MRM News Bites: Typsy Live and Polly’s Pies on This Week’s Plate

Each week, Modern Restaurant Management magazine compiles restaurant industry headlines in MRM News Bites. Send items of interest to Content Director Barbara Castiglia at

Get Typsy Live

Typsy Live – Hospitality Innovation will take place on October 5 at the Roslyn Packer Theatre, Walsh Bay. Typsy Live is a unique TED-like event for the hospitality industry organized by the Sydney-based online training platform for the hospitality industry. Five industry experts will deliver talks, and a panel discussion with industry professionals will follow. This is an unmissable event for the hospitality industry, guaranteed to motivate and inspire.

Typsy Live is an annual event organized in the spirit of collaborative creativity. It brings experts from the hospitality industry together with an audience of aspiring individuals who can learn from their stories of success. The theme of this year’s event is hospitality innovation.

Talks will be delivered by consumer psychologist Adam Ferrier, adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg, social media expert and entrepreneur Nick Bowditch, interior designer Fady Hachem, and activist Sally Irwin. Their stories will undoubtedly ignite passion and foster curiosity among the industry’s next generation. Last year’s panel featured celebrity chef Tobie Puttock, Justin Dry (Vinomofo), Rob Cecconi (Tropica Island Resorts) and Pauline Nguyen (Red Lantern).TypsyWordmark

The MC for the night, beer expert Kirrily Waldhorn, will lead the panel discussion. Joining the panel will be: Paul Fischmann, founder of boutique hotel management company 8Hotels; Damian Griffiths, hospitality entrepreneur and founder of Doughnut Time; Brooke Adey, restaurant manager at Yellow and 2015’s Young Waiter of the Year; and a recent graduate from the Blue Mountains International Hotel School.

The hospitality industry has a rich history of embracing new technologies, being daring in design, and advancing the culinary arts. This year’s Typsy Live speakers have all contributed to innovation in this continually evolving industry.

“Young people need role models in the industry to look up to, and training that doesn’t feel like training,” said Jonathan Plowright, Typsy Founder and CEO 

Polly Wants a Cracker-Jack Takeout System

Polly’s Pies Restaurant selected Restaurant Revolution Technologies, Inc. (RRT)patented takeout order processing and management solutions to fulfill the chain’s takeout orders. RRT will process and manage every takeout order placed from guest initiation, through order pick-up, thus driving a more focused and pleasant experience for Polly’s Pies guests who order takeout. RRT’s restaurant specific order management technology solutions, supported by their call center, online and mobile ordering platforms, have delivered significant increases in takeout revenues, and reduced operating costs and improved guest satisfaction with other RRT restaurant partner clients.pollys-pies-photo3

“Choosing RRT was made after an exhaustive search to find a partner that could see our vision and truly understand the scope of our business needs,” Kathy Cavanaugh, CEO of Polly’s Pies. “It was about putting our people always first and delivering the promise of our brand by partnering with a company that we feel has the same high standards and ability to accommodate and customize as Polly’s does, and we discovered that RRT was a perfect match for us. In other words, they have a superior product that will seamlessly handle a high volume during our busy holiday business season, while providing an optimal experience for our Team and Guests.”

The solutions offered by RRT empowers Polly’s Pies location management to focus on their core business – dine-in guests and the in-house guest experience. As such, Polly’s Pies looks to add both short and long term relationships and stronger brand loyalty with their takeout guests by instituting a supreme level of takeout order management and processing without sacrificing their already high-level of in-store customer service.

“Takeout has seen monumental shifts the past several years, and guests expect their favorite restaurants, like Polly’s Pies, to be agile enough to adapt to those changes and yet not disconnect themselves from their core values, like guest service, that are deeply rooted in their identity,” said David Schofield, CEO at RRT.

National Coffee Day

 To celebrate National Coffee Day today, Lavazza created an infographic explaining the 8 Steps from Pick to Pour unknown-9

Raising a Glass 


Janet Crawshaw, publisher of The Valley Table magazine sponsor of Hudson Valley Restaurant Week (HVRW)—now in its tenth year—and the new “Support the Craft – Drink NY,” raises a glass to launch the craft beverage campaign and HVRW. Toasting with her on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the Culinary Institute of America are, front row, left to right, Vincent Barcelona of Admiration Foods, restaurateur Greg Best, Rich Parente of Clock Tower Grill; second row, left to right, Nicholas Joseph, representing Sen. Sue Serino; Lisa Morris of Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Mary Kay Vrba of Dutchess Tourism, Janet Crawshaw of The Valley Table, Chef Josh Kroner of Terrapin Restaurant; third row, left to right, State Assemblymember Didi Barrett, Rick Remsnyder of Ulster County Tourism, Natasha Caba Caputo of Westchester County Tourism, Douglass Miller of Cornell University, and Robert Mitchell of Manhattan Beer Distributors.  Photo by Ethan Harrison Photography

Celebrating 20 Years

Restaurant Serenade, the award-winning restaurant owned + operated by longtime couple Chef James Laird and Nancy Sheridan Laird, will mark its 20th anniversary this October. Laird has consistently been named among the top chefs in the New York metropolitan area for his mastery of contemporary American cuisine.  After two decades in business, the restaurant has maintained a stellar reputation thanks to James’ and Nancy’s commitment to handpicked ingredients of the highest quality, an approachable and highly curated wine list, and unmatched attention to service. 

James and Nancy Laird
James and Nancy Laird
“It is amazing to us that it has been 20 years since we have opened Serenade,” enthuses Nancy. “We so appreciate the support of our surrounding communities, our staff, and our wonderful customers. We hope for another 20!”
The story of Restaurant Serenade cannot be told without speaking of James’ quarter-acre garden located on the Lairds’ property in Harding Township. James grows an extraordinary selection of produce and herbs that he and Nancy use in their home and restaurant kitchens ~ from broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower to peppers, beans and a dozen varieties of lettuce, to basil, thyme and fennel. The garden will yield 500 heads of heirloom garlic. And — since this is Jersey after all — an abundance of tomatoes.  
Blue Plate vs. Red Plate

Legal Sea Foods has created two presidential dishes that will have voters happily reaching across the aisle (or the dinner table) to sample the “Trump Tower” or the “Secretary of Steak.”

Legal Sea Foods is serving up two d-electable presidential dishes leading up to Election Day.  Guests at all restaurants can choose between the "Secretary of Steak" (pictured here) or the "Trump Tower."  The Clinton-inspired dish is a liberal helping of blackened tuna steak with jasmine rice, bacon-braised Brussels sprouts and blackberry beurre rouge. (PRNewsFoto/Legal Sea Foods)
“Secretary of Steak”
Legal Sea Foods is serving up two d-electable presidential dishes leading up to Election Day.  Guests at all restaurants can choose between the "Secretary of Steak" or the "Trump Tower  (pictured here).  The over-the-top, two-tiered Trump offering feeds any grand old party.  Scallop mango ceviche, king crab, marinated mussels, shrimp cocktail, oysters and littlenecks on the half shell make dinner great again (PRNewsFoto/Legal Sea Foods)
The “Trump Tower

From October 24 to November 6, all Legal Sea Foods restaurants (MA, RI, NJ, PA, DC, VA, GA) will offer “Blue Plate” and “Red Plate” specials that pay homage to the two presidential contenders.  Legal is confident that both dishes will appeal to voters, and represent the best that either party can dish out.

The Red Plate, the “Trump Tower,” isn’t shy about its size.  This ‘yuge’ two-tiered plateau feeds any grand old party.  Scallop mango ceviche, king crab, marinated mussels, shrimp cocktail, oysters and littlenecks on the half shell make dinner great again.  It’s priced at $55.95 and serves 4-6 people.

The Blue Plate, the “Secretary of Steak,” offers a liberal helping of blackened tuna steak with jasmine rice, bacon-braised Brussels sprouts and blackberry beurre rouge.  It didn’t take a village to create this delicious dish, just a great chef.  It’s priced at $31.95.

“I refuse to pick sides – or even main courses – so we’re letting our guests decide,” said Legal Sea Foods President & CEO Roger Berkowitz.  “I don’t care where you stand on the candidates, but I want you to sit down at Legal Sea Foods and order one or both of these d-electable dishes.  By doing so, your voice will be heard, literally, by our wait staff.  And you’ll be doing your part to help the economy.” 

New Products

OpenTable, is piloting a feature showcasing specials, enabling restaurants in Baltimore to entice their prospective and regular guests with special menus and seasonal dishes and pairings at great prices.  Currently, 45 of the 265 Baltimore-area restaurants listed on OpenTable are using Specials, including hotspots such as Cosima, Donna’s, Cross Key and Gertrude’s. An example of a current special is a three course Theater Menu ($35) at Cosima, which includes a selection of Appetizer, Pollo allo Spiedo (or other select Entree) and Dessert.


“Special menus and pairings that showcase restaurants’ signature dishes, spirits and seasonal ingredients play a vital role in attracting new guests and delighting regulars,” said Scott Jampol, Senior Vice President of Marketing at OpenTable. “By giving restaurants an easy way to promote their specials right at the point diners are searching for and booking a reservation, we’re helping restaurants dial-up demand, while at the same time helping diners discover new eateries at great prices.” 

“OpenTable specials provides an intuitive and elegant way for us to attract new guests and entice repeat visits,” said Alan Hirsch, General Manager, Cosima. “Promoting our unique specials and signature dishes to diners right at the time when they’re deciding where and what to eat is a powerful marketing lever.”

Diners can view and book the current list of participating restaurants and their specials by visiting,  Restaurants interested in learning more can visit the OpenTable Open for Business blog here.

ParTech, Inc.  a subsidiary of PAR Technology Corporation introduced the Brink® Mobile App. The extension of Brink’s current mobile solution, Brink Online Ordering, and is now available in app form and offers restaurants the opportunity to create a branded mobile experience for their customers, that works seamlessly with Brink POS Software, to place their orders via smart phone or tablet.Leveraging PAR’s cloud-based Brink POS® Software, the Brink Mobile App is similar in functionality to the current Brink offering, yet in a native app format, replacing the need of relying on a web browser. The Brink Mobile App featuresonline ordering, payment and tip options, customer profiles, and loyalty programs. 

“PAR’s Brink POS Software platform continues to be a source of innovation – a re-imagination of restaurant operations that has accelerated the industry acceptance of true enterprise cloud solutions for the QSR, Fast Casual and table service market segments,” commented Karen Sammon, President and CEO of PAR Technology Corporation. “The Brink Mobile App further exemplifies PAR’s ability to deliver customer success, drive revenue and create loyal fans through Mobile technology.”

NewMetro Design introduced the Pouring Chute™ a way to alleviate spilling when  pouring wet or dry ingredients. The new wide rimmed, tall device is constructed from high-grade surgical steel and fits all brands of stand up mixers with stainless steel bowls.  Simply attach and lock into place. Detach as needed.  Wet or dry ingredients slide directly down the center of the curved chute straight into the center of the bowl to allow uniform mixing. With a design that won’t interfere with the mixing process, bakers can add both savory and sweet ingredients to ensure consistent blending. 


DineTime®, QSR Automations unveiled an updated version. The restaurant network and offers consumers the most convenient way to locate restaurants, join wait lists and book reservations from the palm of their hands.

This latest app update has added the ability for consumers to see the current wait time and the number of parties on the wait list at thousands of chain and independent restaurants found within the app. Prior to this update, this information was available within the app, but only visible for locations that accepted mobile parties. Now, all DineTime restaurant partners will have this information visible. This information offers critical consumer insights and allows for easier dining decisions and time saved.

DineTime(r) Releases App Update to Provide Diners With Wait Times for Thousands of Restaurants (PRNewsFoto/DineTime)
DineTime(r) Releases App Update to Provide Diners With Wait Times for Thousands of Restaurants (PRNewsFoto/DineTime)

“The days of waiting in packed restaurants are gone. Today, consumers are making more informed dining decisions by using technology, like the functionality that DineTime offers,” said QSR Automation’s VP of Sales, Heath Wechter. “Diners can now get in the queue at their favorite restaurant from anywhere, helping them to better plan their days and dining experiences.”

Chain restaurant partners, like Olive Garden Italian Kitchen, and independent operators, like Coal’s Pizza, based in Louisville, KY, have found this app functionality helps build relationships with guests by improving the guest experience before a diner walks through the doors. “We are constantly looking for ways to enhance our guests’ dining experience,” said Chris Chang, Senior Vice President of Technology Strategy & Digital Marketing for Darden, parent company for Olive Garden. “Online wait listing is a feature that our guests have told us they want, and we are excited to provide it to them.”

DineTime currently seats more than two million people daily and simplifies the restaurant process of adding diners to their wait lists through a mobile marketing strategy that engages with diners when they are searching for dining options.

Taking it Personnely

Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, located on Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman brought on John Stanton will serve as the property’s Beverage Manager.

A Kimpton veteran, Stanton joins the Seafire team from Chicago, where he received numerous awards for his work as Head Bartender at Sable Kitchen & Bar. With Stanton at Sable’s helm, the acclaimed bar program was consistently named one of the top cocktail programs in the U.S., receiving accolades from ZagatDeparturesUSA TodayFood & Wine, and Esquire, among others.

John Stanton
John Stanton

“I am excited to further my career with Kimpton and look forward to joining the culinary community of Grand Cayman,” said John Stanton. “With a focus on celebrating the best ingredients the island has to offer, I hope to create a bar program that both locals and resort guests will enjoy.”

Stanton has been a professional bartender based out of Chicago for over a decade, beginning at a hip dive bar called the Hungry Brain. Part of the opening team at Sable Kitchen & Bar, where he worked under the guidance of acclaimed Head Bartender Mike Ryan, now Director of Bars for Kimpton, he worked as beer director, spirits curator and menu collaborator before ultimately taking over the role of Head Bartender and leading the overall beverage program. 

In his new role, John will oversee the bar program at the three signature dining venues at Seafire – Ave, the Mediterranean-inspired main restaurant, Avecita, a one-of-kind chef’s bar with an ever-changing menu, and Coccoloba, an island-inspired street taco stand meets beach hut, as well as two pool bars and an innovative pantry. With a focus on handmade cocktails infused with local Caymanian flavors, Seafire aims to be an exceptional addition the island’s culinary and cocktail scene upon its debut in November 2016.

Vanessa Tomé has recently been appointed as Director of Sales & Marketing at the Leading Hotels of the World boutique hotel in Lisbon, Bairro Alto Hotel.

Vanessa Tome
Vanessa Tome

Vanessa´s career in sales and marketing spans more than 15 years in a combination of roles that passed through catering companies and world renowned hospitality companies like Marriott International and The Ritz-Carlton Company, where she lastly oversaw Marketing and Public Relations at one of its properties. 

Familiar with targeting both affluent and aspirational client bases, she also has a strong background in luxury and helping hotels to be more innovative and relevant in today’s changing business environment.

In his new role, Vanessa will lead the Sales and Marketing department at Bairro Alto Hotel and will be in charge of growing Bairro Alto Hotel sales, marketing and media presence worldwide both now and over the expansion plan and re-opening of Bairro Alto Hotel in mid-2018.