On the Beyond Meat Bandwagon and Pay-at-the-Table Elevation

The Monday edition of MRM’s Daily Bite includes news from Beyond Meat, Royal Hideaway Playacar, Teriyaki Madness, Verifone and Alto-Shaam.

Send news items to Barbara Castiglia at bcastiglia@modernrestaurantmanagement.com.

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On the Beyond Meat Bandwagon

Italian entrepreneur Tommaso Chiabra is also investing in Beyond Meat, the company founded in 2009 by Ethan Brown, committed to producing meat with vegetable proteins that perfectly replace animals ones.

“Replacing animal proteins with plant protein sources is a revolution that will work wonders for human health, for the environment, for the conservation of natural resources and for the animals,” said Chiabra. “The meat industry has a strong environmental impact. Investing in ethical and environmental causes is one of my commitments as a businessman who looks to the future as an activist. For me not only the business, but also making more changes in the world is important.”

Tommaso Chiabra
Tommaso Chiabra

The excitement of this challenging mission is also confirmed by the fundraising round that just ended, being promoted by Don Thompson, former CEO MacDonald Corporation: $ 55 million to finance the research and development of Beyond Meat. The list of investors includes Chiabra, Bill Gates, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams, co-founders of Twitter, and Tyson Foods, the largest meat producer in the US.

“The first time I tasted a Beyond Burger, I did not realize it was not meat,” added Chiabra. “Forget everything you know about vegetarian burgers …”, reads The Ophra Magazine.

Featured in the menu of over 4,000 restaurants in the United States, and sold in grocery stores next to products of animal origin, Beyond Burger is made of simple and fresh ingredients: peas that provide proteins, traces of beetroot that give the intense red color, coconut oil and potato starch that ensure softness and flavor. The result is a burger that sizzles on the grill next to strips of chicken and spicy-minced meat made directly from the plants and ready to stuff tacos and nachos.

Chef Sánchez Joins Royal Hideaway Playacar

Royal Hideaway Playacar, a Barceló Hotel Group property, named Chef Alejandro Sánchez Gastronomic Director of the luxury resort, top photo. The Andalusian chef’s resume boasts years of culinary experience, and includes a coveted Michelin Star.

Chef Alejandro Sánchez Gastronomic Director
Chef Alejandro Sánchez

“With the addition of Chef Alejandro Sánchez as our Gastronomic Director at Royal Hideaway Playacar, the culinary experience at our hotel will become more innovative and refined,” said Ignacio Lázaro, General Manager of Royal Hideaway Playacar.  “Our guests will have the opportunity to savor dishes designed and prepared by this world renowned chef. It’s a big moment, not only for Royal Hideaway Playacar, but for Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo and the rest of Mexico as a whole.”

Chef's Table
Chef’s Table

Chef Alejandro’s arrival at Royal Hideaway Playacar will lead to gradual changes in the luxury resort’s five specialty restaurants. Once a week, at the Royal Club Theater, the chefs will create a menu to complement the thematic shows. It’s also worth noting that the hotel offers an exclusive “Chef’s Table,” a unique experience that offers diners the chance to interact with the chef in an intimate setting.

Teriyaki Madness Targeting Dallas-Fort Worth

Teriyaki Madness is targeting Dallas-Fort Worth for expansion. With three existing units in the area, the company has announced plans to open 20-25 additional locations through franchise partnerships and strategic development over the next five years. The new locations will create approximately 500 new jobs in the Dallas-Fort Worth community.

Teriyaki Madness’ Texas development is led by VP of Development, Brooks Speirs, formerly of Moe’s Southwest Grill. Teriyaki Madness plans to open more than 100 locations across the United States in the next two years. Dallas-Fort Worth, in particular, is a target market for Teriyaki Madness’ growth, as they already have an emergent presence in the market and customers are excited for more.

“The Asian food trend has continuously grown over the past decade, and because we are increasingly receiving positive feedback from our Dallas – Fort Worth customers, we are thrilled to expand here” said Speirs.

From 6 p.m.-8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 19, Teriyaki Madness will host an open house for franchise prospects with free food at its Plano location, 8448 Parkwood Boulevard, #300. Throughout the event, attendees will have the opportunity to taste the menu and learn more about the business model and concept.

Speirs is actively seeking qualified franchisee partners to open their own shops in the region. “Those who want a business with profits up to 26 percent* and are passionate about really flavorful food that happens to be healthy, would fare well with the ‘madness’ of the brand,” Speirs added.

Pay-at-the-Table Elegance

Verifone introduced an accessories package consisting of a bill folio and multi-unit charger, both of which are exclusively designed to elevate its e285 as a modern, comprehensive pay-at-the-table solution. 

“Pay-at-the-table is growing in demand among restaurants, as well as their patrons,” said Jerry Hamrock, Senior Product Manager, Mobile, Verifone. “It’s an innovative way for restaurants to differentiate themselves with better customer service and enhanced security. Plus, it increases table turnover, which equals more revenue—especially during peak times.  For consumers, pay-at-the-table elevates the dining experience with the freedom to use alternative payment methods (like Apple Pay), and greater peace of mind knowing they can also pay by card—without it ever leaving their sight (or the table).”

Last year, Verifone introduced the e285, a standalone mobile point of sale (mPOS) device that gives restaurants and other merchants the ability to securely accept all payment types from anywhere in their environment—without having to depend on a smart device.  It’s built on the company’s Engage platform and features a color touch screen (capable of signature capture), which enriches the pay-at-the-table experience with digital content and improved customer engagement. 

The new folio can be customized according to restaurant branding needs, and securely holds the e285 while also minimizing the risk of potential damage from food or liquid. This allows servers to present customers with the check—and the payment device—in a traditional, elegant style that’s ideal for casual and fine dining establishments.  The folio also features a transaction indicator—an illuminated screen that allows servers to discretely see whether or not the bill has been paid and is ready for pickup.  

To ensure all-day (and night) grab-and-go reliability, restaurant staff can easily place e285 devices into the Qi wireless multi-unit gang charger—without having to remove the device from the folio. Each charger can power-up as many as five units at once—and its strong magnetic charging port ensures a fast and secure charge every time, not to mention simple “drop-in & pickup” for busy servers. 

Gang Charger

“Restaurants, like every other consumer-facing business, want to grow and provide their customers with the best experience possible,” added Hammock. “Bolstering our highly-advanced mPOS device with this package of accessories provides the comprehensive, user friendly pay-at-the-table solution restaurants need to more easily achieve their objectives in a world where technology and consumer demand are in constant flux.”

Alto-Shaam Expands its Vector™ Series

Alto-Shaam introduced Vector Multi-Cook Oven F Series full-size models that can accommodate full-size sheet pans and hotel pans as well as give operators the ability to combine oven chambers to accommodate taller food items. All this can be done while still controlling temperature, fan speed, and time in multiple, independent chambers.

When jet plates are removed to combine chambers, a feature allows for coverage of the exposed air inlets which maintains Alto-Shaam’s patented Structured Air Technology™ which provides unmatched evenness in cooking. Alto-Shaam once again partnered with Appliance Innovation on the technology.

Highlights of the new oven include:

  • Three or four ovens in one—Available in three or four chamber electric models (VMC-F3E, VMC-F4E)
  • Accommodates full-size sheet pans and hotel pans
  • Combined chamber capability for taller food items like turkeys
  • Comparable to two convection ovens combined, while offering better browning and higher yield
  • Flexibility to simultaneously cook a variety of menu items with no flavor transfer
  • Control temperature, fan speed and time in each individual oven chamber
  • Improved throughput – Cook up to two times more food than a traditional oven
  • Superior cooking evenness without rotating pans
  • Simple operation does not require skilled labor
  • No microwaves
  • No water
  • Food temperature probe sold separately