, Wood said.

"The thing is, life happens. Car accidents, your kid's sick," he said. "But that doesn't mean the restaurant should shut down. When you find yourself stuck like that, you do without, and the end result is the consumer, you and I, have a bad experience."

Read full story here.

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