A veteran of the restaurant industry thanks to her family’s long-simmering connections to Kansas City kitchens, Lyndsey Gruber stood as a woman on her own Wednesday at 1 Million Cups.
“It’s just me,” Gruber, CEO and founder of PEPPR, told Startland News before the event, which served as a mid-point of Women’s Empowerment Week and was presented by InnovateHER KC.
As a leader of a young startup, Gruber got vulnerable on stage, opening up about the challenges of being a solo founder — particularly when faced with the unexpected. But the twists and turns of startup life are similar to the surprises that come with event planning, she suggested, detailing the need for PEPPR or Private Event Planning Platform and Registry.
“I have been an event coordinator [in the past] and I kept hearing the same complaints,” she said. “[Clients] would say that they had called six restaraunts trying to get [their event] planned. I got to the point where I realized how difficult it was for the customer and I had to do something about it … If no one else had created it, I decided to.”
Launched earlier this month, PEPPR is a work in progress with more features on the way, Gruber said, noting customers already love being able to compare and contrast businesses at a quick glance.
“We are a one-stop shop — instead of going on different websites and comparing availability times, or even calling the restaurants,” she said. “You can get all of the information that you need to actually make a plan. You are able to do all of the planning, menu scouting, and even pay your deposit.”
Click here to learn more about how PEPPR works or to book an event.
Gruber continues to look for vendors to support and use her website, she said.
“I am always looking for recommendations from people of who to contact … We have a form on our website where people can sign their space up,” she said. “Since we have launched the website we have doubled the number of our vendors.”
The company hopes to ease pain points for both customers and restaurants, Gruber said, noting efforts to allow restaurants to lower their food and beverage limit for certain hours, as well as offer reviews for customers.
“We want to be a super comprehensive source,” she said. “Even if a business doesn’t want to pay money to list … we have free basic listings so they can provide their information.”
Click here if you have an event space to list.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.