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September 20, 2018

Ordrslip: Invited Anyway

Originally Published September 2018

In the middle of 2017, eight developer newbies set out on a technological adventure. They’d be taking apart a previously built food-ordering app and putting it back together like a modern-day MacGyver, only armed with Angular and a keyboard.

Four years later, the app is now known as Ordrslip and solves two intricate problems. Users are treated to an easy-to-use solution for all of those moments when hunger strikes. On the flip side (or more appropriately, the slip side) for restaurants big or small, local or national, it’s a straightforward answer to the ever-growing question of mobile ordering. The Ordrslip team—before they even realized that’s what they would become—started with the foundations of the first app and set out to make it their own.

“We were creating a templated version of that original piece of software,” said Andrew Pethoud, a member of the Geekwise Academy Cohort created to redesign the mobile-ordering application. “It wasn’t Ordrslip then—no name, just an idea. As the concept was built out, it started getting a lot of energy and we realized it could be a viable company in its own right. Under our own feet it became Ordrslip.”

The templated nature of Ordrslip serves up a unique opportunity for restaurants of all sizes. First, as a customizable iPhone or Android app, complete with each restaurant’s own branding, full menu, and seamless point-of-sale integration. Second, in the lightning-fast turnaround time of 30 days or less. 

Third, at a cost of $119 per month and a one-time setup fee. The fourth, and most heartfelt opportunity, is less about menus or features and more about casting aside preconceived notions small restaurants have of themselves.

“It opens doors for smaller businesses,” said Andrew. “It gives particularly small, local restaurants the ability to have a unique app. We’ve heard from restaurant owners, ‘It never even crossed my mind that my restaurant could afford an app.’ You can, because of Ordrslip.”

The possibilities afforded by the application, though, reverberate even among the team that built it. After pursuing a graphic design degree at Fresno State and feeling like “an engineer in the art department,” Andrew enrolled in Geekwise Academy’s Websites for Beginners course in August 2016. He immediately took to the program’s practicality, price, and expedited time frame. After completing the whole sequence of courses, Andrew interviewed for a spot in the Geekwise Cohort to work as a paid intern on an unknown project, which turned out to be Ordrslip.

“Some people may say bringing on a bunch of really junior developers is unwise. But we can hold our own and make it work. All of us know we were given a great opportunity and we want to do the best we can with that. In a sense we don’t deserve to be here, but we were invited anyway.”

– Andrew Pethoud

Ordrslip has a variety of local restaurants and are branching out beyond the Central Valley. New features are rolled out monthly, ranging from a delivery function to the admin dashboard, which enables restaurants to access pending and completed orders, reports, and track supply usage, all with the end goal of making the app more intuitive.

“The expectation isn’t that we’re going to get it perfect the very first time,” said Anna Ingels, who joined the Cohort by way of Geekwise’s 12-week Women Tech Training Class, where her team built a scheduling app for special needs classrooms. “A lead developer looks over all of our work and lets us know if there is anything wrong with it. From there, we change or edit.”

Anna first heard about Geekwise in January 2017, after her mom saw the program on the news and asked her to take her little brother to check it out. She’d recently returned home from living abroad in Spain, where she taught English. She became ill, cutting her year-long trip short and sending her home with a sense of failure. Her brother ended up enrolling, as did Anna, who was a political science major with plans to attend law school after Spain.

“I realized I shouldn’t be doing something I don’t love because everyone tells me I should,” Anna said. “I should be doing something I enjoy. So, I decided not to go to law school.” Anna originally joined the Ordrslip team to do dev work, but quickly moved to onboarding and customer service, sitting in on weekly meetings with the CEO and upper management.

“I felt very honored to be there and hear how a company is built from the ground up. Not only is the CEO female, the sales staff is largely female, and our development team is 50% female, which never happens.”

– Anna Ingels

“It’s been eye opening to talk to women in technology and see how being included has affected them,” said Anna. “It’s encouraging to see how people are successful at Bitwise and are giving us an opportunity to showcase what we have. More than 50% of women on our team are women of color. Ordrslip and Bitwise are including people who are largely discredited and giving these women a platform to do what they do best. It’s incredible what this building does.”

That culture is not only the best part of working with this team, according to Miguel Alarcon, product officer for Ordrslip, it’s the reason the app has been so successful.

“We’re definitely trying to mimic what Bitwise has created and allow all of that to bleed into it,” Miguel said. “What Bitwise does best is invest in people. We’ve gotten here because of that and I’m a prime example. I have absolutely no business being in this position, which is probably the case for a good majority of the individuals at Bitwise.”

As the Ordrslip team gets settled into their very own custom-designed suite at The Bitwise Hive, there is still a sense of unrealness.

“I still can’t believe I’m a part of this,” Andrew said. “The thing I worked on turned into its own company —that happens? Great things do happen in Fresno. Get used to it!”

Angelica Cano is the VP of Marketing Strategy for Bitwise Industries and helps ensure our marketing efforts align with our company goals. In her spare time you can find Angelica building a playlist for almost every occasion and playing around with dye for her company, Sideye Tie Dye.