Executive Chef Zach Sass created an online business using creative thinking after being laid off from his restaurant gig.
Sass, based in Nashville, has worked as a chef for 15 years, most recently at Nashville Underground and Bravo Cucina Italiana. Three weeks ago, he launched an online presence using GoDaddy’s website builder. Now he teaches others how to cook custom meals with the simple ingredients and spices they have in their cabinets, pantry and refrigerator.
“I wanted to give people an opportunity to do something they don’t normally do,” Sass said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world, as businesses no longer rely on face-to-face meetings. Websites and video chat features will take businesses to the next level of growth.
GoDaddy’s platform, for example, provides Sass with the essential tools he needs -- not only with directions on how to build a website, but access to email and easy ways to post pictures and gain new customers. Then he uses video chat to teach classes with students from around the world.
To get started, Sass asks potential clients to schedule a session, take a picture of the ingredients in their pantry and refrigerator and send them to him via his website. He uses his knowledge and experience to customize dishes -- including gluten-free and vegan -- depending on the available ingredients.
For now, the service -- which includes a cooking lesson -- is free, though donations are welcome.
Sass’ father is Jeff Sass, CMO at Paw.com and .Club Domains and author of Everything I Know about Business and Marketing, I learned From The Toxic Avenger.
LinkedIn has been the most valuable marketing tool versus Instagram or Facebook, he said, for finding clients who want to cook.
GoDaddy began to see an increase in usage of the free trial on the paid service earlier this year, as more people began working from home. And while Sass uses the paid option with a free trial, GoDaddy now offers a scaled-down Websites + Marketing Free version.
The new tier of GoDaddy’s platform launched in September 2019. The free version of the service was planned for late 2020, but with the rapid onset of COVID-19, and after seeing a rise in the number of free trial starts, the company sped up its release to provide a free option for anyone looking to start a business to try and generate income.
The development team managed to create the version in two weeks, “fast tracking the release,” said Heidi Gibson, GoDaddy senior director of product management. “I planned to get it done by the end of the year,” she said, adding that the platform now includes the ability to schedule a virtual appointment.
Gibson has seen a variety of businesses emerge, ranging from bartenders hosting virtual parties to people giving away and selling masks.
The launch of the free platform is one element in a broader effort to support small businesses. The company also introduced an initiative called #OpenWeStand, GoDaddy’s microsite with resources for small business owners in response to COVID-19.