Wholesail was founded by a team of repeat entrepreneurs who worked together at OpenTable as product managers, engineers and designers. Prior to OpenTable, most of the team worked together at two startups OpenTable acquired: restaurant recommendation engine Ness Computing and restaurant analytics company Copilot. Our team has spent a collective 50 years working to help 40,000+ restaurants improve their operations with technology.
Wholesail’s CEO, Eli Chait, grew up in the restaurant business. At the age of 12 his first job was entering invoices into the accounting system for his father’s restaurant, Spark Woodfire Grill in Los Angeles. When tasked with statement reconciliation he learned how frequently invoices are lost, and how difficult it is to track down lost invoices in a busy restaurant. Two decades later, the AP process hasn’t changed much.
Before starting Wholesail, our team spent nine months researching and interviewing restaurant operators, chefs, and accountants. We shadowed the accounts receivable departments of large distributors, and helped small farms & distributors try to close their books. Through this experience we had an opportunity to put ourselves in the shoes of distributors and restaurant operators.
We helped an AR employee dig through their accounting system to figure out why a buyer short paid by $28.72. We also spent an afternoon with a struggling restaurant’s AP department that was in the unfortunate position of needing to prioritize which vendors were going to get paid that week.
Through this process of customer discovery, we learned that as messy as AP can be for restaurants (processing hundreds of paper invoices each month), it’s even tougher for their vendors. We built Wholesail not to get in the way of the relationship between sellers and buyers, but to bring harmony to a part of the relationship where there is so often tension.
Wholesail is backed by several Silicon Valley and New York City based institutional investors that believe in our vision for modernizing wholesale trade.