Mary Anne Butler still drives a decked out “soup mobile” around the streets of Chatham, but she’s expanded well beyond her on-the-road roots. Serving delicious, diner classics with a spin (including 150 soups), Hungry Sam’s quickly grew from a seasonal food truck in 2011 into a much larger, year-round restaurant in 2012. They’ve since expanded into catering, added a third venture — a coffee shop — and are working on a wholesale business. Great food sets them apart, but it’s technology that’s helping them keep up with their growth.

 


 

When Mary Anne Butler drives her decked out “soup mobile” around the streets of Chatham, there’s no doubting she’s the big cheese in town. Owner of Hungry Sam’s, Butler has quickly become a favourite of the local community: “People will stop beside us on the road, roll down their windows, and ask us what the specials are for the day.”

It’s this kind of enthusiasm for Butler’s delicious diner classics with a spin (including 150 soups), that helped Hungry Sam’s grow from a seasonal food truck in 2011 into a much larger, year-round restaurant in 2012. “It’s a tiny space, but we have a lot of charm,” says Butler, who runs the place with her son Sam, Hungry Sam’s namesake. With the recent addition of a third venture a coffee shop called Sam’s Percolator — Butler’s plate is fuller than ever, even with 11 employees on hand.

With a business that continues to rapidly grow, it’s more important than ever to keep the restaurants running like well-oiled machines. While Mary Anne does the prep work and menu development, Sam operates the back end of the business out of the home office. “I handle email correspondence, book catering, order inventory, and I’ve even started to digitize all our documents,” says Sam.

To help with the digitizing process — and to make catering jobs easier (yes, Hungry Sam’s does catering, too!), Sam made the switch to TELUS in 2014, and added a mobile payment system in the process. It gives Sam the freedom to accept payments from his smartphone while out on catering jobs: “Our customers don’t want the hassle of coming into the store to make a payment — it’s the last thing on their minds.” 

Add in an iPad, three smartphones and a business plan catered to their specific needs, and Hungry Sam’s has no trouble keeping both the back and front of the house running smoothly — even during the daily lunch rush. And, they know that if any issues arise during their ‘can’t-stop-even-for-a-second’ days, TELUS is always there to help. “I always feel safe and taken care of with TELUS. They’re very transparent and I know I’m always getting what I paid for.”

So what do the next five years look like for this mother-son duo? “We are currently working on wholesaling products to stores, streamlining catering operations, and even expanding our kitchen.” They even have big dreams of going directly into the wholesale market, and would love for TELUS to stay with them as they grow. “We’d like to provide more staff with phones, especially if they are doing sales or deliveries; if they’re out of the store, we’d need to be able to keep in touch with them.”

But, above all else, Mary Anne and Sam simply want to continue doing what they love while keeping like-minded people around them at all times. “I don’t really like to call this work. It’s something that I really enjoy doing. When we win awards or get feedback, I just feel like we’ve nailed it. It’s a marvelous feeling.”

 

Simplify your business with TELUS — and an exclusive offer for Women of Influence ENTREPRENEURS. Get 10%(1) off select 2-year plans, plus get up to $600(2) off the latest smartphones. Redeem your exclusive offer today or call a dedicated service representative at 1-877-269-0603 for more information. Find out how other entrepreneurs are simplifying their business on Canada’s largest and fastest(3) mobile network.

 

Offer is 10% off of any 2-year Premium, Premium Plus, or Platinum plan excluding data-add ons or features. The Offer is only available on a Business Personal or Business Regular account. Not available for Consumer or Corporate accounts. Offer available at a TELUS store, authorized dealer, or the dedicated inbound queue. Not available at retail locations, such as Best Buy or London Drugs. Must be a business that has less than 50 telecommunication lines and present an HST/GST number (QST number in Quebec), registration number, incorporation number, and/or other proof of business upon activation. TELUS reserves the right to withdraw or modify this offer at any time.
Exact credit depends upon cost of smartphone selected. Up to $200 off a smartphone on a 2-year Premium plan, up to $400 off a smartphone on a 2-year Premium Plus Plan, and up to $600 off a smartphone on a 2-year Platinum plan. Offer only available on a Business Personal or Business Regular account. Not available for Consumer or Corporate accounts. Offer available at a TELUS store, authorized dealer, or the dedicated inbound queue. Not available at retail locations, such as Best Buy or London Drugs. Offer cannot be combined with other code-based offers. Must be a business that has less than 50 telecommunication lines and present an HST/GST number (QST number in Quebec), registration number, incorporation number, and/or other proof of business upon activation.  TELUS reserves the right to withdraw or modify this offer at any time.
TELUS Mobility measured fastest overall download speed among 3 national providers in the OpenSignal independent study Date of Mobile Networks: Canada (Jan 2017). TELUS Mobility received the highest numerical score in Ontario in the J.D. Power 2015-2017 (tied in 2015) Canadian Wireless Network Quality Studies. Your experiences may vary.

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