Working In Boston Tech: BevSpot
Today in our Working In Boston Tech series, we hear from the team at Boston's BevSpot. Founded in 2014 by MIT and Harvard technology entrepreneurs, BevSpot's online software helps bars, restaurants, distributors, and suppliers manage their entire beverage program by unlocking powerful data and insights. They're backed by Bain Capital Ventures and Dorm Room Fund.
What's it like to work at BevSpot in terms of your culture?
Working at BevSpot means combining two incredibly important and fun aspects of our culture: technology and the hospitality industry. Our day-to-day office environment is very reflective of those two elements in that we’re a fast-paced technology company with world-class engineering and development talent, but we’re also very focused on being familiar with the restaurant, bar, and hospitality industry as a whole.
We have a bar in our office where everyone takes inventory using our product to connect with our users, and we also use the bar for tastings and other social events (including visits from Buffalo Trace and Wachusett Brewery).
We work extremely hard in a fun and exciting environment, so people don’t tend to rush out of here at 5 p.m. on a Friday. Instead, they want to crack open a nice beer (usually from Trillium, down the street), and hang out for a bit. You may even see a few people jammin out with a couple guitars and drum boxes at 2 a.m.
What’s the best way to get a job at BevSpot?
We’re always looking for the right talent and fit, so if you don’t see your ideal position, don’t hesitate to reach out and tell us about yourself and what you can bring to the table.
For more information on working on our engineering team specifically, check out this Engineering Spotlight.
What can someone expect during the interview process?
Great hiring is the single most important focus at BevSpot, so we take the process very seriously. We look for the right talent and experience fit as well as the right cultural fit, so you can expect to meet with quite a few people to learn all about the different aspects of working at BevSpot. For the engineering team, you can expect a series of very advanced coding tests given by our two co-founders. For marketing, you’ll be asked to complete an industry writing assignment.
Our CEO, Rory Crawford, meets with all prospective hires, and usually we’ll take a candidate out for a round of drinks to get out of the office and really get an idea of the cultural fit.
What can people expect over the course of their career at BevSpot?
Endless possibilities, lot’s of challenges, and significant personal and professional growth! Six months ago, we were a team of 10 people. Today, we’re over 50! Nothing is stagnant and you can definitely expect immense opportunity. It’s important that people feel inspired and do what makes them happy, so if you see room for a role that you’d be the right fit for, we’re all ears. We’ve had people start off in business development who are now in operations, and sales people who exhibited a knack for relationship building and are now on the customer success team. We want people to excel in what they’re doing, because that’s how we’ll be most successful as a company.
You can expect to become an expert in your role. Our sales team excels in virtual demos and closing deals. We have an intense training process and new hires tend to book demos within their first couple days on the phones.
BevSpot’s marketing team is a full-force content machine, so marketers here are industry experts who provide the best knowledge to existing and aspiring bartenders, bar managers, restaurant owners, or really anyone in the hospitality industry. They also get to work with and interview some of the most talented mixologists in the industry, and engage with restaurants and bars on social media (which sometimes results in a free drink or two).
We also have a great internship program. Our very first intern is now a full time employee and another one of our early interns is currently in his second round of interning with BevSpot after spending last semester in classes. We love watching them grow and build their careers.
Are there any favorite activities that the employees do outside of the office?
Well, we work in the alcohol industry with a large client roster of some of the best bars and restaurants in the area, so we tend to support our customers by taking the team out for drinks. Papagayo is right across the street from our office, so that’s a pretty common after-work spot. A few members of our team are in the tequila club over there!
We also support local vendors in the area and have visited a number of distilleries and breweries to learn all about the industry and show them some love on our blog. Most recently, we had an off-site leadership meeting at Boston Harbor Distillery.
Giving back is extremely important to BevSpot’s leadership team. In 2015, the team participated in a Giving Factory day at Cradles to Crayons, sorting and organizing clothing donations for children in need. Many members of our team also attended a local reception for Easter Seals, a non-profit dedicated to helping children and adults with disabilities, because one of the recent BevSpot hires is associated with the organization. BevSpot paid for the charity tickets for anyone that wanted to attend.
Are there any fun facts or unique stories that you can share about BevSpot or individuals that work there?
One of the things we pride ourselves most on are the unique talents of our team members outside of the work place. One of our co-founders and CPO, Cheezy, grew up in Nigeria and has won national math competitions there.
We also have a member of our business development team, Luke, who is a certified sommelier. He previously worked at L’Espalier and the man knows his wine! We’re currently planning an office wine tasting class for Luke to host.
A recent accomplishment that we’re incredibly proud of is our musically talented Director of Marketing, Chris Kiertz, who just released a full length album! The album can be purchased here.
Overall, people here are very creative and you can see that channeled into the atmosphere daily—the office bar was built by the hands of our very talented wood-working team members, as were many other pieces of furniture around here.
If you’re still questioning our creativity, just take a look at our BevSpot tee shirts, designed by our Chief Design Officer Alex Turnwall. We take a lot of pride in these shirts and seeing that our employees actually love wearing them!
What TV or movie would best describe the working environment and employees at BevSpot?
Old School - and not because it’s a movie about epic partying, but because when you really look at the ending and themes, it’s about teamwork. An interesting group of people all bringing their own unique qualities to the table and working toward one common goal.
There are a lot of laughs and a few epic parties, along the way…
Do you have any unique benefits or perks?
On top of competitive salaries and huge opportunities for growth, we offer a "2 to Infinity" vacation policy, meaning everyone is required to take at least two weeks vacation every year. Beyond that, vacation time is uncapped. Work-life balance is incredibly important and we always want to encourage people to take time off. With such a creative and diverse team, people like to travel to very interesting places and we fully support that!
We also have catered team lunches every Friday. We’ve had some pretty delicious lunches like Chicken and Rice Guys, KO Pies, and Tasty Burger, to name a few.
To ensure every team member at the company knows each other well, we also host Wednesday welcome drink events for each new class of hires. As the company gets bigger these events have become more and more fun, and a keg might have been floated at the last event ...
Did we mention there’s a bar in our office?
What’s on tap or in your fridge?
As previously mentioned, Trillium Brewery is right down the street, so we keep a variety of their growlers in the fridge. We also have a cold-brew coffee keg and tons of snacks— Kind Bars, Pirate’s Booty, and usually a pretty good selection of candy. We are in the process of installing a beer kegerator system, although there has been some delay as we are already considering new office options. We’ve outgrown our current space in only five months!