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Malaysian Entrepreneur- Find your restaurant now!
Feeling hungry and can't decide where to eat? Head over to Ylunch.com, the new search engine for restaurants with the purpose of helping restaurant owners get maximum exposure online. Co-founded by Yury Sirochinsky, 24, Ylunch.com boasts over 22,000 restaurant listings in Illinois, and is going public soon. We interviewed Yury and got to know how food and advertising made such a great impact on their business.
How does it work?: The end user can search for food via Ylunch.com directly and/or use search engines to find what they are looking for. If a customer is looking for pizza in a particular city in Illinois, Ylunch.com is a relevant site that is optimized for search engines. Most importantly, Ylunch.com provides an honest, affordable, and productive service to restaurant owners.
Our business is an Internet start up. We are attempting to bring the restaurant owners as much exposure as possible through the use of the Internet. We are marketing restaurants through the use of the web…in addition to the traditional advertising such as newspaper or yellow pages.
Benefits for restaurants
How did you get started?
In all honesty, when a few of us (then just friends, now both friends and business partners) got together at a friends new condo, we wanted to order some food. Since the place was new, he had yet to have the generic kitchen drawer full of carryout menus. After searching the web for a place, we realized that Chicago lacks a relevant site that has restaurant menus and basic info for local searching.
What spurred you to go for the idea?
We want to make it easier for people to find a restaurant, save them time, and enable them to make better eating decisions. We are all driven to provide the best marketing solutions for our company, and to provide the most relevant search results to the Internet user. We want to change the way people find restaurants. We also want to change how restaurants advertise. We believe we can draw new clientele to restaurants in a revolutionary way, making the restaurant owners happier.
How long have you been in the business?
We have no “employees” (we don’t believe in the employee concept. We want to make sure our people are with us for life) . So everyone is a small partner…we are a team working towards a common goal…. since we are a corporation everyone who works with us has a small portion of the company via Class B common shares of stock. This is our team: http://www.ylunch.com/ylunch-team.html
Why is your business considered unique?
We are local and specialize in local (Illinois) search
Although we faced some basic hurdles, we have been fortunate enough to work through our difficulties by relying on each other. We work well together and don’t really have any complaints. The only real challenges were what color schemes to use to make the site aesthetic and that just differs according to the person. We are also fortunate enough to have friends and family who would be our “guinea pigs” when trying out new functions of the site. That helped in limiting things we would butt heads on.
What advice do you have for Malaysians interested in starting
Where is the company heading to?
Any personal dreams?
For your comprehensive list of eateries in Illinois, visit www.ylunch.com
Chicago Tribune - September 18th, 2004
Wheeling start-up aims to be 'the Google of food'
BY ALEX L. GOLDFAYN
Like any Silicon Valley entrepreneur looking for funding during the 1990s, he's young, brash and confident.Only this 23-year-old with a hot tech idea is based in Wheeling--not exactly a hub of venture capital. He's Greg Sirochinsky, a graduate of Lincolnshire's Adlai E. Stevenson High School and DePaul University. In January, Sirochinsky and three of his pals--fellow Stevenson grads--started up a company called High 5 Advertising, which launched a Web site called Ylunch.com.Ylunch.com is a restaurant finder. If you're hungry around noon dial up the site, where you can search for a restaurant by neighborhood, food type or name. Sirochinsky, who lives with his parents in Vernon Hills, says there are 22,000 restaurants on the site, all of them in Illinois. Phone numbers and addresses are provided, and restaurants that pay a small advertising fee (about 80 establishments currently pay between $75 and $150 per month) provide menus, coupons and maps. Eventually, an online reservation system will be added and the site will be expanded to include restaurants around the country.
But for now, Sirochinsky is looking for money. And he's not shy."We're going to be the Google of food," he said. "We would love to sit down with anyone interested in backing us." Is it hard to find funding in Wheeling? "It's tough," he said. "We've hit a lot of barriers because investors are [mostly] backing California companies." Don't expect that to stop Sirochinsky, though. "We're in the third-largest market here in Chicago," he explained. "And that's better than being in Nebraska or something."Sirochinsky immigrated to the U.S. from Ukraine when he was 8. During college, he worked at a Verizon Wireless retail store but grew disenfranchised with corporate America."You work for somebody all your life and there are no guarantees," the 23-year-old said. "You can get fired, or they can outsource your job oversees."Where are the guarantees for you?" And what guarantees has he found in business? "If we work hard and replicate the success we've had so far, the business will grow." Sirochinsky and his partners are working on a business plan that they hope to use to entice an angel investor to put up money for an Internet start-up.
Only in America. "America is pretty much the only country that a person can start from scratch--with $400 and an idea. Something like this would not be possible anywhere else in the world." Sirochinsky points to recent history. "Look at the Google guy, Sergey Brin--he just made [$3.2 billion] off his IPO. Look at Mark Cuban--he made a fortune on the Internet and bought the Dallas Mavericks [professional basketball team].
"If Sergey Brin can do it with Google, why can't Greg Sirochinsky do it with Ylunch.com?"
Pioneer Press - September 9th, 2004
Local grads create Internet site
BY MARLENE HUNT
Six graduates of Stevenson High School, all who emigrated from Russia to the United States, hope their newly created Internet business will pay off handsomely in the near future. "Only in America is this possible," said Greg Sirochinsky of Vernon Hills. The six childhood friends launched a Website devoted to eating out in the Chicago area. The site, still in a beta version, www.Ylunch.com, shows listings of hundreds of restaurants complete with food choices, reviews, ratings and directions to various eateries.
More than 80 sponsors were intrigued enough to sign on as advertisers. The
site, created by the partners' firm, High5 Advertising, Inc., promotes
extra benefits for sponsors' advertisements including interior and exterior
photographs to give a prospective patron an idea of the ambiance that
awaits them, Sirochinsky said. Partners also include Vadim Lisserman, Nathan Chalik, Artemis
"It took courage to overlook job security and financial consistency to take the bumpy road less traveled," Sirochinsky said. "We are highly trained in graphic design, financial planning, sales and marketing. Our example is to promote a different corporate structure where one's worth is determined through one's commitment." With designers and programmers on board, the partners project that current revenues of about $4,000 per month will double by January."We operate our business on the theory of targeted traffic. This means the advertising is directed toward a customer who is ready to buy the advertiser's product," Sirochinsky said. In restaurant industry jargon, targeted traffic means a hungry person who is looking for a specific type of food in a specific area. The partners point out potential customers have complete control over what restaurants they want to see and visit. Using the Web site means no driving around. Additionally, advertisers are connected to the YEverything Network on partner sites such as Ydinner.com, Ysushi.com, Ybrunch.com, Ytaco.com, Ypizza.com, etc. "We have the most comprehensive restaurant advertising directed to more than 22,000 Illinois restaurants," Sirochinsky said.
This allows people to find the meal they want for breakfast, lunch and dinner. "This is not only time saving but makes our Web site a great way to advertise restaurants, bakeries, delis, cafes, coffee houses, bars and clubs," he said. The company also provides assistance to clients who need help with their own Web sites. It helps customers take advantage of the many search engines and links to other Internet sites that promote restaurants and food service outlets.Taking the plunge to work without pay was a difficult decision. While the partners live in the Vernon Hills and Buffalo Grove area, the business is based in the home of Sirochinsky's parents. Fortunately, it means they don't have to worry about maintaining a roof over their heads while growing their business."With hard work and a dream, you are bound to succeed," Chalik adds.
Still, the five youths had to overcome a lot of obstacles as they relocated to the United States. They learned a new language and culture. After attending different Chicago area elementary schools, they moved to the area and attended Stevenson High School where they met each other, became friends and studied hard to get into college.Sirochinsky came to the Chicago area from the Ukraine when he was 10 years old. "My parents came without money and now we are living the American dream," he said. "Our dream is to become the next Google by taking our company public."
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