Startup Of The Year x Gravy

What is Startup Of The Year?


Every year SXSW in Austin, Texas holds a competition for some of the most innovative and exciting startups in the nation. The winner gets the title of Startup of the year and becomes a Startup legend.


Who is going to be there?

Twenty-five incredible companies of high caliber performance including Gravy! Many of the companies pitching during this event are software companies disrupting the way specific industries operate. Here is the complete rundown of all the competitors that will be there!


How have we been preparing?

Here at Gravy, we’ve been getting ready for a few weeks in advanced just because we are so excited to be involved! We’ve been doing everything from making posters, getting merch, and creating an ongoing countdown. We even had an internal mock event in our HQ to simulate the event as close as possible!

Also, shout-out to our amazing team for giving endless feedback and suggestions for our pitch improvement!


Our Marketing Manager, Product Manager, and CEO will all be going down to the event to participate in the startup festivities. Once in Austin, they will pitch Gravy to the 30 judges and hundred’s of people who have come to SXSW. The first pitch is a 1-minute pitch where all the competitors will go back to back with their pitches. From there, a select few competitors will go onto a 3-minute pitch and get the opportunity to pitch to the judges again for a chance to get entered into the mega startup of the year event which will have the top 100 startups in the nation.


We look forward to seeing all the great talent and innovative ideas there!

How to perform well in a fast pace environment

Those who have been in hospitality know the fast-paced nature that takes place while working. This pace may be hard to deal with when starting or trying to learn the ropes of a new job in the industry. Many people must take the time to learn the ropes of a new position or type of job. As hospitality pros, we’ve seen what the best do to perform well at their jobs. Here are some tips for performing well in a fast-paced work environment:

Set Self-Goals

Pushing oneself in hospitality positions is critical. If you happen to be a server, set personal goals for how many tables you can serve within a given period. Start counting the people that you help per night. For chefs and sous chefs, this may be getting a certain amount of plated meals out to the restaurant or great room in a certain amount of time. Hustling to get food cooked prepped, and completed for guests is essential. Dishwashers can also use a mentality of metric based performance to perform well in their positions. Often dishes can be stacked at your station overwhelmingly, however; if you can create self-made deadlines for yourself of when the dish pile should be completed, you will perform at a higher level.

Heavy Communication

When things are moving quickly on a particular day, heavy communication with co-workers can be an enormous help. The difference between missing a guests place setting, missing food calculations, etc. depends on communication. Make sure when you are going over an event or job details with your boss or given a supervisor that you fully understand what needs to happen, how it needs to happen, and why.

Create Efficient Systems

An excellent tip to help one get to know a specific venue or job is to create a system for yourself at how you do your job. Being able to get a task down repeatedly can be an excellent way to learn quickly and outperform others. When someone creates a system that works well, others may follow that system as well. The more you can be efficient, the more likely you are to move up or get more shifts.


One last tip to be a high performer in your hospitality job is to be a hard worker. Having the ability to work hard and hustle during your shifts is an essential yet very effective skill to showcase. Hustle shows a higher level of commitment. It makes things easier for others which in turn helps your reputation as a worker.

Follow these tips, and it could be the difference between more tips, a raise, or both. If you’re looking for an opportunity to make money and put your hospitality skills to the test, make sure to download the Gravy Work app!

A little bit about Dara H., Gravy pro from Maryland

We sat down with 11 year bartending veteran, Dara H., to find out more about why our pros choose Gravy.

When did you work your first hospitality job with us and why?

I got started in 2008 after seeing your newspaper ad and I really wanted a job that would work around my main job. I work 9-5 as a Hiring Manager, but I really wanted something that allowed me to interact with people even more and get me out from behind a desk. My first job was bartending at the Marriot Hotel and I have been Gravying 2-3 times per week ever since.

What are your favorite types of jobs from the Gravy app?

Definitely bartending at major events. Last New Years Eve, I bartended at the Hyatt and it was so much fun! It was such a beautiful event and working at major events like that feels very rewarding.

What are you doing when you aren’t picking up shifts with Gravy?

I went to college for Music Theory with a minor in Psychology and music has always been a passion of mine. I play guitar and am a singer/songwriter. Tracy Chapman and Alanis Morissette are two of my biggest influences.

What do you like most about Gravy?

The community. Everyone who works in their main office knows my name. I love working shifts with other people from Gravy and being able to create my own schedule. Any other part time job would require me to work set hours, but with Gravy, if I want a weekend off, I don’t have to tell anyone.

Top 6 Tips to Make the Most Tips

Let’s get to it. You aren’t serving for the cute outfits and potential fried chicken smell. Make the most out of the #ServerLife with these top 5 tips told to us by seasoned veterans of Washington D.C.’s B.A.R.E. scene.

  1. Yeah this may seem obvious, but the second you greet your tables, the experience begins. The more positive experience for your guests, the looser the wallets.

    Source: flickr
  2. Write a note on the check. Even a simple “Thank you!” will suffice…up the ante with smiley face 😊! Seeing your handwriting so close to the tip box makes it personal.

    Source: pixabay
  3. Make the full meal (apps, entrée, dessert, drinks) feel like the typical thing to do. This one takes practice..or a really good poker face. The more your guests order, the better the tips. Even if they do not order everything, you still offered them the full experience, which they will appreciate.

    Source: flickr
  4. Do not, and I repeat DO NOT hover after giving the check. They will smell your greediness. Give your guests some space while they decide the perfect tip amount. If they feel pressured to give you a certain tip, you have now ruined the experience for them.
  5. Give compliments!!! Who do you know that doesn’t like a good compliment?! Compliment their hair, their t shirt, their necklace….stay away from features like eyes and smile (you do not want to get mistaken for hitting on them!) and don’t overdo it.
  6. Just be a good server. Serving can be challenging (believe me, I have my days that I want to rip my hair out and get a desk job!!), but nail down the basics. Know the menu, be efficient, and give meal updates if the kitchen is slammed.

You are now ready to take on that Friday night shift with confidence in getting the best tips! $$$ What are your best ways for earning the most tips? Let us know in the comments below!