MRM News Bites: SimpleOrder Teams with Square, Dinova Excels and The Color Restaurant on This Week’s Plate
By MRM Staff
Each week, Modern Restaurant Management magazine compiles restaurant industry headlines in MRM News Bites. This week, we feature new partnerships, the impact of color on diners and a pop-up recreating the Black Forest in 1683. Send items of interest to Executive Editor Barbara Castiglia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SimpleOrder Integrates with Square
SimpleOrder, an all-in-one online inventory management platform has now integrated with Square. The partnership gives restaurants selling with Square access to SimpleOrder’s newly launched Automated Inventory System, which calculates and manages inventory levels in real-time, based on purchasing and sales, streamlining restaurants’ entire Back-to Front operations.
“SimpleOrder gives restaurant owners a simple and powerful inventory management solution,” said Pankaj Bengani, Square’s Partnerships Lead. “By integrating with Square, restaurants can manage all aspects of their inventory and track sales in one place, getting time back to run and grow their business.”
The integration follows SimpleOrder’s recent $2.75 million series A funding announcement, the launch of its new Automated Inventory System and rapid company growth. The startup has increased its international client base to more than 1,700 locations including leading restaurants, chains and suppliers in 15 countries over the past year.
The restaurant industry remains almost unique in the retail world for its lack of systematic, digitized inventory tracking – leaving many managers and chefs in the dark regarding their real-time inventory. Many restaurants still handle stock counts with pen and paper– when by then it’s usually too late to make any critical adjustments or correct profit-slashing mistakes like over-ordering, over-portioning and leakage.
“We’re very excited to team up with a company as forward-looking and popular as Square,” said Guy Even Ezra, Co-Founder and CEO of SimpleOrder. “This furthers our company’s goal of digitizing the restaurant industry. Square has revolutionized the way the hospitality industry utilizes tech. Together we can now provide a full end to end, PO to POS solution for restaurants that actually improves their bottom lines. This mixes the finest ingredients to create a whole new experience for the dining industry in the digital age.”
Founded in 2012, SimpleOrder is the first online platform for restaurant purchasing and inventory management that manages restaurant inventory down to the specific ingredient. SimpleOrder’s accompanying application (iOS, Android) is easy to use and allows restaurant management, suppliers, and vendors to connect and communicate easily and efficiently, all with a click. With real-time reporting, inventory management and recipe costing, SimpleOrder makes running a restaurant easier and more effective while improving the bottom line. Square creates tools that help sellers of all sizes start, run, and grow their businesses. Square’s point-of-sale service offers tools for every part of running a business, from accepting credit cards and tracking inventory, to real-time analytics and invoicing. Square also offers sellers financial and marketing services, including small business financing and customer engagement tools. Businesses and individuals use Square Cash, an easy way to send and receive money, as well as Caviar, a food delivery service for popular restaurants. Square was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in the United States, Canada, Japan, and Australia.
Despite Downturn, Dinova Sees Increase
Dinova LLC, the only innovative, proprietary marketplace exclusively focused on connecting expense account diners to quality restaurants nationwide, announced a third quarter year-over-year increase of 13.6 percent by corporate enterprises in its preferred restaurant network. This increase comes after restaurant traffic as a whole is down for 2016; casual dining alone fell as much as eight percent from 2015. As 2016 comes to a close, Dinova has brought more than 700 new restaurant locations into its marketplace as it continues to add increasingly diverse restaurant concepts to its more than 14,000 restaurant locations nationwide. High-profile restaurants recently added to the marketplace include, Granite City Food & Brewery, Cadillac Ranch, and 101 Concepts.
“Complementary to our existing sales and marketing programs, Dinova’s marketplace provides us an additional distribution channel to access a targeted audience of business travelers and corporate diners nationwide,” said Jim Macchitelli, Vice President of Marketing at Granite City Food and Brewery. “Dinova’s network serves as an important conduit to influential business diners and decision-makers to build awareness and generate trial within this important market segment.”
“While new to the Dinova family, we are already pleased with the results we have seen in just one month. Dinova gives us a chance to reach corporate diners on a Monday through Thursday, when the need to fill our restaurants is the greatest. We love the opportunity Dinova provides to connect with new faces and create a lasting relationship with local businesses at an affordable rate,” said Steve Buero, Partner and Owner of 101 Concepts.
“This has been a great year for Dinova as we continue to trail blaze through the industry and carve out significant milestones along the way,” said Vic Macchio, CEO and founder of Dinova. “I have no doubt that our new additions to the marketplace, plus our unwavering growth, will propel us to a great start for 2017.”
Denon Teams with Mood Media
Denon® Electronics is partnering with Mood Media to make Mood Mix available on the HEOS wireless multi-room sound system. Moving beyond home use, HEOS now brings its wireless music experience to businesses with Mood’s commercially licensed streaming music service called Mood Mix. Through the HEOS app, available for iOS, Android™ and Fire® devices, HEOS users can easily access the Mood music service.
“Our partnership with Mood Media is a clear signal that Denon is committed to making HEOS a staple in businesses across the country,” said Don Freeman, global vice president for marketing and training, D+M. “By combining the services Mood Mix provides along with the many outstanding features that make HEOS products so popular, we are giving businesses the opportunity to provide a sound rich environment to suit any brand and any need.”
“It’s never been easier for a business owner to get great quality sound and commercially licensed music all in one package. The integration of Mood Mix in the HEOS app puts an enormous selection of properly licensed music that has been curated specifically for businesses, in the palm of your hand,” said Trey Courtney, Senior Vice President of Product and Partnership Development at Mood Media. “This combination offers an affordable, flexible way to create a customized music experience, combined with the excellent sound quality of the HEOS wireless speaker technology.”
Mood Mix gives business owners a new level of choice and control with their in-store music, allowing brands to easily program and customize their soundtracks by mixing hundreds of musical genres, artist-inspired playlists, and music organized by decades, tempo or mood. Mood’s clients include businesses of all sizes and market sectors, from the world’s most recognized retailers and hotels to quick-service restaurants, local banks and thousands of small businesses.
The Color Restaurant
There are many factors that play into our opinions of a restaurant. Though it may not be the first thing you think of, colors have a big impact on the dining experience. To quantify the effect of color on the human mind, SCA Tork measured the brainwaves of diners. Their findings provide tips on how to choose the right colors to set a mood.
To measure how color really affects a diner’s emotions, Tork created an experiment placing 16 people in eight different cubicles, each with its own monochrome color scheme. Everything from the walls to the floor, including furniture and tableware, were a single color. In each stage, guests were given an identical drink and a macaron matching the color of the cubicle.
To measure emotional reactions, the participants’ brain waves were recorded via a special headset. Brainwave frequencies have been linked to corresponding states of mind, from deep relaxation to active stimulation. The brainwave analysis revealed consistent patterns in the emotions induced by each color. For example, red stimulated the delta and theta wave ranges – meaning strong emotional connections and creativity. In contrast, blue had a calming effect.
“Goethe created the first color theory in 1810. Our ambition isn’t to challenge existing theory, but rather provide insight into color selection in restaurants,” says Julia Wood Senior Product Manager.
The colors of the dining room are one of the few things restaurant management can always control. To help you choose the right color palette, Tork created a guide profiling the attributes of each color from the experiment. Those colors can all be found in the Tork tabletop assortment, which offers a complete selection of napkins, table cloths, custom printables and more, all in the color that suits your mood.
Recreating Black Forest in 1683
Gaggenau, the German manufacturer of home appliances, teamed with San Diego based The Lambesis Agency to recreate Gaggenau’s historic birthplace in The Black Forest in southwest Germany, bordering France. Together with three Michelin Star chef Daniel Humm, award-winning architect Hendrik Müller of einszu33, and set designer Stefan Beckman, The Lambesis Agency transformed New York’s famed Chelsea district at Art Beam into a literal Black Forest in 1683. Complete with forest inspired cuisine, artfully crafted with Gaggenau’s ultra-luxury appliances, a Cesare Cera soundtrack, a live blacksmith and German folklore enriched the forest ambiance. Immersing an elite American guest list, the multi-sensory experience transcended the parameters of a typical brand experience with three centuries of Gaggenau history and culture.
“Restaurant 1683 is one of those rare, money can’t buy experiences, bringing Gaggenau to life in a subtle, yet powerful manner,” said Architectural Digest Publisher/ Chief Revenue Officer and event guest Giulio Capua.
Originally tasked with introducing Gaggenau to an elite, and often hard to reach, American customer, Restaurant 1683 ignited an unprecedented response from the luxury culinary world. With only 250 exclusive guests in attendance over the four-day event in September, influencers, celebrities and elite guests sparked a social and media reach that exceeded 80 million brand impressions. Extending into media, digital, public relations, advertising, CRM and social, the ‘Restaurant 1683’ campaign is only just beginning.
“The Lambesis Agency helped elevate Gaggenau to an uncontestable, highly visible lifestyle brand and the authority of culinary luxury,” said Natascha Kruusi, Sr Marketing Manager for Gaggenau. “We are excited to build on this great and successful momentum in 2017.”
The momentum of the NYC event will continue with real world and digital experiences over the next three years with additional Restaurant 1683 pop-up events and a series of exclusive showroom and retailer experiences.
“Restaurant 1683 was designed to immerse people in the epicurean lifestyle of Gaggenau by creating the most luxurious culinary experience possible,” said Chad Farmer, Executive Creative Director for The Lambesis Agency. “The three-year campaign will continue to extend the 360 degree Gaggenau experience.”
DineTime on Amazon
DineTime launched its first skill for the Amazon Alexa voice service, giving customers the ability to interact with Alexa-enabled devices such as the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot. The new DineTime skill provides diners with the convenience of real-time information about restaurants near them, as well as wait times.
The DineTime voice-activated skill to hear details on restaurant wait times is the first of its kind for the restaurant industry. Other features embedded within the skill allow diners to ask for specific details regarding restaurant locations, wait times, distance and more.
“Dining decisions are quick and easy for on-the-go Alexa users now. Diners have the added benefit of using voice commands from the comfort of their couch, kitchen or bedroom,” said Lee Leet, founder and chief executive officer of QSR Automations. “The DineTime Alexa skill is the first of its kind and the best is yet to come – we are excited to soon offer more options and enhanced features to our customers.”
DineTime is working to unleash more interactions with the Alexa voice skill, including the ability to add a party to a waitlist and allow users to make specific day and time reservations.
The DineTime Skill for Alexa is now available for free through the Amazon Alexa app available on iOS, Android and Fire tablets. Users can also voice enable the skill by simply saying “Alexa, enable the DineTime Skill.” The DineTime skill is available for all Alexa-enabled devices, including the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap and Amazon Fire TV.
Punch Bowl Social Plans D.C. Space
Punch Bowl Social, the leader in the “eatertainment” movement, announced today that it will open a 25,000 square-foot restaurant, bar and entertainment concept in Arlington’s Ballston Quarter in June 2018. Punch Bowl Social pairs a Hugh Acheson designed, scratch-made menu and craft beverage program with “old-school” social activities like vintage video games, shuffleboard, private karaoke rooms, bowling, Ping-Pong, bocce and skee-ball.
Already a hit in other cities and a proven millennial magnet, Punch Bowl Social Ballston will include eight bowling lanes, one bocce court, three private karaoke rooms, a custom built 360 degree bar and various lounging and gathering spots – for groups both large and small – housed in an eclectic space melding mountain lodge, Victorian and modern industrial design themes.
Punch Bowl Social founder & CEO Robert Thompson noted that Ballston Quarter is exactly the type of development where Punch Bowl Social flourishes. “Ballston Quarter is poised to become the urban village for Arlington and the surrounding metro area,” he said. “The team behind the project is curating a unique, elevated experience that emphasizes attention to detail and quality offerings. These are the same considerations that drive Punch Bowl Social.”
Joe Boehm, Executive Vice President, Real Estate at Forest City Realty Trust, the development company behind the Ballson Quarter, notes that it was these very factors that drew Forest City to Punch Bowl Social. “Ballston Quarter will offer an experience that is purposeful, thoughtful and uncommon,” Boehm said. “We support this goal by partnering with anchor tenants capable of delivering on this promise. Punch Bowl Social is an industry leader with a proven track record. But more importantly, it offers an authentic experience that resonates across demographic groupings, literally offering something for everyone.”
Punch Bowl Social Ballston marks the company’s first east coast location. Other cities include Detroit; Cleveland; Portland, Ore; Austin; and Denver, Colorado, where Punch Bowl Social originated.
Snagajob Launches PeopleMatter FIND
Snagajob launched PeopleMatter FIND™ to help service-industry employers expand the visibility of their job postings to a more targeted labor pool. Following the initial launch of
PeopleMatter FIND™, the amount of total applications processed by Snagajob has increased by 166 percent. Two of the top restaurant industry brands have already committed to using the product across all of their locations. Additionally, employers beta-testing the new product saw a 20 percent increase in rate of monthly processed applications. Hiring managers can now share their open positions with Snagajob’s 70 million registered hourly workers in one click, directly from within the PeopleMatter product.
“Anything that makes my job easier is of the utmost value,” said Mark Bryan, VP of Human Resources from EJ Pope, a large convenience store retailer client in North Carolina.“This is an easy-to-use interface that brings together two great products and minimizes the time I spend managing my various job postings across multiple locations and linking them to my applicant tracking system. It has allowed me to maximize my hiring resources and focus my time on what’s most important: creating a positive experience for my applicants, customers and growing my business.”
“More and more, we are seeing hourly employers and talent management professionals look for tools and environments that help them take a more strategic approach to hiring,” said Peter Harrison, CEO of Snagajob. “Not only are they looking for solutions that impact their bottom line, but also make the process easy and efficient. The integration of the Snagajob marketplace with the PeopleMatter applicant tracking system does just that. PeopleMatter FIND marks the first, in what we expect to be many, innovations resulting from the joining of the hourly market’s top talent acquisition, hiring, learning,scheduling and performance management solution.”
PeopleMatter FIND lays the groundwork for future innovations that offer unique candidate sourcing solutions unavailable in any other hourly platform. The company will soon provide their customers with the ability to search Snagajob’s active candidate database, proactively invite job seekers to apply for positions, and view an analytics dashboard on sourcing performance and candidate quality.
Lucid Promotional Bench Debuts
Paris Site Furnishings introduced the Lucid series backless bench which offers user comfort along with unparalleled promotional, branding or messaging opportunities for restaurants, hotels, motels, and other hospitality industry venues. The five-foot steel, powder coated bench includes a large area to accommodate a logo or messaging along the bench seat which can be wrapped along the side, to promote identity or branding. Unlike logos applied with paint or decals, the message on Lucid benches is laser cut and integral to the bench, it will not chip, peel, fade or become discolored. These one-piece, ready to install benches are available in standard colors including red, blue, white, grey, green, yellow and beige, with custom colors available as an option.
Backless Lucid benches are manufactured of ¼” mild steel so they are strong and durable. They are then rust-proofed and powder coated to withstand the elements. Built in-anchor holes allow secure mounting to a solid surface like concrete. They can be approached and used from either direction, making them ideal for outdoor usage. Manufactured in Princeton, ON and available factory direct or through distributors and dealers throughout North America.
New Culinary Concept at Orchids
Halekulani in Oahu’s announced the newly conceptualized menu at one of its five award-winning dining venues, Orchids, and the two recently appointed Food & Beverage executives behind the cuisine. The duo of Executive Chef de Cuisine, Christian Testa alongside Orchids General Manager, Dante Camara, reintroduce Orchids with a fresh and innovative culinary focus, integrating local Hawaiian and coveted European ingredients into masterful Mediterranean-inspired, coastal Italian cuisine.
“As we approach Halekulani’s centennial year, we are delighted to welcome an experienced and dynamic restaurant team to assume the operational and culinary leadership of Orchids at Halekulani,” said Peter Shaindlin, Chief Operating Officer of Halekulani Corporation. “The new menu concept perfectly complements the oceanfront, casually elegant ambiance of Orchids and our world-class service.”
In celebrating the sophisticated flavors of the coastal Italian regions, Chef Testa has infused his own distinctive flair to create signature dishes for Orchids including a Harris Ranch Prime Beef Fillet appetizer, served with thinly sliced prime fillet, arugula salad, parmesan, mushroom and truffle aioli; Homemade Lasangette featuring freshly chef-made pasta, local Kahuku prawns, scallops and avocado; and the Seafood Carta Fata made with local Hawaiian onaga (red snapper), clams, mussels, scallops, shrimp, crouton and fresh tomato sauce.
Chef Christian Testa hails from Genova, Italy, renowned for its exquisite seafood, abundance of fresh vegetables and skillfully invented dishes. His extensive knowledge of Italian and international techniques gained from his previous experiences at acclaimed hotel kitchens across the globe, such as the Splendido Hotel in Portofino and La Coquille in Bermuda, has developed Testa into a young master of Italian cuisine. His unique technique allows him to create elegantly simple and flavorful dishes utilizing the finest of locally-sourced and global products in his deftly energized menus.
“As the new Chef de Cuisine, I look forward to executing a creative vision that will elevate the gastronomy at Orchids,” said Chef Christian Testa. “My inspiration comes from cooking with my grandmother as a child—a lifelong passion that has translated into an innovative new menu at Orchids, with something special infused into every dish.”
Partnering with Chef Testa and overseeing all operations at Orchids, Dante Camara is a native of Hawaii, who has worked as a restaurateur for more than 20 years. While on the mainland, he worked in New York City at Daniel Boulud’s restaurants and Andrew Carmellini’s A Voce Italian Restaurant, as well as Wynn in Las Vegas. In Hawaii, Dante has worked as General Manager at Azure in the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and General Manager of Hoku’s at the Kahala Hotel & Resort. The combined years of experience and techniques from Dante Camara and Christian Testa will bring a new and refined touch to the quality and presentation of the food and cultivate the overall Orchids experience.
Humble Market Kitchin Debuts
Humble Market Kitchin by Roy Yamaguchi makes its global debut at the Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott, Maui. As part of the resort’s $100 million renovation, the venue serves as the property’s signature dining venue, led by Chef Roy Yamaguchi. The casually sophisticated dining experience features an internationally influenced menu inspired by Japanese, Filipino, Chinese and Hawaiian cultures.
Perched on one of the highest points at the resort, the restaurant draws influence from the resort’s reimagined identity and coveted shoreline location. Its open layout features indoor/outdoor seating, breathtaking views of the Pacific, and textures, surfaces and colors that reflect the surrounding mountains and ocean, creating a strong sense of place.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Chef Roy to bring his newest culinary concept and one of the most anticipated restaurant openings of the year to Maui,” said Thomas Foti, general manager of Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott, Maui. “Humble Market Kitchin is a perfect match for our newly transformed resort. We look forward to welcoming guests and the local community to a new epicurean destination on the southern shores of the island.”
Credited as the pioneer of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement, Yamaguchi owes his deep connection to Maui to his grandfather. Having grown up in Japan, the James Beard award-winner spent childhood summers in Wailuku, Maui where he volunteered at his grandfather’s general store. During those formative years, Yamaguchi gained an appreciation for the fresh ingredients and multicultural flavors of Hawaii. The menu at Humble Market Kitchin pays tribute to these influences through signature offerings such as a special poke recipe prepared tableside, a raw bar featuring local seafood, an inventive sushi menu with one-of-a-kind rolls and local, line-caught whole fish preparations.
“I am excited to partner with Wailea’s newest resort as I endeavor to honor my grandfather with Humble Market Kitchin,” said Yamaguchi. “It brings me great joy to return to Maui, a beloved island that helped nurture my love of cooking and introduced me to the bounty of the sea and local purveyors. I am honored to create a place for others to come together to build their own memories over an extraordinary meal and drinks.”
Cargill Commits to Future of Food
Cargill demonstrated an intensified commitment to innovation in food, nutrition and food safety as the company opened two major R&D facilities in November and December—one in North America and one in China—focused on continuous improvement and investing in the future of food to meet shifting consumer expectations. These two new centers join regional food research and innovation centers in Campinas, Brazil; Vilvoorde, Belgium; Beijing, China; and Wichita, Kan., as well as local food application facilities, animal nutrition research centers and product development centers around the world.
“Consumers are voting with their values on a wide range of quickly emerging food issues,” said Ruth Kimmelshue, corporate senior vice president for Business Operations and Supply Chain at Cargill. “We have to anticipate what the world wants to eat and what the future of nutrition is going to look like to help our customers succeed and meet consumer demand. These new R&D facilities will help us do just that.”
The Minneapolis Research and Development Center, located in Plymouth, Minn., is a $25 million, 100,000 square foot facility featuring molecular biology labs, advanced analytical and materials research laboratories, test kitchens and a pilot production plant. The center is home to about 200 scientists working on projects to transform the marketplace, from improving food safety to developing new food ingredients that meet consumer expectations for simple, nutritious options. The project builds on Cargill’s 2014 investment in a Food Innovation Center, also in Plymouth, where food science teams develop innovative edible oils products and solutions for bakery, snacks, cereals and foodservice customers.
The Cargill ONE Innovation Center, located in Shanghai, is a 22,000 square foot facility with a sensory lab, demonstration kitchen and capabilities for dairy, beverage, bakery, convenience food and culinary applications. More than 25 scientists on site will create innovative menu solutions that combine consumer insights, trend forecasts and culinary expertise to serve as the incubator for future tastes. The location will also be used as a platform to educate the public on nutrition and food safety.
“These integrated facilities give Cargill the ability to harness our global expertise in animal protein, refined oils, sweeteners, starches, cocoa, texture solutions and unique flavors in one facility, creating a new R&D footprint in the foodservice market,” said Kimmelshue. “They will serve not only as innovation centers for China and North America, but will help our global community meet ever changing demands of modern consumers for taste, nutrition and safety.”
Taking it Personnely
The Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) Board Co-Chairs Marcus Samuelsson, award-winning chef and owner of the acclaimed Red Rooster Harlem restaurant and cookbook author, and Mark Weiss, Chief Investment Officer of RFR Holding LLC, announce that Karen Brosius will become President of Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), the national non-profit organization that changes lives of underserved youth by providing career opportunities through culinary arts education, scholarships, job training, and employment in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
Brosius will return to New York from her latest position as Executive Director of the Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, South Carolina. Under her guidance since 2004, the museum has become one of the leading art institutions in the Southeast, a leader in audience development and arts education, and a key catalyst for tourism and economic development in the state. The museum was the winner of the 2016 National Medal for Museum Service, the United States’ highest honor for museums, which was awarded by First Lady Michelle Obama in a special ceremony at the White House this past June. Prior to joining the museum, she played a key role in national philanthropy and in community nonprofits and arts organizations working for Altria Group, formerly Philip Morris Companies Inc.
“Karen’s experience in developing award-winning programs, innovative initiatives, and dynamic partnerships with organizations will be a tremendous asset to fulfilling C-CAP’s mission of breaking the cycle of poverty and changing lives through the culinary arts,” said Marcus Samuelsson, C-CAP Board Co-Chair. “Karen also has an understanding of the imminent needs of the industry for motivated and skilled talent, and we are eager to work with her to create new possibilities for the organization in the coming years.”
Brosius added, “I am delighted to come back to New York as President of C-CAP and be a part of this exceptional culinary education organization. C-CAP has led the way by having an extraordinary and lasting impact on the lives of thousands of high-school students across the country, helping them pursue their culinary dreams and becoming a valued part of this wonderful industry. I look forward to working with the entire culinary community nationwide to continue the visionary work that was begun by Richard Grausman.”
“C-CAP has an incredible system in place that, through education and training, prepares underserved youth for careers in the culinary and hospitality industries. The program is also of great benefit to chefs in our industry who are constantly looking for skilled and motivated employees,” said Samuelsson, C-CAP Board Co-Chair.
Since being founded by Richard Grausman in 1990, the organization has awarded over $50 million in scholarships, provided job training and internships, college and lifetime career support, teacher training and product and equipment donations to classrooms across the country. C-CAP works with over 17,000 students nationwide each year. Through C-CAP’s efforts, a large number of its students find rewarding careers in the foodservice and hospitality industry. Many alumni, now graduates of top culinary schools, are working in leading restaurants and hotels throughout the country. For the fourth year in a row, C-CAP received a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, the highest rating from the nation’s largest evaluator of charities.
Modern Restaurant Management (MRM) magazine legal columnist Jeffrey S. Horton Thomas of Thomas Employment Law Advocates, APC has joined other top business leaders as a member of the Board of Directors of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Thomas was appointed by Board Chair Keith Kaplan and approved by the full board.
“As a staunch advocate for employers, I’m privileged and excited to have this opportunity to serve our business community on the Chamber board,” said Thomas. Thomas joins other top businesses on the Chamber’s Board of Directors, including representatives of Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Wolfgang Puck Catering, the Mondrian, the Standard, the Andaz, and the London hotels, Lisa Vanderpump’s Sur and Pump restaurants, Gracias Madre, Craig’s, Taste and Tortilla Republic restaurants, Wells Fargo, and U.S. Bank. Though the firm represents hospitality and other businesses throughout Southern California, the firm has represented many of West Hollywood’s most prominent businesses.
Thomas is one of only 100 attorneys from throughout Los Angeles nominated for a Los Angeles Business Journal’s Leaders in Law Award in 2016 in recognition of his exceptional legal skills, community involvement and power client list, particularly among restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Thomas has been recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer in Los Angeles magazine each year from 2014 through 2017. U.S. News – Best Lawyers again recognized Thomas individually for 2017 as one of the most effective employment defense litigators in America and the firm as one of the Best Law Firms in America for 2017.