This edition of MRM News Bites features Grubhub, ONE Group Hospitality, Inc. and Kona Grill, FoodBAM and Orderly, Postmates, Tom’s Watch Bar, Preoday and Optomany, Barclaycard and TouchBistro, Appetize, PAR Technology, Pyramid Computer, Cambro and Gladiator.
Grubhub Adds Perks
Grubhub launched"Perks," the company's newest in-app feature. Whether it's a special deal at a local spot or hundreds of dollars in free food from restaurants around the neighborhood, "Perks" offers Grubhub diners one place to find exclusive offers from nearby restaurants.
"Restaurants have always used free food as a perk for their VIP diners – to keep them happy and coming back. We have now extended this practice to Grubhub diners by building loyalty tools so our restaurant partners can promote their restaurants more aggressively on our marketplace and reward their best digital diners as well," said Matt Maloney, Grubhub founder and CEO.
Perks will highlight many giveaways and incentives only available on Grubhub and will offer a seamless integration of restaurant loyalty programs so diners can earn and burn points digitally as well as on the restaurants' white label app or physically in-store. "Perks" will now be the go-to spot for diners to track all reward spending and find ongoing deals from nearby restaurants.
"Perks," accessed with a tab at the bottom of the screen in the Grubhub and Seamless mobile apps, is comprised of two pieces:
- Redeem lists all rewards earned or offered for immediate use, which can total more than $400 in free food at any given time — from local restaurants to regional and national brands.
- Earn houses all restaurant loyalty programs where diners can easily enroll and track their progress toward reward goals.
ONE Acquires Kona Grill
The ONE Group Hospitality, Inc. and Kona Grill Acquisition, LLC (“KGA”), its wholly owned subsidiary said KGA entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement with Kona Grill, Inc. and affiliated entities to purchase substantially all of Kona’s restaurants for approximately $25 million. The final purchase price will be determined at the closing of the transaction based on the completion of due diligence, subject to certain agreed upon adjustments. The company expects to finance the acquisition with a new financing facility and cash on hand.
Under the terms of the APA, subject to certain conditions, the Company has agreed to purchase the remaining 24 of Kona’s domestic restaurants and assume certain contracts, including two international franchise licenses, for approximately $25 million in cash plus the assumption of working capital liabilities of approximately $11 million. If completed, the Company expects the integration to take approximately 12 months. Once fully integrated, the acquisition is expected to add approximately $100 million in annualized revenue and to be accretive to earnings per diluted share and Adjusted EBITDA.
“Kona Grill is an excellent brand that has maintained a strong position in the remaining 24 restaurants where it operates due to its elevated dining experience, contemporary, freshly prepared food, award-wining sushi, and specialty cocktails. Through this transaction, we believe we can leverage our corporate infrastructure and operating expertise, particularly our bar-business know-how and VIBE dining, to drive improved performance in many of the same ways we have substantially improved comparable store sales and overall profitability at STK,” said Emanuel “Manny” Hilario, President and CEO of The ONE Group.
“The acquisition of Kona Grill also provides us with a complementary concept to STK, potentially creating another long-term growth vehicle once we fully integrate the restaurants into The ONE Group. The remaining 24 domestic restaurants, down from 40 at year-end 2018, reflect a strong base of high performing restaurants in attractive markets. We look forward to maximizing the multiple opportunities that this acquisition will provide to create long-term shareholder value,” concluded Hilario.
The Kona assets include the worldwide rights to the name “Kona Grill” and other intellectual property, including trademarks, domain names, menu recipes, and customer databases. The acquisition is subject to financing conditions, the approval of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, and other customary closing conditions.
FoodBAM Acquires Orderly
FoodBAM acquired Orderly. The acquisition brings Orderly's best-in-class technology to FoodBAM clients, who already benefit from FoodBAM's restaurant management tools. The acquisition was made because FoodBAM recognized great functionality in Orderly that was complimentary to FoodBAM, said FoodBAM co-founder Brandt Squires.
"These are fundamental building blocks for operators to run a sound business. Taking invoices and getting them into food cost management software is one of those essential functions that is going to help our operators run their business more profitably," Squires said.
Orderly's current clients benefit from FoodBAM's additional service offerings, including a robust manufacturer rebate program.
"We're excited to announce new features to further save our clients money" said Brian Foster, vice president of Customer Success at Orderly. "With this acquisition, we pick up a deep breadth of manufacturer rebates that will become available to the entire Orderly customer base."
Thousands of customers have been requesting the marriage of FoodBAM's inventory management with an application that handles Cost Management.
"We can now make FoodBAM even more powerful for our many hospitality users. Now every operator's data can be loaded into FoodBAM with ease," Squires said.
Postmates Expands FoodFight!
Postmates expanded FoodFight!– an initiative that combats food waste while serving those in need in the community. All the participating restaurant has to do is request a Postmate who will pick up the excess food and deliver it to a nearby shelter, see video above. Other delivery companies are getting in on the Fight too – Doordash also announced last week that the company has helped salvage one million pounds of food to date with their Project DASH program.
In 2018, Postmates launched FoodFight! to make it easy for restaurants to donate their unused food to nearby shelters by tapping the nation’s first and largest on-demand delivery platform. Just this week, Postmates announced that FoodFight! is now in 23 cities, including New York, San Francisco, Nashville, Baltimore, and more, serving 3000+ restaurants nationwide. The program has averted thousands of pounds of food waste into the hands of the people who need it most.
Below is the current list of cities Postmates now serves with FoodFight! (and still growing):
- Akron, OH
- Baltimore, MD
- Birmingham, AL
- Bremerton, WA
- New Orleans, LA
- Mesa, AZ
- Kansas City, MO
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Detroit, MI
- Dover, NH
- Kingston, NY
- Lawton, OK
- Los Angeles, CA
- Manteca, CA
- McKinney, TX
- Nashville, TN
- New York, NY
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Riverview, FL
- San Francisco, CA
- Springfield, IL
- Tampa Bay, FL
- Tulsa, OK
FoodFight! is led by Postmates’ Civic Labs department, a social impact team with the mission to tap into Postmates ingenuity to build a thriving, sustainable future that works for everyone. The team is focused on developing programs and partnerships to promote climate action, food security and local business and independent workforce advocacy.
Next Generation of Sports Bar
Tom’s Urban at L.A. Live is getting a makeover, and this fall will be reintroduced as Tom’s Watch Bar, the next generation of sports bar, anchored by 360 degrees of screens showcasing sports and interactive entertainment. More than the typical sports bar, the all-new restaurant will offer an “eatertainment” experience, complete with a technological platform for prime time viewing including the largest TV screen in Downtown Los Angeles, as well as a new menu and creative cocktail program, see photo above,
The multi-sensory experience will transport sports fans to a new dimension, with over 155 high-definition TVs throughout the renovated 20,000 square-foot, two-story space, with room for over 400 guests. For the ultimate fan viewing, Tom’s Watch Bar will feature an aptly named “Megatron” screen that comes in at a massive 13-feet high and 23-feet wide of pure sports pleasure. The 360-degree view of wall-to-wall screens are specifically designed for guests’ interaction throughout every game, and there truly isn’t a bad seat in the house. In addition, the sports bar will also allow easy access to its all-new website featuring a real-time watch calendar, where guests can see scheduled games up to 14 days in advance.
“Since the brand’s launch in 2012, Tom’s Urban has always been at the epicenter of the sports bar category and differentiated itself with a dynamic mix of unique food and cocktails,” says Dan Holm, Chief Marketing Officer of Tom’s. “In the ever-changing world of sports and customer’s increasing demand for interactive, engaging experiences, it’s only natural for us to relaunch as Tom’s Watch Bar to set the trend for the next generation of eatertainment and sports bars across the country with unbeatable service. The all-new restaurant will be perfect for sports fans who are looking for a front-row seat to catch their favorite game, without having to ever leave the heart of Downtown Los Angeles.”
The executive team of Tom’s Watch Bar is comprised of President and Chief Operating Officer Shannon McNiel; Chief Marketing Officer Dan Holm; as well as the newly appointed Vice President of Real Estate and Development Scott Weingarten. Together the team will look to expand Tom’s Watch Bar around the country, positioning it as a unique space within the eatertainment and sports bar category.
“It is an exciting chapter for the Tom’s brand as we break into the elevated sports bar market with the all-new Tom’s Watch Bar,” said McNiel. “Consumers want more than the average brick and mortar experience, and after 12 months of cultivating this new service model, Tom’s Watch Bar will showcase a unique eatertainment offering that generates an emotional connection with its guests. We are committed to fulfilling our vision of being where America goes to watch the game and with that, we’re thrilled to welcome our Vice President of Real Estate and Development, Scott Weingarten to the team.”
Construction is currently underway on Tom’s Watch Bar and is expected to be completed by Fall 2019.
Preoday and Optomany Team Up
Preoday and Optomany are partnering to provide hospitality businesses with innovative, integrated payment solutions. In combination, Preoday and Optomony will enable hospitality businesses to take digital orders and payment the way they want, confident in the security of the technology.
Aiming to address the entire payments ecosystem, including online, mobile and in-store, Optomany recognises that one size fits all is not an effective method for business. Consequently it has chosen to take an agnostic approach, making true omnichannel payment processing a reality. This ethos gels perfectly with Preoday; its equally flexible API means it is able to integrate seamlessly with any ePOS system, as well as loyalty, CRM and printer technologies.
Due to their multiple acquirer connections, customers of Preoday and Optomany will benefit from a streamlined onboarding and payment management service. Customers will further be advantaged by the flexibility to switch payment provider without the need to make configuration changes within their Preoday platform.
Adrian Wilding, CEO of Optomany comments “We're delighted with our new partnership with Preoday, which will open up a brand new sales channel for our partners and customers operating in the hospitality sector. Businesses which currently use Optomany for in-store and online channels can now add the capability for in-app payments, whilst continuing to enjoy consistent tokenisation, reporting and help desk support across all channels. Our partnership with Preoday strengthens Optomany’s omni-channel proposition and addresses the changing ways customers want to pay. Optomany, our ePOS partners and our customers are excited about the opportunities this collaboration presents.”
Nick Hucker, CEO of Preoday comments: “Optomany is an ideal strategic partner for us, its omnichannel focus and emphasis on usability and security ties perfectly with our own ideas about technology and customer service. We aim to make pre-ordering a simple, enjoyable process, and its payment solutions will play a significant role in meeting that objective. We are excited to start working in combination with some amazing businesses, and together, help them achieve their own goals.”
Barclaycard Partners with TouchBistro
Barclaycard partnered with TouchBistro. Through the partnership, Barclaycard’s payment solution is now integrated with TouchBistro, unlocking improved speed and accuracy of the bill-paying process for both restaurants and diners.
The partnership will unlock enhanced benefits for restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs in the UK. Manually calculating and inputting payment values can slow down the bill-paying process and result in human errors in the amount billed – especially when diners ask to split the bill or add a gratuity. Barclaycard’s integration with TouchBistro eliminates manual calculations and time-consuming double entry. Payment values are automatically calculated in TouchBistro, including splits and gratuities, and are then seamlessly processed by the payment terminal – eliminating the risk of human error and speeding up a process that is a common frustration for diners.
Nicole Olbe, Managing Director of Partnerships at Barclaycard Payment Solutions, said: “We know that getting customer experience right is vital for a restaurant to build loyalty among its clientele. Our new agreement with TouchBistro will help hospitality outlets streamline their processes, thereby driving revenue and allowing wait staff to spend more time with their customers. In turn, this allows diners to benefit from an improved customer experience.”
Alex Barrotti, CEO and founder of TouchBistro, said: “TouchBistro is committed to helping restaurants and pubs increase efficiency and improve the customer experience with advanced technology designed specifically for the unique workflows of the busy foodservice and beverage industry. Barclaycard shares this commitment. Our new partnership will offer UK restaurants and pubs a modern solution that helps streamline processes to enhance customer engagement and grow revenues.”
New Integrations for Appetize
Appetize announced integrations with Olo, Punchh and SynergySuite to simplify restaurant operations and deliver a seamless payment, loyalty and off-premises ordering experience for customers. Appetize API engine enables industry partners to efficiently integrate their services within the Appetize product suite.
“Balancing third-party delivery, as well as payment and loyalty platforms with multiple vendors is a huge pain point for our restaurant customers. At Appetize, we consider ourselves to be the hub of enterprise commerce, so Appetize’s API engine is extremely important to efficiently integrate with other industry-leading services,” said Alain Avakian, CTO of Appetize. “Partnering with these companies will continue to be a core strategy to enable QSRs to create a frictionless customer experience.”
New Quick Service Integrations
The new integrations with Olo, Punchh and SynergySuite give Appetize customers even more digital engagement options and deliver the following:
● Olo: The new integration with Appetize enables restaurants to sync menus between Appetize and their ordering platforms, as well as inject orders into the Appetize Activate POS and Kitchen Display Systems. Olo offers a consolidated ordering and delivery experience for restaurant operators, regardless of whether consumers order through direct brand channels or third-party integrations, so restaurant operators can focus on great food and the guest experience.
● Punchh: Integrates with Appetize to allow customers to earn and redeem points, while helping restaurants better understand their customers across multiple channels. This allows restaurants to deliver personalized experiences to increase conversions and turn casual guests into brand loyalists and advocates with meaningful lifetime value.
● SynergySuite: Connects to Appetize as a fully-integrated back of house inventory management solution for restaurants. SynergySuite leverages Appetize API to monitor inventory levels in real time and to make more accurate inventory decisions while lowering food and beverage costs.
“Olo and Appetize are both focused on improving operational efficiency for restaurants, so it was a natural fit to integrate with their platform,” said Noah Glass, Founder & CEO of Olo. “We look forward to working closely with Appetize to deliver an exceptional service for QSRs and enable them to create new digital ordering revenue streams.”
“We have a unique ability to help restaurants merge online and offline data to generate a complete picture of how guests interact with their brand, and then use that picture to foster 1:1 relationships that drive loyalty,” said Shyam Rao, co-founder & CEO of Punchh. “Integrating with Appetize enhances our ability to do that for the restaurants using their platform, which will ultimately lead to better dining experiences for consumers across the globe.”
ParTech Makes Acquisition
ParTech, Inc. of New Hartford, a subsidiary of PAR Technology Corp. (NYSE: PAR), on Wednesday announced that it has agreed to acquire the assets of 3M’s drive-thru communications systems business.
The acquisition cost is $7 million, according to a PAR Technology filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The company expects the acquisition to close on Sept. 30.
Maplewood, Minnesota–based 3M (NYSE: MMM) specializes in drive-thru communications for restaurants. Its products include wireless headsets for order taking in the drive thru that includes the XT-1 and G5 headset systems. The acquisition deal also includes contracts and intellectual property associated with the business, per the SEC filing.
3M’s drive-thru communication portfolio will “strategically” expand ParTech’s restaurant-technology product to offer a complete, end-to-end order-taking system, the Mohawk Valley company said. It includes Brink POS (point of sale) software and EverServ hardware platforms.
“As we continue the transformation of both our hardware and software businesses, we believe our acquisition of the assets of 3M’s drive-thru business will immediately diversify our cyclical-hardware business with a high margin and high quality product line, providing strong cash flow and a much larger share of the restaurant-technology stack,” Savneet Singh, president and CEO of PAR Technology, said in a company news release “The wireless-headset communication portfolio is an attractive bolt-on, that effectively leverages our current infrastructure with minimal incremental investment. This portfolio will increase our footprint and wallet share in the restaurant, that in turn will accelerate stronger lead generation for our Brink POS cloud offering. In addition, we believe this acquisition will be financially accretive day 1, well before any synergies are instituted, and diversifies our core business from the cyclicality of our traditional POS buying cycle.”
New Kiosks on the Market
Pyramid Computer debuted the new polytouch® 32 PE4000, the world's first system to combine four self-service kiosks on a single pedestal.
Ideal for quick service restaurants (QSRs), cinemas and airports, the innovative 4-in-1 solution features four 32-inch touchscreens, quadrupling the number of potential user interactions and sales opportunities from a single installation. The patent-protected design is very stable and has an attractive, space-saving central pedestal which accommodates the four Intel® based PCs. The pedestal is constructed from high-performance continuously cast aluminum.
"Quick service restaurants (QSRs), cinemas and airports are calling for kiosk systems which allow multiple customers to place their orders or check-in with greater convenience and speed,” said Patrick Hagemeister, US Sales Manager, Pyramid Computer. “The polytouch® 32 PE4000 meets the growing demand for more powerful solutions, capable of addressing high and highest usage frequency applications, busting queues even during extreme peak times.”
Added Patrick Hagemeister: "We can deliver the PE4000 with an automatic dispensing unit on request. This enables us, for example, to offer fast-food and fast-casual restaurants a system that automates their complete order process and locates customers. Here we rely on our Pyramid Location System (PLS)."
The polytouch® 32 PE4000 can be branded and customized to a very high degree to create a highly individual look. Depending on the application it can be fitted with a broad range of peripherals such as 2D or 3D scanners, thermal printers, or payment modules of many makes and models. For special applications that may involve AI technology, Pyramid can even integrate peripherals such as cameras into the display frame to achieve the best results. In all cases, Pyramid will work very closely with all parties involved to determine the best hardware configuration, no matter the complexity of the application.
]Cambro introduced High Heat Measuring Cups. Made from the same High Heat material utilized in Cambro’s H-Pans™, the new High Heat Measuring Cups won’t crack or shatter during regular use. Safe for use in commercial microwaves, ovens and dishwashers, Cambro’s High Heat Measuring Cups are safe for use with hot liquids, oils or sauces.
Cambro’s High Heat Measuring Cups are made from heat-tolerant, food-grade material that withstands temperatures ranging from -40˚ to 375˚F (-40˚ to 190˚C) and are available in sizes 2 qt. (1,9 L) and 4 qt. (3,8 L). Not only are Cambro’s High Heat Measuring Cups 75 percent lighter than glass measuring cups, they are designed with a molded in handle that stays cool to the touch. Cambro’s High Heat Measuring Cups are ideal for heating liquids or sauces in the microwave, collecting hot water from a dispenser, filling steam tables or chafing dishes, or rehydrating food products.
Standard and metric graduations are molded-in to each measuring cup, ensuring accuracy and consistency through the rigors of foodservice. Use Cambro’s High Heat Measuring Cups with optional Splatter-Proof Cover (sold separately) to protect contents further. The Splatter-Proof Cover fits both size cups, is self-venting and designed to prevent splatters and spills that can occur during heating, leaving the inside of the microwave or oven clean.
Gladiator Adds to Product Line
Gladiator® has three new additions to its product lineup: the Gladiator® Heavy Duty Mega Rack, Storage Bench and Fold Away Workstation.
“We have a steadfast commitment to being the best in garage storage and organization, developing new products with unsurpassed performance that maximize any garage space,” said Annette Finnigan, Senior Brand Manager for Gladiator. “Interestingly, as more people have discovered our product line, they’ve started to find uses for it beyond the garage. Our latest products reflect this versatility, whether it be an industrial kitchen taking advantage of our Heavy Duty Mega Rack, or a family adding our Storage Bench to their mudroom."