This edition of MRM's News Bites features FoodMaven, One65, T. Marzetti Company and Bantam Bagels, The Saltwater Grille and TableSafe, Monkey Group and Kitchen Podular, Hub International, The 5700 Inc., Lookout and Dino Luciano, Postmates and Rubio's, Creekstone Farms Premium Beef and Urban Wok.
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FoodMaven Expands to Dallas-Fort Worth
Colorado-based FoodMaven plans to expand to Dallas-Fort Worth as their first out-of-state service area. The startup offers an enlightened and sustainable way to source food by providing an innovative online marketplace and rapid logistics. FoodMaven sells high-quality local, oversupplied, and imperfect food to restaurants and institutional buyers at a significant discount. They help companies meet environmental and sustainability goals by offering direct sourcing opportunities, local products and more sustainable food alternatives. Food either gets sold, donated to hunger-relief organizations, or sent to environmentally conscious alternatives.
FoodMaven selected the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area because of the supportive business environment, a desire for better local food sourcing, and a vibrant food culture. This move supports FoodMaven’s ambitious growth strategy and marks the first step in their nationwide expansion plan.
“I’m very pleased to welcome FoodMaven to our city,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “I believe they will make an important contribution to Dallas’ efforts to reduce food insecurity, and help establish farm to table channels with our local farmers and ranchers.”
Patrick Bultema, Founder and CEO of FoodMaven, said, “When looking at possible expansion cities, Dallas was always at, or near the top of the list. After spending time with community business leaders and chefs here, it became obvious this was a perfect fit for us. Everyone we’ve met with has been as passionate about our vision as we are, which is – all food used with good purpose.”
This is the second expansion for FoodMaven, the first being to Denver in 2017. “Our plan has always been to develop a scalable model that can be replicated in most other cities,” said Bultema.
Modern French Culinary Destination
, a multi-level culinary concept envisioned by James Beard Award-winning, Michelin-starred chef and partner Claude Le Tohic, nveiled the design details that will transform a historic Union Square building into a one-of-a-kind French culinary experience. The design by San Francisco-based showcases four distinct concepts unified by Chef Le Tohic’s overarching culinary vision, top photo by Christian Andrade.
“My goal is to create a morning-to-night, modern French culinary destination, accessible to everyone, without pretense, offering high-quality cuisine in a friendly and welcoming environment,” said Le Tohic. “Each floor has its own personality and its own menu to please every audience, and the design by D-Scheme Studio reflects that beautifully.”
Occupying six floors in the heart of San Francisco’s Union Square at 165 O’Farrell Street, ONE65 offers four distinct modern French dining experiences under one roof. The French Beaux Arts building was constructed in 1906 and is listed in the National Registry. The specific programmatic requirements of the various venues within ONE65, as well as the building itself, inspired D-Scheme’s design vision.
“We welcomed the challenge of bringing Claude’s culinary vision together with the architecture of the space – a historic, multi-level, French Beaux Arts building,” said project architect Marc Dimilanta, founder of D-Scheme Studio. “Being in San Francisco – a sophisticated and innovative cuisine hub – meant that we could be playful with certain design elements, like artwork, lighting and furniture. The result is a series of delightful moments organized around the building’s varied and interconnected spaces.”
Each restaurant has a distinct color palette and ambience.
For ONE65 Patisserie on level one, the design mimics the classic French patisserie with white marble-patterned countertops, white wood paneling and black tile flooring. The simplicity of the black and white design provides an ideal backdrop for showcasing the beautiful, colorful pastries. The Patisserie’s high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling glass façade create a bright, clean open space that welcomes the day and connects with the energy of the street. The second floor of the building will house a room exclusive for chocolate making by ONE65’s in-house chocolatier Vincent Fredureux, along with a prep-kitchen, and private dining for the Bistro and Grill.
On level three, ONE65 Bistro & Grill is a casual spot for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch menus, offering an inviting, social vibe. An emphasis on sustainability led to the use of cork flooring and paneling created from recycled porcelain China – a first in the United States. The space is bright, lively and warm, with an open kitchen that connects guests to the chefs and the food preparation. Wooden table tops and rich brown leather seating add to the warmth while a hand-drawn wall covering introduces playful elements. The space references its French roots with marble-patterned dining tables and tufted banquettes.
For ONE65 Bar & Lounge on level four, D-Scheme created an alluring and sophisticated destination bar overlooking Union Square. Seductive lighting and dark walls create a soothing palette that is punctuated with bright accents of intricate brass detailing and intriguing art elements. Artfully designed seating areas invite different types of socializing, from bar seating overlooking the open wine cellar, to low, plush armchairs, to a long communal table for sampling whiskies. The goal throughout is to transport guests to a joyful realm of sensual escape, far from the cares of the day.
Levels five and six are dedicated to O’ by Claude Le Tohic, a fine dining concept based on the elements of water, fire and earth. O’ is the design highlight of the building and features dramatic custom artwork with a natural tone color palette that differentiates it from the other floors. D-Scheme and Le Tohic teamed up with renowned photographer and artist Christian Andrade to create an art experience that enhances the restaurant’s elemental themes. Andrade’s pieces are wholly integrated within the design of the restaurant, created within the walls and as part of the architecture. (Even the menus are integrated into the overall experience – printed on transparent paper presented on pieces of birch wood, each uniquely painted with images of water, fire and earth.)
Andrade has created three custom pieces inspired by nature’s interactions and power. At the entry is Naissance de l’eau (the birth of water), reflecting the rushing snow melt of the High Sierras cascading over granite towers and making its way to the valley below.
In the dining area, Mère de la terre et du vent (mother of the ground and wind) is a piece inspired by the beautiful resiliency of the Bristlecone pines of Great Basin National Park — some of the oldest organisms on earth – and the towering ridges of Cathedral Gorge State Park, sculpted over thousands of years by the relentless forces of wind and water. On the south end of the dining room, guests will discover Feu, conqûete, puissance (fire, conquest, strength), inspired by Napoleon Bonaparte, the conqueror, as a homage to strength in the pursuit of mastery.
ONE65 is set to open in phases beginning in fall 2018.
T. Marzetti Acquires Bantam Bagels
Lancaster Colony Corporation's wholly-owned subsidiary, T. Marzetti Company, acquired all the assets of Bantam Bagels, LLC. Bantam Bagels is a producer and marketer of frozen mini stuffed bagels and mini stuffed pancakes sold to both the retail and foodservice channels. The acquisition transaction closed on October 19, 2018. The acquisition was funded internally with cash on hand and is not significant to the financial position of Lancaster Colony Corporation. Annual net sales for Bantam Bagels are approximately $20 million and the impact of the acquisition on Lancaster Colony's earnings per share is expected to be about neutral for the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2019. In addition to the base purchase price of $34 million, which is subject to post-closing adjustments, the transaction also includes contingent consideration in the form of an additional earn-out payment that is tied to the future financial performance of the business. Other terms of the transaction are not disclosed.
Bantam Bagels, a New York City based, entrepreneur-founded company is noted for reinventing the bagel and explosively growing its distribution from one small shop in New York City's West Village to nationwide distribution in traditional grocery, club stores, e-commerce and foodservice. Notably, in the foodservice channel, Bantam Bagels® bagel bites are available at Starbucks® cafes nationwide.
Husband and wife Nick and Elyse Oleksakfounded Bantam Bagels in 2013 and will continue to lead the business post-closing.
Dave Ciesinski, Lancaster Colony's CEO, commented, "We are extremely excited to add Bantam Bagels to our specialty foods business. Bantam Bagels is a fast-emerging company that provides us with an entry into the large and growing frozen breakfast category. Their established relationship with Starbucks in the foodservice channel is another positive that positions Bantam Bagels for future expansion. We are thrilled to welcome Nick, Elyse and Bantam Bagels to our family of Lancaster Colony companies and look forward to a successful future together."
The Saltwater Grille Implements TableSafe
With fraudulent chargebacks on the rise and the onus of liability shifting to the restaurant operators for non-EMV compliant payments, The Saltwater Grille chose to install TableSafe’s EMV-certified RAIL™ payment platform, instead of investing in an entirely new POS system. Before installing TableSafe’s platform, The Saltwater Grille was not equipped to accept EMV payments and experienced two to three chargebacks a week.
“Chargebacks are becoming much more prevalent as a result of EMV mandates, and it’s become a genuine issue for many operators in our industry,” said Debora Broderson, Operations Manager for The Saltwater Grille. “By installing TableSafe’s platform, we’re not only mitigating chargebacks– but we’re also elevating our level of service, guest security, and enhancing the overall dining experience.”
TableSafe’s technology provides restaurants with the highest level of payment security in the industry. By combining EMV and PCI certification, point-to-point encryption and other security features, TableSafe ensures the guest’s payment information is protected and never resides on the restaurant’s point of sale terminal.
“Our goal is to provide customers like The Saltwater Grille a secure and seamless payment platform that also enhances the ultimate customer dining experience,” said Gordon Gardiner, CEO of TableSafe. “We are delighted to add The Saltwater Grille to our growing family of restaurants.”
With TableSafe, restaurant guests control the entire payment process allowing guests to auto-calculate the tip, split the bill multiple ways, pay by item and email a receipt. As importantly, TableSafe doesn’t disrupt the dining experience, aesthetically blending with a restaurant’s tableside elegance and allowing guests to check out at their own pace.
Purpose-built for the full-service hospitality industry, TableSafe’s platform allows payment at the table free of server involvement. Consequently, customers can complete the payment process on their own timeframe and without a server hovering over the tipping procedure.
Monkey Group Partners with Kitchen Podular
Monkey Group and Kitchen Podular have announced a strategic partnership to promote the next generation of restaurant takeout and catering.
Kitchen Podular custom builds modular kitchens for restaurant brands that include a make-line for food preparation and a service window to divert off-premise orders away from the retail wait area. Restaurant operators can place the mobile asset on their existing real estate or find a space through Kitchen Podular’s network of Hotel, Grocery and Convenience store partners.
“We’re providing restaurant operators a customized off-premise solution that creates a dedicated production line without disrupting the dine-in guest experience,” said Michael Manion, founder and CEO of Kitchen Podular. “Off-premise is now the premise for most brands. It’s all about utilizing non-traditional real estate to increase production capacity to accommodate large catering orders and service off premise sales while freeing up the retail space for retail customers. Kitchen Podular can help brands better operationally handle the massive shift to catering, takeout and 3rd party delivery.”
“We’re pleased to welcome Kitchen Podular as another certified supply chain partner of our Off Premise Academy and Catering Institute,” said Erle Dardick, Founder and CEO of Monkey Group. “Our goal is to create a network of suppliers that have embraced, and have innovative solutions that satisfy the best practices of our business framework that we identify as the five pillars of successful takeout, delivery & catering – leadership, centralized services, sales and marketing, operations and delivery. Kitchen Podular meets many of the criteria that we have set out to help make it easier for foodservice operators to execute their off premise sales channels,” added Dardick.
As part of this partnership agreement, Monkey Group and Kitchen Podular will engage in co- marketing and co-branding programs along with restaurant industry communications initiatives to better serve the industry.
HUB Launches Hospitality Captive
Hub International Limited (HUB), a leading global insurance brokerage, announced today the launch of its Hospitality captive, an exclusive member-owned group captive insurance solution. The captive was designed for hospitality clients and prospects to gain better insight into exposures and risks, and to turn that knowledge into cost savings and rewards with the potential to earn back as much as 60 percent of their insurance premium.
“HUB’s Hospitality captive allows qualified members the ability to turn insurance cost into a future income stream, especially the best-in-class hospitality operators who historically manage their risks well,” said Kevin Eggleston, Practice Leader of HUB Hospitality Specialty Practice. “The captive is for our clients with a solid safety culture who desire greater control in how their claims are handled and want to turn their insurance premium into an investment opportunity.”
Captives offer an alternative to conventional insurance for companies with excellent claims histories, to retain the benefits of their good risk management practices, rather than pay out the benefits to independent insurance companies. Depending on annual claims, up to 60 percent of annual premiums could be recouped by the hospitality operator. And, HUB’s group captive provides long-term control over insurance operations, including underwriting, claims management, and investments, while lowering their total cost of insurance and enhancing safety and loss control practices.
“HUB’s group captive was created out of demand from our brokers who had their client’s best interests in mind,” said Evan Muffly, Executive Vice President of HUB Captives. “We’ve carefully developed our captive services for the hospitality industry, as well as other industries, so that businesses understand their exposures, obtain coverage, manage risk, and gain access to the tools they need to turn their risks into rewards in order to generate significant savings and substantial returns for the captive members.”
HUB’s group captive has been specifically designed to meet the challenges of insuring the exposures of the hospitality industry as well as other industries, including but not limited to: manufacturing, healthcare, retail, distribution, wholesale and warehouse and storage. Mid-to large-sized hospitality organizations that are paying minimum insurance premiums of $500,000, who have a better than average loss experience and are committed to safety and risk management, may qualify. The captive includes customizable insurance solutions and risk services for:
- Workers’ Compensation
- General Liability
- Liquor Liability
- Auto liability and Auto physical damage
- Claims management and advocacy services.
HUB’s hospitality captive participants are also covered for catastrophic losses by an A+ rated carrier. As part of HUB’s recently announced Specialty Practices, Hospitality captive insurance demonstrates the company’s commitment to building tailored insurance solutions designed to best manage its clients’ risks.
Stella – Redefining Italian Cuisine
Stella is a unique culinary collaboration between The 5700 Inc., Lookout, and ‘MasterChef’ winner Dino Luciano. Having won over judges like Gordon Ramsay, Luciano will be serving his innovative vegan fare at Toronto’s first Italian-inspired vegan pop-up. Located at 304 Richmond Street West, Stella will be open for dinner service beginning November 1 until January 31, 2019.
Stella’s all-vegan menu boasts handcrafted, worldly dishes like Bohemian Squash Fettuccine, Cherry Risotto, and Luciano’s famously decadent Cannoli. A Brooklyn native who learned to cook at a young age from his Sicilian grandmother, Chef Luciano is eager to provide Torontonians with a style of cuisine that he feels isn’t readily available in the city.
“Stella is an Italian-inspired restaurant with a refined pallet,” said Chef Luciano. “We are re-conceptualizing traditional Italian food and making it vegan – all without the sacrifice of impressionable flavor.”
Stella will provide an intimate dining experience that can accommodate seating for up to 36 guests. Reservations are limited and can be made at www.stellaresto.com.
Rubio's Partners with Postmates
Postmates and Rubio's® Restaurants have partnered to roll out on-demand delivery to all locations nationwide. Rubio's is now delivered directly to your door for a flat delivery fee.
"Rubio's already has a strong presence on the Postmates platform, particularly in the Southwest where Postmates is the market leader," said Dan Mosher, SVP & Merchant Lead, Postmates. "Postmates currently serves 60% of US households, and as we continue to expand nationwide, we are confident that we are a great partner for Rubio's to reach more customers."
Postmates has created an alternative infrastructure for local businesses to better compete in the era of e-Commerce, growing sales for local brick & mortar retailers by 4X in 2017. Postmates now completes millions of deliveries a month, generates over a billion dollars in gross merchandise volume annually and in LA and other major Southwest markets have achieved #1 market share.
"At Rubio's, we're a mission-driven company and we look for partners that are like-minded as Postmates is," said Marc Simon, President and CEO, Rubio's. "We're confident that with Postmates, we'll be able to provide our guests with the best food in minutes."
New Facility for Creekstone
Creekstone Farms Premium Beef LLC, broke ground on a new $35 million refrigerated distribution center at its plant in Arkansas City, Kansas. The warehouse will be a total of 41,334 square feet, consisting of a 35,311-square-foot main floor footprint and 6,023-square-foot mezzanine area, and will include an automated storage and retrieval system capable of handling 27,000 boxes in a nine-hour day with more than 37,000 box storage locations.
“This new distribution center will help our company manage our expanding business and ensure that we continue to meet our customers’ service level expectations,” commented Kazunobu Nomura, Creekstone President and CEO. Mr. Nomura continued, “This major investment by the Marubeni Group shows the commitment that Creekstone’s parent company has in Creekstone Farms, its employees and customers. We are very excited to get this project completed as it will be a catalyst allowing for growth to meet our customer demands.”
Construction of the new facility will be handled by Integral Strategic Solutions. Integral’s team consists of Kuecker Logistics Group, Weitz Company Inc., Interstate and Schemmer Associates, Inc. The new distribution center is expected to be fully operational by the fall of 2019.
Urban Wok Debuts
Urban Wok opened its first restaurant location in the Lowertown neighborhood of St. Paul, Minnesota and featured an approachable menu of Asian-inspired cuisine. Technology features include self-ordering kiosks through a partnership with Toast in addition to text-based communications with guests when their order is ready. The restaurant also will operate in a completely cash-free environment and will accept credit cards and mobile payments.
“We see an opportunity in our local market to open a restaurant unlike anything else in its segment. Lowertown is ripe for growth as vibrant urban lifestyle neighborhoods are untapped markets within the fast-casual segment of the industry,” said Urban Wok founder Mark Toth. “Urban Wok is well-positioned to be first-to-market and we are thrilled to capitalize on this sizeable opportunity by creating a unique concept built specifically for these urban footprints.”
The Urban Wok menu is built on simplicity, customization and flexibility to give customers complete control of the dish they want to create. The menu consist of nine signature sauces and hot sauces that are made from scratch and in-house daily, and a proprietary sauce blend. Customers can select from 15+ fresh vegetables and have the capacity to choose as many as they like. In a nod to the current takeout dining trend, guests also can place orders to take home through a YOU WOK IT or WE WOK IT program. If they do, the food will be prepared and packaged cold so customers can heat and serve at their convenience. The restaurant is 100 percent green with no plates and zero to minimal food waste. Traditional silverware also has been replaced by bamboo chopsticks and eco-friendly plant-based forks.
“Guests can sit down and eat in the restaurant or they can grab and go. Our focus was to really give guests freedom of movement, and we think we have accomplished that goal,” Toth said.