You know the score: if only you could pick up a couple extra shifts before month’s end, you’d be golden. If you hustle hard but money is still tight, look no further. 

Hyr is a new app which connects traditional companies – like restaurants and bars – to independent workers to fill shifts, on-demand. Now, Hyr’s coming to Toronto – the official launch is November 15 at Early Mercy (540 King St. W). We were super-curious, so we chatted up Hyr’s co-founder, Erika Mozes.

SDTC: What inspired you to start Hyr?

EM: Hyr started with a simple problem – how can companies connect with workers with a click of a button? The inspiration came to us on a late fall afternoon in 2015. The patio at the Bier Markt on King street was slammed. They weren’t expecting the patio to be open and just didn’t have enough staff. One of my co-founders, Josh, and I thought there needs to be a better way.

Josh’s background is in HR, and at the time I was working in the head office of a large chain restaurant. We recognized the real problem of companies and talent just not being able to connect efficiently, or in real time. But more importantly, both of us worked in bars and restaurants early on in our careers. We were that slammed server all too often. We know what it is like to look for a side-hustle, try to make our way through school, and when there is too much month and not enough paycheck. It inspired us to build a business which puts the worker first.

What is the major benefit of Hyr to workers?

Hyr is a fully mobile app which connects traditional companies – like restaurants and bars – to quality talent to fill shifts, on-demand. Our “workers first” platform is built for talent looking for their next side hustle. We offer freedom and flexibility to pick up shifts where and when you want; the talent on our platform sets their own rate of pay, are paid immediately following their shift, and earn rewards with each shift worked.

Do you see Hyr expanding in the next few years?

Absolutely! We are starting in hospitality, but we see a need in a number of different spaces. For example, in the retail space – over the holiday season or promotions, when they host special events, or just need some helping hands doing inventory.

What are the “rewards” that workers can earn with each shift worked?

We know the talent we are targeting to use Hyr often aspire to something higher. Whether it be paying off loans or going on that vacation, it’s for a higher purpose. With the Hyr UP rewards program, talent on the platform collect UPoints with every shift they work, based on the rate of pay for each shift. The points incrementally accumulate, and when you reach $50.00, you can cash in your UPoints for what matters most, or keep saving!

Why do you think Toronto is primed for this type of start-up?

Toronto is the fourth largest city in North America. Our restaurant and bar sector is thriving, but those restaurants and bars are having a very tough time finding quality staff. According to Restaurant Canada, three in ten restaurants are facing a shortage of skilled workers. But more, Toronto is a perfect test market. This city has a greatly diverse population who are quick to embrace new technology!