Mardi Gras means a lot of partying, warmer weather, and most importantly…crawfish is coming! We’ve been not-so-patiently awaiting the return of crawfish here in the South and can now all breathe a sigh of relief. But where do you get your crawfish? How do you know you’re getting the best deal? Are you supporting local crawfish suppliers? All of these questions were difficult to answer before last year. That’s where Ryan and Laney King come in. They saw a need for an easy way to access all of this information and decided to design an app to do just that. And so, The Crawfish App was born. With the first crawfish season under their belt, they’ve made some changes and are more than ready to take on 2018.
App users: 70,000+
WITH LAST YEAR’S CRAWFISH SEASON: We learned that there are hundreds more businesses selling crawfish than we ever imagined and that these vendors are some of the hardest working Americans out there. We learned that Texas, especially the greater Houston area, is crazy about crawfish. We learned that crawfish lovers were looking for a way to get prices, other than calling around, and welcomed the app with excitement. On a personal level, we learned that “not enough time” is not an excuse when you are an entrepreneur working full-time day jobs and raising a family…instead, prioritizing is key. Good things come to those who hustle!
PARTNERING WITH ZATARAIN’S: From the start of this journey, we dreamed of partnering with Zatarain’s. We were thrilled when Zatarain’s reached out to us within two weeks of launching the app last February; however, at the time we had not accommodated for advertisers on the app. We wanted to build our user base and make certain that the app provided a solid user experience before focusing on partnerships with advertisers. Once the season concluded, we felt that we had accomplished these goals and set out to approach sponsors for the 2018 season. Rather than being intrusive to our user experience, Zatarain’s fun flair complements The Crawfish App and our users feel the same way, many calling it “the perfect fit.”
UPDATING INFO: Our Call Team reaches out every Thursday and we have all of those prices updated by Thursday night in time for your weekend boils. For vendors who do update their prices more than once a week, this year they have the option to have a free online Vendor Portal set up for their store(s). The portal is extremely user-friendly and can be accessed from any online device at any time. Other vendors choose to text their price updates to us and we update those immediately.
CHANGES TO THE APP: We have received invaluable user and vendor feedback since we launched last year and have tried to incorporate as many of those suggested improvements as possible for 2018. This year, crawfish vendors listed on the app have the opportunity to update their own prices as often as they need to via our free Vendor Portal system. In addition, we will soon release a feature that allows vendors to list “Special” pricing. On the user side, instead of only allowing users to search their current location or by address, users can now search “Choose a Vendor” and only see the prices/reviews of their favorite go-to vendor. And lastly, the app has a new look, thanks to Zatarain’s graphic design.
CHANGING LIVES: The process of creating and launching The Crawfish App as a husband and wife team has improved our relationship. Ryan and I are both dreamers and knew we could make this happen, but actually bringing it to life has brought on another level of respect for each other’s capabilities. One of our goals is to show our children (currently two toddler girls and one baby boy on the way!) that if they work very hard and don’t expect hand-outs in life, they can accomplish anything they set their mind to.
WHERE ARE THE VENDORS?
The majority are in Louisiana, with Texas in second place! We did not realize the demand for crawfish in Texas until we launched the app and Houston (& surrounding area) residents begged us to include their 250+ vendors on the app! Other locations included are Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. There are even several outliers in places such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nashville, etc.
IN THE FUTURE: We are tossing around the idea of expanding The Crawfish App to accommodate other popular seafood such as shrimp and crabs. Lots to consider in that decision though, so stay tuned!
Photo courtesy of the King family