A day in the life interview: Rob Hall, founder of Wriggle
Back in 2013 a foodtech company called Wriggle was founded with the aim of reducing food waste from restaurants by helping with efficiency and footfall. The platform allows retailers to alter their prices and offers in real-time, depending on stock levels and peak times. Now active in Bristol, London and Brighton Wriggle is a way to link customers with the best local places in their city, while at the same time finding them great deals.
This week we caught up with Wriggle’s founder Rob to hear how the company has evolved and how it’s aiding the hospitality industry.
- What time does your day start?
7.30am – for a classic 9am start in the office
- Are you a tea or coffee person?
Always coffee. We work with lots of amazing coffee places near our office in Bristol (Playground Coffee, Small Street Espresso, Emmeline, Club Haus, Spicer & Cole) so we’ve got a whole host of amazing coffee spots to visit
- Tell us a bit about your job.
I’m the Founder of a technology-startup, Wriggle. I was a lawyer by trade, working for a number of years at a big international law firm in London and Brazil, but took the plunge to create my own company down in Bristol.
I absolutely love the job – every day is exciting and different, I’m constantly busy, I’m working with a team of passionate and talented people, and it’s super-fast paced.
- What does your company do?
Wriggle’s a mobile-app and website marketplace helping customers discover and save-money from brilliant local and independent cafes, bars and restaurants in Bristol and now restaurants in Brighton and London. We find great local businesses that want more customers, to extend their peak times, or to reduce food-waste – they create time-sensitive price-reductions to encourage customers to visit them, and our customers can purchase through Wriggle, and in doing so, discover somewhere new and save money at the same time.
- What brought you to Bristol?
Wriggle brought me to Bristol. When I had the idea, Bristol seemed like the perfect place to launch it and test it out. I’d been a student at Bristol Uni from 2005-2008, so I knew the city and just how great it is,It’s a good size to launch a new product (it’s big, but not unmanageably big), it’s a creative city with a strong technology scene, and finally there’s a thriving food & drink scene with hundreds of amazing local Bristol restaurants, cafes and bars.
- What does your typical work day schedule look like?
I’ve been raising investment for Wriggle over the last 9 months which means that I’ve lost a basic routine as I spent a lot of time attending meetings. I’m looking forward to recreating an office routine (involving as little external meetings as possible).
- What kind of projects are you currently working on?
The key project at the moment is mapping out all the new features we want to add to our website and app over the next 6 months – 1 year. This is vital strategic planning – so we’ve just finished testing the concepts with customers over a number of weeks, and we’ll now set our designer, Yasmin, loose to create the designs, and then it’ll be over to our development team (led by Clement) to make it happen.
- When is your most productive time of the day?
Definitely the morning – I get cabin fever after 7 or 8pm.
- What do you consider the greatest achievement in your work to date?
I think what we’ve created in Bristol with Wriggle is fantastic – we’ve got hundreds of amazing independent businesses all working together and thousands and thousands of customers who love it.
- If there was any other job you could do, what would it be?
Having worked with so many restaurants over the last few years, I’d love to give it a go at some stage. I’ve loved witnessing at close hand what makes some places do so well (and equally, what makes some places not do so well).
- How does technology support your work?
We’re a tech company, so of course, it’s extremely important. We need a website or mobile-app that is attractive and as easy to use as possible. However, I really think that tech is only one piece of what we do. As a consumer-facing product, the design and communication has to be top-notch, and on the business-end we have to be excellent at building and maintaining relationships with lots of small business-owners.
- What is the one app you could not live without?
- What’s the best thing about working at Wriggle?
The excitement and buzz of creating something from nothing and the enjoyment of working with a team of passionate people.
- Where is the after work hangout?
Our office is on King Street, which is a beautiful cobbled old street in the centre of Bristol with a burgeoning Craft Beer scene. We often roll out the office and head straight to the excellent Small Bar, or for table-tennis and beers at Club Haus.
- Who is your professional role model?
Probably Brian Chesky from AirBNB, because what they’ve achieved in creating a location-specifc two-sized marketplace on that scale, at the same time as maintaining a community feel, is the clearest role model for what we need to do at Wriggle.
I’ve been reading a lot about Elon Musk recently as well – although his achievements and goals (for instance, get a million people to Mars within his lifetime) are so huge that it’s hard to compare or see him as a role-model for what I’m doing.
- How do you balance your personal and professional life?
Over time it gets easier. At the beginning, every small roadbump feels like it’s the end of the world – but after a couple of years you get a bit more battle-hardened. Luckily I love working on Wriggle, so I’m not too worried about the lack of balance anyway!
- What are the top 3 qualities you look for in an employee?
Passion, Proactivity and Efficiency.
- What is the one piece of advice you would give to an entrepreneur starting out?
Move quickly! Start testing your chief assumptions as quickly as possible. But at the same time, make sure that your first version is a “Minimum Loveable Product” rather than a “Minimum Viable Product”.
For local deals or more info on Wriggle visit www.getawriggleon.com