NCR Goes MONKEY, an Epicurean Showplace and Holiday SpecTECHular

MRM’s Daily Bite for offers Wednesday Wisdom from NCR and Monkey Media Software, Meatless Monday, Ojai Valley Inn, Sue’s Tech Kitchen and Family Reach.
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NCR Integrates with MONKEY

NCR Corporation forged a strategic integration with MONKEY™, the cloud-based software platform created by MonkeyMedia Software for takeout, delivery and catering service channels. This integration enables NCR Aloha point-of-sale (POS) users to seamlessly manage orders placed through the MONKEY platform eliminating the need for extensive IT involvement.

According to Euromonitor International, food delivery is expecting to grow 51 percent from 2016 to 2021. Restaurants are quickly transforming their ordering channels to accelerate off-premise ordering and operations. NCR’s cloud-based infrastructure and APIs make it easier for NCR and technology partners, like MonkeyMedia Software, to seamlessly integrate and enable innovative solutions that span channels and applications. MonkeyMedia is using an NCR ordering open API to integrate and inject orders directly into the NCR Aloha POS, reducing restaurant operators’ IT efforts and spend associated with bringing multiple ordering channels together in one ecosystem.

“On the Border is constantly seeking ways to effectively leverage technology to improve the overall guest experience,“ said Richard Wallace, senior director of information technology at On the Border. “The NCR Aloha POS and MonkeyMedia Software integration has enabled an improvement in operational efficiency while simplifying our catering operations for our restaurant team members. This represents a significant two-fold benefit for our brand.”Monkey Media Software“The explosion of takeout, delivery and catering, combined with the swift adoption of mobile technology, has made off-premise a critical component to the future growth of many of the restaurant brands that we work with,” said Don Zimmerman, general manager of hospitality solutions at NCR. “The key is giving restaurants a platform that empowers them to easily add any channel they want while maintaining the same order flow management into the kitchen and consolidated reporting across all channels.”

MonkeyMedia Software’s flagship product MONKEY provides restaurant operators with full control over their takeout, delivery, and catering programs. With MONKEY, operators have access to a full suite of off-premise functionality, including unified multi-channel ordering (online, mobile and call center), CRM, case management, catering sales team and lead management, integrated accounting functionality to manage business-to-business accounts, catering order production management, and delivery dispatch management. The solution also provides a reporting and analytics engine to help provide insights and drive off-premise sales.

“When we developed MonkeyMedia Software 20 years ago, our goal was to make takeout, delivery and catering easier to manage for our restaurant partners,” said Erle Dardick, CEO and founder of MonkeyMedia Software. “We think collaboration with omni-channel transformation leaders, like NCR, will change the way operators manage their off-premise business, making it as seamless as possible.”

“As a customer of both NCR and MonkeyMedia Software, we look forward to seeing the results of their combined capabilities,” said Randy White, vice president of retail information technology with FOCUS Brands. “This integration will make our off-premise business easier to execute and our systems more efficient as a result.”

Meatless Monday Implementation Guide

The new Meatless Monday Restaurant and Foodservice Implementation Guides were released as  as trends show consumers are increasingly seeking plant-based dishes. The guides provide restaurant and foodservice operators guidance to help start and promote a Meatless Monday program, while keeping meat on their menus.

The guides were created to address various audiences and include versions for restaurants and foodservice venues at K-12 schools, colleges & universities, corporate and hospital dining establishments. To develop the 16-page guide, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future, a scientific adviser for the Meatless Monday movement, surveyed organizations that have implemented Meatless Monday. They learned that customers respond well when they realize the many health and environmental benefits of going Meatless Monday. Johns Hopkins researchers asked foodservice operators for specific insights on how to make Meatless Monday promotions successful.

The key insights of foodservice operators surveyed are:

  • Enhance participation, sustainability and long-term diet changes through culinary creativity and choices
  • Make vegetarian options appealing and delicious to win over omnivores
  • Offer variety and avoid short-menu rotations
  • Leverage the popularity of global cuisines and flavors
  • Give chefs time to test and perfect

By implementing Meatless Monday, restaurant and foodservice operators can attract new customers and help move toward healthier eating habits. It also demonstrates a commitment to food sustainability and the health of the planet. The guides cover topics, such as Meatless Monday benefits; how to get started; strategies for success; talking points to train staff; and evaluation criteria to assess how well Meatless Monday performs.

In addition to the implementation guide,  foodservice operators can download a ZIP file to access a new promotional kit which includes posters, signs, table tents and graphics. The kit and guide are available at

Creating an Epicurean Showplace

The Ojai Valley Inn broke ground on a  multi-use epicurean showplace, The Farmhouse at Ojai Valley Inn, set for debut events in 2018. Architect Howard Backenwith Backen Gillam Kroeger in Napa Valley has designed the  20,000-square- foot culinary and event center to connect world-class food culture with indoor/outdoor functions.

“It is a thrill to announce such a creative and ambitious continuation of Ojai’s valley-to-table culinary heritage. The Farmhouse at Ojai Valley Inn will provide spectacular new venues for our guests and even more exceptional culinary experiences,” said Alex Kim, Managing Director at the Ojai Valley Inn. “Our team of world-class chefs, along with some of the greatest culinary talent from around the globe, will reintroduce The Inn as the premier West Coast culinary destination.”

The Farmhouse at Ojai Valley Inn is a connected natural campus of distinct spaces: The Kitchen, The Library, The Lawn, and The Great Room —an expansive 8500-square-foot multi-use, ballroom space. The wood and glass barn-inspired structures feature a natural palette of forest browns and greys, redwood siding, 25-foot ceilings, and exposed wooden trusses. The Kitchen is designed for open demo format, allowing up to 80 guests a front row seat to the chefs in action, while the adjacent Library and garden courtyard, each seating up to 20, will serve as private dining and meeting areas. Additionally, 11′-6″ foot high sliding doors will open dramatically to The Lawn with expanded outdoor seating, a landscaped garden of native olive trees and lavender, an organic vegetable and herb garden, and a majestic 100 year-old Oak tree anchoring the center focal point.

“The magical surroundings and natural backdrop of Ojai is the main inspiration for the design of The Farmhouse at Ojai Valley Inn,” said Architectural Digest Award-winning architect Howard Backen, who is known for his work on projects such as Archetype, Esperanza and the Napa Valley Reserve in Napa Valley, among many others. “The consistently mild weather and expansive space allowed me to open up the center and incorporate a natural aesthetic throughout with rustic, yet clean and simple, natural design.”

The Farmhouse at Ojai Valley Inn is anticipated to open in the fall of 2018. 

Holiday SpecTECHular Kitchen

The family-friendly, tech-infused, “snack-hacking” concept, Sue’s Tech Kitchen (STK) is coming to New York City for BETA testing just in time for the holiday season. The Holiday SpecTECHular will launch on November 25 at  The Bridge at Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island. The creator of the award-winning children’s show, Dot. brings an interactive, immersive, puzzle-solving spectacle for all ages that encourages a healthy relationship with technology and inspires kids to embrace STEM skills. 

Guests of Sue’s Tech Kitchen will experience interactive STEM-inspired holiday attractions, like candy coding, 3D printed treats, liquid nitrogen desserts and silent science discos. Littlstar will power the Sue’s Tech Kitchen’s Virtual Reality Corner, featuring Raising a Ruckus, the first episode of a new VR animated series, and a variety of immersive NBA experiences. Sue’s Tech Kitchen will also feature guest appearances, special performances, and STEM lessons from “Sue’s Chefs,” as well as introduce guests to Randi’s favorite techie holiday gifts from Presenting Partners Foodstirs, Tech Will Save Us, Thursday Finest, Piper, Primo Toys and more.
Conceptualized by Randi Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, and designed by a team of tech experts, engineers, and scientists, Sue’s Tech Kitchen features technologies from all corners of the modern imagination, empowering kids and adults to engage with tomorrow’s technologies. Guests will be immersed in a futuristic technology experience all while enjoying surprise appearances, performances and a STEM-inspired holiday market. Guests will enjoy this BETA experience by getting a taste of what Sue’s Tech Kitchen has in store in the coming months and years as it continues to expand.

“After the success of our “Beta Taste” in Chattanooga earlier this year, we knew we had something very special with Sue’s Tech Kitchen,” says Sue’s Tech Kitchen creator, Randi Zuckerberg. “As a mother myself, I’m always looking for places to bring my children that will be fun and enriching for everyone. I couldn’t wait to bring Sue’s Tech Kitchen to New York City to share it with my own family and all families. New York City is such a magical place during the holiday season that it was the obvious choice for our next stop. We can’t wait to share in all the fun and excitement this winter and bring families together in a creative way. “

Zuckerberg chose The Bridge at Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island because of the development’s groundbreaking mission.  “Located just one subway stop between Manhattan and Queens, The Bridge at Cornell Tech aims to use education and innovation to inspire the next generation of leaders. Our team at Zuckerberg Media is deeply passionate about introducing families to science and technology in a delightful way, so that children will have those skills for the rest of their lives. We love working with emerging tech hubs and couldn’t imagine a better location for Sue’s Tech Kitchen.” 

Sue’s Tech Kitchen launched its first BETA earlier this year in Chattanooga’s ‘Tomorrow Building,’ and sold out in only a matter of hours. The groundbreaking concept hosted over 1,000 guests in one short weekend, while celebrating Chattanooga’s vibrant community of inventors and entrepreneurs. Zuckerberg is excited to continue Sue’s work in new tech hubs, this time right here at home, by welcoming New Yorkers to the new center of innovation in NYC on Roosevelt Island and at the Bridge at Cornell Tech. 

Sue’s Tech Kitchen comes to New York City thanks to the generous support of Lyrical Partners, The Spaghetti Project, Jeff and Erica Keswin, The Bridge at Cornell Tech, Forest City, and Skylight Studios.

Sue’s Tech Kitchen will be open to the public November 25, 2017-January 2, 2018. For hours of operation, special information, updates and reservations visit

Sue’s Tech Kitchen wants to work with local innovators, from entrepreneurs to tech giants. If you or your team would like to partner with Sue’s Tech Kitchen, email

Cooking Live! New York

Celebrity chefs lent their talent to Cooking Live! New York presented by Oath to raise awareness of the financial burden of cancer. This overlooked side of cancer impacts millions of patients nationwide. It leads to the inability to pay everyday bills – which can result in homelessness – and directly stands in the way of a patient’s chances of survival.

Created by celebrity chef Ming Tsai, the fundraiser brought Worst Cooks in America’s Anne Burrell, Chopped’s Amanda Freitag and The Chew’s Carla Hall together to prepare a five-course meal live in the center of the Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park ballroom. Special guest Bryant Gumbel joined in as a sous-chef, working alongside Ming to prepare the first course as well as a custom cocktail from sponsor Patrón Tequila.

“Cancer on its own turns your life upside down. I couldn’t imagine dealing with all of that and not having the money to pay for necessities,” says Ming Tsai. “I’m so grateful for my incredible chef friends, who go above and beyond to help make Cooking Live! so successful.”

Throughout the event, several families battling cancer shared their journey and the dangerous financial toll cancer has taken. Presenting sponsor Oath, subsidiary of Verizon and global media and technology leader, live streamed the event for a global audience across several of their brands, including Yahoo, HuffPost and BUILD. Visit to experience this incredible evening.

“We help families who are unable to afford basic needs – housing, food, transportation – because cancer forces them to put careers on hold while they care for their sick child,” said Family Reach CEO Carla Tardif. “Few people today have heard of this issue. Cooking Live! New York serves as a platform to raise awareness, but also gives some of these families a chance to enjoy a fun night out.”

Funds from Cooking Live! New York will provide families fighting cancer with the resources they need to keep a roof over their heads, put food on the table and maintain access to treatment. This critical support improves adherence and a patient’s chances of overcoming cancer.

“It’s more important than ever today to support one another in times of need. At Oath, we lead with our values, and that means responding to the call to action to make a positive impact on communities around the world,” says Sara Link, Head of Oath for Good. “As the presenting sponsor of Cooking Live! New York, we’re helping Family Reach raise awareness of this critical issue.”

The Cooking Live! event series has raised more than $4 million and spanned cities across the country including San Francisco, Denver, Yellowstone, Chicago, Boston and New York.