Hooked On Hooked

Hooked On Hooked

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.”

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Dear Little Sis

Focus on yourself rather than boys.

Dear sis,

This is your first year of high school and you are about to be 15! I remember my 15th birthday like it was yesterday. Two years later I left for college and left high school behind. I wish I would have had some of this advice when I was your age. I would have slowed down and enjoyed my life, in the moment. I took for granted a lot of the small things around me. I hope you enjoy the life you are given because you only get one! So live it up.

Always search for volunteer opportunities. Helping others will help you become a more open-minded caring person. it builds character and will bring you happiness in ways I can not explain.

School matters more than you might think.

Every college has a certain grade point average, but you should always strive to get the best grades you can. Studying now will pay off in the long run. If I could give you any advice when it comes to school it is that learning multiple studying tips are very important.

Keep a small circle of friends. You watched me in high school so you know that it was always me, Brenda, Michaela, and Summer. I still talk to all of these girls today. One day you will be attending your first homecoming with your girlfriends then you blink and you are attending your senior year prom. You and your friends will fight from time-to-time, but they will be the ones to console you after a breakup or scream with you when you get into college.

Be nice to mom as much as you can.

Mom is the one who will drive you around until you finally can. Then when you can finally drive she will be always worried if you are okay and what you are doing. She will bend over backward trying to find a meal that you want to eat to make you happy. One day you will be in college and realize nobody cooks a pot roast or macaroni like she does. I always regret raising my voice and fighting with her, because all he wanted was the best for me. She will work her butt off to give you the things you want to be mindful the next time you get mad because you want the newest makeup or iPhone. Be grateful for the little things she does, because one day you will be eating ramen and calling her to ask what dryer sheets are.

Focus on yourself rather than boys.

I promise you the person you like at 14 will not matter to you by the time you graduate. At your age boys are immature and the most important thing to them is video games and what their friends think. Always have the confidence to tell yourself that you deserve better.

Get involved in extracurricular. This will allow you to meet so many people that might not be in the "circle" you run with. It is important you are accustomed to people that might be different than you. It is also great for you to be involved with your school so you have memories to cherish for years to come and comes with great opportunities.

Life is what you make it!!

Cover Image Credit: Alicia Steels

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Back To Reality

Only six more weeks of school!

Unfortunately spring break has come to an end. Fortunately, the weeks that follow spring break before summer are some of the fastest you'll ever experience.

If you're a senior in high school, you'll be shocked to see how fast your last year of high school went by. Prom will be coming up, and you'll start to say your last goodbye's to people you've virtually spent your whole life with

Similarly, if you're a freshman in college, you won't believe that you graduated high school a year ago already.

Lastly, if you're a senior in college, get ready to be thrown into the real world real soon. The only way you can delay that is if you're leaving college just to go back to continue more school after (yay for higher education @MedStudents @LawStudents).

These weeks for college students will be filled with the middle round of exams, and then final exams. Finals will hit us like a bus as they always do, but at that point you have three months of not thinking about school once, what's better than that?

The weather will start to get warmer (hopefully.... @Syracuse), people will start to hang out more outside, and you can almost taste the freedom. You see the light at the end of the tunnel, if only you could get there sooner.

Once these weeks go by, I will enter my third year of college and no longer be an underclassmen. My big will graduate and it will just be my little and I in our sorority, and will (hopefully) be getting ready to study abroad.

Back to the reality that is school, it sucks that spring break is over. When you first get back, it's going to feel like the days are dragging and you just can't fathom how you're supposed to get through another six weeks of school.

As you get back into the rhythm of things, you see that March blends into April and once you're in April you realize finals exist again, and then next thing you know it it's May, you just finished your last exam, and you're moving out of school.

Another one gone, another year bites the dust.

The time between Spring Break and finals is actually my favorite. You feel the energy of your school go up because you're in the home stretch of finishing up for the year and everyone just seems happier. Even the chronically stressed take a step back and appreciate all the hard work they've done in the year.

Take these weeks with a grain of salt because before you know it it'll be over. Life goes on and time doesn't stop for anyone, so enjoy your time in the places that you are while you can!

Cover Image Credit: Anna Russo

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