It was probably only a matter of time before the gig economy embraced barbering. A New York City-based startup called Shortcut on Monday announced it was starting its national rollout with an extension of its app-based haircut and hairstyling service to Philadelphia.
Calling itself “the Uber of haircutting and barbering,” Shortcut started in 2016 and has been available in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City, in which markets it has reached a rate of 1,000 haircuts a month, with a cumulative total so far of more than 20,000. The service typically sends trained barbers to users’ homes or offices. Payment is handled through the app via card-on-file at Stripe Inc. or, in the case of Apple phones, Apple Pay, in a process familiar to users of other gig-economy apps.
The app, available for both Apple and Android devices, is addressed to busy Millennials who find it hard to set aside time to go to the barbershop, Shortcut says. “I was working in New York City for 12 hours a day, six days a week, and realized that getting a haircut on a consistent basis proved to be one of the biggest challenges in my personal life,” said Will Newton, chief operating officer and cofounder, in a statement.
As with Uber, Shortcut’s app tries to establish a personal link between the customer and the provider, and users can request the same barber or stylist for subsequent visits. It also features customer reviews.
“Our goal is to help the best barbers and stylists in every city of America see more revenue by building their own online reputations and businesses where they can showcase their talents, connect with customers, manage their schedules, and automate payments all with the swipe of their finger,” said John Meurer, chief executive and co-founder with Newton, in a statement. “In return, the app’s trusted reviews allow Shortcut customers to make informed decisions when choosing a local hair pro that is right for them.”