Meet Tiz, a Startup That Makes It Easier for Restaurants and Bars to Order Alcohol

Dec21, 2016

Originally published in Chicago Inno by Jim Dalke

For restaurants and bars to buy alcohol, it’s a bit more complicated than just calling a supplier and getting a delivery.

They have to go through a distributor, a third-party middle man that connects venues with alcohol suppliers–like Jack Daniel’s or Miller Coors. Distributors have exclusive contracts with alcohol brands, and on a given week a bar interacts with anywhere between 8 and 20 different distributors to get the supply they need, according to Taylor Katzman, the CEO and founder of Tiz, a new platform that aims to make the process of buying beer and spirits much more seamless.

Tiz, a Chicago startup that launched in June, connects restaurants, distributors and suppliers in the alcohol industry. Restaurants, bars, hotels and other places that serve booze use Tiz to order what they need, all from one place–no more needing to text a dozen alcohol distributors week after week. And it helps restaurant groups see what products are performing best at certain locations by providing more data on individual alcohol brands.

Tiz also makes it easier on alcohol distributors, who now have a centralized platform for taking and fulfilling orders, Katzman said. Tiz creates more transparent pricing, allows venues to discover new products, and provides auto-ordering to make sure supplies never run low.

The startup has 115 restaurants and bars across Chicago and Milwaukee on its platform–including Four Corners Tavern Group, Parker Restaurant Group, and the Vic–as well as 10 distributor partners.

“We’re excited to change how the industry itself interacts,” he said. “The industry has been so fractured for so long, and we believe that technology internally can really help it out.”

Tiz recently raised $1.35 million to expand the product nationally. The round was led by Hyde Park Angels, and included investments from Ludow Ventures and Hyde Park Venture Partners. Katzman, who previously worked at on-demand alcohol startup Drizly as its Midwest regional manager, is also the co-founder of Rhine Hall Distillery in Chicago.

Katzman said Tiz, which now has six employees, will use the funding to add to its sales teams and scale the business.

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