A food entrepreneur’s journey

If you told me 3 years ago that I’d be running a decently successful first venture that brings home six-figures and also provides others with jobs, I would have thought you’re joking. If you told me that I’d be constantly crushing it in every area of my life, I would have thought you’re mocking me.

Don’t underestimate what you can do in a day. My life changed, when I started believing in myself, and investing in my personal development every single damn day. Every day counts, and if you’re moving in the wrong direction, you’ll land in the wrong place. It’s all about investing in the right places constantly. For instance, I make a point to exercise 7 times a week, because I know that investing in your body is imperative to high energy and productivity. I lift, go to HIIT and cycling class, and dance. I hangout with influences that lift each other up and eliminated all the toxicity in my life. In my free time, I read food and wine magazines, entrepreneurship books, and make house music.

Three years ago, I had little experience within the food tech industry. Sure, I was doing contract work for SF restaurants. I was a Growth Marketing Intern at Postmates, during the time, I really was just getting my toes wet in the industry. I worked at a food tech startup called Velocity app, which is an on-demand restaurant reservations app for high caliber restaurants in the city. That was when I really started to get valuable experience. I learned about how the full lifecycle worked and helped build out partnerships within SF. It was very cool to see the impact of my work.

Fast forward to 2016, I worked as a Biz Dev Manager at a small food tech startup based in Mountain View, where I really gained experience in meeting with chefs and restauranteurs, really got to understand their pain points, built out full pipelines and constantly made them more efficient, and closed deals. That was only the beginning.

By the time that I started working on Dish Crawl, this is when everything really changed, and I believe that it’s hard to see what growth looks like from the outside. In the very beginning, Dish Crawl focused on experiential marketing for restaurants through Dish Crawl events and food photography workshops. When we pivoted to a fully integrated digital marketing agency, I started seeing massive growth that is hard to quantify on paper.

I have built out full pipelines and built out strategies to make our sales process more efficient. I am proud to have closed deals with some really great restaurants in SF Bay Area such as Crepevine and SAJJ Mediterranean. Most recently, I have closed deals with some very significant players in the food industry including Focaccia Market & Bakery, Caffe Central, Michael Mina, The Ramen Bar, Pabu, and soon a handful of others.

There’s a lot I learned about people in the industry. They work super hard. And they’re very proud of what they do — this means that it’s very easy to get them talking about their craft all day long. I am a listener at heart, and I love hearing the stories of others.

I’ve driven all over SF Bay Area and know all the streets like the back of my hand, and by know all the streets, I really know the restaurants and the people, the culture that resides there. It’s exciting to see that ever since I closed a few deals on University Ave in Palo Alto, I go back every week to drink Blue Bottle Coffee and check-in with our clients, Crepevine and Yayoi. We witnessed the closing of the Cheesecake Factory on that street, and for Crepevine, it was a great victory — sorry to those who lost their jobs at Cheesecake. At Yayoi, it was great to see them have a full house every night.

As I drive down Burlingame Ave, I spot a few of my clients, Crepevine, Caffe Central, and soon a few more. Can’t wait to crush it with these.

Within SF, we have clients all over the place. It’s a dream come true that I couldn’t have ever imagined.

Now, if I wish, I can run six-figures passively from year to year without working much. I know that through investing in myself and my startup at least 80-90 hours per week would grant returns that were massive. And the returns have been increasingly exponential. Every week since the beginning of this year has been execute, execute, and execute. I have been working non-stop at building systems so that my startup will run itself. And it’s been working. There are weeks where we are closing deals left and right, and so many deals are coming in that I don’t have the bandwidth to handle them.

We’re definitely looking for Account Managers at Dish Crawl, so if you’re in SF Bay Area (or closer to our accounts, specifically SF) please feel free to reach out to jer@dishcrawl.co.

This whole journey has been nothing less than exhilarating. I often am pushing myself to the limits and working so hard that I often forget to eat and forget about how much time passes. I have met all sorts of interesting people. I have seen all sorts of interesting things. And I am extremely thankful and have so much gratitude for everyone that has been here to support me. Thank you to all my supporters.

Every day, I’m doing something different. I’m meeting clients, driving to new restaurants, seeing all sorts of behavior, different styles of management, small teams, big teams, leaders, etc.

There are many other things that I learned as well. If you have haters, you are actually doing a fantastic job. Don’t ever listen to that noise though, and let it motivate you to work even harder.

This journey is something that I hope inspires others to follow this journey towards financial independence. In SF Bay Area, making an entry six figures is imperative to survive here. And it isn’t the money that motivates me to work hard, it’s the people in this industry that have made it all worth it. Learning about the culture of different work places, restaurants, cuisines, and taking the best of all worlds to become the best version of myself today.

What motivates me most is that I can wake up on a Monday morning and be thrilled about what I’m doing. I absolutely love working with people — even though I’m a hardcore introvert, and I love how I can decide what to do throughout the entire week. It’s a bit of a blessing.

Don’t get me wrong, there were a few weeks here and there where I thought I would quit, but I never gave in. I never listened to my harshest critics. And I believed in myself.

With all this said above, I am developing a product and service that empowers individuals to make six figures while pursuing their dream. This service is exclusive to those who know what their dream is and are extremely hungry to crush it. We’re looking for people who are already making some income so that they know about some of the systems needed to scale a business. This concept would solidify their understanding of business and further their acumen and really integrate actionable insight into the curriculum.

As in sales, business, and in life, it’s best to find those who are a good fit to work with you. We’re not looking for anyone, not just random customers, but those who are the right fit.

I don’t know where exactly I’m headed with this, but as with an entrepreneurial project I’ve done in the past, I have a clear vision for this, and can’t wait to see you hungry hustlers all as a part of this.

Respect the hustle,

Check out my food photography in the links below.

You can follow my work at instagram.com/jer.chung

I’m also a food photographer on the side, you can find that here: jeremychungphotography.com

My startup’s website is dishcrawl.co