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An interview with CEO and founder Tim Rothwell.
College is stressful, with school work and trying to manage all of the things going on in your life I don’t think any of us truly realized what it takes to be a college student. Learning to live on less than $20 a week goes from a funny joke to a very real reality and at a certain point, you start to wonder how its possible to keep up with a social life when everyone always seems to want to get food. It wasn’t until one night at home when a friend said she was not going to get food unless it was on Hooked. I had no idea what this app was until she showed it to me and I think at that moment my (food) life was changed forever. Suddenly my absolute favorite restaurants were regulars on the app and after a couple of visits, I guess you could say I was hooked.
Hooked is taking the nation by storm near numerous college campuses across the United States including Texas A&M, where one in every two students have downloaded the app. The app has opened numerous opportunities for students everywhere and has helped so many relieve some of the financial burdens we have every day as college students. But for those of you who stumbled upon this wondering “what is Hooked?” here’s CEO and founder Tim Rothwell to tell you:
Odyssey: What exactly is Hooked?
Tim: “The hooked app allows students to discover new restaurants while saving money when deciding where to eat. For restaurants, Hooked is a platform which enables them to create time sensitive, exclusive deals, designed to engage with students on their phones and drive offline sales.”
Odyssey: How did you stumble upon the idea of Hooked? What was your motivation for inventing the app?
Tim: “My best friend and I were eating the same thing for lunch, every – single –day. Chipotle of course. We realized that students would greatly benefit from an app that shows them the best restaurants and deals going on in their college town. It’s an app that we definitely wished we had in college.”
Odyssey: What does your job entail as CEO for Hooked?
Tim: “Working closely with our sales and marketing team. Inventing the next iterations of the product. Fundraising. Recruiting tech talent. Strategy & Vision – which is my favorite. And finally, just making sure that the lights stay on, and Hooked is marching forward every day. I love it.”
Odyssey: What type of restaurants does Hooked attract?
Tim: “We aim to work with the restaurants on and off campus that are focused on attracting college students and local residents into their door. Rather it be a local, lesser known Mexican restaurant who launches a Taco Tuesday night through Hooked or teaming up with a well-known, popular restaurant to boost their mobile visibility. The restaurants we work with is the result of outbound sales and inbound restaurant inquiries.”
Odyssey: Is Hooked available everywhere throughout the country, or just certain cities?
Tim: “Hooked is available at 23 major college markets nationwide. The map of Hooked markets can be found on our website – www.hookedapp.com.”
Odyssey: Is the app designed just for college students or is it family friendly?
Tim: “It’s tailored to college students. However we have a considerable amount of faculty/staff, local residents, grads, and high school students using our app on a daily basis. Everybody loves getting great value on his or her purchase.”
Odyssey: In the future do you think Hooked would ever offer discounts from businesses other than food (clothing stores, entertainment, etc.)?
Tim: “Yes. Hooked is currently focused on gratifying the urge of hunger. We have future plans to gratify other urges, such as boredom, meaning local events and things to do will be eventually integrated into the app.”
Odyssey: What are your plans for the future of Hooked?
Tim: “Launch hundreds of college markets within the U.S. Integrate new features, such as events and potentially delivery. Expand Hooked into high schools and metropolitan communities that are millennial hotspots. We have a lot of exciting plans for the future.”
Odyssey: What sets Hooked apart from other apps?
Tim: “For restaurants, Hooked actually delivers. Rather it’s affecting mobile visibility, or boosting sales. Our restaurants see results. For users, given a number of restaurants that partner with Hooked, it’s extremely easy to select where and what you want to eat each time you open the app. Hooked helps you make your decisions easier. We think we’ve built a unique relationship with our users.”