Straws for a Cause, POS Blueprint and ‘Bullish’ Design

We are back from the Labor Day break with MRM's Daily Bite featuring an effort from McDonald's to salute education, a POS guide and the design at Live! At The Battery Atlanta.

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Straws for a Cause

McDonald’s customers are receiving a straw with a wrapper designed to look like a No. 2 pencil with their cold beverages.  In one week alone, the brand will distribute 100 million straws. The No. 2 pencil is synonymous with back to school and was the inspiration for the design.

The new look is a reminder that McDonald’s and participating independent franchisees offer high school and college tuition assistance to eligible employees through the Archways to Opportunity program. To date, McDonald’s has awarded more than $14 million in tuition assistance. Tuition assistance provides eligible employees in McDonald’s company-owned restaurants and restaurants of participating franchisees with financial assistance for all college courses at higher education institutions accredited by the U.S. Department of Education.
McDonald's partnered with five colleges that accept credit recommendations into specific courses and offer discounted tuition. Tuition assistance is part of the comprehensive education strategy with programs that give people an opportunity to grow no matter where they are on their journey. The approach is to provide programs that meet people where they are to help them on their journey – whether that’s learning English, finishing High School, or completing a college degree.

Since the launch of Archways in 2015, the program has helped nearly 18,000 employees, a 238 percent increase in participation over the course of one year.

POS Buyer's Guide

Upserve recently launched a new Restaurant Insider POS Buyer’s Guide for restaurant owners interested in investing in a system, but unsure of where to start.

After answering a series of targeted questions, users will receive a customized “blueprint” that can be used when researching POS options—outlining how important specific capabilities (such as mobility and ease of use) are based on their unique needs.

The Upserve POS Buyer’s Guide is currently available here.

Live! at The Battery Atlanta

Interior architecture and design firm Jeffrey Beers International served as the hospitality design for Live! At The Battery Atlanta by The Cordish Companies.
Located in The Battery Atlanta at SunTrust Park, Atlanta, GA, the 30,000 square feet of dining and entertainment space includes a two-level Sports & Social tavern, PBR Atlanta and Todd English Tavern, top photo.
Todd English Tavern is defined by an open kitchen, anchored with a wood-fired grill with chains that will raise and lower meats into the fire.

The two-level Sports & Social features a 40-foot diagonal high-definition LED screen as a backdrop for social games and activities throughout the venue.
There are also classic social bar games like ping pong, air hockey, shufflepuck, foosball and others will be part of the venue. A giant wall of television screens ensure that guests and Atlanta Braves fans will never miss a stunning play or dugout drama. Expansive garage-style doors open onto a spacious patio and a grand stair case invite visitors up to the second floor.
PBR Atlanta, a bar branded by the Professional Bull Riders, opens its doors for customers to experience a unique venue, including the world’s meanest mechanical bull, a large dance floor and stage, casual lounge area, private outdoor balconies with fire pits and multiple bars. 

Chatmeter Enhances

Chatmeter unveiled enhancements to its social media features that allow brands to better compete with local competitors. The new technology enables national retail brands and chains to publish, monitor and respond to social activity and customer feedback in real-time at the local store level.
Chatmeter now allows brands access to enhanced customer geo-data via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This sophisticated platform lets brands pinpoint the precise store location of a customer review or social mention to respond in real-time within the dashboard. This allows brands to engage with customers at the local level, streamlining the hundreds or thousands of locations a brand may have.
Chatmeter’s enhancements include:
  • GeoFencing: New technology provides a visual heat map of the precise locations where people are visiting and posting social content and reviews. 
  • Sentiment Analysis: Rolled out earlier this year, Pulse incorporates AI and machine learning technology to bring acute awareness of consumer reviews to brands that warrant swifter action. 
  • Publishing: This feature includes a comprehensive content library that keeps corporate-approved images and social material in one place and lets marketers distribute and publish in an instant. Now national brands and chains can streamline content management and easily share and post consistent, pre-approved, on-brand content across numerous locations.
“As pioneers in the local reputation space, we are excited to bring our location-based technology to social media content. With geofencing and now publishing, we are making it easier than ever for chains and agencies to manage their brand and messaging at both the corporate and local level,” said Collin Holmes, CEO and Founder of Chatmeter. “Our social media managers who have been beta users are ecstatic about the insights around trends, the time saved on publishing for all their pages and the ability to understand sentiment in different regions of the country that they’ve never before been able to measure.”

Back to School with Restaurant Class

Restaurant executive Fred Pierson opened Restaurant Class, a company offering full-service training, analysis and consulting services for the restaurant and hospitality industries.  The new training facility offers ServSafe® manager, food handler and alcohol classes on a regular basis and Restaurant Class is the first company in Tennessee to offer an ABC server permit class with an online exam and instant grading for rapid processing.

With an on-staff certified HACCP Manager and FDA-approved Preventative Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI), other quality assurance offerings include food, beverage and labor cost reviews and food safety and brand audits for restaurants, hotels and food manufacturing facilities; the company’s certified Franchise Executive can assist aspiring franchisees in reviewing their Franchise Disclosure Documents. Additionally, consulting services offered range from concept development, creation of business plans with income statements, cash flow and balance sheet projections, production of operations and training manuals, talent acquisition, purchasing and management contracts.
Pierson is a former owner of a 22-unit Applebee’s franchise and has held management positions at Apple South, Inc., Chef’s International, Inc. and Morrison, Inc., and is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. He has received his chef and wine professional certifications from the Culinary Institute of America and has completed hospitality and leadership course work at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, Villanova, Notre Dame, Georgia Institute of Technology, UVA’s Darden Graduate School of Business and Georgetown University’s Franchise Management program.
Pierson also serves as a judge and mentor for the National Restaurant Association’s Educational Foundation ProStart™ program which helps to develop the culinary and management skills of high school students. Restaurant Class donates a portion of every ServSafe class sold to ProStart.