DailySpecial was an MVP restaurant platform to schedule, design and publish daily specials via social media, email, push notification and radius direct mail.
How it came to be
After talking to multiple restaurant GMs, it was clear they're not marketing people - but they're tasked as such. Scheduling is a big part of the restaurant world, and I heard on multiple occasions how a social media schedule would help them be more consistent. After multiple discussions, the idea of a Daily Special promo platform was solidifying in my head.
Traditionally when I get hit with a product idea, I just start building and ignore anything business model and long term viability related. DailySpecial was no different, however I decided to evaluate the market before investing too much fun-time building it.
Regardless, I'm killing this project for the two reasons listed below. But first, here's what I managed to build before realizing I should stop...
Once logged in, the user is presented with calendar (with multiple restaurant support). They tap an empty date, and are presented with a post designer.
I envisioned building a bunch of different "meme designers", but for the first pass I landed on copying Facebook's "photo text" designer for its simplistic approach. This lead me down a rabbit hole of adding stickers - which is way more complicated than you'd expect.
Each day the platform would post to the Restaurants selected social channels.
Why I'm not pursing it.
Daily Special is getting shelved for two main reasons.
The first, which I can't believe I didn't think of sooner, is my rule of not relying on social platforms for your business model. I've been around the block long enough to have seen entire companies die by a single deprecated API call. Facebook, Instagram, and Google offer things in their API that THEY WILL KILL in the future. Already, Facebook is making it harder and harder to add quality posts to pages, and Instagram only allows special partners the ability to automatically post photos.
Secondly, I just don't see the market being there. Yes there are a lot of small to mid size restaurants, but the type of scale you need today to generate multiple millions of dollars just isn't there. Also, even with a tool like this, they still won't have the expertise or creativity to create content that "doesn't suck".
How I built it.
- Vuetify as the Material UI framework
- Firebase for authentication, datastore, image storage
- Dom2Image for image generation in the browser
this journey isn't over...
While this product will never see the light of day, it's failure as opened my eyes to a new path...