ForkOut: Bringing Friends Together for Good Food
Caleb Singer MBA’17 and his partner Lida Tang are the founders of the new restaurant connecting app ForkOut. ForkOut is a new and exciting way that connects you with your friends and local restaurants.
The idea for ForkOut originally began as a social app to connect friends with local events and activities. College students and millennials wanted one app, not the many they were using, to get their friends together and pick a restaurant for their plans. ForkOut brings together messaging, restaurant choices and even shows you how far away your friends are from the restaurant you have all chosen. It takes away the indecisiveness of where to go out to eat, and brings you all together quickly and easily.
“ForkOut is a unique two-sided platform designed to increase a restaurant’s revenue and enhance the customer’s overall dining experience,” says Singer.
The app uses mobile technology that benefits both the customers, helping pick the perfect restaurant, and the restaurant, gathering data about their customers to tailor marketing and promotions.
“From this two way communication between the local restaurant and the customer, ForkOut creates unique user profiles for diners and uses machine learning to match restaurants with the right customers to drive growth,” says Singer.
The Babson Connection
Singer credits his Babson education for providing him with a strong foundation of understanding how to turn an idea into a successful venture.
“Babson pushes you to recognize your own strengths and maximize them. That includes seeing where you lack expertise, and build a team of the right people who compliment your strengths and weaknesses,” says Singer.
The ForkOut team is working closely with Professor Kevin Mulcahy and Rachel Greenberger of Food Sol in the Lewis Institute. “Using Babson’s network created relationships that have helped us remain focused on our goal and connected to the right small businesses and groups,” says Singer.
ForkOut is also working closely with Babson alumni business the Chicken & Rice Guys, Ian So ’08, to refine their ideas, do market research and try different concepts and features.
Tang is a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of development experience, creating high impact software applications. He created a mobile cloud company that had millions of app downloads and corporate clients on three continents. Prior to starting his own companies, he was lead software developer working in the video game industry, where he helped design and develop billion dollar franchises.
Before starting at Babson, Singer was a Ranger qualified Army Infantry Officer, with multiple combat tours in Iraq, where he was awarded two Bronze Star Medals, and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.
Being an entrepreneur feels natural for Singer; leading soldiers in a high risk combat environment closely parallels being an entrepreneur. Interpersonal and leadership skills are critical to be both an entrepreneur and leader in combat, in both cases you need to motivate a team of individuals to accomplish goals while overcoming many obstacles.