Hospitality veteran Crystal Hamilton knows better than most that the restaurant industry is far from perfect.
An already often chaotic and demanding working environment is not aided by some of the highest turnover rates in Canada, which Hamilton believes can be largely attributed to a lack of proper service training.
From server to sommelier, Hamilton saw it all—then decided to strike out on her own. As a Canadian entrepreneur, she founded Knowbie in Vancouver, an app designed to offer affordable and scaleable training to young hospitality staff.
“One of the biggest challenge restaurants have always faced is profitability,” explains Hamilton on LinkedIn. “The quickest way to improve profits in any licensed restaurant is through liquor sales, but servers are very poorly trained to do this.”
Many trainees have “a significant lack of foundational knowledge,” Hamilton told VinePair last year, when her app launched in beta. “They wanted to learn … but they didn’t have a tool that would guide them. This inspired me to create a product that acts as an educational resource and provides a streamlined solution for the industry.”
Knowbie was founded in August of 2020, but Hamilton says it was a “long journey [of] almost six years.” Following “countless mistakes,” the Canadian founder told VP she has since “had great success raising investment capital” and boasts restaurant partners who “have openly embraced our company and vision for the future.”
Features of the Knowbie app include a game-and-quiz system for education, brand customization, and progress monitoring.
The BC startup, which became revenue-positive earlier this year, is “committed to a journey of iteration with a focus on building Knowbie into the industry standard for beverage training,” according to Hamilton. She anticipates “rapid growth.”