Special Sauce: Resy’s Ben Leventhal on the Growing…


[Photograph: Courtesy of Resy. Spicy Spring pizza photograph: Vicky Wasik]

When Resy‘s Ben Leventhal, who has been involved in at least five food-related start-ups, speaks about entrepreneurship, I am all ears. Here are just a couple of the pearls of wisdom that came out of our in-depth conversation:

“What I do try to say to people that haven’t been through a couple of cycles is you got to understand how hard this is about to be. People say, ‘Oh, I want to start a company. I want to do that. I want to go out on my own.’ I say, ‘That’s great, but it’s really fucking hard.'”

“It’s gruesome. Every day of a startup is gruesome. If it’s not gruesome, something is wrong. Something is off…Every day is a battle.”

And here’s Ben on putting together a team: “Well, look, I mean, you got to understand that you have to have the long view. You’re building something from scratch. The people that you’re lucky enough to have working with you, the people that take a risk with you, the first ten employees, they’re taking almost as big a risk as you are, and in some cases, they’re taking a bigger risk because they got to trust [you]…That’s really important, and you have to make sure that those people feel almost minute to minute like they made the right choice.”

Ben talks about how he’s applied these hard-earned lessons to Resy, a two year-old start-up that so far seems to have successfully taken on OpenTable, the granddaddy of online reservation systems. How exactly did he and his partners do that? You’re just going to have to listen to find out.

Special Sauce is available on iTunes, Google Play Music, Soundcloud, Player FM, and Stitcher. You can also find the archive of all our episodes here on Serious Eats and on this RSS feed.

You Could Be on Special Sauce

Want to chat with me and our unbelievably talented recipe developers? We’re accepting questions for Special Sauce call-in episodes now. Do you have a recurring argument with your in-laws over the most reliable way to roast a turkey? Have you been struggling to get the right consistency in your Thanksgiving stuffing over the years? Does your brother always turn up with the worst pumpkin pie, and you want to help him make it better? We want to get to know you and solve all your food-related problems. Send us the whole story at [email protected].



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