Jun 28, 2020
In this episode, I interview Mat
Weir, a tech entrepreneur and the founder of international table
booking service, First Table, the only company in the world focused
on helping restaurants get their first customer for the night. Mat
got the idea to start the company after seeing a sign in a local
French restaurant in Queenstown, New Zealand. First Table charges
the customer $10 per booking and the customer gets 50% off their
food at the venue. After selling his software development company
in 2014, aged 29, he built the website, opened with ten restaurants
in Queenstown and is now in 60 cities across 8 countries and 1400
restaurants with a goal to hit 10,000.
The company has grown from one
full-time employee, himself, to now 22 based in New Zealand,
Australia, Canada, UK, and the Philippines. They’re looking to
expand their product into North America, and Europe soon. Funding
has been from sweat equity and the growing profits from a very
scalable business model. Mat says when building your board of
directors or advisors, start with a great chair and build a board
around them. He believes the hardest thing in growing a small
business is, decision making fatigue (Making a lot of decisions on
the fly as you go). The advice he would give himself on day one is,
“Mate, you’re in for a shitload of work, but it will be
worthwhile”. Stay tuned and enjoy.
This Cast Covers:
Table: The only company in the world that specializes in getting
people into restaurants at the beginning of the evening
First Table helps restaurants get diners and create a great
unique business model they use to make money from having 1400
restaurants in 8 countries on their platform.
a tech entrepreneur from a young age and thriving on several
- Starting out 6 years ago as a solo founder with
6 restaurants signed up and growing to 1400 restaurants across 60
cities in 8 countries and 22 full-time employees.
- Working hard to build their platform and having
some of the best restaurants signing up.
- Building a globally recognized brand that is
the only one in the world doing what they do.
- Bootstrapping from day one and funding the
business solely from cash flow.
- Launching in other countries in North America,
the UK, and other markets.
challenges of starting out in business and the worth that comes
from forging on towards the core goal.
importance of having persistence and a plan B just in
being a developer has helped him grow the business.
value of automation in ensuring effective processes and employee
challenges of trying to scale up and make things more efficient on
- Shifting from being just a developer and a one
man band to learn sales.
power of time management and optimizing your output to
- Committing to bringing on business development
experts and how it helped in achieving hiring
value of monitoring employee happiness and engagement levels in
building a great culture.
to launch in Manilla and how their local presence there will help
in building out a sales and marketing team.
- Consulting mentors who can give valuable
business management and growth advice based on their years of
- Decision-making fatigue: The exhaustion that
comes with making so many decisions every day as a small business
power of Facebook ads in growing a business.
Music from https://filmmusic.io
"Cold Funk" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com). License: CC