5 Minutes With... | February 18, 2019
Jeff Yureko, CFO Bite Squad (Waitr)
Jeff has a gift for identifying high potential companies then putting processes in place to scale the business. He honed this through his early days in the Deals side of public accounting, then went on to lead several start-ups, and applied it in his most recent accomplishment of guiding the growth of Bite Squad to acquisition. Jeff’s intelligent approach and pattern of entrepreneurial achievement made Scouts curious to learn more…
If you could try a different job for a day, what would you choose?
I’ve always wanted to be a bouncer at the Double Deuce in Jasper, Missouri.
What advice would you give someone starting an entrepreneurial venture?
- Surround yourself with the right people. Not like-minded people, but high-character people who bridge the gaps in your own weaknesses and will match your commitment level and work ethic.
- Don’t take things personally. Don’t be easily offended.
- Make quick informed decisions. Do your best to understand the risk, but no amount of data will eliminate it.
- Expect to fail numerous times before nailing it. Pivot as the situation dictates – when something clearly doesn’t work figure out why and move on.
What is your mantra?
- You make your own luck - Hemingway
- I’m gonna get all the sleep I need when I’m dead – Wage Garret, Road House
How do you get yourself out of a slump?
Exercise and spending time with friends. Running or general activity outside is leveling and calming. I also typically do my best thinking and have moments of clarity that I don’t have when I’m sitting in the office depressingly starting at dual monitors for long stretches. Regularly having some good laughs with friends is also very important for me as it helps put everything into perspective.
You have led several successful entrepreneurial companies, what are indicators you look for to evaluate if a brand can scale?
- The TAM should be clearly defined.
- If you believe in the product and/or the opportunity, it’s all about the people at that point. The right people can eliminate much of the execution risk.
- The business model needs to be fundable. Scaling take a lot of time, patience, and resources, and there will likely be some mishaps along the way. Being undercapitalized often kills an early stage company and needing to constantly fundraise is time consuming and distracting.
Who has been most instrumental in your career?
I can’t single out one individual, but it’s a variety of people and different experiences that collectively have been instrumental. My family and their support and understanding while I travel and work long hours has probably been the most influential. My friends have always been equally supportive. Professionally, PwC provided an amazing environment to learn and diverse opportunities that really helped me define where I wanted to go. The crazy people at the various entrepreneurial ventures I have been involved with were also very influential in helping me understand what it takes to be successful in early stage and high-growth companies.
What is your go-to celebration meal, drink or tradition?
- I equally enjoy a Guinness, a good spicy margarita, and champagne also pairs very nicely with any UFC PPV event.
- Burch right now locally is the go-to spot for celebration dinner and drinks.
- We love trying new places so tend not to frequent too many places, but The Lowry, George and the Dragon and Red Cow are three places we love to go as much as possible when we have a free night.