Executive Director of Executive Education at Carnegie Mellon University
Tepper School of Business
After working in the restaurant industry for over 10-years, Danielle was determined to start her own healthy fast-food establishment called Twisted Salads. Danielle pursued those aspirations by completing her BS in Management with an emphasis on entrepreneurship and focused her studies on the restaurant industry. She further pursued her graduate course work, flipped her house, and set out to establish Twisted Salads.
Searching for the right location was a long and dreadful process. After a year of searching, Danielle became concerned with the current market conditions and the lack of commercial kitchens that were available. Colorado’s market had become too expensive and the dream of becoming a small business restaurateur was no longer feasible.
“We have to change the restaurant industry, create more organic options for individuals who want to become a restaurateur and help the ones that already exist.”~Danielle McCusker
Danielle solved her own problem by finding a small business restaurateur to share a commercial kitchen with, but instead of starting her own restaurant, she decided take her solution, develop it for everyone, and founded Restaurant Peer.
Restaurant Peer connects individuals who have a commercial kitchen with individuals who need it. By applying the sharing economy to the restaurant industry, commercial kitchens become accessible, more affordable, while helping small business restaurateurs.
“The restaurant industry has always been volatile, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s why we’re on a mission to streamline and redefine the restaurant industry. We want to see more small business restaurateurs and foodprenuers everywhere.” Now, the local ice cream shop, whose customers don’t arrive until 2 p.m., can share their kitchen with a local baker in the morning when it’s not in use. This provides an additional revenue stream for the ice cream shop owner, while saving a local baker time and money. With Peer Brands services, a church or other organization who only uses their commercial kitchen occasionally, can outsource their commercial kitchen space, help a local restaurateur, while making money.
“We believe our communities have enough resources and infrastructure that can be reused and tapped into and through connection we can revive small businesses, non-profit organizations, and small business restaurateurs so they can help each other.” We’re doing this by unlocking a nationwide network of commercial kitchens, making mobile restaurateurs truly mobile, and providing a pathway for organic growth, and applying new technologies to old school methodologies.
Shortly after launching her idea, Restaurant Peer’s customers reached out to Danielle and asked if it was possible to monetize all their space including event halls, parking lots, and office space. Danielle and her customers quickly realized that the mission to connect individuals with resources in their communities could work beyond commercial kitchens forming Peer Brands.
WE'RE ON A MISSION TO STREAMLINE AND REDEFINE THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY.
WE WANT TO SEE MORE SMALL BUSINESS RESTAURATEURS AND FOODPRENEURS EVERYWHERE.
UNLOCKING ACCESS TO A NATIONWIDE NETWORK OF LICENSED COMMERCIAL KITCHENS.
MAKING MOBILE RESTAURATEURS, TRULY MOBILE. PROVIDING A PATHWAY FOR ORGANIC GROWTH. APPLYING NEW TECHNOLOGIES TO OLD SCHOOL METHODOLOGIES.
THROUGH CONNECTIONS, WE BELIEVE WE CAN REVIVE SMALL BUSINESSES, NON-PROFITS, AND SMALL BUSINESS RESTAURATEURS SO THEY CAN HELP EACH OTHER.
OUR COMMUNITIES HAVE PLENTY OF RESOURCES AND INFRASTRUCTURE THAT CAN BE REUSED AND TAPPED INTO.
YOUR FRIEND IN THE INDUSTRY.