Jamie Baxter, Blaine Light, and Chris Loeffler upgrade hospitality staffing to the next level
Jamie Baxter is an entrepreneur who founded multiple human resources and technology products and Chris Loeffler is the CEO and founder of Caliber, a full-service real estate investment firm specializing in the hospitality sector. During a conversation, Loeffler who owns hotels shared with Baxter how staffing at hotels was a major issue with constant challenges including employee turnover, ever-changing labor laws and no shows. “I jokingly shared, ‘wouldn’t it be a miracle to be able to order a banquet server or line cook at our fingertips and show up at a hotel day-of like how we order a car ride to arrive within minutes through an app?’ and then the idea turned into a newborn business,” explains Loeffler.
Staffing issues is an industry-wide problem impacting hoteliers, caterers, restaurateurs, and hospitality businesses alike. Whether it’s seasonality, understaffing, or last-minute cancellations, approaching a shift unprepared is a pain felt by all. When Baxter’s engineering and technology background and Loeffler’s expertise of the hospitality industry met the skillset of Blaine Light, a former Uber leader who founded the Phoenix and Las Vegas divisions with immense gig economy and business operations experience, Qwick was formed in 2018. The three entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds and passion for growing start-ups from concept to revenue made them the perfect trio to co-develop Qwick, an on-demand staffing platform leveraging technology to connect food and beverage professionals with shifts at hospitality businesses.
The Qwick Experience
With a deep understanding of the “gig economy,” which empowers the workforce to choose whom, when, and where they want to work, and the nuances of the intricate yet evolving HR and hospitality tech industry, the co-founders identified how to create the best experience for service professionals and businesses alike. “We are changing the way food and beverage professionals and businesses work. The Qwick difference includes great reliability (97 percent shift fill rate), high quality (average rating of 4.8 stars) and increased cost effectiveness (20-30 percent less expensive than traditional staffing agencies),” says Blaine Light. Qwick helps working professionals by providing them the flexibility and freedom to control their own schedules and a healthy work-life balance as well as reaching savings goals with supplemental income. Eliminating hours for job searching, the Qwick app allows businesses to post shifts for food and beverage professionals and allows them to accept and confirm shifts all through a smartphone device. Designed with efficiency and flexibility in mind, the Qwick app has features all in one central place: view matched shifts to accept, view work schedules, clock-in and clock-out, and receive payments within as little as thirty minutes after completed shifts through a secured platform.
On the business side, Qwick helps expedite the interviewing, hiring, and payroll processes for restaurants, hotels, event venues and more who need to fill shifts or flex up quickly during peak tourism, event, and wedding seasons as well as a regular busy Saturday night at restaurants. Food and beverage professionals are required to provide their experience, skill sets, and availability in advance then Qwick vets and certifies each worker with in-person orientations. Qwick has a five-star rating system ensuring high-quality and reliable workers and a smart feature matching eligible professionals with businesses. The app uniquely fills shifts within minutes versus days at traditional staffing agencies. The fast-growing staffing app provides businesses in Phoenix, Tucson, San Diego, and Dallas access to over 15,000 working professionals. Qwick is not stopping there. The company has plans to expand to nearly 10 U.S. cities by the end of 2019.
Company Culture Matters
Not only do Baxter, Light and Loeffler genuinely care for hospitality business owners and professionals, they put their team first. At Qwick, workplace culture, employee experience, transparent leadership, and growth and development programs are very important. The entrepreneurs invest in each team member and encourages an entrepreneurial approach to all areas of the business: engineering, business development, marketing, operations and more. Collaboration is key — all Qwick employees support each other and contribute ideas to help advance the app and expand in other markets. To battle the male-dominated tech industry, Qwick is committed to having a diverse team. They have a diverse team that consists of 50 percent of females. The start-up has valued work-life balance since the beginning and celebrates team members’ work anniversaries, birthdays, wedding engagements, baby announcements. The company regularly hosts team building and growth and development activities such as employee appreciation retreats for the whole team, unlimited PTO, team happy hours, trips to industry conferences and paternity and maternity leave.
“We take pride in always providing exceptional service and high-quality products and that all starts with our incredible team consisting of the smartest, most creative individuals,” says Baxter.
Frank Amye says
Tech Trio guys are changing the game right now. Great initiative and great article.