Gary Campbell and his team at WineView are passionate about creating a better, more consumer-friendly way to buy wine. But while building out their app and diving further into the wine industry, the Birmingham-based startup realized a glaring gap in the market.
Specifically, Campbell and his co-founder Angela Caine realized that no restaurant point of sale (POS) had its own built-in wine management service.
That was a huge missed opportunity for restaurants of all sizes, said Campbell.
“[Wine] is the most nuanced, difficult thing to train new staff on,” Campbell told Hypepotamus. “We want to arm the servers and staff with the tools to recommend wine with every guest every time.”
Starting today, restaurant customers using the POS system Toast will be able to more easily suggest the perfect wine for every meal with WineView’s wine and food pairing algorithm.
About the Toast Partnership
The WineView and Toast partnership appears to be a perfect match for the restaurant world.
The WineView team first connected with Toast at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago in 2022. Since then, they have been busy working on the integration and preparing for the official launch of the partnership.
“This is such a critical need [for restaurants] and Toast recognized how big of an advantage this is. Our whole purpose with this [partnership] is to change the conversation around wine. Right now, unless you go into a white tablecloth place, [restaurants] aren’t going to ask if you want wine and they’re certainly not going to recommend wine. We believe that you don’t have to be a white tablecloth restaurant in order to have exceptional tableside wine service,” Campbell added.
But it isn’t just about the power of recommendation. WineView works with restaurant staff in three key ways: as a pre-shift training tool, as a tableside assistant, and as a gamified wine training program.
Those training programs can help staff get up to speed quickly with a restaurant’s wine service and ultimately increase tip potential. For restauranteurs, WineView can help with turnover problems that have plagued the hospitality industry over the last several years.
Campbell and the WineView team is confident in their ability to help restaurants grow their wine sales, adding that Toast partners are guaranteed a 10-20% increase in wine sales.
It’s not just restaurant staffers who benefit from WineView. Consumers can use the app or the website whether they are shopping for wine at their local grocery store or they are out at a restaurant and want to better understand the wine selections on the menu.
That helps customers not get bogged down with overwhelming amounts of texts and unhelpful descriptions that are standard on wine lists today.
WineView has expanded significantly since Hypepotamus first covered the startup in March of 2021.
Born during the pandemic, WineView has been singularly focused on making wine more accessible to the average consumer. To date, the WineView database has indexed well over 400,000 wines and has worked with over 500 restaurants to help people find their next favorite glass of wine.
Those numbers are only set to grow with the Toast partnership, since the restaurant software giant has upwards of 65,000 restaurant customers.
“Last year was the year of stability,” Campbell added. “Last year we got our product nailed down, we got the people in place to execute on it, the markets to execute it in, and the partner to roll it out with. This year, we’ve got everything lined up to make this the year of growth.”
WineView now has team members in Atlanta, Nashville, Dallas, and its hometown of Birmingham. Campbell said the goal is to hire in Charleston, DC, and Boston (where Toast is headquartered) in the coming months.