PlantPure Restaurant Campaign and Reusable Resource

MRM’s Daily Bite features PlantPure Communities (PPC) Restaurant Campaign, Ordermark, TGI Fridays, Foodservice Packaging Institute and North Island College and McDonald’s Canada.

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PPC Launches Restaurant Campaign

With more Americans seeking out plant-based alternatives, it’s no surprise that the launching of the PlantPure Communities (PPC) Restaurant Campaign has more than a dozen restaurants across the country already signed up to participate. The campaign’s goal is for every restaurant across the nation and the globe to offer on their menu at least one plant-based meal with no oil.

The campaign is part of PPC’s larger initiative to share the health and empowerment message contained in scientific nutrition research, much of which was led by T. Colin Campbell, PhD., as detailed in his book, The China Study. According to Dr. Campbell, “The scientific evidence is now clear and convincing – the standard American diet, which is low in whole plant-based foods and high in animal based foods, added fats and refined carbohydrates (sugar, refined flour) is the single largest contributor to America’s healthcare crisis. As more doctors are now prescribing no meat/no added fat dietary prescriptions for their heart disease and diabetic patients, the PlantPure Communities Restaurant Campaign is aligning with mainstream Americans who wish to adopt healthy eating while dining out.”

The Restaurant Campaign is supported by a virtual Toolkit on PPC’s website which offers resources for restaurant owners and managers, as well as local residents who are inspired by the Campaign to promote change in their neighborhoods by going restaurant-to-restaurant. Restaurants who achieve the meal standard are eligible to receive a Certificate of Participation from PlantPure Communities that they may display on the premises. 

Pointing to the National Restaurant Association’s report that “70 percent of adults say the availability of healthy menu options would make them choose one restaurant over another,” PPC Executive Director Jody Kass, said: “there is strong and growing momentum — now is the right time to launch this national & global change campaign.”

“The PlantPure Communities (PPC) Restaurant Campaign is an exciting project,” said, Robert Ostfeld, MD, MSc, and Director of Preventive Cardiology at Montefiore. “As a preventive cardiologist, I witness the profound health benefits of a plant-based diet on a daily basis. This innovative campaign increases dining options for those in the plant-based community, and will hopefully introduce thousands, if not millions, of people to delicious and healthy plant-based meals.”

Already, restaurants in California, New York, Florida and Virginia have made changes to their menu and are participating in the Campaign.  To find out more, click here.

Online Ordering Management Made Easy

Many restaurant owners struggle to decide whether to offer third-party online ordering and delivery services from companies such as GrubHub, DoorDash, and UberEats. They wonder whether the cost of these services is worth it and whether new profits can offset the additional effort and staffing required to manage these online orders.

A new company called Ordermark, founded by Alex Canter, the fourth-generation owner of the world famous Canter’s Deli in Los Angeles, wants to help restaurant owners better understand and profit from online ordering.  He experienced all the challenges of using third party ordering services when the deli first began partnering with them in 2012. One of the biggest challenges they faced is that each service provides a tablet computer that displays incoming orders, which can be difficult for staff to monitor.

Alex Canter

Having so many different tablet computers often results in missed, inaccurate and unfulfilled customer orders. And the staffing cost to manage so many different systems can outweigh and gains.

After several years of experimentation and trial and error, Canter managed to grow online ordering to account for more than 30 percent of Canter’s Deli revenue. In the process he created a technology solution consisting of one tablet that consolidates online orders from all of the third-party services partnered with the restaurant.

Canter also partnered with Epson to build one printer that will display tickets every third party ordering service. Ordermark now serves over 100 restaurants around the country from mom and pops to large chains. In addition to technology, Ordermark also provides a dedicated Restaurant Success Manager that serves as the restaurant’s single point of contact for all online ordering services. This individual handles all logistics, negotiating rates with third parties, menu updates and technical support.

“We’re growing really fast,” said Canter. “Restaurants understand that foot traffic is down and online ordering is a tremendous opportunity for them. We’re helping to make online ordering easier and more profitable for restaurants.”

TGI Fridays Enables Voice Integration

TGI Fridays guests are now able to place an order or make a reservation using just their voice. Fridays designed and developed an Alexa skill that is rolling out nationwide and allows users to quickly make reservations, place a To-Go order, and even pay their bill. With the Amazon Pay integration, Alexa customers can easily use the payment information already in their Amazon account when they want to place their Fridays order.

Fridays take-out sales have grown by 30 percent since launching online ordering in 2016. With the launch of the new Alexa skill, users can place and pay for their Fridays order using Amazon Pay on their Alexa-enabled devices, including the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot.

“The launch of online ordering and our commitment to digital innovation has resulted in significant growth in our To-Go business, with more than 70 percent of those orders coming from new Fridays customers,” said Stephanie Perdue, chief marketing officer at TGI Fridays. “As we continue to innovate, we’re focused on creating digital programs with industry leaders like Amazon that make the Fridays experience more convenient for guests to recreate at home.”

“From the launch of our Fridays mobile app, to our order ahead feature on the Amazon app and our social media chatbots powered by Conversable, Fridays has committed to delivering a great guest experience both inside and outside of the restaurant,” said Sherif Mityas, chief information officer at TGI Fridays. “Working with Amazon has allowed us to continue elevating our digital offerings, making enjoying Fridays even more expandable for our guests.”

In addition to the new capabilities through Amazon Alexa, Fridays offers several ways for guests to place an online order, including an easy re-order option on the Amazon app, a “chatbot” on Facebook and Twitter messenger, or the “order now” button on Facebook.

Resource on Reusables
Foodservice operators have to weigh the options of single-use versus reusables, and there are a number of criteria they can base that decision on, but the Foodservice Packaging Institute is making available a new resource that breaks down this decision-making concisely, and why single-use makes the most sense cost- and sustainability-wise.
The new PDF resource, titled Stacking Up Single-use Versus Reusable Foodservice Products: Considerations for Foodservice Operators, is available at:
NIC and McDonald’s Canada Partner

North Island College and McDonald’s Canada are celebrating a first-of-its kind agreement on Vancouver Island, creating new ways for McDonald’s restaurant managers to access a business degree.

Students can now receive up to 20 percent of their NIC Bachelor of Business Degree credits when they complete their McDonald’s Management Training Courses.

NIC is now accepting applications into its business degree from managers who have completed courses in the McDonald’s Management Development program.

“It benefits so many students,” said Bill Parkinson, NIC’s former Business Department Chair and current Associate Dean, Arts, Science and Technology. “Many students bring work experience into the classroom. Our comprehensive review of the McDonald’s management training modules found the courses met the learning outcomes for many NIC business courses and this partnership we’re creating greater access for students who may not have thought a degree was possible.”

With the agreement now in place, prospective students who have completed management training courses at McDonald’s and met NIC’s admission requirements will be offered a seat in NIC’s Bachelor of Business Administration, General Management Major.

If a McDonald’s employee completes all of their management training modules, they will earn 24 NIC credits, the equivalent of eight business courses. This means a savings of more than $2,300 in tuition.

“When I found out I could receive NIC credit for my management training at McDonald’s I was amazed and excited,” said Brandon Sawyer, who started NIC’s Bachelor of Business Administration this September. “I love the business programs at NIC and this will help me launch my career faster.”

Sawyer has worked at McDonald’s since he was in high school. The last five years have been in management – as a second assistant after graduation inPort Alberni and now as a part-time swing manager in the Comox Valley while he works toward his degree.

“This is me trying something new,” he said. “I really recommend other people look into it. It’s an incredible opportunity. Don’t miss it.”

The new pathway was officially unveiled today, at a launch event at the McDonald’s restaurant at the Crown Isle McDonald’s in Courtenay, BC.

“We’re extremely excited to see this partnership come into fruition,” said Stuart Aldred, local McDonald’s owner/operator. “As we look to expand our teams here on Vancouver Island, I’m very happy to see we can simultaneously offer exciting new opportunities for growth and education through amazing institutions like NIC.”

The new pathway partnership is also in line with McDonald’s Canada’s organizational culture and values, which focuses on supporting educational opportunities for its staff.

“McDonald’s is a great place to work and kick-start your career. This partnership with North Island College is part of a continued effort to prioritize the growth and education of our employees and encourage those interested to pursue higher education opportunities,” said Amélie Duclos, CRIA, National Learning & Development Director, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited. “This is about expanding the educational opportunities available and providing help to get a head start toward an invaluable degree.”