The Staffing Solutions Pain Point
Jennifer Ryan, the founder of Croux, identified a crucial gap in the hospitality industry during her experience launching a restaurant right before the onset of COVID-19. The challenge of finding flexible staffing solutions became a persistent pain point, leading Ryan to conceptualize Croux.
She explained to host Shawn Walchef of Cali BBQ Media, “I had a lot of working moms on my payroll that couldn’t pick up the shifts that I asked them to. And then I had all these local businesses that were looking for extra hands, and we thought, there’s got to be a way to bring these two worlds together to support the local community. And that was the beginning of Croux.”
Using Sports to Raise Awareness
To raise awareness and build a community around Croux, Ryan adopted a strategic approach, leveraging real-life scenarios and popular interests such as sports. Recognizing the significance of hospitality and sports in driving local economies, Ryan leans into community engagement, particularly with those working around constraints like stay-at-home parents.
“So bringing those folks from off the sidelines into the game, that’s really where we found this really interesting connection and marriage, and so really engaging with those communities, that’s been really promising.” said Ryan.
Diversity as a Strength
Despite lacking a traditional background in hospitality, Ryan views her diverse experiences as a strength for Croux. She advises aspiring entrepreneurs to become self-aware and acknowledges the value of having mentors from various industries. However, Ryan draws on insights from her past in banking and technology while also benefiting from connections in the hospitality space, exemplifying how diversity can be a powerful asset in entrepreneurial endeavors. She perceives her unique perspective as an asset.
“I realize that being different, I thought it cast me aside as an outsider, right, not having the credentials to sit at the table,” said Ryan. “And the truth is, the more I realize that it’s not really a detractor, it’s kind of my cheat code, right, to have these perspectives and insights.”