Grubhub Gets Yum! and CaliBurger Eyes Expansion

This edition of MRM’s Daily Bite features Grubhub and Yum! Brands, Cali Group, HotSchedules, Chilli Flames as well as Verifone and Apptizer.

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Grubhub and  Yum! Brands Partner
Yum! Brands and Grubhub are partnering to drive incremental sales to KFC and Taco Bell restaurants in the U.S. through online ordering for pickup and delivery. YUM also entered into an agreement with Grubhub to purchase $200 million of common stock, subject to customary closing conditions, an investment that will provide Grubhub with additional liquidity to accelerate expansion of its industry-leading U.S. delivery network, drive more orders to YUM restaurants, and further enhance the ordering and delivery experience for diners, restaurants and drivers.
The unique partnership aligns with YUM’s long-term strategies to make its iconic brands easier for consumers to access and drive profitable incremental sales growth for franchisees. Grubhub will be YUM’s only national partner providing dedicated support for KFC and Taco Bell branded online delivery channels, along with access to Grubhub’s online ordering platform, logistics and last-mile support for delivery orders, and point-of-sale integration to streamline operations. KFC, Taco Bell and Grubhub will engage in joint marketing initiatives that will generate new diners and drive order frequency for existing diners.
KFC, Taco Bell and Grubhub will work with franchisees to test and roll out online ordering for pickup and delivery to thousands of participating restaurants in the U.S. markets Grubhub serves.
“We are committed to making our iconic brands easier to access through online ordering for pickup and delivery, and aggressively pursuing delivery as a strategic global growth opportunity, with nearly half of our 45,000 restaurants already offering it today,” said Greg Creed, Chief Executive Officer, Yum! Brands, Inc. “We’re pleased to secure this partnership with Grubhub in order to drive incremental, profitable growth for our U.S. franchisees over the long term. Our partnership and strategic investment in Grubhub demonstrate our laser-like focus on two of our growth drivers: Distinctive, Relevant & Easy Brands and Unmatched Franchise Operating Capability.”
KFC, Taco Bell and Grubhub will work with franchisees to test and roll out online ordering for pickup and delivery to thousands of participating KFC and Taco Bell restaurants in the U.S. markets Grubhub serves. When the initial phase of this Grubhub partnership is launched over the coming months, KFC will offer door-to-door delivery of its freshly hand-prepared Original Recipe® chicken and other menu items to consumers in the U.S. The partnership will help bring Taco Bell’s innovative menu items like Doritos Locos Tacos and the signature Crunchwrap Supreme® to more Taco Bell fans where, when and how they want it.
“We are thrilled to bring KFC and Taco Bell to Grubhub. Grubhub was founded to help small business owners and restaurant entrepreneurs grow, and we look forward to supporting YUM’s local operators by driving greater sales and profit growth through access to our 14 million active diners,” said Matt Maloney, Chief Executive Officer, Grubhub. “Our best-in-class logistics platform, which currently delivers for tens of thousands of restaurants, and our industry-first point-of-sale integrations make us the ideal partner for YUM. We are excited to tap into the unmatched consumer awareness and innovative advertising of KFC and Taco Bell, helping accelerate the secular shift from offline ordering to online, driving more orders to all of our restaurants.”
Finally, as a part of the partnership, Grubhub will expand its board of directors from nine to 10 members and appoint Pizza Hut U.S. President Artie Starrs to the newly created board seat as an independent director. Pizza Hut, which serves and delivers more pizza than any other pizza company in the world, fulfills more than 100 million delivery transactions in the U.S. annually and manages a world-class network of drivers. Grubhub and Pizza Hut will work together to determine how best to leverage their respective scale and expertise.
“I have admired Grubhub’s innovative approach and dynamic leadership team, and I’m honored to be joining their board,” said Starrs. “I have tremendous respect for Matt Maloney and the Grubhub board, and I look forward to working with them.”
Goldman, Sachs & Co. served as financial advisor and Mayer Brown is serving as legal advisor to Yum! Brands.  Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal advisor to Grubhub Inc.
Global Expansion for CaliBurger
Cali Group plans global expansion for its restaurant operating subsidiary, CaliBurger to grow in regions spanning North America, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America, with new domestic locations expected to pop up in Seattle, Washington D.C., and an all new flagship store in Santa Monica, California.
Cali Group face-based loyalty and payment ordering kiosks and Flippy, the burger flipping robot, will be introduced at multiple CaliBurger locations throughout the year. And, within the next 12-14 months, CaliBurger aims to deploy the unified Cali Group C-Vision™️ technology platform, where the entire restaurant will be operated from one app on a single tablet.
“Every new CaliBurger restaurant is being designed with an eye toward implementation of the technologies being developed by Cali Group’s affiliated companies,” said Jonathan Wong, Chief Operating Officer of CaliBurger. “Our goal in the next 12 to 24 months is to begin deploying the unified Cali Group C-Vision™ technology platform, where the entire restaurant — from front of the house to back of the house — is operated from one app on a single tablet.”    
In North America, the brand currently operates restaurants and food trucks in the Pacific Northwest, Southern California and the DMV (Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area). New locations currently under construction in these markets are:
  • British Columbia, Canada (10330 152 St, Surrey, BC)
  • British Columbia, Canada (8901 Cornerstone Mews, Burnaby, BC)
  • Seattle, Wash. (Westlake Village Mall)
Additionally, later in 2018, CaliBurger is planning to open new in-line restaurants in the Washington D.C. area and drive thru formats in Maryland. Following, will be the opening of a new flagship store in Santa Monica, slated to arrive by the end of the year.  
CaliBurger has more restaurants in the Middle East than any other region.  New stores currently under construction include:
  • Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates (Al Mansar Mall)
  • Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (Moj Plaza)
 Plus, the brand is planning to open additional stores throughout 2018 in the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain.  
In Asia, CaliBurger is repositioning the brand to be higher end, moving away from a QSR and leaning into casual dining. New locations include:
  • Manila, Philippines: a new flagship restaurant, debuting the latest store presentation
CaliBurger plans to expand faster in Latin America than any other region of the world. The regional flagship, a 400 square meter drive thru, opened in Puebla, Mexico in early 2018. The company also plans to launch additional new markets in Latin America later this year, for a total of 15 restaurant openings in the region. Four stores are currently under construction in Mexico, including:
  • Puebla, Mexico (Calz. Ignacio Zaragoza 410)
  • Puebla, Mexico (Plaza Sinfonía)
  • Hermosillo, Mexico (Bulevar José María Morelos 248)
  • Ciudad Juárez, Mexico (Plaza Tres 08)
HotSchedules Launches OpX Roadshow 

HotSchedules®, is launching its OpX Roadshow, a half-day event packed with cutting-edge educational content on emerging trends and premier networking opportunities for executive restaurant leaders and operators.   

David Cantu

The OpX Roadshow will feature an overview of national industry trends, panels from experienced restaurant leaders, as well as deep-dive educational and networking sessions on the local and regional issues impacting multi-unit and enterprise brands.

Predictive scheduling and labor compliance challenges will be among the timely topics covered in a panel during the roadshow’s first two stops in Portland and Seattle. HotSchedules’ solutions experts will also share the best practices and business results achieved by top brands using HotSchedules workforce and intelligent back office solutions.

“After over twenty years of partnering with our customers to solve some of the industry’s most complex challenges, we’ve learned a few things about the drivers of their success,” said David Cantu, co-founder and chief customer officer of HotSchedules. “Achieving operational excellence in today’s environment hinges on two critical issues: developing and retaining great managers and arming them with emerging tools to prepare and perform in the face of the unpredictable. The OpX Roadshow is a must-attend event for restaurant executives and key leadership teams who want to learn from other top leaders and discover innovative ways to overcome today’s toughest challenges.”

The OpX Roadshow events will take place on February 27 in Portland, Oregon, followed by Seattle on March 1, and Los Angeles on March 13.  Additional OpX Roadshow dates and locations, including Atlanta, Georgia and other cities across the U.S. will be announced in the coming months.

For more information  and to register, click here.

Chilli Flames Opens First Wales Restaurant 

Chilli Flames, which already has four successful branches in the Midands, launched its first Welsh branch in Cardiff creating over 20 jobs. The restaurant will officially opened its doors on St Mary Street this Saturday with a launch party.

Photo by 79PR and Marketing

The restaurant serves grilled chicken, burgers, wraps, pittas which come with a choice of their secret marinades including lemon and herb, medium, hot or extra hot sauce. Other dishes include loaded fries, chicken nachos, salads and a dedicated vegetarian menu. The decor of 50-seater restaurant features an open kitchen with orange themed interior and wood panelling.

Photo by 79PR and Marketing

The new opening is part of an ambitious growth strategy for South Wales targeting five more openings by 2020 creating over 100 new jobs. 

Atif Ali, store manager, said: “We are delighted to open our first branch in Wales and hope it is the first of a long chain of stores in the region creating jobs for the locality.We genuinely believe our concept of fresh, fast and grilled is totally unique to Cardiff and Wales and we have had overwhelmingly positive feedback so far. We chose St Mary St specifically due to the high footfall in the area and existing brands in the area and we feel as though there is a lack of food offering for that growing market opting for a healthier lifestyle choice. We are now actively looking for new sites and franchise partners in areas such as Swansea and Bristol to help us achieve our expansion plans.”

The restaurant has also signed up with UberEats and Deliveroo for those looking for a takeaway option and is certified Halal.

Apptizer Mobile Order-Ahead Integrates with Verifone Carbon
Customer experience is a key factor that drives loyalty and merchant growth. And, creating a consistent, convenient consumer experience is especially tough for small businesses competing in the quick-service and fast-casual restaurant space. To offer services and experiences that can rival bigger national chains, small businesses can leverage the increasing number of powerful third-party applications that make it easy to onboard and use, and reach their connected customers.
A study by eMarketer found that smartphone users are more comfortable with app-based purchases and digital payments of all kinds. And according to a report by BI Intelligence, orders placed via smartphone and mobile apps will become a $38 billion industry and make up nearly 11 percent of all quick-service restaurant sales by 2020.
That’s why Verifone has partnered with Apptizer, a mobile order-ahead app, which will automatically do the backend work so a small sandwich shop, for example, can offer online ordering and in-store pickup, with a click of a button. That means a customized mobile app with the sandwich shop’s menu and payment options is automatically generated for them and their customers can start using the mobile order option right away.
Developed for Android and iOS platforms, Apptizer on Carbon gives merchants the ability to receive and manage online mobile orders in one easy step. The Carbon family enables merchants to customize and integrate any POS software and third party applications. It’s designed with dedicated merchant and consumer facing devices for optimal business management and consumer engagement thatfit a variety of environments including restaurant, hospitality, and retail.