This edition of MRM’s News Bites features the F&B Innovation Conference, Presto, Bringg, DTP Companies and Como, MomentFeed, DoorDash, TSYS, Elo, WorkJam and Starbucks.
Send news items to Barbara Castiglia at email@example.com.
F&B Innovation Conference
Light up your appetite and celebrate your passion for the food & beverage industry at the 2019 Food & Beverage Innovation Conference, co-located with Nightclub & Bar Show – March 25-27 in Las Vegas.
Be at the forefront of the restaurant industry’s latest collection of innovative ingredients, technology, equipment and beverage trends. Whether you’re an independent owner, chain owner, quick-service restaurant operator or chef, energize your business and find exciting ways to increase revenue through technology and quality ingredients. Go to www.ncbshow.com/fbic to learn more.
Save $30 Off your Pass with Promo Code MRM30.
First-of-its-Kind Wearable Technology for FOH
Presto launched Presto Wearables, a smartwatch-like device that notifies servers of guests’ needs and management when guests need a manager’s attention (e.g., an unpleasant experience) top photo; and Presto A.I., a highly specialized algorithm that analyzes data in real time and provides actionable recommendations and predictive modeling for operators to make data-driven decisions.
“Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen seismic shifts in the restaurant industry, especially increased challenges with rising labor costs, competition and rapidly inflating consumer expectations. To remain viable and meet these challenges, restaurants must optimize their Front of House to a greater extent than ever before,” said Rajat Suri, Founder and CEO of Presto. “After successfully rolling out our PrestoPrime tabletop technology, we are harnessing the convenience of wearables and the intelligence of artificial intelligence to help restaurants differentiate themselves in an evolving, competitive landscape. We’ve played an instrumental role in changing the dining industry over the last decade and we are looking to have a greater impact in the next 10 years with products that are cutting-edge and easy-to-use.”
Since initially launching in 2008, Presto FOH technology has been enhancing both the guest and the server experience, with 95 percent of guests saying that using the Presto tabletop system improved their dining experience and 90 percent of guests saying the Presto tabletop system would “increase their likelihood to return to the restaurant again.” Moreover, the tech is helping maximize productivity of wait staff, allowing them to cover 2X more tables, to reduce ordering error and to reduce wasted time spent walking between the table and the POS to better focus on guest experience.
Suri, also a co-founder of popular ride sharing company Lyft, got the initial inspiration for Presto in 2008 while trying to split a bill with fellow graduate students from MIT and Harvard. To understand the restaurant industry more clearly, Suri dropped out of MIT to spend a year as a waiter, testing the first prototype of the Presto with guests. Since that time, Suri and his team of developers have been quietly building out and fine-tuning their platform, ensuing it’s the most innovative and comprehensive suite of products in the market today.
Presto is now working with 10 out of the top 20 restaurant chains in the US, including Applebee’s and Outback Steakhouse.
Bringg Raises $25 Million in Financing Round
Bringg raised a new funding round from strategic partners, bringing its investment total to $55 million. The $25 million C round adds Next47, the Siemens-backed global venture firm, to its existing list of investors, including Salesforce Ventures, Aleph VC, OG Ventures (Eyal Ofer’s VC arm), Cambridge Capital, Coca-Cola, Ituran and Pereg Ventures.
Following market traction with clients including Walmart, Panera Bread, and Arcos Dorados (McDonalds’ largest global franchisee), the new funding will help accelerate business expansion during the company’s hyper growth stage. Bringg will use the funds to further expand globally from its current reach of more than 50 countries, through sales, marketing and development efforts targeted at securing additional global enterprise customers.
Guy Bloch, CEO at Bringg said: “This is a watershed moment for Bringg. As the business goes into hyper growth mode, our teams must expand across all departments. This new investment enables Bringg to level the playing field in the age of Amazon by enabling large retailers, grocery chains, consumer goods companies, restaurant chains and logistics firms to provide their customers with what they expect from their deliveries, while providing them with the optimized business models required for retailers to win in today's challenging market.” Guy added: “We are on a mission to equip enterprises with the technology platform they need to orchestrate successful delivery operations – providing their management and logistics teams with the tools they need to not only survive but thrive in this exciting new landscape.”
Matthew Cowan, Partner at Next47 added: “We’re delighted to invest in Bringg, a pioneering company that’s providing crucial capabilities to leading organizations looking to connect logistics data across different silos and optimize their last mile of delivery. With the global logistics market predicted to grow to $15.5 trillion by 2023and the 'Amazon effect' drastically changing customer expectations, Bringg has a massive opportunity to fundamentally transform the logistics industry by enabling seamless automation, greater data transparency, and a more collaborative mental outlook.”
DTP Companies Partners with Como for Customer Engagment
Como has partnered with DTP Companies, a $350 million project in Downtown Las Vegas, to implement advanced data-based loyalty and engagement solutions for DTP‘s Las Vegas owned businesses.
Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh founded DTP Companies in 2012 with an intial $350 million investment distributed in tech startups, restaurants, bars and other ventures in a 45-acre area of Downtown Las Vegas. After a competitive analysis, DTP has selected Como to help its portfolio of businesses take advantage of the latest in-store innovations in customer engagement and loyalty.
“We truly believe in DTP’s vision, and we’re happy to join forces with them,” said Yair Holtzer, President of Como America. “Just as DTP is empowering people to follow their passions, we are empowering businesses to unlock their true potential, turning data into a means of nurturing long-lasting relationships that generate growth.”
“We are excited to work with Como and use data and technology to enable the strongest growth opportunities for our businesses”, said Rene Durruthy, Digital Marketing Manager of DTP Companies. “We were looking for a company that would help us leverage the synergy between our restaurants, bars, and hotels while being fully integrated with our POS system in order to make sure that our customers are getting a seamless experience,” he said. “Como shares our vision of improving customer experience through technology.”
By implementing Como’s innovative product, Como Sense, across its businesses in Downtown Las Vegas, DTP will be able to provide those businesses with an advanced toolset of actionable insights and analytics, flexible loyalty programs, personalized promotions and recommendations, and mobile apps – all integrated with the businesses’ Point of Sale (POS) systems and designed to improve the guest experience and customize offers for our guests that align with their preferences.
Como is partnering with Toast POS to fully integrate with the point of sale systems of DTP’s food and beverage venues while collaborating with Clock PMS for integration with the property management systems (PMS) of DTP’s hotels as part of a holistic and deeply integrated solution required by DTP Companies.
“Of course, we hope to get a larger share of the guest wallet with this new technology, but that isn’t our focus. If we create a robust user experience through a lifestyle-focused app that improves our customers’ knowledge on Downtown events and activations while giving offers to incent our customers, we will drive revenue growth. Como’s technology allows us to create the right experience,” said Durruthy.
MomentFeed Debuts Location Finder
MomentFeed launched Location Finder Templates and Widgets to provide multi-location brands and digital agencies with simple, elegant and SEO-ready components that can be used to enhance and build their own ‘local landing pages’. Fueled by MomentFeed’s own location data assets, brands can choose from multiple templates and content widgets to provide location-specific content to engage and convert online consumers to customers.
"Local is the secret sauce of any full-funnel SEO campaign. Location landing pages allow you to compete on longtail keyword sets where there is less competition capturing generic, branded and ’near-me’ searches. These types of searches influence e-commerce buying behavior and drive in-store visits,” said Jason White, Director of SEO, The Hertz Corporation.
“Local landing pages have become the most authoritative signal that search engines use today to recommend a local business to consumers, making them an indispensable asset for any brand using SEO to drive customers to their physical locations,” said Robert Blatt, CEO and Chairman of MomentFeed. “The more visible and complete your locations are, the more consumers will see your brand, engage with the content, and the more in-store visits you’ll drive. It sounds obvious and simple yet it is incredibly hard and complex to consistently manage and optimize SEO for thousands of local landing pages at scale. MomentFeed Location Finder continues to be the go-to solution for brands that want to leave nothing to chance when it comes to their search results and location visibility at the local level.”
To help multi-location brands create and maintain their critical local landing pages, MomentFeed offers three effective options:
Location Finder Widgets (NEW) – Designed for brands who want to enhance their existing local landing pages or want to quickly build their own. Brands maintain full control over their pages and can choose from multiple location-specific widgets including location details, menus, reviews, social icons, promotional images and custom buttons for online ordering, reservations and more.
Location Finder Templates (NEW) – Designed for brands who want SEO-ready, mobile-first local landing pages, but don’t want to maintain or host them. With MomentFeed’s battle-tested design Templates, brands can focus on providing localized content like calls-to-action, promo images, and descriptions that mobile consumers need to make decisions. By choosing a Template, brands can roll out local landing pages in one to two weeks.
Location Finder Custom Pages – Designed for brands who want unique local landing pages that match their website, but don’t want to host them. MomentFeed designers provide a customized page layout using pre-built page components and can integrate with a brand’s existing software such as booking, reservations or appointment scheduling.
DoorDash Goes National
DoorDash debuted its first integrated national TV campaign in the United States. The campaign, created in partnership with advertising agency M/H VCCP, will run across broadcast, digital, social and out-of-home channels from January 14 to March 31.
The brand campaign, "Delicious at Your Door," introduces DoorDash's unrivaled selection of leading restaurant brands, featuring popular national chains on the platform including The Cheesecake Factory, Chipotle, and Wendy's. Local TV spots will highlight city fan favorites available through the platform, including Portillo's in Chicago and Mendocino Farms in Los Angeles. The TV campaign showcases a broad range of food delivery use cases—from a new mom in a maternity ward to a dorm room crammed with college students—to illustrate how DoorDash offers customers the possibility of more time for themselves and others.
"Food brings us together and is an essential reality for everyone. We were fascinated by the idea of every door opening you up to a different scenario, showcasing the world of possibilities when it comes to eating," said David Bornoff, Head of Brand at DoorDash. "We want all of our new and existing DoorDash customers to walk away knowing that DoorDash has all of their favorite restaurants for any occasion at the tap of a button."
The TV spot, created by director duo, Greg and Lio, shows viewers a semi-surrealist world in which the bounds of gravity and laws of physics don't apply. By grounding the scenes in relatable examples, viewers move freely between a fantastical world while maintaining a strong sense of practicality. A door motif is featured throughout the spot to reinforce the broad, diverse audience set for on-demand food delivery. Working with Lital Gurai, a Tel-Avivbased Art Director, the set design and art direction was brought to life using the DoorDash brand color palette through a rich series of hues infused into each room and wardrobe.
"Our world is changing rapidly, and so is the way we eat. We can all relate to feeling too exhausted to cook, or the desire for a pick-me-up comfort food when working late. Our story focuses on the reality of today's consumer experiences, as we showcase all of the different places and people who use DoorDash," said Kelsey Wilkins, Associate Creative Director at M/H VCCP.
"Our aim was to create something visually delightful in order to elevate the spot beyond the everyday scenarios typical to the category. Ultimately, we hope the campaign drives acquisition but also creates equity for the brand," said Adam Ledbury, Associate Creative Director at M/H VCCP.
TSYS's Vital Launches
TSYS launched Vital®, a new brand of payment products designed to help small and medium-sized businesses run more easily and efficiently. Vital is also available to be white-labeled by TSYS partners.
The Vital brand’s initial offering includes Vital POS, a full-featured, cloud-based point-of-sale solution. Vital POS is made up of three products designed with various functions for businesses of different sizes – all built on the same back office software, enabling a single access point across all products.
Vital Mobile is for mobile merchants seeking a fast, affordable and easy-to-set-up payment acceptance platform. The product runs on a business owner’s mobile phone or tablet with an inexpensive EMV card reader.
Vital Plus offers an ideal replacement for countertop payment terminals and electronic cash registers. This product is intended for merchants that are busier and bigger than those using their personal mobile devices – and desire more control and reporting than their existing terminal offers.
Vital Select provides business owners who have one or more brick-and-mortar locations with a powerful, full-featured POS system, as well as peripherals to address additional business needs. Vital Select includes more robust functionality in such areas as discounts, pricing and inventory management.
All three products feature tools that free up business owners to spend less time on administration and focus more on what they love about their business. These back-office features include: robust analytics and reporting, inventory management, taxes, time-clock and employee management, discounts and pricing functionality and more.
Philip McHugh, senior executive vice president and president, Merchant Solutions, TSYS, said Vital POS goes above and beyond point-of-sale efficiency.
“Business owners are looking for more than just payment acceptance, and that’s what Vital delivers,” McHugh said. “It allows them to run their whole business on the platform through a single user interface — making short work of tasks like inventory, time and attendance and reporting.”
This interface provides Vital POS users with access to market-leading analytics and reporting. Merchants can evaluate employee performance, which inventory items are selling, which days are the busiest and many other data points from their business’ operations.
Elo Adds to Line
Elo made several additions to its POS and self-service solutions. Within the full Elo platform, notable new offerings include the the versatile EloPOSTM system, stylish Elo PayPoint® Plus for Windows system, and the compact 1302L touchscreen monitor:
EloPOS™ System for Windows: This versatile system combines modern aesthetics, modular flexibility, and commercial-grade durability. It boasts a 15.6-inch touchscreen, Intel’s 8th-generation processors, and an integrated expansion hub to connect customer-facing displays, payment readers, printers, cash drawers, barcode scanners, and scales. From traditional POS to self-service applications, and backed by Elo’s standard 3-year warranty, the EloPOS™ system delivers the reliability needed for today’s commercial use.
Elo PayPoint Plus for Windows: This stylish and functional POS system delivers the power of Intel® CoreTM i5 processor. It includes a fully integrated barcode scanner, three-inch printer, encrypted MSR, full-sized cash drawer and connections for third-party peripherals. A flip-for-signature 15.6-inch touchscreen encourages shopper engagement, making the system ideal for retail stores and QSRs.
1302L: Elo’s latest 13-inch touchscreen monitor features the same seamless style of the 02-Series and is the first Elo monitor to utilize USB-C. With a compact form factor and clean design for easy integration, the 1302L offers the flexibility to install as a traditional stand-alone touch monitor or a customer-facing one, making it well-suited for point-of-sale, self-service, signage, and hospitality applications.
“The Elo platform makes creating and implementing any in-store touchscreen application much easier and less expensive than ever before,” said Craig Witsoe, CEO, Elo. “Retailers and restaurants are growing sales and reducing costs with touchscreen applications, but they need less store tech complexity. With unified architecture across multiple applications, everything gets easier.”
Taco Bell’s self-order kiosk solution will be on display to demonstrate app ordering and the Taco Bell Cantina store experience. Taco Bell uses EloView software to simplify deployment, management and security of the kiosk devices and content, helping to create a consistent experience for every customer visit. The EloView solution allows management of self-order kiosks from a central location, reducing operating costs while increasing uptime and security. The touchscreen displays deployed include Elo’s versatile 22-inch I–Series built for high-traffic environments.
WorkJam Completes Peerio Acquisition
WorkJam completed its acquisition of Peerio Technologies, a provider of employee communication software with one of the most secure messaging and file sharing technology platforms on the market today.
“The team shares in our mission to provide simple and secure communication for everyone. Together, we will drive the future of enterprise communication and collaboration in the Digital Workplace.”
By acquiring Peerio and its entire workforce, WorkJam is continuing to invest in building the market’s most complete enterprise class digital workplace platform – one that unifies the employee experience across an ever-growing number of channels, devices, and touch points.
With this acquisition, WorkJam is enhancing its existing team communication and workstream collaboration capabilities with secure live chat enabling teams to connect and collaborate more effectively than ever before. In addition, the secure document and content sharing capabilities will enable teams to stay productive by making it easier to share documents in a centralized workspace.
With the acquisition of Peerio, WorkJam delivers an even more robust Digital Workplace solution, complete with the highest-level of security and data privacy. The platform delivers greater security than traditional enterprise-grade communication applications and exceeds existing security standards, including those imposed by the military and the healthcare, financial services, and legal sectors.
“When it comes to communicating with a large dispersed group of non-desk workers, control over data security is everything,” said Steven Kramer, CEO and co-founder of WorkJam. “Organizations can no longer afford the immense risk of their employees using unsanctioned and unsecure communication systems that cause a company to lose control over its confidential data and the personal data of its employees. With the addition of Peerio, WorkJam now provides the most secure digital workplace platform available — a platform that exceeds the most demanding security standards any enterprise could have when it comes to communicating with their workforce.”
With Peerio, WorkJam provides users with three different secure modes of communication: Live Chat, Channels, and Messaging. The live chat feature provides a secure way for corporate and frontline team members to message instantly with each other to communicate about day-to-day activities and also securely share files in a chat format. The messaging feature allows communication to be sent directly to a user’s in-box and the channels feature provides the ability to post targeted communications to different segments of the non-desk workforce or by topic area and allows feedback through channel post comments and likes. These modes of communication allow corporate headquarters personnel to communicate directly to the frontline employees and frontline employees to communicate between each other.
“We couldn’t be more proud to join forces with a company like WorkJam,” said Vincent Drouin, founder and CEO of Peerio. “The team shares in our mission to provide simple and secure communication for everyone. Together, we will drive the future of enterprise communication and collaboration in the Digital Workplace.”
Starbucks' Coffee Sanctuary
Starbucks opened its largest destination in Southeast Asia – the Starbucks Dewata Coffee Sanctuary. The store pays tribute to the important role that Indonesia, the fourth largest Arabica coffee growing region in the world, plays in bringing Starbucks customers quality coffees, including the popular single-origin coffee from Sumatra. Sumatra coffee has been a staple offering at Starbucks since 1971.
“We’re very pleased to further strengthen the longstanding partnership between Starbucks and PT Sari Coffee Indonesia with this truly one-of-a-kind Starbucks store, inspired by and filled with the finest examples of Indonesian art, design and craftsmanship.”
“We began sourcing Indonesian coffees more than four decades ago and have always been struck by the sense of community and care for the coffee journey at every step,” said Kevin Johnson, ceo, Starbucks Coffee Company. “The Starbucks Dewata Coffee Sanctuary amplifies our passion for the coffee journey, our ongoing commitment to Indonesia’s rich coffee culture, and our tireless pursuit of fostering moments of connection between our partners and customers. The Coffee Sanctuary marks the tenth Starbucks Reserve Bar store in Indonesia, one of 185 stores around the world, with the majority in Asia. This is Starbucks at its best, and we are proud to open the doors of this unique experience in one of Southeast Asia’s most dynamic markets.”
Designed as a coffee sanctuary, the 20,000 square foot store beautifully highlights local craftsmanship and culture alongside premium coffee in this one-of-a-kind coffee experience, a sort of “origin-centered version” of the Roasteries, igniting all five senses. Visitors enter through an arabica coffee farm, try their hand at coffee bean de-pulping and washing during harvest season, dry and rake green coffee beans, visit budding seedlings in the nursery, take in the store’s locally-inspired design featuring traditional Balinese craft and Indonesian art, and enjoy the more than 100 Dewata-exclusive handcrafted beverages, food and merchandise, including the Lavender Latte.
“Bali has an envied reputation as one of Asia’s top travel destinations and Indonesia is one of coffee’s most extraordinary coffee origin regions, so we’re excited to invite customers here to ignite their senses and explore the seed-to-cup coffee journey at this unique Coffee Sanctuary,” said Anthony Cottan, director, Starbucks Indonesia, at PT Sari Coffee Indonesia Limited. “We’re very pleased to further strengthen the longstanding partnership between Starbucks and PT Sari Coffee Indonesia with this truly one-of-a-kind Starbucks store, inspired by and filled with the finest examples of Indonesian art, design and craftsmanship.”
Located in Bali’s up-and-coming premium retail district on Sunset Road, the Coffee Sanctuary provides a carefully curated series of interactive experiences.
As customers enter, they’ll be greeted at the concierge reception and then guided through a working, 1,000 square foot coffee tree farm, the size of a typical Indonesian farm. Customers will continue their journey through contemporary Balinese landscaping, passing coffee plants and a de-pulping station before trying their hand at washing, drying and raking green coffee beans. Inside, the expansive Starbucks Reserve™ bar offers customers an intimate experience to taste Starbucks Reserve small-batch coffees, while the core bar offers Starbucks signature core beverages.
Located on the second floor is the seedling nursery, a greenhouse canopied by panes of glass to create an open-air experience. Here, customers can touch the first stages of the seed-to-cup journey, as well as deepen their understanding of the art of tending to coffee plants alongside a local Balinese farmer. In the adjoining tasting room, customers’ tastebuds will come alive as they enjoy coffee as coffee quality professionals do, without a filter – simply coffee and water – to draw out the flavors that set each cup apart.
For those looking for more, visitors can engage with an interactive video wall and hear how coffee is planted, processed, roasted, shipped and brewed into a delicious cup of espresso. On the second floor, a dedicated media room features two synchronized video walls, showcasing the work of the Starbucks Farmer Support Center (FSC) in Sumatra and agronomist, Dr. Surip Mawardi’s, work with Indonesian coffee farmers.
The Sanctuary was designed as an homage to Indonesia’s rich culture and coffee heritage. The store’s expansive interior was inspired by traditional Balinese houses with free-flowing, connected rooms that promote discovery from one space to the next.
The store’s interior was designed in partnership with local craftspeople and artists with one goal: tell the story of coffee in Indonesia. This is brought to life by a wood carving depicting the country’s six coffee growing regions’ local culture and architecture. A two-story mural in the courtyard pays tribute to local farmers who carefully nurture and protect the beans each step of their journey to Starbucks.
On the main floor, Starbucks partners (employees) welcome customers to the 13-meter teak Starbucks Reserve bar, drawing inspiration from Bali’s terraced rural landscapes, where customers can taste some of Starbucks rarest coffee offerings. Across the store, eyes are drawn to the living wall filled with flora from the region, situated behind the core bar designed to remind customers of Bali’s ocean waves which are replicated on the layered red-brick exterior façade.
Starbucks is dedicated to working with farmers in Indonesia to ethically and sustainably bring high-quality Indonesian coffee to the world, and today, the company is the largest buyer of Indonesian arabica coffee.
In 2015, Starbucks opened the Farmer Support Center (FSC) in Berastagi, North Sumatra where Starbucks agronomists led by Dr. Mawardi, conduct research to develop disease-resistant coffee varietals in an effort to make coffee the world’s first sustainable agricultural product through the Sustainable Coffee Challenge. The Sumatra FSC is one of nine globally, including China, which offers open-source agronomy assistance and support for regional coffee farmers to improve the productivity and sustainability of their coffee trees.
Starbucks Indonesia and the Sumatra FSC have donated more than 330,000 coffee seedlings, along with technical assistance, to smallholder farmers to-date. Through locally driven initiatives to support coffee tree replanting, Starbucks plans to donate 100,000 seedlings annually in partnership with the FSC.
Since 2006, The Starbucks Foundation has provided more than $4 million dollars to support farming communities and promote education, water, sanitation and health (WASH) programs across Indonesia. In 2018, The Foundation provided grants to Lutheran World Relief to support women-led community health and hygiene programs for 2,100 households in Sumatran coffee-producing villages over the next three years and to CARE to support economic empowerment for women tea workers and community WASH programs in West Java over the next two years.