An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Javier Cadena (founder and CEO) of CheddrSuite, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of CheddrSuite – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
I am a third generation restaurateur. My grandfather opened his first restaurant in Santa Barbara, CA in 1966. Over the years, the family restaurants grew to 50 locations. At the age of 24, I opened my first restaurant and grew that concept, Fast Casual Mexican Food, to 6 locations. At the point I had 140 employees I searched for tools that would help me streamline my operations. I quickly realized that my options were very limited when it comes to software offerings. The best software I found was developed by the food giants for proprietary use only. This left me using multiple software as well as adding more time on my plate needing to analyze it all. I decided to develop CheddrSuite to level the playing field between these giants and mom and pop businesses in need.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
Coming from the restaurant industry, I had a large learning curve to how software is developed. I was immediately thrown into the unfamiliar territories of product development, testing, and integration partnerships with POS companies, to name a few.
What does the future hold for CheddrSuite?
We are now partnered with 22 POS systems, as well as Sysco USA and beginning this year, Sysco Canada. We plan to keep developing our tech stack to meet customers demands, as well as continue integrations with companies such as food vendors, payroll, and accounting. Our goal is to become a large player in the full restaurant ecosystem.
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in San Luis Obispo?
I have lived in San Luis Obispo since the age of 13 and have seen the growth of local tech startups first hand. Rick Stollmeyer, founder of Mindbody and CheddrSuite shareholder, put San Luis Obispo on the map for tech startups. This has attracted other startups as well as given the opportunity to local Cal Poly Graduates to stay in the area. I’m blessed to not only live in this beautiful area but also grow CheddrSuite from SLO.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
The best advice I can give aspiring entrepreneurs is to “fail because you went for it, not because you didn’t”. The path is never clear so don’t let that hold you back. Just get started and don’t give up!