This edition of MRM’s Daily Bite features SevenRooms and TripAdvisor, TableSafe, The Foodservice Packaging Institute, Choc∙O∙Pain French Bakery & Cafés, The Lee Initiative, Chowly and Lou Malnati’s and Cafe Joe USA.
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SevenRooms Teams with TripAdvisor
SevenRooms, a reservation, seating and guest management platform, and TripAdvisor partnered to enable all non-U.S.-based hospitality operators – inclusive of independent restaurants and hotel-owned establishments – to accept reservations via TripAdvisor, giving them full control over building direct relationships with guests acquired through this booking channel.
This program, initially launching with Corbin & King in the United Kingdom, gives SevenRooms operator partners the ability to seamlessly offer reservations and procure direct bookings from TripAdvisor’s extensive network of over 455 million diners.
“At SevenRooms, we believe that operators should own their guest relationships; and we are focused on opening up as many new, direct booking channels for our hospitality clients as possible,” said Joel Montaniel, CEO of SevenRooms. “By partnering with TripAdvisor, and tapping into their extensive consumer network, we are enabling our international restaurant partners to build direct relationships with their guests, capturing valuable guest data in the process. These insights will help them to provide more personalized service and marketing to their guests, boosting revenue and driving more direct bookings.”
“As one of the world’s largest restaurant sites with more than 200 million people per month searching for dining content, SevenRooms customers will benefit from added visibility via TripAdvisor’s global platform,” said Evan Becker, Head of Restaurant Commerce at TripAdvisor. “We’re excited that as a result of this partnership, our diners will also now be able to reserve tables at some of the UK and UAE’s most highly coveted restaurants.”
TableSafe Lands in L.A.
State of the Foodservice Packaging Industry
- Increasing raw material costs.
- Lack of qualified labor.
- Increasing government legislation / regulation.
- Public perception of packaging or foodservice packaging as “waste.”
- Recovery / end-of-life options for foodservice packaging.
Choc∙O∙Pain Opens Fourth Location
Women Chefs of Kentucky Winners
Chef Edward Lee and Lindsey Ofcacek announced the winners for this year’s Women Chefs of Kentucky Program for The LEE Initiative. Over the past month, interested chefs from around the state applied for the grants, and a selection committee narrowed the applications down to these five winners:
- AuCo Lai of Corbin
- Jen Rock of Louisville
- Nikkia Rhodes of Louisville
- Stephania Sharkey of Lexington
- Stephanie Callihan of Lexington
Each of these women will spend a week working under one of these notable female chef / owners around the country:
Bacchanalia, Star Provisions
Playa Provisions, Hudson House
Playa del Rey, CA
The LEE Initiative will handle all expenses for the grant recipients, including travel, hotel, a stipend for food, and one week of pay at the same rate that she would earn at her place of employment. Following the completion of these internships, the five recipients will attend the Southern Foodways Alliance’s Summer Symposium in Lexington, KY (June 21-23). This fall, the five recipients will cook a dinner with Lee at the James Beard House in New York City, with expenses paid for by the LEE Initiative.
“We were incredibly happy to see so many qualified applicants come forward for this program. The five women the selection committee chose are talented, passionate, and we look forward to working with them throughout this year and seeing them grow into leaders in the industry,” says Ofcacek.
The LEE Initiative stands for Let’s Empower Employment. The mission of the LEE Initiative has been to bring more equality and diversity in the restaurant industry through work programs and continuing education. The LEE Initiative is supported by private donations as well as a partnership from Maker’s Mark Bourbon and sponsorships from Mountain Valley Spring Water, Fourth Street Live!, Tilit, Bourbon Barrel Foods.
Chef Edward Lee is the chef/owner of 610 Magnolia, The Wine Studio, MilkWood, and Whiskey Dry in Louisville, KY and culinary director for Succotash in National Harbor, MD and forthcoming in DC. Lindsey Ofcacek has been general manager and wine director of 610 Magnolia for over two years. Her experience ranges from farming and distribution to both the front and the back of the house. She has devoted years of tireless work in the local food community including work with Grasshoppers Distribution, Slow Foods Bluegrass, and Buy Local First.
Chowly Works with Lou Malnati’s
Chowly and Lou Malnati’s are partnering to provide seamless integration from Grubhub directly into Lou Malnati’s point of sale system.
“When Lou Malnati’s looks at adding on a technology partner, there are a couple things we focus on. We were impressed by the number of integrations Chowly has done, but we were sold by their team and their ability to communicate, which are very important to us when choosing the right technology partner.” said Ben Beckstrom, CIO at Lou Malnati’s.
Third-Party delivery services are an emerging revenue source for restaurants and also a necessity to stay competitive in the world of online ordering. For restaurants, the decision to add on Third-party channels can be an easier one, but as orders come in via tablets, faxes and emails, staff can quickly get overwhelmed. Chowly sends the order directly from the third party to the POS and the order prints in the kitchen just as if an employee was in the restaurant typing the order. This saves time, labor costs, and makes sure the customer’s order gets placed just as they intended.
“At Lou Malnati’s, hospitality and care for our customers is the top priority. Chowly will help us stay true to this by integrating these orders efficiently and correctly.” said Ben.
Lou Malnati’s prides itself on customer satisfaction and hospitality. They are committed to continually improving their customer experience without compromising on the consistency and quality their loyal customer base has come to know and love.
“As a long-time fan of Lou Malnati’s, I grew up on their pizza.” Justin McNally, Chowly’s Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer said, “I am very excited to be solving a major pain point for a brand that means a lot to me.”
Justin went on to say “When Ben came to us and explained his problems with staffing people just to manage his tablets, I knew we needed to help. Working with him and his team was very smooth, we rolled out a custom solution compatible with their Enterprise Order Orchestration platform in a matter of weeks. He has a great team that is a pleasure to work with.”
Beans for Bitcoin
You can now buy coffee with Bitcoin!
Cafe Joe USA now supports the Coinbase payment option and Nano.
It’s not necessarily due to a specific demand from the cryptocurrency community for that bitter, morning beverage that fuels America (although, we’re sure that day trading requires a proper dosage of caffeine.). It’s rather the idea that bitcoin would be integrated into our daily lives enough to purchase a pull of espresso, which has been an aspirational goal for many early adopters of cryptocurrencies.
Coinbase Commerce, a cryptocurrency exchange and storage site, has just recently rolled out their payment integrations, with Cafe Joe USA quickly adopting the technology. Our forward-thinking approach to commerce is what has brought Israeli-based Cafe Joe to American homes, and now to crypto coffee lovers around the world.
“We are very excited to see forward-thinking companies like Cafe Joe embrace the emerging trend towards cryptocurrency as a viable way to handle transactions. This is an exciting time in the evolution of technology and the early adopters will have a leg up on the competition once blockchain hits the mainstream,” said Pierre Kennel, CEO, Crypto Concierge.