This edition of MRM's News Bites features Upserve, Square, Pizza Hut, CraftWorks Holdings (CWH), United Airlines, Minnow, The Glasshouse, Breakfast Republic, CAVA, Sands® Cotai Central, Diestel Family Ranch, FARE and Del Frisco's.
Send news items to Barbara Castiglia at email@example.com.
Hoskins Named CEO at Upserve
Sheryl Hoskins was named Chief Executive Officer at Upserve. Founder Angus Davis has taken on a new role as strategic advisor to the Upserve board of directors.
“Sheryl brings experience and a unique skill set to lead the company through its next phase of growth, and I am excited to welcome her as CEO," said Davis.
While General Manager at ACTIVE Network, Hoskins was responsible for over a half dozen unique markets and led the fastest and highest revenue growth division while consistently expanding enduring markets by double digits year-over-year. Her passion for building strong relationships with customers ensured that ACTIVE Network delivered products and services that met the needs of the market. Prior to leaving ACTIVE Network, Hoskins was the Chief Revenue and Product Officer.
“Restaurants are an important part of the US economy, making up over $800 billion in US sales and employing over 10 percent of the total workforce. With approximately 50 percent of restaurants going out of business by year five, our mission is to buck this trend,” said Hoskins. “With Upserve’s intent of providing a world-class solution, we are confident that we can enable these restaurants to thrive.”
Leveraging it’s big data roots, Upserve enables more than 10,000 restaurants to unlock the power of their menu, staff performance, and guest habits through an integrated cloud-based point of sale, inventory, payments, and analytics.
A Chicago-native, Hoskins has managed teams all over the world, spending the first decade of her career at Fortune 15 companies like General Electric and McKesson Corp, where she held domestic and international leadership roles. She holds a degree in Electrical Engineering, an MBA in Marketing, and is a US Army veteran.
Square Enables Tableside Payments
Square announced a new way for restaurants to take tableside payments. By bringing two of its newest products together, Square aims to end the slow back-and-forth of transporting credit cards and receipts around a restaurant. Just weeks after launching Square Terminal, Square’s new all-in-one card processing device, the company is already announcing the first major update, integrating Square for Restaurants with Square Terminal for an elegant, integrated handheld experience that enables restaurants to turn tables faster, delight diners, and accept mobile payments.
“When we launched Square for Restaurants earlier this year, we built the product for speed, simplicity, and efficiency. Today, we’re extending the functionality of Square for Restaurants by integrating it with Square’s newest hardware, providing a better payments experience for diners and making it even easier for restaurants to run their business,” said Alyssa Henry, Seller Lead at Square. “Restaurants using Square Terminal will be well-equipped to let diners pay any way they want — contactless cards, smartphones, or watches — and stay ahead of the curve when it comes to payments technology.”
Establishments powered by Square for Restaurants can use Square Terminal to seamlessly access all open checks and complete payments tableside. Servers can split the bill, modify checks, receive tips, and accept tap, dip, and swipe payments on Square Terminal — removing friction from the check-paying experience while reducing charge errors. This all-in-one package also saves time for restaurants at close of day; since tips are entered digitally by diners, Square Terminal with Square for Restaurants eliminates the tedious, time-consuming and error-prone process of manually reviewing receipts and tips at the end of service.
“In a restaurant, one of the few times a diner looks at their watch is when they’re ready to pay and leave. Taking payments tableside with Square Terminal helps speed up that process,” said Naama Tamir, owner of Lighthouse restaurant in Brooklyn. “Sometimes we even drop it on the table for diners to check out themselves — it’s so easy to use, and saves everyone time.”
“Square Terminal was designed to be versatile, professional, and portable — making tableside payments a reality for the U.S. in a way they’ve never been before,” said Jesse Dorogusker, Hardware Lead at Square. “When paired with Square for Restaurants, we’re able to bring even more speed and flexibility into the dining room. We’re also eager to see what other innovative ways our sellers use Square Terminal to make their operations more efficient.”
With integrated hardware and software, Square brings simplicity and speed to complex environments while removing the hassle of managing multiple vendors so that restaurant operators can focus on what they do best. Payments processed on Square Terminal include Square’s fully managed payments platform, including integrated Apple Pay and EMV compatibility, PCI compliance, fraud prevention and dispute management, next-business-day deposits, and more. It’s the same transparent, low processing rate Square for Restaurants customers already know: 2.6% + 10¢ for every dip, tap, or swipe payment.
Square Terminal costs $399 per device, and new-to-Square sellers who make the switch pay just $99 for Square Terminal after a $300 processing credit.
Tundra PIE Pro
Pizza Hut has joined forces with Toyota to develop the one-of-a-kind, zero-emission Tundra PIE Pro, a mobile pizza factory with the ability to deliver oven-hot pizza wherever it goes. The full-size pizza-making truck was introduced at Toyota's 2018 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show presentation.
"We are constantly focused on evolving our processes and systems through improvements and innovations that allow our team members and drivers to better serve our customers," said Nicolas Burquier, Chief Customer and Operations Officer, Pizza Hut, U.S. "We are exploring next-generation solutions and automation to support and streamline our delivery business in the future. The Tundra PIE Pro and our work with Toyota are only helping accelerate our commitment to transform both the team member and the customer experience at Pizza Hut."
The Tundra PIE Pro features a unique truck bed that has been converted into a virtual pizza factory on wheels—also known as "The Kitchen"—which contains a refrigerator, a pair of computer-guided robotic arms, and a portable conveyor oven. Like the truck itself, all components in The Kitchen are powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell electric powertrain. From start to finish, the pizza-making process takes between six and seven minutes.
Built to make pizza on the go, the Tundra PIE Pro presents an untapped opportunity for Pizza Hut to expand its delivery radius without compromising the quality of the pizza, allowing a broader base of customers to have oven-hot Pizza Hut pizza delivered to their doorstep.
"Nothing tastes better than a fresh Pizza Hut pizza straight out of the oven," said Marianne Radley, Chief Brand Officer, Pizza Hut. "The Tundra PIE Pro brings to life our passion for innovation not just on our menu but in digital and delivery in order to provide the best possible customer experience."
The starting point for the Tundra PIE Pro was a Tundra SR5 that was torn down to a bare rolling chassis and then reassembled from the ground up. The conventional gasoline-powered drivetrain was removed and replaced with a hydrogen fuel-cell electric power unit adapted from the Toyota Mirai.
When a Pizza Hut pizza is ordered, the first robotic arm opens the refrigerator and removes the selected pizza, places it on the oven conveyor, and returns to close the refrigerator door. The pizza is then sent through a high-speed ventless oven. On the far side, a second arm removes the finished pie, places it on the cutting board, divides it into six identical slices, boxes it up, and delivers it to the customer.
Earlier this year, Toyota announced the E-Pallete Alliance, which includes Pizza Hut, and unveiled a fully-autonomous concept vehicle at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The Tundra PIE Pro is the second collaboration from the two innovation-driven brands.
CraftWorks Acquires Logan's Roadhouse
CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries acquired Logan’s Roadhouse and has created CraftWorks Holdings (CWH), a leading multi-brand restaurant holding company platform to be led by Logan’s current CEO, Hazem Ouf.
The combination of CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries and Logan’s Roadhouse creates a national footprint of more thanr 390 restaurants and breweries in 40 states and the District of Columbia. The company’s portfolio of restaurant brands includes Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, the Brewery Division, a collection of restaurant-brewery brands, including Rock Bottom Restaurants & Breweries and Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants.
“I am excited to lead the new combined enterprise under the umbrella of Craftworks Holdings, and I look forward to leveraging our combined capabilities to deliver unique and memorable dining experiences,” said Hazem Ouf, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CraftWorks Holdings. “Our name ‘CraftWorks’ reflects the spirit and high quality of ‘Crafted Signature Food & Beverage’ and our passion for serving our brands, guests, team members and our communities. We believe that our cumulative restaurant industry experience, the company’s extensive infrastructure, and the financial strength of our investors will allow us to drive excellence in service and quality within a scalable full-service dining platform.”
“We are delighted to partner with Hazem Ouf as the Chairman and CEO of CraftWorks Holdings and welcome Logan’s Roadhouse and all of their associates to the CraftWorks family,” said Matt Kabaker, Senior Managing Director of Centerbridge Partners, L.P., which, through investment funds affiliated with it, controls CraftWorks Holdings. “Hazem is an accomplished hospitality industry leader with extensive experience spanning multiple concepts and restaurant segments. He has an impressive track record of driving brand revitalization while delivering strong financial performance, including the recent comprehensive turnaround of Logan’s. Hazem’s unique skill set and passion for the business make him an ideal partner for the next stage of growth and development at CraftWorks.”
“By creating CraftWorks Holdings, we have laid the foundation for a premiere restaurant & brewery holding company to provide long-term growth opportunities for our brands, team members and franchise partners and established a platform that is well positioned for future growth and acquisitions,” added Ouf.
Hazem Ouf has held the position of CEO for Logan’s Roadhouse since January 2017. Previously, he spent eight years leading American Blue Ribbon Holdings (ABRH) as CEO and its multi-casual and upscale causal brands (O’Charley’s, 99 Restaurant and Pub, Village Inn, Bakers Square, Legendary Baking) which he grew to become the eighth largest full-service restaurant group in the country. Prior to ABRH, Hazem served as President and CEO of restaurant companies including Spectrum Foods, Lyons Restaurants, Constellation Concepts and others.
United Airline’s food and beverage partner in Terminal C, OTG, developed the Get in Gear program to coincide with United Airlines New York City Marathon partnership. The program offers runner-friendly meals and snacks throughout Newark Terminal C to coincide with the arrival and departure of New York City Marathon participants.
The food program fulfills the dietary needs of marathoners leading up to and after the big race. All meals are designed by OTG VP of Culinary Nate Appleman, an avid runner with a food-based column in Runner’s World.
The necessary intake to meet high physical demands of the training process. Full breakfast and dinner meals filled with protein, omega-3 fatty acids and carbs ensure a boost to our runner’s metabolism. Items include: Bacon & Egg Mazemen with udon noddles and carbonara sauce and Spaghetti Pomodoro with fresh tomato sauce and basil.
On Your Mark
Light-fare with high energy value to fuel up for the big day includes a selection of grab-and-go meals, fresh juices and homemade smoothies from our fast-casual dining concepts. Items include: Steak Salad made with flank steak and romaine lettuce and Roasted Salmon with a side of asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes.
Celebrate training milestones with meals designed with indulgence in mind. A series of Splurge and Cheat Meals for the runner looking to reward themselves to something special after weeks of training. Items include: Cuban Sandwich with pork, ham and swiss cheese and Fried Onion Burger topped with onion strings and Applewood smoked bacon.
Minnow Closes Seed Round
the developer of the first IoT-enabled food pickup kiosk (or “pod”) that helps restaurants manage online and delivery ordersclosed a $1.2M seed round led by Portland, Oregon-based product development, marketing, and sales efforts, as well as to open an office in Portland, OR.
Minnow set out to raise $1M, but due to strong investor interest the round was oversubscribed and the company raised $1.2M. Elevate Capital led the round with a $500K investment, while individual investors provided the remaining $700K. Because Minnow is located in one of the Opportunity Zones created under the recently passed tax law, qualifying investments can enjoy lower capital gains taxes and other tax benefits.
The Minnow self-service pickup pod offers restaurants an easier way to manage their growing volume of online and delivery orders, while improving the in-store pickup experience. It eliminates guesswork by notifying customers (through the free Minnow app) when their orders are ready, and it keeps their food fresh and secure until they arrive to pick it up. With a Minnow pod, restaurants can reduce the cost of managing order pickups, eliminate losses caused by theft and pickup mistakes, and offer their customers a more convenient pickup experience.
“Minnow solves an important problem for restaurants, which is how to manage the increase in takeout orders caused by the emergence of food delivery services and changing consumer habits,” said Nitin Rai, Managing Partner of Elevate Capital. “Beyond that, Minnow's pickup pods enable new business models for foodservice, food delivery, and retailing. Elevate Capital is delighted to partner with Minnow as they bring their innovative technology to market.”
“The Minnow pod was developed to help restaurants manage the growth in online and delivery ordering, and to help them meet customers’ demand for more convenience,” said Steven Sperry, CEO of Minnow. “According to To stay competitive, restaurants will have to adopt solutions that offer their customers more convenience.”, 33% of Americans order takeout or delivery at least once a week. Even more remarkably, over the last few years digital ordering and delivery have grown 300% faster than dine-in traffic.
NYC's Largest Private Event Space
The Glasshouse, a 75,000 square foot glass enclosed space that will be New York's Largest private event space, top photo, is set to open in Fall 2019. Located at 660 12th Avenue, the space will accommodate up to 1,850 guests for seated dinners and will feature sweeping views of New York City, waterfront facing outdoor terraces, pre-function spaces, a VIP Lounge, and several Green Rooms along with cutting-edge lighting, audio, video, rigging and production systems.
The high-rise space has been designed as a canvas without bounds and will have the flexibility to host small or large social events and weddings, corporate gatherings, product launches or full production fashion shows. The décor will offer clients a timeless, clean aesthetic, allowing them to create their desired vision with an unparalleled Manhattan backdrop.
"Over the last 12 years, we have established Glasshouse Chelsea as a leading event space in New York City," said Jack Guttman, Managing Partner, Glasshouses. "The opening of this flagship location will allow us to offer our clients even more opportunities to create customized event experiences."
The 12th Avenue entrance features a marquee awash in theater lights and multiple LED walls leading guests into the ground floor lobby with 25-foot ceilings, stone floors, smoked mirrored elevators and walls outlined in bronze frames. Guests will be whisked in one of the four high-speed elevators to the glass enclosed sixth floor featuring the dramatic 50,000 square foot main event space with waterfront and Manhattan skyline views and 20' & 40' ceilings throughout. The two open terraces will provide ample outdoor space.
From the high finish polished concrete floor with patterned zinc strips to the customizable decorative ceiling outfitted in silver leaf wallpaper, the main floor has been designed by interior architect Thomas Juul-Hansen and Kossar Garry Architects with a focus on sprawling views and individualized use of the space. Fifty silver finished custom pendant chandeliers will be able to be moved throughout the space to align perfectly with the room's décor. Acoustic partitions draped in high-end Maharam fabrics will allow for maximum flexibility of room sizes, allowing it to host both large and small groups. LED walls along with custom lighting and projection systems throughout the space will allow for the ultimate experiential event.
The ultra-luxe VIP lounges will feature bar service, private showers and a private entrance. Two separate commercial kitchens allowing for enhanced menus and elevated culinary experiences. The fifth floor consists of six green rooms complete with full bathrooms, showers, and private terraces.
"We are very excited to create The Glasshouse, which we see as an unrivaled space where any vision can come to life," said Alex Holiday, Partner, Glasshouses. "Between the space configuration, the views and the level of service offered, The Glasshouse will undoubtedly set a new standard when it comes to events in New York City and beyond."
Breakfast Republic's Expansion
San Diego's Breakfast Republic has grown exponentially since the opening of its first location in 2015, boasting now seven locations around San Diego, and more slated to arrive in the coming year in both San Diegoand Orange County.
Best known for their quirky décor including egg-shaped waiting-area chairs, light fixtures made from whisks, and "punny" pop culture references, Breakfast Republic offers innovative spins on traditional morning fare. Hungry visitors can gorge on creative menu items, such as Oreo Cookie Pancakes, Shrimp & Ricotta Frittatas and glorious Mashed Potato Omelets, along with an eye-opening list of breakfast cocktails.
Plans for Breakfast Republic's expansion into Orange County include multiple cities, all ready to hatch in 2019. Irvine will be the first location to open, positioned across the street from the UC Irvine campus. Later in 2019, another spot will pop up in the neighboring city of Costa Mesa. Both new Orange County Breakfast Republics will launch in Winter 2019 and Spring 2019, respectively.
Breakfast Republic is among three restaurant concepts under the San Diego-based Rise & Shine Restaurant Group consortium, the other two being Fig Tree Café, with three locations in San Diego, and El Jardin, an elevated Mexican eatery. Rise & Shine's owner, Johan Engman, has become a local icon and industry pioneer, with his travel-inspired innovations and undying hunger for fresh culinary explorations.
Engman has plans for several new concepts over the next year. Opening this winter will be a brand called North Park Breakfast Company, located down the street from his first Breakfast Republic, to meet the high demand for breakfast spots in the area. In other neighborhoods, he'll be opening a quick-service breakfast concept called Eggies. The restaurant will operate out of a shipping container, serving a condensed menu of coffee options, egg sandwiches, and a few other breakfast treats. By the end of 2019, Engman also plans to open an Italian restaurant called NorPa in a space located next door to his North Park Breakfast Republic.
CAVA Meets Straw Deadline
Parking the November 1 deadline set out by the brand in July, CAVA – the Washington D.C. based restaurant and culinary brand – today announced that is has officially replaced all plastic, single-use straws with a compostable, FSG-certified paper alternative. The change impacts CAVA’s more than 70 restaurants across the United States. To keep CAVA welcoming to all, the brand will ensure guests who need a plastic straw will continue to have access to enjoy housemade juices and teas.
“As a business, we are always challenging ourselves to think and act more sustainably. When we realized we were on track to distribute more than 3.5 million straws this year, we took action to help mitigate our environmental impact by transitioning all single-use plastic straws to an FSC-certified paper alternative,” Brett Schulman, CEO of CAVA said. “We’re also excited to build on this work by removing all plastic water bottles from our restaurants and replacing them with a more sustainable, aluminum bottle – which is recycled more often and more efficiently than plastic, glass, and cartons.”
In the coming months, CAVA will also be eliminating all plastic water bottles through their partnership with Open Water. All single-use plastic bottles will be replaced with aluminum bottles. Aluminum is recycled 67 percent more often than any other beverage container, including plastic, glass, and cartons. The switch builds on CAVA’s commitment of sustainability by providing guests even more sustainable alternatives.
Chiado Portuguese Opens
Sands® Cotai Central held the official opening of Chiado Portuguese restaurant. Offering a genuine taste of Portugal, Chiado was developed in partnership with celebrity chef Henrique Sá Pessoa, and is a modern, fine-dining yet informal concept emphasizing traditional dishes.
Chef Henrique led the design team in terms of kitchen and restaurant concept and menu creation. He was also responsible for recruiting Chiado’s Portuguese head chef, sous chefs and training staff prior to opening.
“I am thrilled to be opening our new Chiado restaurant here in Macao, where Portuguese food and wine culture has been celebrated for so long,” commented Chef Henrique. “We are not only bringing wonderful, contemporary Portuguese cuisine to Sands Cotai Central, but a genuine flavor of the country’s vibrant culinary scene and traditions.”
At Chiado, diners can expect signature dishes such as tuna tataki with vegetable escabeche and tomato tartare; salted cod à brás with slow-cooked egg yolk and onion purée; roasted pumpkin soup with coconut cream, prawns and almonds; king prawn cataplana with sweet potato perfumed with lemongrass and ginger; 24-hour slow-cooked suckling pork with sweet potato purée, pak choy and orange; lamb tenderloin, asparagus and corn bread migas, garlic cream, roasted tomato and clam sauce; crispy vanilla parcels with raspberry coulis; chocolate bombe with salted caramel and hazelnut ice cream.
Diestel Family Ranch Goes Above & Beyond
Since Diestel Family Ranch began almost 70 years ago, they’ve been committed to raising animals the right way, without compromise. With an interest in being transparent about their operations and communicating the family’s dedication to animal health and welfare, their communities, food safety, and the environment, the Diestel Family Ranch is introducing a sustainability platform this holiday season. Titled , it includes the following four tiers:
- FARM: From walking the flock daily and paying close attention to the turkey’s health (removing the need for antibiotics), to lining their barns with fresh pine wood shavings and using 100% organically approved probiotic and natural cleaners, Diestel is committed to raising healthy, wholesome and beautiful birds. All of Diestel’s turkeys are certified by the Global Animal Partnership (GAP), ensuring their animal treatment practices is of the highest standard.
- FAMILY: The Diestel’s care deeply about the communities they serve and treat their employees, customers and consumers like an extension of their family – with kindness and respect. Their team members receive competitive pay and terrific benefits, and when it comes to the community, each year Diestel donates over 100,000 pounds of turkey to their local food bank, partner with Meals on Wheels to provide meal home delivery to isolated seniors living in Tuolumne County, and donate Diestel compost to schools that employ on-site gardens.
- FOOD: From slow-growing their own breeds of birds on 100-percent vegetarian diets to exceeding food safety standards, the Diestel’s produce clean, artisan-quality food you can feel good about serving to your family. Their lineup of natural and organic turkey products are crafted with care to deliver premium taste and wholesome nutrition.
- FUTURE: Each day, the Diestel family demonstrates new ways to sustain old-fashioned values. They preserve rare breeds, create their own compost, embrace regenerative agriculture, conserve natural resources, and consistently seek out new and innovative farming practices to ensure a brighter future for us all.
Shared Heidi Diestel, turkey farmer, “Since my great, great Uncle Ernest started the farm four generations ago, our family has gone above and beyond to take care of our animals, protect the environment, and deliver quality products that give people a sense of pride. With this new platform, we want to give our customers, consumers and their families better insight into how our birds were raised and came to market, while helping them to fully understand the strong values that play into everything we do.”
FARE's New PSA
Food Allergy Research & Education launched a new PSA voiced by Steve Carell that encourages Americans to learn more about food allergies and understand how they can help those at risk for anaphylaxis.
"In a Matter of Minutes – The Severity of Food Allergy with Steve Carell" was produced to raise awareness about food allergy, a potentially life-threatening disease that has a profound impact on millions of families, yet is widely misunderstood.
In the U.S., 15 million Americans have food allergies, including 1 in 13 children. Over the last decade, anaphylactic reactions to food have increased by 400 percent. Children and adults with food allergies must depend on others – such as teachers and restaurant workers – to avoid reactions and stay safe.
"Food allergies are not a trend or a lifestyle choice. Families and adults living with this disease must be vigilant at all times, because in a matter of minutes, an allergic reaction can send someone to the emergency room with anaphylaxis. We all have a responsibility to do our part to support the food allergy community," said FARE CEO Lisa Gable. "We are extremely grateful to Steve for lending his time and his voice to help us continue to raise awareness and advocate on behalf of millions of Americans who are living with food allergies."
FARE's PSA was produced in collaboration with MDC Productions. To view the PSA, visit www.foodallergy.org/farepsa.
Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group Partners with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®
Texas-based Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, Inc. is partnering with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. The company will launch their first multi-year relationship with a national charity partner, committing to a fundraising goal of $5 million over the next five years to support the hospital that is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Further activating the company’s purpose-driven culture and internal mission, “Celebrating Life in Restaurants,” a partnership with St. Jude allows Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group to extend the footprint of this core mission beyond restaurant walls. The multi-year relationship aimed at supporting efforts to end childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases is a cause that is meaningful to both guests and team members.
“St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital embodies the core of our company mission – celebrating life,” said Norman J. Abdallah, CEO of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group. “This historic partnership establishes a philanthropic platform for our team members and guests to further engage with our communities on both a local and national level. There is no greater cause than one that strives to save the lives of children.”
Along with furthering Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group’s establishment of a national community working together to make a difference, this historic partnership helps ensure families at St. Jude never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. With the recent acquisition of Barcelona Wine Bar and bartaco, Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group team members and guests across 68 restaurants nationwide will contribute to the cause through an array of donation opportunities, philanthropic programming and activations. Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group guests can learn more about the lifesaving mission of St. Jude at stjude.org.