Reserve Fuels Growth and the Popularity of Meat Alternatives

Reserve brings in a heavy hitter to fuel growth, Tillster grows its office space and Grubhub Partners with Meatless Monday in MRM’s Daily Bite. Send news items to Barbara Castiglia at 

MRM Daily Bite Logo

Reserve Looks To Accelerate Growth

Reserve appointed Michael Wesner as its Chief Operating Officer to focus on accelerating Reserve’s growth with restaurant partners across the United States. He will be based in New York and report to CEO Greg Hong.

Michael Wesner
Michael Wesner

Wesner will also oversee Reserve’s sales, marketing, and restaurant success teams, and help scale them as Reserve moves into new cities. Wesner joins Reserve from Amazon, where he was most recently Head of Sales and Sales Operations for Amazon Restaurants.

“Since launching the latest version of our table management software earlier this year, we have seen tremendous interest and adoption by restaurant partners across the country. In order to accelerate and reach businesses of all kinds, we knew we needed to bring on a seasoned executive who can help get Reserve into more restaurants,” said Hong. “I’m delighted Michael has joined our company, and look forward to working closely with him to help restaurants create even better dining experiences for their customers.”

Prior to Amazon Restaurants, Wesner was Head of East Coast Sales and Operations at Amazon Local, where he launched and scaled teams in both New York City and Boston. In addition to his time at Amazon, Wesner held previous leadership roles as Regional Vice President at BuyWithMe and

“I was attracted to Reserve’s vision to build an industry leading experience connecting customers and restaurants across the country and excited by the team that’s driving the company’s growth,” said Michael Wesner. “I believe in putting restaurants first, listening to their needs, and ultimately innovating with them and Reserve is the premier hospitality technology platform to do that. I share in Reserve’s passion and look forward to applying my experience in building high performing Operations teams to execute on their mission.” 

Reserve’s reservation management system currently offers service to more than 800 restaurants in all 50 states. With more than 24 million diners seated since launching in October of 2015, Reserve’s client list includes Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Monteverde, Carbone, Kevin Rathbun, Cúrate, Eataly, Frontera Grill, Josef Centeno Group, Lord Stanley, Russ & Daughters, and more. 

Meatless Monday and Grubhub Partner to Showcase the Popularity of Meat Alternatives

Meatless Monday, a global initiative from The Monday Campaigns and Grubhub announced the results of Grubhub’s analysis of the relative popularity of vegetarian and meatless alternative orders. The findings show that Americans are increasingly ordering meatless dishes, and that the popularity of vegan, vegetarian and meat substitutes has grown significantly in recent years.

Key insights from data includes:
  • Vegan orders increased in popularity by 19 percent in 2017
  • Meat-substitutes are ordered five percent more on Mondays than the rest of the week
  • Trendy plant protein, jackfruit, rose 33 percent in popularity for orders placed on Monday
As the popularity of plant-based proteins grow, according to the data, one possible correlation is the growth of the Meatless Monday movement, which encourages consumers to cut down on meat for health and environmental reasons the first day of the week. 
“With so many vegetarian dishes gaining popularity, it is easy to see that choosing meat-free meals is not a passing trend,” said Barbara Martin Coppola, CMO of Grubhub. “Grubhub provides an easy way for people to make the food choices that make them feel healthiest and happiest, at their convenience. For many, this includes ordering plant-based food!”
“It’s exciting to see more people choosing meatless options on Mondays,” said Dana Smith, campaign director of Meatless Monday. “By starting the week on a healthy note, we are forging a path that’s good for our well-being.”
Coyote Ugly Franchising in U.K. and Ireland

Coyote Ugly signed a franchise agreement that will bring 12 bars to major cities throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The agreement – Coyote Ugly’s second in the United Kingdom – was awarded to Steve Lewis who currently has the franchise rights in Wales and opened the company’s first UK bar in Cardiff in December of 2016.  All 12 bars are expected to open within the next five years, with the first slated to open in bustling nightlife area of Liverpool. 

The original bar in New York City founded by Liliana Lovell. The new Liverpool venue will carry on those the traditions of female bar tenders (Coyotes) dancing on the bar and interacting with patrons in a fun, wild, party atmosphere.

“Finding the right franchise partner is key for the success of Coyote Ugly Global Expansion,” said Vice President of Global Development Justin Livingston. 

“Customers have been travelling to our Cardiff Coyote Ugly location from all over the UK, Ireland and throughout Europe. Many patrons have been disappointed on not being able to book tables or booths as many key dates sell out weeks or months in advance. The perfect answer to this problem is to expand and open other venues throughout the UK,” said Lewis. 

“It’s thrilling to be opening these international bars. It gives us a chance to learn what makes these amazing cultures special as well as bring the Coyote Ugly Culture to the markets!” says Owner and Founder Liliana Lovell. “It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come from a small (but awesome), single bar in New York City.” 

Founded in 1993 in New York City’s East Village, Coyote Ugly  currently has 26 locations operating in seven countries – the United States, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, and Kyrgyzstan.  

 Tillster Moves to Larger Los Angeles Office

Tillster moved to Los Angeles’ talent-rich Westwood neighborhood giving the company more space to expand.  As the restaurant industry continues to adopt technology to improve guest experience, Tillster’s Los Angeles employee base has quadrupled in size in the last two years. The company currently enables more than 35 million digital orders per year and is seeing significant expansion across all platforms.

The company’s new, open-plan space will give Tillster much-needed room to grow, and its proximity to elite Southern California universities and tech communities allows Tillster to tap into additional talent wells. With a focus on expanding its sales, account-management and guest-engagement teams, the move will also allow for continued domestic and international expansion. 
“We’re committed to growing our centers of excellence and finding new talent,” says Perse Faily, Tillster’s CEO. “The new office personifies our core values of collaborating, cultivating teamwork, innovating and having fun, and it positions us to better serve customers around the world.”
Tillster is experiencing incredible growth, not only in its Los Angeles office, but also in its other offices in San Diego and Atlanta.  With teams in France, Portugal, India and Thailand, global growth is also on the rise. 
Tillster’s fast-paced expansion can be attributed to the market’s desire to elevate to a provider known for delivering outcomes. 
“Tillster already serves some of the biggest brands in the restaurant world,” Faily says, “and our global footprint is continuing to grow. Our new space in Los Angeles represents a major step forward.”
Enabling more than 35 million digital orders per year and with teams in the U.S., Europe and Asia, Tillster serves more than 100 global and regional brands, including Burger King, Baskin-Robbins, KFC, McAlister’s Deli and Pizza Hut.
JP’s Diner to Open at Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart University hosts ribbon cutting for JP’s Diner, the newest dining hall on campus. JP’s will be the first on-campus diner in all of New England and provide students with food options and employment opportunities.

Photo by Tracy Deer-Mirek

Mark Tammone, director of Chartwells Dining Services, said, “We are committed to hiring students as servers, bussers, hosts and possibly cooks. There will be a student management program as well.” 

Named for SHU President John J. Petillo, JP’s is located between the William H. Pitt Center and Pioneer Park. As is tradition with all the dining areas on campus, members of the Student Government came up with the name. The diner seats approximately 110 people inside and 40 people outside. 

“Having a diner on campus is just another unique aspect of our University,” said Petillo. “This retro eatery will not only nourish our students with delicious, hearty meals, but it will provide them with fun and entertainment. It will also give them a chance to unwind and meet with friends before getting back to their studies and extra-curricular activities.”