E la Carte’s Presto Chango and KFC Likes EMV

This Friday Jr. edition of MRM’s Daily Bite features Presto, Grubhub, Ingenico Group and KFC, Shopkeep and ProPay, DoorDash, Big Star, the Gabriele family, Kroger Co., Mercato and Paula Deen.

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

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E la Carte Changes Name to Presto

E la Carte will now be doing business as Presto from this day forward. Presto, literally ‘fast’ in Italian, better represents the ideals to which the company’s products and team aspire. It has a connotation of magic, which is how 30M monthly users can feel when they use best-in-class Presto technology to satisfy their desires for food, games or to pay their check instantly, company officials said. 

“As a company, we’ve evolved tremendously since we were founded out of MIT in 2008, and we have decided the time is right for a consistent name for both our company and our product — Presto.” said Rajat Suri, CEO and Founder of E la Carte (dba Presto). “The new name also reflects our expanded vision as we address more of the challenges facing the restaurant industry today. Restaurants and retail today must deal with escalating competition, rising labor costs, and consumer expectations that did not exist 5 years ago. Effective use of technology can help strong operators turn these challenges into strengths and will be a key differentiator in the new competitive landscape. As we close out the first 10 years of our existence, we are looking to having even more impact in the next decade with products so cutting-edge and easy-to-use that they leave our users spellbound.”

The new name is effective immediately. The new website is www.presto.com.

Grubhub in 34 More Markets

Grubhub has expanded its delivery capabilities to 34 more markets across 19 states. The expansion was completed throughout the first quarter of 2018 and is part of Grubhub’s plan to grow its delivery network to reach more than 100 new markets this year.

These cities join the more than 80 markets throughout the U.S. that already have Grubhub Delivery capabilities, which allow restaurants to offer their menus for delivery and provide diners with better restaurant choice and variety. Restaurants partnering with Grubhub for delivery include national and regional options like Buffalo Wild Wings, BJ’s Restaurants & Brewhouse, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews, On the Border and The Cheesecake Factory® in many markets. As Yum! Brands’ only national partner for ordering and delivery, Grubhub will also be adding KFC and Taco Bell locations to these markets across the country in the coming months.

With the expansion, Grubhub’s delivery capabilities will now be available to restaurants in the following markets:

  • Little Rock, AR
  • Bakersfield, CA
  • Fresno, CA
  • Modesto, CA
  • Stockton, CA
  • Deltona & Daytona Beach, FL
  • Lakeland, FL
  • Sarasota, FL
  • Augusta, GA
  • Honolulu, HI
  • Boise, ID
  • Fort Wayne, IN
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Wichita, KS
  • Baton Rouge, LA
  • Shreveport, LA
  • Jackson, MS
  • Springfield, MO
  • Fayetteville, NC
  • Greensboro, NC
  • Winston-Salem, NC
  • Akron, OH
  • Canton, OH
  • Dayton, OH
  • Toledo, OH
  • Youngstown, OH
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Charleston, SC
  • Columbia, SC
  • Greenville, SC
  • Chattanooga, TN
  • Memphis, TN
  • Corpus Christi, TX
  • Tacoma, WA

“We’re thrilled to expand our delivery offering to these markets across the U.S., making quick progress on our plan to expand our delivery capabilities throughout the coming year,” said Stan Chia, chief operating officer, Grubhub. “These additional markets are part of our vision to connect more diners with even more of their favorite local restaurants across the country, and provide them with the widest selection of choice wherever they are.”

KFC Transitions to EMV

KFC has migrated its payments system in the U.S. to Ingenico Group’s Telium Semi-Integrated solution to simplify its path to EMV card acceptance and to reduce PCI compliance scope while providing their customers with more payment options and enhanced payment security. As part of the solution, customers will be able to pay using all forms of electronic payment, including EMV chip & PIN, EMV chip & sign, magstripe and NFC/contactless.

KFC uses a mix of Ingenico Group’s iSC250 and iPP350 smart terminals at the counter and iPP350 smart terminals for its drive-thrus, providing customers a fast and secure payment solution no matter where they pay. Using a semi-integrated approach, where sensitive cardholder data is routed around the point of sale (POS), allows KFC to better protect its customers’ payment information. With Ingenico Group, the quick-service restaurant chain was able to transition from a fully integrated to a semi-integrated model.

“Upgrading our payment terminals wasn’t just about migrating to EMV – it was about helping to protect our customers’ payment information and giving them the ability to pay the way they want, whether it’s by using their mobile device or their credit card,” said Chris Caldwell, KFC U.S. chief information officer. “Ingenico Group has helped KFC U.S. transition to EMV and implement a seamless payment experience for our customers with best-in-class terminals that accept a variety of payment options.”

“KFC has always been dedicated to creating innovative customer experiences, and upgrading its payments system is the latest improvement it’s made,” said Scott Tubbs, chief revenue officer for Ingenico Group. “Ingenico Group’s semi-integrated payment solution provides KFC’s customers with a multitude of payment options without compromising the security of their information.”

ShopKeep Teams with ProPay

ShopKeep announced a new partnership in which ProPay will manage payment processing via its Payment Facilitator service for the segment of ShopKeep’s merchants who opt to self-serve onto ShopKeep’s platform. On-boarding customers on a payment facilitator platform significantly streamlines the payments sign-up process, making it even easier for new merchants to get started with ShopKeep via its new online self-enrollment process.

ProPay provides a portfolio of merchant services that enable merchants to process payments anytime, anywhere — in-person, online, offline and over the phone. The company offers simple, straightforward pricing — making it easy for merchants to understand their fees.

“Providing an easy to-get-started payment option is a great way to facilitate deeper penetration of retail payments processing,” said Dave Duncan, president of ProPay. “Integrating ProPay payment services with ShopKeep gives retailers greater efficiency and productivity while providing peace of mind that their transactions are secure.”

“The integration with ProPay is the latest partnership ShopKeep has entered to offer merchants increased accessibility to powerful business management solutions resulting in a more seamless experience for small business owners,” said Etie Hertz, Chief Revenue Officer at ShopKeep. “We are thrilled to have found a partner that gives us the ability to offer our customers a quick and easy way to sign-up for payments and onboard themselves onto ShopKeep.”

DoorDash Launches in Pittsburgh

DoorDash, the technology company connecting customers with the best local restaurants through door-to-door delivery, today announced its launch in the Pittsburgh area, delivering from more than 1,500 local restaurants. DoorDash currently operates in more than 600 cities across the country, making Pittsburgh the company’s 56th major metropolitan market. DoorDash will be available in Pittsburgh, Robinson Township, Green Tree, Bridgeville, and Mt. Lebanon, all in Allegheny County.

Customers in the Pittsburgh area can order DoorDash between the hours of 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. from a selection of local favorites, including Primanti Bros.

DoorDash’s national partnerships with Houlihan’s, PF Chang’s, Buca Di Beppo, Bravo Cucina Italiana, and Wendy’s will also extend to the area.

“Delivery is something we see as the future of restaurant dining, and we are excited to be a part of it,” said Jim Prezioso, Manager at Primanti Brothers. “Bringing Primanti to people’s homes through DoorDash is something we are excited for as a business.”

To celebrate the debut of DoorDash in Pittsburgh, deliveries for the next two weeks will be $1.99, with a free delivery for first-time users.

Pittsburgh has been a focus of ours for some time, and today customers will now be able to use DoorDash to delivery from some of their favorite local restaurants,” said Tony Xu, CEO, and co-founder of DoorDash. “The city itself has such a rich history and culture when it comes to food, making this launch especially exciting.”

Taco Tradition Continues with Big Star

For nearly a decade, Big Star has garnered critical acclaim, been an industry favorite, and fostered a familiar space for locals and travelers alike. From the expansive catalog of rare whiskeys to a unique soundtrack curated from their ever-growing vinyl collection, Big Star Wrigleyville is prepared to carry on the legacy of the original location. 

Located within the newly opened Hotel Zachary, a development by Hickory Street Capital, an entity owned by the Ricketts family, (owners of the Cubs baseball team), Big Star Wrigleyville encompasses two stories and 9,000 square feet of prime taco territory. True to its summer patio-party roots, Big Star Wrigleyville carries on the tradition of al fresco dining, boasting an expansive 80-seat patio that overlooks the city’s iconic ballpark. Inside, Big Star regulars should feel right at home surrounded by decor reminiscent of the original Wicker Park location with restaurant and bar seating for 299 guests. The second floor features an additional dining area including a 20-seat wrap around bar, as well as spaces available for hosting private and semi-private events. Both levels feature fully retractable siding for that quintessential Big Star outdoor dining experience. 

Big Star Wrigleyville

Big Star’s Executive Chef/Partner Paul Kahan and Chef de Cuisine Julie Warpinski draw inspiration from authentic Mexican street food such as Al Pastor, Baja Fish, and Panza tacos using tortillas made in house daily. Keeping within neighborhood tradition, guests can look forward to a few Big Star slants on ballpark favorites, like Big Star Hot Chips. A cross between beloved baseball nachos and chilaquiles, Warpinski starts by tossing hand pressed tortilla chips in freshly made Arbol salsa, the coated chips are then generously topped with sour cream, radishes, onion and cilantro, resulting in the first ever Big Star nacho dish. Many of the same Big Star favorites will also take center stage, like made from scratch guacamole or the Queso Fundido, and made-to-order tacos. The food menu is complemented by margaritas made with fresh lime juice, an expansive selection of single barrel whiskey, and an array of cheap and delicious beer. 

“I’ve always wanted to put nachos on the menu, but it never quite fit until now,” says Executive Chef/Partner Paul Kahan. “We’re using thicker chips made from El Popo tortillas, so they soak up just the right amount of salsa, you can eat them with a fork or dive right in nacho-style. I like to eat them topped with our Al Pastor.”

The taqueria’s eclectic soundtrack will range from classic country to 70s rock & roll, spun by a musically inclined bar staff to carryon Big Star’s legacy of fostering Chicago’s local artists and musicians. Unlike its Wicker Park counterpart, Big Star Wrigleyville has eight retractable TV screens on display for prime-time game watching (purists needn’t fear, the TVs will be tucked away on non-game days). In order for the classic Big Star experience to translate authentically to the new space, all food and beverage pricing will stay consistent with the original location, on game days and non-game days alike.

Gabi James Opens

Gabi James, the newest restaurant from the Gabriele family (Love & Salt), opened in their former Zazou space, on South Catalina Avenue in Redondo Beach.

Gabi James

Owned by Sara Gabriele and her husband Adam Aro, Gabi James continues the family’s history in the South Bay dining scene. Sara’s father, Guy Gabriele, set the tone for the family restaurants decades ago with Cafe Pierre (Manhattan Beach) and Zazou. By incorporating the timeless traditions of European restaurants, [Guy] Gabriele created restaurants in the South Bay where food and life are inextricably intertwined, and meals bring people together. For Gabi James, [Sara] Gabriele and Aro recapture this sentiment, and carry it into the restaurant design.  Partnered with designer Ana Hinton, they have created a convivial and open gathering space, with a coastal vibe. 

Gabi James

Executive Chef Chris Feldmeier’s (Osteria Mozza and Moruno) menu is inspired by Spanish and Coastal French cuisine, with notes of North Africa and Andalusia contributing to the flavors. A native of the South Bay, Feldmeier infuses the menu with ‘California soul’ and the rich history of the Gabriele family, borrowing several dishes from the family’s recipe book. From the menu, which is broken down into categories: pequeña, media, grande, carne and salsas, al lado, and postres, diners can expect ‘new flavors with familiarity’. Traditional dishes like Tortilla Espanola, Gambas al Ajillo, and Albondigas Chimayo, a dish that has carried over from Zazou, are offered along with dishes inspired by Feldmeier’s travels like Anchovy Matrimonio, Brandade Gratin, Tuna Éscabeche, and Fideuà, a pasta paella with clams, mussels, local squid, and black aioli. Those from the Gabriele family book include a housemade Merguez sausage with mechouia.

Bitter Mistress

The cocktail program by Vincenzo Marianella, mirrors the Mediterranean experience with light, effervescent Gin & Tonics, the national drink of Spain, as well as a number of cocktails featuring vermouth, sherry, and amaro. Spanish and French wines feature prominently on the wine list, curated by [Sara] Gabriele, who is a Level 2 Certified Sommelier and French Wine Scholar. Aro’s highly curated beer list features a Spanish lager on tap, as well as hyper local selections from South Bay and Southern California breweries, many made exclusively for Gabi James.

Kroger Opens Second Kitchen 1883

Kroger Co.  will open its second Kitchen 1883 restaurant, which offers a fresh take on new American comfort food, following the successful launch of its first full-service dining experience last November in Kentucky.

“With Kitchen 1883, our vision is to create a gathering place that offers a casual atmosphere for guests to relax and experience food,” said Daniel Hammer, Kroger’s vice president of culinary development and new business. “Since opening our pilot restaurant five months ago, we’ve discovered new ideas that will help to shape our future dining concepts and in-store fresh food experiences.”

Kitchen 1883 features a made-from-scratch menu inspired by American and international flavors, hand-crafted cocktails and a community-centered atmosphere.

The new Kitchen 1883 will be a stand-alone restaurant with a patio located in Anderson Township, a neighborhood in Greater Cincinnati. The menu will feature new, local dishes. The restaurant will operate daily, offering lunch and dinner along with brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. The restaurant is scheduled to open in the fall.

“Kitchen 1883 is just one way Kroger is redefining the customer experience through innovative concepts, as we outlined in Restock Kroger,” continued Hammer. “Kroger’s Culinary Innovation team will continue innovating and experimenting with food trends, flavors, and ingredients to create new experiences and products for our customers and new menu items for our restaurant guests.”

Mercato To Add The Hampton Social

Mercato, a mixed-use lifestyle shopping center in Naples added The Hampton Social, a new 8,400-square-foot restaurant to be located next to Blue Martini in the former McCormick & Schmick’s space. Expected to open this summer, The Hampton Social is a Chicago-area sensation born in the River North neighborhood known for its concentration of art galleries and vibrant nightlife. Already operating two popular Chicago-area locations, The Hampton Social is making its first foray along the Eastern seaboard with the introduction of its coming Mercato location. The restaurant serves seasonally inspired coastal cuisine in a classy-chic East Coast “Hamptons-like” lifestyle atmosphere. A tasteful private dining room and elegant semi-private spaces make the venue popular for both intimate and corporate gatherings.

“Mercato is honored to have been chosen as The Hampton Social’s first East Coast location,” says Valerie Cope, Marketing Director, Mercato. “The restaurant’s sophisticated, fashionable atmosphere is a perfect match for Mercato’s visitors and a welcome addition to our tenant mix.”

“The Hampton Social’s refined nautical décor combined with our carefully crafted food and drink selections offer our diners an authentic Hamptons experience no matter where they live,” says Brad Parker, founder and CEO of Parker Restaurant Group, which owns and operates The Hampton Social brand as well as Mahalo and The Bassment, a live music lounge. “With the pristine beaches and trendy atmosphere in Naples, Mercato offers us the perfect location for our first-ever actual East Coast location.”

Decorated with off-white Adirondack chairs and hammocks and warmly lit by a combination of sparkling chandeliers and rustic lanterns, The Hampton Social’s mouth-watering menu includes a diverse selection of seafood offerings and a raw bar as well as eclectic, decadent favorites like Chicken & Donuts, the ever-popular Lobster Roll, and a selection of brick-oven-fired pizzas. In addition to a healthy selection of wines, visitors also enjoy sipping The Hampton Social’s own brand of specialty cocktails from the Nor’Easter to the Gatsby G&T and the Skinny Dip.

Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen Opens in Texas

The first Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen location in the state of Texas is now open at 163 Fountain Court in Fairview, at the Fairview Town Center. This new location is approximately thirty miles from Dallas and is located in the largest inland metropolitan area in the United States, with a population in excess of 7,000,000.

“I adore all of my fans in Texas, and bringing my Southern cooking to the Lone Star State is something I have dreamed about for years,” said Paula Deen, celebrity chef, best-selling author, television personality, and restaurateur. “This is the perfect place to bring together family, friends, and great Southern food—three of my favorite things!”

At Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, guests will enjoy family-style dining, sharing endless bowls of mouthwatering traditional southern entrees and side dishes, including Paula’s famous Southern Fried Chicken, Georgia Fried Catfish, Spare Ribs, Baked Mac & Cheese, and Fried Okra, and all guests end their meal with a dessert of their choosing, like Paula’s Ooey Gooey Butter Cake. “I have taken my favorite recipes and brought them to life in an atmosphere that feels just like my own home,” said Deen.

This location includes a 250-seat dining room and The Paula Deen Store, a large retail store where guests can purchase items from Paula’s home, kitchen, and lifestyle collections. A fully functioning replica of Paula’s home kitchen with an interactive cooking experience called “Cooking with Paula” will commence during the coming months.

Paula will celebrate the opening with her fans and friends at Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen in Fairview on Friday, April 20, and Saturday, April 21. Current Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen locations include Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, with more locations planned for later this year. Deen’s first restaurant, The Lady & Sons, opened in downtown Savannah in 1996.

“We can’t wait to bring the love and warmth of Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen to Dallas. Paula’s fans and guests are going to love the ‘Cooking with Paula’ experience we are launching later this year,” said Rajat Shah, founder and CEO of Phoenix Hospitality and Entertainment, Inc.

The Fairview restaurant will provide approximately 250 jobs to the area, as well as sales tax revenue that will contribute to the local economy in Fairview. Positions include chefs, managers, line cooks, prep cooks, bakers, dishwashers, bussers, bartenders, servers, hosts, and retail sales associates.