Unconscious Bias Training and World’s First Hand Sanitizing Door ​​​​​​​

This edition of MRM’s News Bites features the National Restaurant Association, Kitchen United, The City of Fishers, Fourth, L28 Culinary Platform,  Tripleseat, Sprinkles, Open Clean Technologies,  New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute  and The California Milk Advisory Board.

Send news items to Barbara Castiglia at bcastiglia@modernrestaurantmanagement.com.

 Unconscious Bias Training Suite

 the National Restaurant Association, in collaboration with the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA), introduced a new ServSafe Workplace online training module, “Understanding Unconscious Bias in Restaurants.” The curriculum uses industry-specific scenarios to educate employees and managers about unconscious bias.


“The restaurant industry is as diverse as the communities we serve,” said Sherman L. Brown, Executive Vice President, Training & Certification, National Restaurant Association. “Increasing awareness of unconscious bias and its effects, and equipping our people with the tools they need to manage bias, is essential to the success of our industry.”

Understanding Unconscious Bias in Restaurants aims to heighten awareness of unconscious bias, which in turn helps employees and managers promote a culture of respect with guests and one another. Topics in the 30-minute employee program include: 

  • Defining unconscious bias and the many forms it can take.
  • Understanding the impact that bias can have on interactions with guests and fellow employees.
  • Understanding how to conduct oneself with fairness and a greater awareness of others’ perspectives.

The manager training includes an additional 30 minutes of information on:

  • Proactively and reactively managing situations in which bias occurs.
  • Managing employee interactions to promote a fair, respectful, and inclusive workplace.
  • Learning how to deal with difficult situations to minimize impact on the business.

In addition to the online training content, managers can access a variety of complimentary resources, including breakroom posters, videos, and a discussion guide to help them continue training through pre-shift lessons.


“Bias can impact all aspects of American business,” said Gerry A. Fernandez, MFHA President & Founder. “Successful leaders in the industry are ready to learn what bias is, how it works, and how unconscious bias ties into recruiting, leadership development, and customer service.” 

Understanding Unconscious Bias in Restaurants offers multiple solutions for businesses, including versions for managers and employees, English or Spanish, volume pricing, and bundling with other programs in the ServSafe Workplace suite. To learn more,  click here

Kitchen United Continues to Grow

Kitchen United, the GV-backed start-up creating a new way for restaurant brands to expand via off-premise optimized kitchen centers, signed lease agreements bringing new locations to San Francisco and Los Angeles, and a second location to Chicago in the Fulton Market District. The off-premise kitchen concept currently has locations in Pasadena and Chicago’s River North neighborhood, and new kitchen centers scheduled to open this year in Atlanta, Columbus, Austin and Scottsdale.

“The popularity of off-premise consumption in the restaurant industry – through both third-party delivery and pick-up – has quickly evolved from something that’s exciting and interesting to talk about, to something that is an absolute must for many restaurants across the country,”  said Massimo Noja De Marco, Chief Culinary Officer and Founder of Kitchen United. “The opportunity to improve the customer experience by providing food for consumption outside the four walls of the restaurant space is undeniable. We are thrilled to bring our kitchen centers to San Francisco and Los Angeles and to expand into a new neighborhood in Chicago, providing a turnkey solution for growing brands in each market.”

Each of the newest locations is in the process of accepting restaurant partners. The first kitchen center in San Francisco is located at Kilroy’s new 100 Hooper Street development, on the ground floor of Adobe’s San Francisco offices. This location will have retail and outdoor seating in a neighborhood where there are few other food options available. It also provides easy access downtown for delivery providers. The Los Angeles kitchen center is located at 52 W. Pico Boulevard with access to downtown L.A.’s dense residential and corporate city center. The newest Chicago kitchen center is located in Fulton Market at 201 N. Elizabeth Street, where it is surrounded by new residential development and a strong millennial and Gen Z population. 

Kitchen United’s commercial kitchen spaces provide restaurant operators the ability to increase revenue by expanding their off-premise delivery, pickup and catering business, as well as enter new markets without the expensive build-out of a new restaurant. The company provides its restaurant partners with consumer and operational insights, allowing concepts to tailor their business to best meet local demand, improve efficiency and drive revenue growth. The company is expanding across the U.S. to other major metropolitan areas with plans to end the year with 15 kitchen centers open, each housing between 10 and 15 restaurant brands.

Search for Chefs 

The City of Fishers launched a search for chefs who will become the first occupants of its restaurant accelerator, the Fishers Test Kitchen. The accelerator, the first in the state, will open this fall within the new Sun King Brewing in The Yard at Fishers District.


The Fishers Test Kitchen is an opportunity for aspiring chefs, restaurateurs, food truck operators, farmers’ market vendors, and other culinary experts to try out a new concept and build a following with the goal of eventually opening their own restaurants. Short-term leases will allow a changing line-up of chefs to cycle in and out of the Test Kitchen. During their stay, chefs will be provided with business coaching and mentorship through Launch Fishers to prepare them for their venture.

MRM profiled Fishers here

The accelerator will feature three completely built-out kitchens in a food hall setting adjacent to the Sun King Brewing tap room. Customers will be able to order from the food stands then enjoy their meal within Sun King’s 350-seat family-friendly dining area.


“Fishers has seen success with tech companies in the area, and we’re now taking the tech accelerator model and applying it to the restaurant industry,” says John Wechsler, entrepreneur and CEO of the IoT Lab and Launch Fishers. “We hope this not only surfaces local talent but also brings in chefs from across the country and introduces them to what Fishers has to offer.” 

A board consisting of Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness, food writer and industry veteran Jolene Ketzenberger, John Wechsler, and Clay Robinson of Sun King will select the chefs. The first cohort of chefs will be announced in late spring. The Fishers Test Kitchen will accept applications on a rolling basis once the first cohort is selected.  

The city is accepting applications for the first group of chefs through May at www.FishersTestKitchen.com, where chefs can upload a menu, resume, and video explaining their restaurant concept. 

The restaurant accelerator will also house a culinary performance space called the Fishers Kitchen Table. The Kitchen Table will seat a small group of guests for ticketed dinners, classes, tastings and private events.

“There is so much culinary talent in Central Indiana, and the performance kitchen will provide a space for chefs to cook right in front of guests,” says Jolene Ketzenberger, who will be handling the programming for the Test Kitchen and the Kitchen Table. “It will be a way for diners to meet the chefs, talk with them, watch them cook and really enjoy a unique culinary experience.”

Diners at the Kitchen Table can also expect beer, wine and spirits tastings, hands-on and demonstration classes and instructional sessions from a variety of food and beverage experts.

“We want to have something going on all the time,” says Ketzenberger. “And there will always be something new to try in the Test Kitchen, too. I think the community is going to love it.”

For more information and to sign up for email updates on the Fishers Test Kitchen and the Kitchen Table, click here.

Fourth Client Roster Grows

Fourth has added six new restaurant groups to its client roster. Bar Louie, Bolay, FoodFirst, Metro Diner, Pinstripes and Shari's selected Fourth’s end-to-end hospitality management solutions to streamline operations, enhance business intelligence, boost employee engagement, improve customer experience and drive sales. In addition to its hospitality operations platform, clients now have access to Fourth’s full-service HR offering including benefits, payroll and HRO as well as on-demand access to industry-specific HR professionals.

“FoodFirst Global Restaurants recently acquired two venerable Italian restaurant brands and set out to completely refresh its technology stack. We wanted a cloud solution that could potentially replace a dozen plus disparate systems and processes – including labor and payroll, culinary engineering and product inventory management – to free up our managers to spend more time delighting our guests,” said John Wong, chief marketing and technology officer at FoodFirst Global Restaurants. “Fourth rose to the top of our list as a robust platform designed by operators for operators in hospitality. Its massively accurate forecast intelligence and highly flexible analytics and insights differentiates Fourth from all the rest and made it a compelling choice.” 

As the only provider of combined restaurant and hospitality HR, benefits and payroll services in the U.S., Fourth enables operators to simplify processes, optimize profits and improve employee engagement all while managing complex HR and payroll compliance. Its all-inclusive hospitality operations platform features workforce management and purchase-to-pay & inventory capabilities. Underpinned by predictive algorithms and machine learning, the Fourth platform provides advanced demand forecasting, enabling operators to reduce labor costs and boost sales. 

“Shari’s chose Fourth because of its demonstrated, proven restaurant technology that enables us to replace multiple disparate systems across inventory, labor and payroll management servicing our 144 multi-brand restaurant operations,” said Sam Borgese, CEO & president of Shari’s. “Fourth’s approach to scheduling compliance, payroll processing, intelligent demand forecasting and the quality and immediacy of business intelligence and insights provides Shari’s the ability to reduce operating complexities in a single back office platform that is scalable to our future growth plans. In today's highly competitive environment compounded by legislated and non-legislative increases in doing business, having an efficient, cost saving single BOH technology platform solution is business critical.”

Since launching in the U.S. in 2012, Fourth continues to grow and expand its offering, opening three new offices throughout New York and Florida, including its U.S. headquarters in Tampa. Additionally, in 2018, Fourth announced the acquisition of Choice HR, rounding out its full-service HR offering. To accommodate its rapid growth, Fourth will be recruiting an additional 25 employees to add to its 70-person team in New York and Florida.

“We developed Fourth to help restaurant and hospitality operators more efficiently run their business and scale profitably. As we continue to expand our offerings and enter into new markets, our vision remains the same and we’re excited to bring that vision to our growing list of clients in the U.S.,” said Fourth’s CEO Ben Hood. 

Defining Israeli Cuisine

L28 Culinary Platform, a restaurant and chef accelerator created by Israel’s StartUp Nation Central  launched to explore and define Israeli cuisine and boost Israel’s position as a leader in culinary innovation.   Named after its address on 28 Lilienblum Street in central Tel Aviv, the culinary platform is part of a new building complex which houses Start-Up Nation Central. L28 provides a platform for emerging chefs to get a first-hand experience at what it takes to run their own restaurant, while at the same timing presenting various interpretations of Israeli cuisine from a vibrant, fresh, and locally sourced Israeli menu. Each “start-up” chef is given a six-month residency and a full-stack support package, including expert kitchen crew, a top-flight restaurant manager, marketing, and close mentoring by some of Israel’s leading restaurateurs. 

Chef Stav Naveh and Chef Shuli Wimer,
Photo by: Ilya Melncov


“We’ve taken the basic ingredients of Israeli entrepreneurship, combined them with the fundamental attributes of a start-up accelerator and coded them into our culinary platform’s design,” says Amir Mizroch, Director of Communications at Start-Up Nation Central and L28 Culinary Platform. “Through food we’re aiming to add new threads to the tapestry of Israel’s innovative community and bring people together all over the world.”
With the introduction of a new executive chef every six months, L28 is constantly transforming and exploring new interpretations and creations, becoming a completely new restaurant twice a year.  April 16th marks the entrance of a new phase for L28 Culinary Platform, with its first ever chef handover.  Shuli Wimer, L28’s first resident chef, will wrap up her six-month residency during an exclusive, one-time kitchen collaboration, officially passing the torch to her successor, Stav Naveh.
Beginning her tenure at L28, chef Naveh, joins with a completely different culinary approach, replacing Wimer’s mix of Israeli Galilee-Italian dishes with a combination of Jerusalem-French-Moroccan menu.  Naveh’s food is inspired by her family’s aesthetic of French cuisine, and an influence of rich flavours and the strong aroma of spices from Moroccan cuisine. Her menu has three courses – petite, medium and main. 
“I’ve devoted my entire career to exploring the culinary scene, expanding my knowledge in all aspects of food innovation, ergonomics, and sustainability. I look forward to bringing my journey to L28, together with everything I’ve gathered and cook my own menu in an atmosphere that allows me to focus on what I love most: the food, the service, and the experience,” said chef Naveh.

Tripleseat Membership Ranks Swell

More than 500 restaurants, hotels, and unique venues have joined Tripleseat in the first quarter of 2019. Tripleseat works with 55,000 event sales managers in more than 5,000 restaurants, hotels, and unique venues across the nation. In 2018 alone, the company increased its employee headcount by 30 percent, added more than 1,900 new customers, and introduced 67 new feature releases such as guest room control features for hotels, business intelligence dashboards, and the ability to have multiple events on a Banquet Event Order, as well as introducing the online training platform Tripleseat University. A leader in new features development, Tripleseat is the first platform to integrate online payments, e-signatures and reporting into its web-based sales and event management tool. It’s also the first platform to build email features into its app and provide customers with the ability to capture leads via their website or social channels.

“As a privately-held company, we treat our customers as part of our family and want only the best for them and their business. Having decades of combined experience in the hospitality industry, we understand the pain points of executing private events, especially when more than two-thirds of restaurants and venues still use pen and paper to get the job done. It’s exciting to see the tremendous growth Tripleseat is experiencing and the success our customers are having with Tripleseat,” said CEO Jonathan Morse. 

On April 30, Tripleseat will be hosting its third annual EventCamp Hospitality Conference in Nashville, the only conference of its kind to bring together industry leaders and subject matter experts to share best practices and insider tips that can elevate the work and careers of event professionals.

New Ways to Get Sprinkles

Sprinkles unveiled their new website and app this week. The website now features:

  • Pickup and delivery options
  • Same Day/ASAP or Future Order Availability *NEW
  • Catering & Custom Ordering *NEW
  • Full menu with design your own customization options
  • Corporate & Social event orders
  • Ranges from small to large orders *Up to 10,000 cupcakes


Whiel the app enables users to:

  • Now able to place order through the app
  • Redeem Perks
  • Track Delivers
  • Save favorite orders for easy and fast reordering

World's First Hand Sanitizing Door

OpenClean™ Technologies ntroduced the world's first hand sanitizing door handles that easily integrate with or replace existing restroom door handles to make hand sanitization easy, intuitive and accessible. Available in two versions – TurnClean® and PullClean® – OpenClean Technologies hand sanitization door handles allow patrons and staff members to leave restrooms safely and hygienically, ensuring clean, sanitized hands each time. The latest versions of both TurnClean and PullClean are now available for multiple markets, including restaurants, hotels, office buildings and bars, and can accommodate any restroom door.

While clean hands can dramatically reduce the spread of germs and infections, one of the biggest obstacles is getting people to use sanitizer regularly, because even with multiple dispensers in the restroom, they simply forget. With TurnClean and PullClean door handles, users will experience a "behavioral" design that places hand sanitizer in their normal pathway as they exit the restroom (it's in the door handle), replacing two separate actions (sanitizing and then opening a door) into one seamless movement. A pilot trial of a prototype of TurnClean in the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center saw the rate of hand sanitation rise from 24 percent to 77 percent after it was installed.   


"Nobody likes to touch a potentially dirty door handle after washing their hands," said Jon Horbaly, CFO and director of operations, OpenClean Technologies. "TurnClean and PullClean are breakthrough solutions to this longstanding problem.  Our products allow hospitality patrons and staff to easily sanitize their hands as they exit the restroom."

To use OpenClean systems: A tube-shaped cartridge is placed in the center of a hollow door handle, which releases a small amount of sanitizer when the black paddle is pushed. TurnClean and PullClean sanitizer cartridges are filled with a medical-grade hand sanitizer that kills more than 99.99% of germs. These easy to refill cartridges, which can be purchased from http://www.open-clean.com/products or an authorized distributor, contains 420 pumps per cartridge for PullClean and 500 pumps per cartridge for TurnClean.

Horbaly continued: "By installing our OpenClean systems, owners and operators of bars, restaurants and hotels can show they care about their customers' health and wellness, which ultimately helps patrons gain a greater assurance that all food safety protocols are being followed within the establishment."

NOCHI Hosts Grand Opening

On Saturday, April 13, New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI) hosted its grand opening celebration with staff, board members, donors, partners, and key local elected officials.  The event allowed for guests to tour all corners of the school, including the opportunity to view Culinary Arts students at work in their lab and to view showcased work created by the Baking & Pastry program, top photo. 


Highlights of the event included:

  •  Catering by NOCHI’s events team and students and entertainment on every floor of the building, including stilt walkers, costumed performers, and music by local artist Tonya Boyd-Cannon.
  • A short video that showcased many of NOCHI’s inaugural students and all of the school’s major donors and partners. 
  • An oyster and champagne bar in NOCHI’s Dining Lab
  • A cocktail demonstration led by NOCHI co-founder Ti Martin that included Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell as participants.
  •  A final toast to the school made by Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards

“We’re thrilled to celebrate the opening of what has been a passion project for so many people for the past six years,” said NOCHI Executive Director Carol Markowitz. “We look forward to what the future holds for our students and the impact that we can have on the New Orleans community."


NOCHI opened its doors January 7 with twenty-one students in the Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry Arts certificate programs. Those students are preparing to host a pop-up restaurant concept as part of their capstone course before they graduate on June 14.  The next class of students starts on July 22 and the deadline for applications is May 15. For more information on NOCHI, its opening, and to apply for classes, click here.

Real California Pizza Contest

The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) today announced eleven finalists in the 2019 Real California Pizza Contest – a search for the best recipes using Real California Cheese. The contest, awarding prize money totaling $25,000 for the most innovative use of cow’s milk cheeses from California in three categories, was open to professional chefs and culinary students throughout the U.S.

Recipes submitted between February 1 and March 25, 2019 were blind-evaluated by a panel of three pizza professionals – Glenn Cybulski, certified pizzaiolo and award-winning executive chef; Scott Weiner, founder of Scott’s pizza tours in NYC; and Mark Todd, an expert foodservice/retail cheese educator.  

After careful evaluation of pizza names, inspiration, recipe and use of ingredients, eleven individuals have been selected as finalists in three respective categories: All Cheese, Mexican-Style, The REAL California.  

“We are very excited by the creativity and innovation that went into these recipes,” said Mike Gallagher, Business and Market Development Consultant for the CMAB.  “We are thrilled that we have such a diverse breadth of geographic representation in the finalist group and are looking forward to seeing them in action.”

Finalists will travel to the Culinary Institute of America at Copia in Napa, California for the live bake-off finale on May 9th. Their pizzas will be prepared and baked onsite for a blind judging session with judges Cybulski, Wiener and Barbara Alexander, a professional executive chef and instructor at the Culinary Institute of America. Category winners will receive $5,000 and the Grand Prize Winner, selected from all category winners, will receive an additional $10,000.

Following are the finalists in the 2019 Real California Pizza Contest:

All Cheese

  • Giovanni Labbate, a professional chef from Schaumburg, Ill., who works at Bricks Wood Fired Pizza Café. His entry, Harvest, is a New York-style pizza featuring kale, butternut squash and caramelized red onions.
  • Daniel Bothman, a professional chef from Bellingham, Wash., where he works at La Fiamma Wood-Fire Pizza. His entry, Sei Cheese White Pie, is a white sauce pizza that features an herbed ricotta base with provolone and white cheddar.
  • Buffy Wimmer, a professional chef from McKinney, Texas, who works at Jersey Pies. Her entry, St. Patty’s Irish Pub Pizza, is an Irish-inspired pizza that features seasoned hash browns, smoked bacon and a splash of Guinness.
  • No qualified culinary student entries were identified for this category.


  • Thomas Garnick, a professional chef from Denver, Colo., where he works at Brava! Pizza. His entry, Bandera de Fusión, is inspired by the Mexican flag and features pork carnitas, salsa verde and mole.
  • Spencer Glenn, a professional chef from Pacific Grove, Calif., who works at Pizza My Heart. His entry, Holy Mole, is a Mexican-style pizza that features chicken mole, avocado and purple radishes.
  • Lars Smith, a professional chef from Palo Alto, Calif., who works at State of Mind Public House and Pizzeria. His entry, Super Chorizo con Papa, is a Mexican-style pizza that features chorizo, cotija cheese and pickled red onion. Lars was also selected as finalist in The REAL California category.
  • Justin Pearson, a culinary student from Dublin, Ohio, where he attends the Columbus Culinary Institute at Bradford School. His entry, Carnitas Street Taco Pizza, is a Mexican-styled pizza that features green chile pesto, spicy pickled vegetables and carnitas.

The REAL California

  • John Alers, a professional chef from Henderson, Nev., who works at Flour and Barley. His entry, Cowincidence, is a California-inspired pizza that features Applewood smoked bacon, roasted chicken breast and pulled pork.
  • Ricky Webster, a professional chef from Spokane, Wash., who works at SYSCO Spokane. His entry, The Chard to Resist, is a California-inspired pizza that features ricotta cheese, hot honey and shallots.
  • Lars Smith, a professional chef from Palo Alto, Calif., who works at State of Mind Public House and Pizzeria. His entry, The Napa Grandma, is a California-inspired pizza featuring red wine salami, pickled grapes and arugula. Lars was also selected as finalist in the Mexican-Style category.
  • Erin MacLennan, a culinary student from Allendale, N.J., studying at the Culinary Institute of America. Her entry, The Kale-ifornia, is a California-inspired pizza featuring kale, bacon and julienned onions.