When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, Truffle Shuffle had just gotten its first products onto grocery store shelves, and founders Jason McKinney, Tyler Vorce, and Sarah Rundle had dreams of a restaurant. Public health restrictions put those dreams on hold, but the founders came up with another brilliant plan. They decided to host live-streamed classes with ingredient kits mailed beforehand to participants’ houses.
Their pandemic pivot did well. Very well. In fact, it got them through the entrepreneurial reality TV show, Shark Tank. There they won the funding, connections, and expertise they needed to scale up aggressively. But as Truffle Shuffle expanded, so too did its managers’ workloads.
Managing Administrative Load
“There were a lot of administrative tasks on our plates,” says Jeremy Jarman, Truffle Shuffle’s marketing head. From when they started to after clearing Shark Tank, the business had expanded from a handful of employees to just over 50. Classes were regularly sold out, and they wanted to add not just more recipes, but even additional chefs with their own signature recipes to livestream.
“[I was] trying to figure out the best way that I could accomplish most in my day,” Jeremy says. “The virtual assistants really offer a great hand in everything I need to get done.” Truffle Shuffle has brought on 11 virtual assistants in total — mostly in sales and customer support — but Jeremy works most closely with Guia, who provides admin support and helps manage the company’s online presence.
“I put a lot on her plate and she is always going forward, and pushing, and trying to get the most out of it…. . I know that if I give Guia a project she’ll get it done. It’ll be done quickly, it’ll be done efficiently. And she’ll turn in something good.”
Offering Customers the Best Experience
Truffle Shuffle doesn’t just sell food — they sell experiences. As such, it’s critical to their success that their customers are well-attended to, even when classes are sold out. (They often are). Magic’s remote assistants have helped in this regard as well.
“We have virtual assistants coming in and helping our guests… and really helping with the experience and making it better.”
“Without the virtual assistants, there’d be no way for us to have someone in each class… answering questions in the chat, helping out in that regard.”
Efficient and Focused
Truffle Shuffle’s big picture goals require its leaders to focus on the big picture: ramping up operations, defining the experiences they offer, and keeping an eye out for new opportunities — especially as a return to ‘normal’ remains elusive. And with a team of virtual assistants taking care of day-to-day matters such as customer service, sales, and administrative work, they have the freedom to do so.
“There’s a big change in efficiency where few members can accomplish more, and take on newer initiatives,” Jeremy says. If you have a long list of things that need to be done, then it’s a great option to hire a virtual assistant from Magic […] They’ll be able to support you through that, work on you with these projects and get everything done.”