Celebrating Chicago Cuisine and Robot Wait Service

MRM’s Daily Bite features new of a food hall celebrating Chicago cuisine complete with a food-service incubator, illy’s coffee university, Beyond Meat being available for restaurants and robot food delivery. 

Send news items to Barbara Castiglia at bcastiglia@modernrestaurantmanagement.com.

Celebrating the Food of Chicago
55 Monroe

Eurest is launching Forum 55, a morning, lunch and midday food hall and marketplace located in the heart of Chicago’s Loop district within walking distance to Millennium Park. The food hall will operate Monday through Friday on the concourse level of 55 E. Monroe Street and is slated to open in October.

Under the direction of 2017 Illinois Restaurant Association Chairman and Eurest Division President Jim Kallas, Forum 55 aims to provide the city with an original take on the food hall experience. 

“We want to celebrate Chicago food at its best,” shared Kallas. “A food hall is a very special opportunity to showcase farmers, entrepreneurs and chefs at the same time with convenience, affordability and excitement.” 

Forum 55 will offer convenient “order and pay” counter service from 10 restaurant concepts — a marketplace — a business incubator for young, female and minority owned businesses — as well as one of the city’s largest salad bars to feature produce handpicked from farmers in nearby Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. 

One feature will be The Apron Exchange,  a “food service incubator” designed especially to provide a platform for female and minority-owned businesses that want to introduce a new product or get an idea off the ground.  The Community Garden will support area farmers as one the city’s largest salad bars to feature produce handpicked from local farmers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin, as the seasons dictate, of course.  Forum 55 will also feature original programming, such as chef’s tables, purveyor meet and greets and special tastings, to position the space further as a gathering place for the larger Jeweler’s Row neighborhood daytime crowd. 
In the coming weeks, Forum 55 will announce the participation of several much-loved independent restaurant operators and food providers.  
Simplifying Payments 

Revel Systems introduced Revel Advantage, a simplified payments solution for business that processes credit cards and multiple payment forms as an integrated component of the Revel POS system. Revel Advantage bundles integrated payments with the Revel POS platform ensuring fast and secure payment processing, favorable payment rates and the service and support benefits of a single vendor. The new offering provides a comprehensive one stop resource for business, combining software, hardware, and payment processing, and creating even greater time and cost efficiencies for customers.

The EMV-ready payments solution provided by Revel Advantage facilitates multiple payment types including credit, debit, Apple pay, mobile and gift cards and provides PCI-validated point-to-point encryption (P2PE), the payment industry’s highest standard for payment data security. Revel Advantage also delivers straight forward pricing with no hidden fees allowing businesses more transparency and peace of mind.

Revel Systems ensures best-in-class fraud protection and fast deposits for Revel Advantage customers as well as providing service and support for the entire payments and POS solution, creating more streamlined processes for businesses.

“Revel Advantage creates a significant benefit for businesses in providing better payments control, gold standard security and competitive cost benefits. We are proud to bring an integrated payments and POS experience to customers under the Revel brand ensuring even greater value and enhanced customer experience,” said Revel COO Bobby Marhamat.

Revel Advantage is already providing immediate benefits for Revel System’s customers including San Francisco-based food delivery service, Mealmade, which has realized significant benefits including time and cost efficiencies.

“At Mealmade we implemented Revel Advantage directly into our Revel POS. By integrating the Revel payments processor, we have been able to streamline our payments solution and now can process all types of payments,” added Jeff Nobbs, Founder at Mealmade.

Beyond Meat Teams with Sysco

The Beyond Meat® Beyond Burger is the latest addition to Sysco’s Cutting Edge Solutions (CES) program. The Beyond Burger is the first plant-based burger that looks, cooks and satisfies so much like traditional beef, it’s sold in the meat section at grocery stores. The exclusive deal between Sysco and Beyond Meat will open distribution of the ground-breaking Beyond Burger to thousands of burger joints, restaurant chains, hospitality properties, healthcare centers and educational facilities nationwide.

Beyond Meat

“Similar to how we’ve partnered with conventional grocery stores to bring The Beyond Burger to the meat aisle where everyday consumers shop for protein, we are thrilled to be a part of Sysco’s Cutting Edge Solutions program to bring The Beyond Burger to menus alongside beef at thousands of mainstream restaurants nationwide” said Ethan Brown, CEO of Beyond Meat.

The partnership with Sysco represents a wider cultural shift that is currently happening in the US food ecosystem. According to a recent NPD Study, 70 percent of meat eaters are substituting a non-meat protein in a meal at least once a week and 22 percent say they are doing it more often than a year ago. While taste remains a key factor in food purchases, health benefits are one of the top reasons consumers choose plant-based protein.

“Cutting Edge Solutions is Sysco’s unique product innovation platform designed to give our customers differentiated products and solutions to meet the challenges of the competitive foodservice industry,” said Brian Todd, Senior Vice President of Merchandising, Sysco. “Each year, we evaluate emerging food trends to hand-select our CES featured productions. Our exclusive distribution of the innovative Beyond Burger helps our customers appeal to a growing group of consumers seeking better-for-you products.”

illy’s University of Coffee

lly, the third-generation family-owned coffee company from Trieste, Italy, committed to offering the highest quality, most ethically sourced coffee to the world, today opened its first permanent University of Coffee (Università del Caffè) in the U.S., adjacent to its illy caffè location at 220 Montgomery Street in San Francisco. The worldwide coffee education program has served coffee farmers, professionals and passionate coffee lovers for over two decades.

“For illy, San Francisco is a natural choice for a first dedicated University location in America, given the city’s early embrace of high-quality coffee, its vibrant culinary scene and its well-earned reputation as a major hub for innovation and education,” said Massimiliano Pogliani, CEO of illycaffè SpA. “We are honoured to contribute to the city’s rich coffee culture by sharing our knowledge and passion.”

With an eye towards keeping authentic Italian coffee tradition alive while also focusing on developing coffee culture trends, since 1999, the University of Coffee has educated nearly 200,000 producers, hospitality professionals and coffee lovers alike, via 25 branches around the world, on coffee history, culture, science, preparation and tasting in a beautiful hands-on setting. There will be a regular rotation of classes and events at the San Francisco location, which is also available for private events, corporate meetings and other activities.

“University of Coffee functions as a meeting place where not only coffee and hospitality professionals can train, but also as a destination where coffee enthusiasts and connoisseurs can share in their passion for coffee culture,” said Mark Romano, vice president of education, quality & sustainability at illy and manager for the US branch of the University of Coffee.

University of Coffee started offering classes in North America in 2008 in conjunction with renowned culinary institutes including The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and the International Culinary Center (ICC), in addition to working with illy retail and hospitality partners to offer consumer coffee classes. At its core, the program serves as a centre of excellence designed to promote, support and communicate the culture of quality coffee worldwide. 

illy also offers an inter-university Master’s degree course in Coffee Economics and Science in Trieste, Italy. The accredited Master’s Degree in Coffee Economics and Science provides post-graduate students interested in careers in the coffee industry with a comprehensive education in the culture of coffee, from the plant to the cup; in the social and economic value of coffee; and in the culture of coffee producing countries. 

Robots Deliver Food to Guests

The grand opening of Gen Korean restaurant in Pacific Commons featured the unveiling of the eatery’s gleaming robot food delivery system. 

While waiters take customer orders, the service literally delivers customers’ orders directly to their tables. Gen Korean is located in the Pacific Commons center at 43476 Boscell Road, Fremont, CA.