Umami is the story of two friends and the restaurant industry they know and love.
For years, whenever Travis needed a cook at his restaurant, one of the first things he would do was call his friend Sean. Sean knew nearly every cook in the Pacific Northwest through his time working in kitchens and as an operator of a high-end protein distribution company in Seattle.
One fall evening, while imbibing on a few gin and tonics, Sean and Travis thought it would be a good idea to start a job placement company for the restaurant industry. The idea picked up steam when they ran the idea through a few other restaurant owners, all of whom had the same complaint:
“The resumes we get don't show us who the person is, we need to know them, their personality, their likes and dislikes.”
When Sean and Travis passed this feedback onto friends who were cooks, bartenders, and servers, one of their largest complaints was that they hated changing jobs or going to interviews because it was often difficult to get a feel for the culture and management at the new place.
This when the "ah ha" moment came.
What if a platform existed that allowed both restaurant owners and restaurant employees to create short videos of themselves? Employees would be able to showcase their personality and skill, and restaurants would be better able to share what type of employee they are looking for as well as their work environment.
The idea was set, the gin was flowing (again), and all Sean and Travis had to do was find somebody to build and create their idea. That was the hard part, because although they knew many people in the restaurant industry, they knew almost nobody in tech. Thankfully, hope came in the form of a simple Facebook review.
Although a few months of meetings had nearly led the duo to abandon their idea, Travis noticed a particularly nice Facebook review of his restaurant one day with a very cool avatar. A few clicks led to a name, a name led to a meeting, and a meeting led a partnership with Prota Ventures.
We believe in the power of hospitality. We believe a good meal can be life changing. We believe that people are more than their resume.
Cheers & Thanks,
~Sean, Travis, & Prota Ventures