Tate’s List, an online service that connects restaurants and bars with local service providers, food purveyors, and beverage distributors, launches next week in Seattle. The platform was conceived and developed by Tate Rogers, a former owner of the Nectar Lounge, and is backed by industry veterans James Weimann and Deming Maclise, owners of five Seattle restaurants: Bastille, Poquitos, Von Trapp’s, Olympic Rooftop Pavilion, and Stoneburner.
“I came up with this idea about four years ago,” Rogers says. “I ran my own nightclub restaurant, and saw a huge deficiency in being able to locate good resources online and finding good service providers and vendors. There seemed to me a glaring need for this technology. It was incredible how archaic the process was to find service providers.”
Tate’s List consists of 104 different categories, running the gamut of what a restaurateur might need for his operation—window cleaners, linen services, attorneys—as well as food and beverage distributors. Since June of last year, the Tate’s List engagement team has been talking directly to local owners and managers in Seattle’s thriving restaurant and bar scene, with more than 1,000 vendors and 1,250 restaurants signing on as subscribers.
All vendors or distributors represented on Tate’s List have been endorsed by a member bar or restaurant. “If someone has been endorsed by 10 bars in the industry—that’s very powerful,” Rogers says.
Rogers has also forged relationships with top regional distributors to develop a searchable beverage industry database, with the ability to find and discover brands, distribution, and pricing. A search engine, with a focus on local wineries, breweries, and distilleries, gives bars and restaurants a way to locate the best products available for their business.
Vendors that want more that just a free basic listing can opt to pay a membership fee, or a monthly subscription, which gives them an enhanced profile with details about the company, and allows them to post deals.
“There may be certain times of the year when you want to promote something, that’s when you need to be in front of the restaurants or bars, [and] the membership allows you to do that,” says Rogers.
Before taking Tate’s List to the streets, Rogers had approached restaurateurs such as Tom Douglas, owner of Tom Douglas Restaurants, and Ethan Stowell, owner of Ethan Stowell Restaurants, to ask what they thought about his burgeoning idea. “Tom didn’t realize how much time he wasted on trying to find sources,” says Rogers. “He just did it without thinking about the time he spent.”
Both Douglas and Stowell have signed on as subscribers, as well.
Tate’s List is planning a soft launch at the Northwest Foodservice Show, held April 13-14 at the Seattle Convention Center. The rollout will start with 400-500 restaurants invited at a time to participate. “We stopped signing up bars and restaurants three weeks ago—there was just too much information to process,” Rogers says.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg for what we plan to do,” he adds. Upcoming on www.tateslist.comare sections where brands can post industry-only events, job listings, and classified ads to sell industry equipment and supplies. Plans for expansion to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York are also underway.
By Joann Whitcher