Tech Integration, Coastal Kitchen and Culinary Medicine

This serving of MRM’s Daily Bite includes two restaurant tech leaders partnering for a holistic solution, allergy training becomes mandatory in Illinois and a new course in culinary medicine. 

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HotSchedules Partners with Toast

HotSchedules® is integrating its scheduling and labor management solution with Toast to provide restaurant managers and above-store leaders with a clear picture of how to optimize schedules based on historical sales data and traffic trends.  

“Our mission is to empower restaurant managers and their teams to master their operations and prepare and perform in the face of the unpredictable,” said Sean Fitzpatrick, COO and Head of Product Development for HotSchedules. “Integrating Toast with HotSchedules takes all of the time, pain and guess work out of scheduling the right people, in the right place, at the right time so you can deliver a great guest experience while dramatically reducing your labor costs.” 

“At Toast, we know restaurateurs face many challenges, especially when it comes to the workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover program found the turnover rate in the hospitality sector topped 70 percent in the last year. That’s why we partnered with HotSchedules – to help make the job of staffing and running a restaurant easier,” said Aman Narang, co-founder and president at Toast.  “We are pleased to add HotSchedules to Toast’s best-in-class partner ecosystem, the Toast API Partner Program, which empowers Toast users with the ability to further streamline operations and grow revenue.”

HotSchedules and Toast customer, JT Riley, Director of Operations at Taste of Belgium said the integration between HotSchedules and Toast allowed them to implement better forecasting and labor controls for reducing and controling hourly labor.

“Before the integration, those decisions were largely made on instinct as opposed to reliable data,” Riley said.

Lisa Shad, regional manager at Datz Restaurant Group — another HotSchedules and Toast customer — added: “Toast gives incredibly, detailed analytics right down to the very bottom line. Not just that, it’s incredibly user-friendly — and the fact that we were able to have it correspond with our HotSchedules system is a major plus. I don’t think it gets much easier than this.”

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Growing Digitally 

With so much information at their fingertips, consumers now make more decisions on-the-go:  60 percent of millennials wait to search for a restaurant until within an hour of going, according to Google

Zoës Kitchen partnered with Yext, Inc. to support its growth by reaching guests with up-to-date and in-depth digital knowledge including restaurant locations, phone numbers, business hours, and menu items across the digital services consumers use to decide where to eat.

Zoës Kitchen uses the Yext Knowledge Engine to manage and update restaurant information across the web in real time, putting the company in control of the facts about its brand in  intelligent services like Google, Apple, Facebook, Bing, Yahoo, and the 100+ maps, apps, search engines, GPS systems, and social networks in the Yext PowerListings® Network.

“We’re growing our footprint across the country, targeting 400 locations by 2020, as demand increases for fresh-made Mediterranean. With this expansion comes new challenges in reaching guests on all the digital platforms , and in new markets,” said Casey Shilling, Chief Marketing Officer,  Zoës Kitchen. “With the recent launch of our brand new website, we partnered with Yext to support our growth through a powerful and consistent brand experience across the web, and to ensure our guests can always find us in the moment they are deciding where to eat.”

“In an AI-first digital landscape, forward-thinking food service companies like Zoës Kitchen that power search results with structured data like menus gain a critical advantage,” said Wendi Sturgis, Chief Customer Officer of Yext. “Our partnership helps customers discover Zoës Kitchen when they search for ‘Mediterranean food in Dallas,’ or specific items like ‘Greek chicken pita’ or ‘salmon kabob,’ We’re excited to partner with Zoës as it leverages digital knowledge to drive foot traffic.”

Going Coastal
Built from the ground up in Siesta Key, FL, BRAVO Coastal Bar & Kitchen presents a coastal casual feel, which is a distinctive twist on: BRAVO Cucina Italiana and BRIO Tuscan Grille.
The restaurant features a seasonal menu featuring chef-driven, made-from-scratch items, from shareable small plates to gourmet sandwiches and signature main dishes. Unique to this concept and brand, BRAVO Coastal will showcase a bakery. The restaurant features urban coastal décor with exposed beams and wood tables. The large outdoor terrace features fire pits, comfortable lounge seating, and interactive games.
“Dining habits are evolving, so we are evolving with our guests,” said Brian O’Malley, CEO of Columbus-based BRAVO|BRIO Restaurant Group (BBRG). “We are pleased to introduce BRAVO Coastal Bar & Kitchen in Siesta Key, to present an urban coastal atmosphere with great food and drinks, and the exceptional hospitality for which our restaurants are known. This concept merges the best of BRIO and BRAVO dishes, as well as new, exciting fresh shareable dishes prepared exclusively at BRAVO Coastal Bar & Kitchen.”
Culinary Medicine Course
The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) released a new continuing medical education (CME) course on culinary medicine, the clinical practice of helping patients use nutrition and good cooking habits to restore and maintain health.
The online course—now available for 1.5 CME as an elective of the Lifestyle Medicine Core Competencies Program for physicians and clinicians—provides a “food is medicine” perspective and examines what patients face day-to-day when trying to make substantive lifestyle changes.
Featured are recipes and cooking techniques that follow a high fiber plant-based diet and are achievable with low income to moderate budgets and amid time constraints. Participants are instructed to practice the culinary methods themselves and use their experience to counsel and empower patients to make and sustain healthier choices when shopping and preparing meals.
In addition to the course, recipes and instructional videos have been made available for all medical professionals and their patients. These resources are helpful for patients who want to start cooking healthy meals at home and need clear examples and demonstrations.
Culinary medicine is a new evidence-based field that combines important scientific principles related to nutrition, behavior and medicine. It offers a simple approach to understand how food and cooking relate to health, and is an important self-care tool studied by medical professionals to better counsel patients and improves health outcomes.
Food Allergy Training Required in Illinois

On August 25, Illinois House Bill 2510 was approved by the governor, adding a Food Allergy Training requirement to their food handling regulation. The bill states that, “All food service establishments shall have at least one certified food service sanitation manager who has undergone training that follows nationally recognized industry standards for allergen safety and allergen awareness available on the premises at all times that the food service establishment is in operation.”

The actual language in the bill makes it fairly clear this is for food managers, not handlers, and will take effect quickly (January 1, 2018) with a window of leeway for the first six months as impacted individuals take the classes and get certified. 

“AllerTrain by MenuTrinfo is the leader in food allergy training and education across the country. This law put in place will most certainly help many who have food allergies and just want to eat out safely,” stated Betsy Craig, CEO and Founder of AllerTrain™ by MenuTrinfo® AllerTrain™ by MenuTrinfo® is provides a variety of options for  through AllerTrain, AllerTrain U and AllerTrain Lite.   Currently, AllerTrain is the only ANSI accredited food allergy training in the country and these classes meet the new requirement.