AI Meets Third-Party Delivery and Melt Shop Franchising

MRM’s Daily Bite features using AI for ordering, a comfort food brand looking to franchise and the best pastry chef in the nation. 

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The Future is Here

orderTalk, Inc., a provider of online ordering software and service solutions to the restaurant industry, has developed patent-pending technology designed to change the way restaurants receive third-party delivery orders. The new software solution will facilitate order input, without the need for employee intervention, from an artificial intelligence (AI) adapter that will work on any modern restaurant point of sale (POS) system.

This new patent-pending technology solves the cumbersome order-delivery process that has plagued the industry.

“Many restaurant brands work with sometimes more than 20 delivery marketplaces, each one having to supply the restaurant with a tablet to receive the orders,” said Patrick Eldon, CEO of orderTalk, Inc. “From there, the process becomes even more chaotic, with employees needed to constantly monitor these tablets and input orders into the POS system by hand. As anyone might imagine, the process of housing and monitoring tablets is time consuming, costly and prone to human error, which defeats the concept of timely and quality food delivery entirely.”

With nearly 20 years of restaurant POS integration experience, orderTalk was in a unique position to understand these challenges and solve the problem. according to Eldon. From the outset, there was an intrinsic understanding that the traditional POS integration via an application program interface (API) was not suited to the delivery marketplace model for many reasons, including the cost, time and ongoing attention to updates this type of integration would require. Instead, the company set out to find an order-delivery solution independent of back-end POS integration functions or APIs.

The result is revolutionary technology that facilitates order input from any external source through a single AI adapter. The software is self-sustained through machine-learning and dedicated to supporting digital customer needs without continuous human intervention. Restaurant operators will be up and running within an hour or two by using the interactive trainer module.

“This new patent-pending technology solves the cumbersome order-delivery process that has plagued the industry,” added Eldon. “Specifically developed to support universal plug and play POS integration, the technology not only eliminates the restaurant’s burden of managing multiple channels of incoming digital orders, but ensures accuracy, efficiency and a single point of contact for maintenance and support. There is no doubt that this is groundbreaking and disruptive technology for the industry, not just for restaurants but for marketplaces too.”

Melt Shop Launches Franchise Effort

Melt Shop launched its domestic and international franchise program. Founded by Spencer Rubin in 2011, Melt Shop has eight corporate locations — in New York, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis — and is seeking experienced entrepreneurs to help the brand grow to 100 locations over the next five years across the U.S. and internationally. Melt Shop recently expanded into the Middle East and will open seven locations in the region, with four opening in Kuwait by March 2018.

“Melt Shop has spent the last six years tirelessly perfecting our brand and business model. The timing is right to bring our New York-born fast casual concept to the world,” said Josh Morgan, Operating Partner of Aurify Brands, Melt Shop’s parent company. “Melted sandwiches possess the unique ability to be instantly recognizable and familiar in any market and we see immense potential to grow through franchising. It’s a strong investment opportunity for entrepreneurs excited about being part of a franchise concept’s early growth story. This is just the beginning.”

“All the details have been choreographed to perfection so our product and experience are best-in-class. We’ve honed all of it — the food, the people, the business model,” said Spencer Rubin, Melt Shop Founder. “We love what we do, and it’s our passion that will fuel our franchise growth as a brand and we’re looking for partners who are equally passionate.”

Melt Shop is seeking qualified franchisees to join the brand and currently has opportunities domestically in markets such as the Northeast, Midwest, and Florida, and in most international markets, including the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Japan, China, India, Mexico, South America, Canada, Western Europe, and Australia.

Melt Shop has an estimated initial investment range of $368,240 – $698,800 for the first location, including a franchise fee of $35,000 and a sales range of $1,016,984 – $1,640,406 (sale range based on Melt Shops’ six corporate restaurants open over 12 months as of end of 2016, as referenced in Item 19 of the 2017 FDD). 

Melt Shop is a part of Aurify Brands, a company equal parts hospitality group and restaurant incubator. Aurify Brands was founded by Andy Stern and John Rigos, who are Five Guys Burgers and Fries multi-unit franchisees, and former franchisees of Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Baskin-Robbins. Aurify Brands also owns and operates The Little Beet, The Little Beet Table, Fields Good Chicken, and MAKE Sandwich.

Time Warner Center  Adds Restaurants

The  Shops at Columbus Circle will be the new outpost of Bluebird by D&D and a new location of Momofuku Noodle Bar as part of the Restaurant and Bar Collection at Time Warner Center. Bluebird by D&D will open in the spring of next year with Momofuku Noodle Bar following in mid-2018.

Time Warner Center

“Time Warner Center has long been home to some of the most diverse and unique culinary experiences and we are thrilled to welcome D&D’s Bluebird and Momofuku’s Noodle Bar. Bluebird has a well-earned reputation as a great gathering place for the Londoners, and a place to celebrate every day, and we know diners will have the same experience in their new location where they are planning a concept that is uniquely New York. David Chang and Momofuku are known for their culinary innovation and Noodle Bar will bring a great energy and experience to the center around the clock,” said Kenneth A. Himmel, restaurateur and President of Related Urban, the mixed-use division of Related Companies.
The new Bluebird will span over 10,000 sq. ft. on the third floor and feature breathtaking views of Central Park and the City. Bluebird Chelsea is a London landmark on King’s Road renowned for its modern European with quintessential classic British dishes. 
“I am incredibly excited about us opening Bluebird in New York – we could not have picked a more prime location,” said Des Gunewardena, chairman and chief executive of D&D London. “The Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, with its views over Central Park, is about as good as it gets for a Midtown Manhattan restaurant venue. We think that Bluebird encapsulates much of the buzz and glamour of the London restaurant scene today and will also bring to New York the quintessential style of London’s Chelsea. We hope New Yorkers like it!”
Founded by Chef David Chang, Momofuku Noodle Bar first opened in New York City’s East Village in 2004. Momofuku has since grown to include restaurants in New York, Sydney, Toronto, Washington, DC, and Las Vegas, and David has been honored with five James Beard Foundation Awards.
Noodle Bar serves noodles, buns, and a rotating selection of dishes that change with the seasons. For the second location in New York City, Executive Chef Tony Kim is developing a new menu to translate the DNA of the original Noodle Bar to the Time Warner Center Restaurant and Bar collection. The Noodle Bar location will span 4,000 sq. ft. on the third floor, feature a full bar, and serve both lunch and dinner.
“I remember when the Time Warner Center opened in 2004,” said Chef David Chang. “There wasn’t anything like it in New York – one building holding some of the best culinary talent in the world. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would be able to be a part of the collection down the road. It’s an opportunity to provide a place where people can eat delicious food at an affordable price for those who both live and work in the surrounding area.”

Bevinco Rolls Out Inventory Management App

Did you know that restaurants and bars lose, on average, $1,500 each week just from inaccurate inventories and accountability? That’s equivalent to an average of $78,000 per year in lost profits.

Sculpture Hospitality has created a mobile app designed to fix the problem while reducing inventory time by more than half. Bevinco Mobile provides restaurant operators with an inventory solution that delivers fast, accurate reporting anytime, anywhere with in-the-field support to turn losses into profit.

With this app, bar managers can count bottles, cases, wine and everything else that needs to be tracked, directly from their mobile device.  The Bevinco Mobile app has a barcode scanner that allows restaurant operators to quickly and accurately count bottles. The app takes profit enhancing efforts one step further than the normal “tenthing” method. Bevinco’s software offers precise results by weighing the bottle using a Bluetooth scale.

“Over the last 30 years, Sculpture Hospitality has continuously raised the bar on providing the most sophisticated technology to meet our clients’ evolving needs and demands,” said Vanessa De Caria, President of Toronto-based Sculpture Hospitality. “We’ve seen firsthand the dramatic losses that restaurants and bars are experiencing due to inaccurate inventory reporting, so we created the Bevinco Mobile app. It combines the convenience, speed and accuracy of the app with the personalized touch that Sculpture provides and for a best in class solution.”

Founded in 1987 as Bevinco to assist restaurant and bar owners with their liquor inventory systems, Sculpture Hospitality began franchising in 1991 and has steadily expanded its product base and geographic reach to serve all markets in the U.S. and Canada, plus 33 countries across the globe.

Dan Boman Named Top Pastry Chef
The best pastry chef in the nation, according to the American Culinary Federation (ACF), is Dan Boman, CEPC, chef instructor at The Art Institute of Phoenix. Boman received the title of ACF Pastry Chef of the Year and $5,000 after winning a national competition during “Cook. Craft. Create. ACF National Convention & Show” in Orlando.
Dan Boman
The ACF Pastry Chef of the Year award, was established in 2004 and recognizes a pastry chef who displays a passion for the craft, has an accomplished reputation in the pastry field and has helped educate others by sharing skills and knowledge. Four finalists from ACF regions competed at the national convention after first being nominated by colleagues and then winning their respective regional competitions.
Pastry chefs had two hours and 30 minutes to prepare and serve three items representing the designated theme, Disney Villains. These included a cold-plated dessert featuring key lime, strawberries and cream cheese; a signature cookie and showpiece at least two feet tall, composed 75 percent of either chocolate or sugar work.
A panel of ACF-approved judges determined the winner.
“It is such an honor, and indeed humbling, to be considered among some of the best pastry chefs in the country by the American Culinary Federation,” said Boman who previously served as an executive pastry chef at Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. An avid competitor, Boman has competed in multiple culinary competitions, earning Best Chocolate Showpiece in the National Team Pastry Championship in 2009.