Miami River’s New Restaurant Row and a New Moe’s

This edition of MRM's News Bites features River Landing, Moe's Southwest Grill, bellagreen, Gibsons Restaurant Group (GRG), Impossible Foods, Razzoo’s Cajun Café, Tom's Urban, NYU School of Professional Studies (NYUSPS) Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, Parts Town, 7shifts and Hyr, Plate IQ, ParTech and Monkey Group, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Bolay and Gluten Intolerance Group and Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers.

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New Restaurant Row Coming to Miami

River Landingunveiled plans for a "restaurant row" along the historic Miami River, top photo. The 25,500-square-foot restaurant space on the ground floor can be divided into seven concept restaurants, including fine dining, fast casual, café or bistro, and family-style dining. River Landing Shops & Residences, a mixed-use development rising just west of downtown Miami, will anchor one of the few waterfront restaurant rows in South Florida.


“This is a strategic location for a restaurant hub because it serves the second largest health district in the United States, provides a remarkable waterfront experience to the community and is accessible from the water, nearby highways and mass transit,” said Andrew Hellinger, a principal with Coral Gables-based UrbanX Group. Hellinger and partner Coralee Penabad are developing River Landing. “During the planning process, we met with neighbors and city officials. Everyone agreed that the area was starving for well-positioned concept restaurants on the water.”


The two-million-square-foot development includes an urban multi-level retail center with Publix Super Markets, Burlington Stores, TJ Maxx, West Marine, Ross Dress For Less, AT&T, Chase Bank, and Hobby Lobby as tenants.  It also includes 528 market-rate apartments, more than 2,200 parking spaces, green space, and a 50-foot-wide linear park along the riverfront to welcome the community. River Landing, at 1400 North River Drive, is scheduled to open in early 2020.


“Three important factors set us apart from other developments: the expansive riverwalk and green space, convenient access and ample parking," added Hellinger. "The area’s daytime population and the river’s growing popularity as a dining and nightlife destination are generating a lot of interest."


New Prototype for Moe's 

Moe's Southwest Grill® will open its new test kitchen and prototype, The Oasis, near the brand's headquarters in Atlanta on November 16. 


"Over the past 18-months we've taken a comprehensive look at our brand and intently listened to our fans in the process. As a result, we have updated the restaurant design and expanded the menu – both of which deliver on the brand's new positioning, 'Untamed Southwest,'" said Bruce Schroder, President, Moe's Southwest Grill. By fully activating our middle name and putting our own distinctive spin on the meaning of Southwest, our goal is to maintain cultural relevance and truly set ourselves apart in the fast casual restaurant industry." 


With new dietary habits like keto, paleo and vegan becoming more prevalent combined with the on-demand economy where consumers have a proliferation of choice and scarcity of time, Moe's wanted to create a fast casual dining experience that suits the individual needs of the entire family and besties alike. Moe's is now testing an elevated menu to include new proteins, entree platforms, and shareables. 

New menu highlights:

Avocado Caesar Salad: Yucatan Shrimp, Shredded Romaine Lettuce, Sliced Hass Avocado®, Cilantro, Cotija Cheese, Crispy Tortillas, Avocado Caesar Dressing. 

Quinoa Power Bowl: Mojo Chicken, Quinoa andf Brown Rice Mix, Frijoles, Shredded Romaine Lettuce, Corn Pico, Sliced Hass Avocado®, Cilantro, Queso Fresco, Salsa Verde. 

Street Taco: Crunchy Avocado, Soft Blue Corn Tortilla, Diced Onion, Queso Fresco, Cilantro, Lime, Chipotle Ranch. 

Torta: Applewood Smoked Brisket, Bolillo Bread, Frijoles, Chihuahua Cheese, Mayo, Sliced Tomato, Shredded Romaine Lettuce, Cilantro, Ancho BBQ Sauce. 

Shareables: Street Corn, Crunchy Avocado, Charro Beans, Mac 'N Queso and Bunuelos.


"When you think of the Southwest region in the U.S., you generally think of the four corners – Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. We started there and then pulled in elements from other areas in California and Texas – these locations combined provided the culinary inspiration for the bold menu items that we are testing," said Ciaran Duffy, Executive Chef, Moe's Southwest Grill. "Spices and ingredients like adobo, poblano peppers and hatch chiles are featured throughout the menu at The Oasis in addition to classic Moe's concoctions served with our delicious queso and variety of salsas on the Salsa Bar." 

Beyond culinary innovation, The Oasis will feature new design features based on in-depth research and interviews with new and loyal guests. Expanding on the classic Moe's design pallet, the brand has added colors and textures reflective of the diverse culture and breathtaking landscape of the Southwest. The Window to the Southwest, a brand hallmark, is a video played in the restaurant; it is an authentic way to give our fans an inside peek into what the Southwest means to us at Moe's and how it encourages our attitude, food and culture.

In addition, the operational enhancements developed for the prototype design ensure convenient service from engaged team members. Examples include a second production line and specific pick-up station for guests who use delivery and online ordering.

bellagreen Expands to Dallas

bellagreen™ American Bistro, Houston's first Certified Green Restaurant™, expanded to Dallas with its first opening at The Hill. The restaurant is now open at 8041 Walnut Hill Lane in Suite 810, marking the brand's seventh location overall and first outside of the Houston area. Two more openings are planned for Plano, including at The Shops at Legacy in December and at Preston & Park in early 2019.

"bellagreen has established a loyal following in Houston, and we're excited for Dallas to experience the brand as well," said Jason Morgan, CEO of bellagreen. "Our mission is to make life and earth more beautiful with every meal. We believe restaurants should support and improve the communities they serve through high quality foods and sustainable environmental practices. We are passionate about accommodating guests with specific dietary needs. At bellagreen, every individual can enjoy a high-quality meal at an affordable price in a comfortable environment, our guests don't have to sacrifice one for the other." 

The new restaurants will bring a total of 100 new jobs to the market, with available positions on the management, culinary and hospitality teams. The eco-friendly restaurants operate using only low-impact, environmentally green spaces that leverage water-saving devices, alternative power sources and green practices to maintain harmony with the environment. 

bellagreen™ American Bistro, Houston’s first Certified Green Restaurant™, announces expansion to Dallas with its first opening at The Hill.

The new 3,672 square-foot restaurant at The Hill accommodates 84 guests and features an open kitchen and modern dining area with warm wood, unique artwork and moss accents. Repurposed elements are incorporated into light fixtures, tabletops and wall features to align with the brand's mission to make Earth more beautiful. A 774 square-foot patio seats an additional 48 guests.


GRG to Make Texas Debut with Quartino

Quartino Ristorante & Wine Bar, a member of Chicago’s hospitality brand Gibsons Restaurant Group (GRG), signed a lease at the new Grandscape development in The Colony, a northern suburb in the Dallas, Texas metropolitan area. Scheduled to open in 2020, this marks GRG’s debut in Texas and will be the first Quartino to open since the original opened on Chicago's State Street in December 2005. 


This is the 15th location for Gibsons Restaurant Group, one of the highest-grossing independent restaurant groups in the country and the first in the US to have its own USDA Prime Angus beef certification. 

“We’re excited to join the Dallas-area community and bring our long-standing core values of hospitality, quality, value and family to Texas,” said GRG’s founder Steve Lombardo. “Quartino is known for its commitment to the highest quality, authentic Italian food and wine, a lively dining experience and putting the customer first, and we can’t wait to bring this experience to Grandscape guests.” 

Quartino’s founding chef John Coletta will create the menu at Quartino in The Colony, appealing to local shoppers, tourists and residents of buildings within the complex. It will include signature dishes such as Neapolitan pizza, handmade pastas and risottos and regional specialties like artisanal salumi and housemade cheeses, served alongside an extensive, value-driven wine list and Italian cocktails. 

Located in the Grotto district of the Grandscape development, Quartino Ristorante & Wine Bar will span two levels with a mix of indoor and outdoor bar and dining room seating. The exterior of the restaurant will feature sand-toned bricks with awnings shaded by ivy, giving the space a relaxed, yet refined vibe. Quartino is one of several dining destinations confirmed to join the mixed-use Grandscape property. 

“We are thrilled to have Gibsons Restaurant Group bring their Quartino concept to Grandscape. Quartino will add to the unique experiences available for visitors to Grandscape and fits perfectly with our vision of unmatched tenants and creating the feeling of time well spent with every visit,” said Jeff Lind, Grandscape President. 

Impossible Foods’ Journey

Plant-based Impossible™ Burger is now available in about 5,000 restaurants and in all 50 states — up from about 50 restaurants one year ago. The brand's flagship produce is also available and in stadiums, arenas, museums, corporate canteens and other locations. On November 12, an Impossible Burger and Impossible Slider will debut at more than 30 Dog Haus locations nationwide. Also on November 12, Hurricane Grill & Wings will launch the Impossible Burger in 55 units. Florida-based 

In April, America’s original fast-food restaurant, White Castle, added the Impossible Slider to menus in 140 restaurants nationwide; based on the sales surge, in September White Castle expanded the Impossible Slider to all 377 company-owned restaurants.

In addition to about 5,000 restaurants in the United States, around 100 restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau also feature the Impossible Burger. Impossible Foods’ clients in Asia include premium resorts such as the Mandarin Oriental and Galaxy Macau, as well as award-winning restaurants and beloved concepts such as Cali-Mex (Asia’s top Mexican franchise) and Beef & Liberty (regarded as Asia’s top “better burger” establishment).

From white glove to White Castle… coming soon to a store near you!

In response to overwhelming demand from consumers, Impossible Foods confirmed plans to sell the Impossible Burger in grocery stores in the United States starting in 2019.

“By far the No. 1 message from fans on social media is, ‘When will I be able to buy and cook the Impossible Burger at home?’” said Impossible Foods’ CEO and Founder Dr. Patrick Brown. “We can’t wait until home chefs experience the magic and delight of the first plant-based meat that actually cooks and tastes like meat from animals–without any compromise.”

The company is not providing additional details of its retail launch at this time. 

Americans have eaten more than 13 million Impossible Burgers since July 2016, when the product first debuted to lines-around-the-block crowds at Chef David Chang’s trendsetting restaurant Momofuku Nishi in New York City.

Those 13 million burgers translate to the weight of beef from more than 6,500 cows, the resources saved of a land area bigger than 25 Central Parks, the single-day water use of more than two million Americans, and greenhouse-gas emissions equivalent to driving the US from coast to coast 80,000 times.


Razzoo's Expands to Oklahoma


 Razzoo’s Cajun Café opens its doors in Summer 2019.  The noted Cajun restaurant will break ground on their first Oklahoma location at The Pointe at Chisolm Creek on West Memorial at Pawnee Drive in February, 2019.  

The expansion of Razzoo’s to Oklahoma City is part of a broader expansion which has included recent openings in Pasadena and Lubbock, Texas.  Chris Degan, president of Razzoo’s, is excited about the new location.

“We’ve had so many people contact us over the years asking why we haven’t moved to Oklahoma City,” explains Degan.  “We’ve been looking, but the right opportunity just never presented itself.  Chisolm Creek is the perfect location – it’s fun and energetic, like Razzoo’s.”


The restaurant will be approximately 7,400 square feet, and will seat 280 diners, including a massive all-weather patio.  Razzoo’s opening will bring more than 100 new jobs to the Oklahoma City area. Razzoo’s Cajun Café currently serves its authentic, fresh from scratch gulf coast dishes in 21 locations.

With 20 stores in Texas and one in Concord, NC., the Oklahoma City location will be the brand’s first expansion outside of Texas since 2001.

Tom’s Urban Kitchen & Brewery Opens at Denver Airport


Tom's Urban opened Tom’s Urban Kitchen & Brewery, its fifth restaurant and first-ever airport location at the Westin Hotel, located directly across from the Denver International Airport.  Tom’s Urban Kitchen & Brewery is the result of a partnership with Tivoli Brewery and Midfield Concession Enterprises. The opening at the airport also reflects the company’s focus on growing the brand at non-traditional locations.

Tom’s Urban Kitchen & Brewery pairs the cuisine of Tom’s Urban with the celebrated craft beers of Tivoli Brewery, bringing together two celebrated Colorado brands to give visitors a taste of local flavor.  Tivoli takes pride in the art of brewing and developing the finest quality beer, carefully crafted over 42 days.

“We are continually looking for opportunities to bring the infectious energy of Tom’s Urban to new locations, and are thrilled to be right at the front door of Denver International Airport to welcome visitors to Colorado,” commented Tom Ryan, co-founder of Tom’s Urban.  “Our partnership with Tivoli Brewery makes this a very unique location for us, and we look forward to giving travelers the opportunity to relax and enjoy our creative cuisine, lethally delicious cocktails, and Tivoli’s craft beers as part of their travels.” 


Added Shannon McNiel, president and chief operating officer for Tom’s Urban: “Denver has such a vibrant restaurant culture that aligns perfectly with Tom’s Urban’s focus on delivering the ultimate restaurant and entertainment experience. Having the opportunity to share that experience with guests visiting from other parts of the country and world in our hometown makes this milestone even more exciting for us.”


In March of 2016, as part of its engagement with Tom’s Urban’s parent company, Black Shamrock Partners, Midfield Concessions Enterprises also brought sister company Smashburger to Denver International Airport. Both are part of a strategy to bring interesting brands to non-traditional locations, from travel sites to college campuses.

“We are thrilled to bring the Tom’s Urban Kitchen & Brewery Brand, and our award-winning designs and customer focused programs to Denver International Airport,” commented Andrea Hachem, Chief Executive Officer of Midfield Concession Enterprises, Inc. 


“The brand has proven itself a unique leader in the market and we couldn’t think of a better location to share the concept’s energetic vibe,” added Dean Hachem, Chief Operating Officer of Midfield Concession Enterprises, Inc. “We are excited to bring to our Denver guests our world class customer focused hospitality experience in partnership with the brands of Tom’s Urban Kitchen and Tivoli Brewery.”


Tom’s Urban is owned by Black Shamrock Partners, formerly Consumer Concept Group, a Denver-based investment and operating company, focused on launching, operating and investing in Experience Based Lifestyle Economy brands in the consumer, lifestyle and event sectors. Tom’s Urban has existing locations currently at LA Live in Los Angeles, Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut, NYNY Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip and Ilani Casino in Portland, OR.


Event Management Studies

Recognizing the mounting urgency for global meeting management professionals, the NYU School of Professional Studies (NYUSPS) Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality recently launched the MS in Event Management (MSEM). The inaugural class will enter in Fall 2019, with applications already being accepted.

“The MS in Event Management delivers a cutting-edge curriculum, focused on the broad array of skills that event managers require in this fast-growing, globalized industry. It prepares students for event management roles across private, public, and nonprofit organizations,” noted Nicolas Graf, associate dean of the Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality.

“Students have a tremendous advantage studying event management in NYC,” added Lynn Minnaert, academic director and a clinical associate professor at the Tisch Center, and a driving force behind the development of the program. “There are so many world-renowned venues including Madison Square Garden and the Jacob Javits Convention Center to name just a few. Annual events, such as the US Open, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the New York International Auto Show, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit, and New Year’s Eve in Times Square, attract millions of visitors each year. All of these require the knowledge and skills of seasoned event managers.”

The 36-credit MSEM combines a solid business core curriculum with specialized event electives in business development, sports, and other event management niches. The program features a required internship at a top hotel or event venue, and a consulting practicum capstone in which students can apply skills, knowledge, and experience in a practical setting. Students can complete the degree within 1.5 years of full-time study, or two to three years of part-time study, and can take courses online and/or in a traditional classroom setting. NYUSPS faculty members who are also practicing industry experts will teach the courses. 


Parts Town Growth

Parts Town added six new master distribution programs during Q3 2018, including Blodgett, Cadco, Carpigiani, Gaylord, Market Forge, and Marsal brands.

Parts Town first brought master distribution to the industry in 2005 and has since launched 117 master distribution programs. Master distribution programs are an innovative supply chain format being rapidly adopted by manufacturers to bring operational, financial, and customer experience benefits.  Parts Town already has master distribution programs with divisions of Middleby, Welbilt, Unified Brands, Standex, AJ Antunes and dozens of other leading brands. This significantly contributes to Parts Town’s 15 consecutive years of more than 20 percent organic growth. The company has retained 100 percent of its master manufacturer partnerships over the last 13 years.

“The goal of Parts Town’s master distribution programs is to increase manufacturers’ OEM parts market share, lower their inventory, lower their accounts receivable, and give their customers improved access to OEM parts to keep customer equipment up and running with less downtime,” said Clint Holder, Vice President of Manufacturer Partnerships. “We will continue to accelerate the development of these programs to support our manufacturer partners and deliver results with superior customer experience, innovation rooted in integrity and through genuine relationships.”


7shifts and Hyr Partner


7shifts and Hyr are teaming up to help restaurants face their labour struggles head on.

“At 7shifts, we are hearing from customers that rising labour costs are no longer the only thing that keeps them up at night.  Having access to talented, qualified staff has quickly grown into a major concern,” said Jordan Boesch, CEO of 7shifts. “We are in the businesses of helping managers lower labour costs and increase operating efficiency – while saving time on scheduling and improving team communication – so partnering with Hyr is a natural fit as it provides tremendous value to operators and staff alike.”

Hyr connects businesses and workers to fill any shift, at any time.  When there is an increasingly tight labor market, and a very shallow labour pool, Hyr connects businesses with qualified hospitality workers when they are looking for each other.

“I think of it as skill sharing,” said Daimin Bodnar, co-owner of Toronto’s Hemingway’s.  “I was an early adopter of 7shifts, because their technology allows me to clearly and easily track my labour costs.  That’s why I am so excited about this partnership; because Hyr helps me find people, when I need them and 7shifts tells me when I need them.  Having these two platforms integrate will be a huge support for my business, and frankly, the industry.”

How it will work:  7shifts and Hyr will be able to predict when a worker is needed to fill a shift at a 7shifts customer location.  That way they will ensure that every shift is covered – whether it be a scheduled shift, a no-show or call-off.

“Hyr has attracted over 11k Pros (workers) who are looking to earn extra money,” said Erika Mozes, COO at Hyr.  “The Pros using the Hyr platform are qualified, accountable workers who are already, or used to work in, the industry and want to work differently than in that traditional worker-business relationship.  On the flip side, we connect business to extra hands, when they need them. We know sharing staff will soon be the norm in the industry – just as making a reservation online, ordering from your home, and scheduling with an intuitive tool!” 


Plate IQ Milestone


Plate IQ  has managed more than $100 million in vendor payments on behalf of clients. Additionally, Plate IQ’s platform is now fully integrated with more than 1,100 third-party providers comprised of 200 electronic data interchange (EDI) and 800 retail and online platforms including Amazon, Costco and major banks, effectively creating the first restaurant-focused automated clearing house (ACH) payment network.  

Designed to eliminate human-error and create greater back-of-house transparency, Plate IQ offers a full suite of AP automation solutions for vendor payments, invoice reconciliation, and cost analysis. The company continues to rapidly expand its national footprint, with a portfolio of clients including Holiday Inn, Nobu, Union Square Hospitality, Eleven Madison Park, Five Guys, Jamba Juice, and more.

“The restaurant industry is experiencing a sea-change fueled by innovation and technology, but many restaurants continue to manage accounting and other back-of-house processes manually. In order to successfully compete for today’s consumer, restaurants need to find more ways to delight guests and spend less time on administrative tasks such as invoice capture and processing,” said Bhavuk Kaul, co-founder and CEO of Plate IQ. “We are proud that more and more operators are choosing Plate IQ’s automation platform to help optimize their operations and unlock actionable expense data so they can focus on improving front-of-house service.”


ParTech Teams with Monkey


ParTech, Inc. (PAR) partnered with Monkey Group, representing MonkeyMedia Software, The Catering Institute and Off Premise Insights. The partnership gives users of PAR’s cloud-based Brink POS® solution additional software, training, and data resources to better serve takeout, delivery, and catering clients.


“With the exponential growth of off-premise dining, we are delighted to add MonkeyMedia Software to our large ecosystem of data integration partners,” said Paul Rubin, Chief Strategy Officer, ParTech, Inc.  “In addition, MonkeyGroup’s extensive experience, software, training resources and industry research ensures the end user has the right tools to be successful in takeout, delivery and catering.”


The Catering Institute is a leading educator for foodservice operators and this partnership will provide PAR’s restaurant network with ongoing e-learning and access to a data driven business framework that is designed to help foodservice operators accelerate their off-premise strategies. Training and certification for foodservice operators is key to standardization of off-premise programs for both corporate and franchise systems.


“PAR is leveraging their extensive restaurant network by making our curriculum available to their restaurant partners. This allows The Catering Institute to extend preferred pricing to PAR’s customers and provides a wonderful value-added service to food service operators,” said Erle Dardick, CEO and Founder of MonkeyMedia Software, The Catering Institute and Off Premise Insights. In addition, PAR is committed to ongoing sponsorship of education workshops to help with the development of successful off premise programs for operators.


“Our mission is to make takeout and catering easier to manage for our restaurant and foodservice partners,” said Mo Asgari, President of MonkeyGroup. “We think collaboration with omni-channel transformation leaders like PAR will change the way operators manage their off-premise business, giving them an edge capturing the lucrative opportunities available in the off-premise market.”


Fleming’s Partners with Junior League

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar iis partnering with The Association of Junior Leagues International to help strengthen the impact of local Junior League Chapters throughout the country.  Known worldwide as The Junior League, the 120-year-old international women’s empowerment and community service organization will benefit from a variety of programs at Fleming’s restaurants across the country.  


As part of the new alliance, Fleming’s and The Junior League will align their resources to drive positive change and strengthen communities throughout the United States. The upscale steakhouse will work with The Junior League in the 70 communities where they share a footprint. 


“The foundation of the culture at Fleming’s is built on supporting our communities,” said Beth Scott, President of Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. “We are thrilled to partner with the dedicated volunteers at The Junior League as we continue our proud tradition of offering our quality service and elevated experience to benefit important causes.”


To kick off the partnership, Fleming’s hosted a Whiskey & Wine benefit dinner that featured paired handcrafted cocktails, straight pours, and whiskey barrel-aged wine alongside a decadent five-course Chef’s dinner. Fleming’s donated $20 from every dinner sold that evening – raising $25,000 – to benefit The Association of Junior Leagues International.


“For more than a century, The Junior League has empowered women to lead. On our journey, we've tackled some of society's most intractable problems alongside influential, passionate community partners, government officials and change-makers who have been resolute in working to find solutions, to find a way forward,” said Susan Danish, CEO/Executive Director of The Association of Junior Leagues International. “We are grateful to Fleming’s for recognizing the importance of this work and joining us in our efforts to strengthen communities near and far.

Bolay Awarded Gluten-Free Food Service Certification from Gluten Intolerance Group

Bolay was awarded Gluten Intolerance Group’s Gluten-Free Food Service (GFFS) certification, a program designed to support food service establishments in providing safe options for gluten-free consumers. Bolay is the first fast-casual restaurant in the state of Florida to achieve the GFFS certification, offering guests a 100 percent gluten-free menu filled with fresh, bold, and flavorful ingredients.


“Bolay has demonstrated its strong commitment to the gluten-free community by meeting our high standards and being proactive in providing safe food choices for its gluten-free meals,” said Lindsey Yeakle, GFFS Quality Control Manager, GIG. “In doing so, Bolay joins a growing number of foodservice establishments that recognize the value of raising consumer confidence in their knowledge and safe handling of their food.”


Created by Chris Gannon and his father, Tim Gannon, co-founder of Outback Steakhouse, Bolay invites diners to build bowls for lunch and dinner, packed with nutrient-rich superfoods and tasty proteins, all while being 100 percent gluten-free. “By listening to what people wanted and craved from their food, I came to understand what the restaurant scene urgently needed: a brand committed to excellent food that fuels an amazing lifestyle and caters to all,” says CEO, Chris Gannon.


“So fresh, so bold” is more than just a tagline; it guides every company decision and is at the heart of the Bolay experience. Each ingredient is selected with care and purpose, keeping guests’ well-being in mindby combing nutrient-dense foods with world-class, delicious flavors.


As the demand for gluten-free dining options continues to grow, gluten-free consumers often fear to dine at restaurants where they have no control over food preparation. The GFFS certification provides consumers with the assurance that a food establishment understands the requirements related to gluten-free food preparation and have established procedures that will keep them safe.

Freddy's Launches Bill Simon Scholarship

Fast-casual restaurant concept Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers launched the Bill Simon Memorial Scholarship Foundation in memoriam of the company's beloved co-founder and CEO Bill Simon. As a testament to Simon's passion for education and commitment to helping all achieve a brighter future, the scholarship foundation was created to support Freddy's team members' pursuit of post-secondary education in college or vocational programs and made possible through generous contributions from franchisees, vendor partners, the corporate office team, and members of the community.

"Freddy's has achieved substantial success over the past several years, and we know that we didn't get here alone. The dedication and passion of our team members has been the driving force behind all of our achievements, and we're proud to turn our appreciation into action through the launch of the Bill Simon Memorial Scholarship Foundation," said Ben Simon, President of the Bill Simon Memorial Scholarship Foundation and Vice President of Operations for Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. "Bill worked tirelessly to build a brand that is rooted in family values, and we look forward to honoring his belief in the importance of education through our new scholarship program for years to come."

This year marked the first time all Freddy's team members had the opportunity to apply for the Bill Simon Memorial Scholarship, and the company recently awarded a total of $20,000 to 30 company team members. Through Freddy's generosity, the scholarship recipients will be able to pursue their dream of receiving an education at some of the nation's largest universities, including Arizona State University, the University of Kansas, the University of Colorado Boulder, Wichita State University, and more. The deadline for next year's recipients will be in early June 2019. 

Scholarship recipients are selected based on academic record, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, statement of goals and aspirations. Applicants must be Freddy's team members in good standing with one year of employment completed (minimum of 750 hours). Applicants must also be current students or high school seniors who are prospective students in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school.

For more information about the Bill Simon Memorial Scholarship Program,  click here.