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To the crazy ones! And to being different!
To the crazy ones! And to being different!
WizButler is the first online reservation booking platform that has been able to “think different” and “do different” and does not use the inefficient lookup search formulas and two-dimensional Gantt chart allocation systems used by other booking systems since 1998 when OpenTable created the first online restaurant booking system.
WizButler is therefore the beginning of a revolution that can only be equated to Steve Job’s introduction of the iPhone as a competitor to the cell phones of Nokia and Motorola.
Like the iPhone and its smartphone technology took the world by storm, WizButler is poised to do the same, to the currently available booking systems.
In fact, the technology and the approach that WizButler has created are so different that universities will have to completely overhaul their current hospitality courses to incorporate the Petroulas inventions. These include the 3-dimensional Petroulas volumetric framework as an upgrade to the current 2-dimensional allocation systems currently available. The Petroulas approach is that of building or constructing a solution for the booking request and not searching for a solution from a pool of solutions that is unrelated to the booking request. The Petroulas solution is based on the management of space and not the allocation of bookings to a pre-existing list of tables. It is also this knowledge of the space that provides the foundation to create a completely different restaurant technology solution and framework that completely changes and revolutionises all other aspects of restaurant management.
Like Steve Jobs and the Apple of 1997, at WizButler, we see ourselves as the hospitality “crazy ones” and the motto of what we live by and try to create:
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the trouble makers the round pegs in the square holes, the ones that see things differently! They are not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo, you can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things and they push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do.”
– Apple, 1997
Peter Petroulas was left with no option but to start WizButler after discussions with Stevan Premutico the Managing Director of The Fork Australia in 2015 (now Founder and CEO of the ordering app Me&U) where Peter sought to reach an agreement for The Fork not to adversely impact his restaurants. Peter Petroulas even offered Stevan help to improve The Fork if The Fork would guarantee that it would not offer preferential treatment to any other restaurant and that competing restaurants would be treated the same. At that point in time, Prime Steak restaurant was the highest-ranked fine dining restaurant in the Sydney CBD and Intermezzo Italian restaurant and Postales Spanish Restaurant were in the top 10 best fine dining restaurants in the Sydney CBD.
Stevan did not provide the assurances required that the owned restaurants would not be disadvantaged however, he did offer $5,000 if Peter could provide assistance in the improvement of The Fork booking system.
The condition for the $5,000 payment was that Peter Petroulas wireframed, flowcharted, help develop, test and launch the changes. Then after the changes were adopted and proved to be successful in the marketplace the payment of $5,000 would be made. Peter Petroulas, estimated that the cost of just documenting, wireframing and flowcharting his approach would have cost him in excess of $100,000.
As you can imagine, The Fork/Stevan Premutico “offer” was an easy one to walk away from.
Then, about six months later Peter Petroulas was invited to a three-course sit-down dinner hosted by Andrea Johnston, SVP Global Sales, OpenTable (later promoted to Chief Operating Officer) where he was seated next to Andrea Johnston. Peter asked Andrea various questions like was OpenTable planning to improve its booking allocation algorithms, and what improvements were being planned and developed by OpenTable to improve restaurant operations. Andrea advised that OpenTable already had the best allocation algorithms and that they were proven and successful. After which she politely excused herself during her entree, said she needed to mingle and meet other guests and did not return to her allocated seat next to Peter Petroulas for the rest of the night.
After the experiences with Steven Premtico and The Fork, and Andrea Johnston and OpenTable it was clear to Peter that he needed to go down the path of developing a system that could automate, digitalise and transform restaurant booking and management systems for the future of the restaurant operators like himself, as companies like The Fork and OpenTable did not have the desire, expertise or vision to do so.