CaterCow is an online marketplace for office food catering in the USA. It was co-founded by Sean Li, who is also its current CEO. Here, he shares all about his entrepreneurial journey with CaterCow.
CaterCow has been in the food-tech business for over eight years now. What led you to pursue entrepreneurship?
I briefly worked in finance after college. I realized I wanted to be more ground level, work more operationally, and interact more with the end constituents such as those eating the food and restaurant owners. My partner and I founded CaterCow because we wanted to make it easy to order catering. It’s hard to order for a group of people!
Briefly describe your business, CaterCow.
We’re a website where you can order catering online. We don’t make the food ourselves; we partner with restaurants that do. Most of our business is office catering, production catering, and charter school & university catering. We provide catering to many hospitals, biotech & pharma companies, tech companies, and financial services companies.
We also work with a few non-profits (e.g., Ronald McDonald House, Salvation Army), who use corporate donations to purchase catering from us. Traditionally, office managers, line producers, and event planners would have to call up each individual restaurant, request a quote, see if they deliver, be told to call back when a restaurant manager is available, pay over the phone, etc., but CaterCow solves all of those problems!
What has your journey been like? Do share the achievements that kept you going.
I was working in investment banking before this and got sick of being in the spreadsheets and wanted to be more out there. It’s been exhilarating and fun for the past 8.5 years of CaterCow. I make significantly less money than I did in finance, but I am way happier day-to-day.
I’m proud of the fact that CaterCow is a bootstrapped business, and we hope to continue staying that way and not rely on venture capital money that many companies bank on nowadays, as we think it leads to methods of doing business that focuses solely on growth while not being long term sustainable for the market nor any employee. I’m also proud that we somehow are still going despite the pandemic bringing us down 99%!
What sets your business apart from others in your field?
Curation and vetting – not any random restaurant can join CaterCow. We follow a rigorous application process. Secondly, our customer service for sure! Every company can say this, but we really mean it.
Lastly, what are your ambitions and goals for the future? What do you hope to achieve?
I don’t believe in setting long-term goals. We take it day-by-day, month-to-month, quarter-by-quarter. It’s never worked for us. In my opinion, especially right now, with Covid variants and all the uncertainty, it is foolish to plan out more than a year.
Check out CaterCow’s website to know more about its services here.