Upserve in Training Mode, Taco Bell Live Más Scholarships and Golden Bar Awards

The specials on today’s plate include a new training method for POS, a new partner joins the Mici Handcrafted family and Southern Glazer’s cleaning up at the Golden Bar Awards. Send news items of interest to Modern Restaurant Management (MRM) magazine’s Executive Editor Barbara Castiglia at or

Upserve in Training Mode
There are many factors at play affecting the high employee turnover in the restaurant industry such as wage issues and the ebb and flow of seasonal workers, making the role of training come to the forefront in any restaurant management plan.
In response to these issues, Upserve added its new “Training Mode” for Breadcrumb POS. Training Mode was designed to make it easier to train employees on the ins and outs of the restaurant POS system: easily, intuitively, and without disrupting service or reporting. Key features include:
  • Real World Experience: Transactions are not included in reporting and payments are not processed, so new servers can practice workflows like swiping credit cards, splitting checks, comps, voids, splitting payments and using signature on screen – without having to void everything at the end.
  • Convenience for Everyone: Training Mode can be turned on for a single or multiple terminals, allowing for training when needed, without disrupting service on the floor.
  • Portability: Training Mode is  accessible outside of the restaurant, so new hires can participate in training from home.

Additional features include:

  • Transactions are not included in reporting.
  • Payments are not processed, so new servers can practice workflows like swiping credit cards, splitting checks, comps, voids, splitting payments and using a signature on screen.
  • Training Mode can be turned on for a single or multiple terminals, allowing for training when you need to, without disrupting service on the floor.
  • It’s easy to access. Tap a tile on the home screen to enter. Tap the training bar to exit.
  • Descriptive pop-ups walk employees through features specific to their role, so there’s no need to supervise or shadow someone at the POS to learn the basics.

Training Mode is available to all Breadcrumb customers running version 2.11 or higher. 

Mici Handcrafted Adds Partner and CEO
Mici Handcrafted Italian, a family-owned four-unit fast casual chain based out of Denver, welcomed local restaurant executive Elliot Schiffer as Partner and CEO. The Miceli family currently operates four locations in the Denver metro area: Downtown Denver, 7th and Colorado, Stapleton, and Highlands Ranch; all of which offer dine-in, delivery and catering.
The Family
Photo by Adam Larkey
Having just completed a Series A financing, under Schiffer’s leadership Mici expects to streamline operations and enhance their already stellar menu in preparation to expand further into Colorado and beyond. 
“It has been my dream for a long time to help a concept in which I believe grow into a national, household brand,” said Schiffer. “I have been selective in the opportunities I pursued, and essentially have been waiting for Mici—and the Miceli Family—to come along. Company culture and integrity are hugely important to me, a tenant I learned from my mentor Richard Melman, and I have found those things  in spades at Mici. And the food is the highest quality. I’m very fortunate to be joining forces with Jeff and his wonderful family to bring their already successful mix of quality, integrity and originality to more people.” 
Elliot Schiffer and Jeff Miceli
Photo by Adam Larkey
Schiffer, who earned an MBA in Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Finance at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, was previously Senior Vice President of Non-Traditional Development for Denver-based Smashburger. From 2014 to 2017, Schiffer developed 21 high revenue Smashburger locations in airports, casinos and college campuses. He also ran Smashburger’s Real Estate Analytics, playing a major role in location selection for 25 corporate and 30 franchise restaurants per year.

Prior to Smashburger, Schiffer began his career under  Richard Melman at Lettuce Entertain You [LEYE] in Chicago, where he helped develop the M Burger concept and was Manager at Papagus Greek Taverna, Osteria via Stato and the  Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab. 

In 2004, siblings Jeff, Michael and Kim Miceli opened the first Mici Handcrafted Italian in downtown Denver as a venue to showcase their family’s recipes. Since then, they have opened three additional locations, including their flagship store model in Stapleton.
President and COO Jeff Miceli said, “When Mici opened its doors thirteen years ago, we set out to build an affordable Italian restaurant that not only shared our treasured family recipes and passion for our Italian culture, but was also a place where other families could come together and make their own memories. Over the years, our customers have become part of our extended family. We’re excited to be growing that family again with the addition of Elliot to our team.”Mici logo
“We’ve been approached by potential partners over the years,“ said Miceli. “But until Elliot, none shared our commitment to running a business with kindness and respect, while maintaining food quality, which translates to happy customers who we consider part of our extended family.”   
 Live Más Scholarships Plans

The Taco Bell Foundation plans to award $10 million in Live Más Scholarships by 2022. This plan is part of Taco Bell’s broader long-term commitment to support the education and professional dreams of its employees and aspiring youth in the communities where the brand does business. Since the scholarship first opened in 2015, the Taco Bell Foundation has awarded $2.8 million to its Live Más scholars and plans to award $1-2 million each year through 2022 to meet the $10 million goal.

The Live Más Scholarship program is designed to help innovators, creators and dreamers aged 16-24 pursue unique education and career passions that may not necessarily fit into the conventional “academic” or “athletic” scholarship categories. In the spirit of the scholarship, Taco Bell partnered with some of its favorite innovators, creators and dreamers to unveil and celebrate its Year 2 winners through personalized announcements shared over social media. Each of this year’s 170 recipients, who include 55 Taco Bell employees, received scholarships ranging from $5,000-$25,000, totaling $1.5 million in funding. They join Taco Bell Foundation’s 2016 class of 270 winners, who received $1.3 million total in scholarships.

“We’ve seen the incredible impact that the Live Más Scholarship has already had in its first two years, and we are thrilled to continue jump-starting careers, fueling passions and extending opportunities to even more young people,” said Brian Niccol, Chief Executive Officer at Taco Bell Corp. and Chairman of the Taco Bell Foundation. “Everything we do strives to be current, creative and with a cause and, as we continue to grow, I can’t think of a worthier cause than investing in the future success of our employees and the young people in our communities.”The program not only helps fund education dreams, but creates practical mentoring opportunities outside the classroom.”

These restaurant employee scholarships are primarily funded by Taco Bell owners. The Foundation’s plan to award $10 million in Live Más Scholarships by 2022 comes on the heels of Taco Bell’s commitment to hire 100,000 new employees by 2022. To raise money for the scholarship fund, the Taco Bell Foundation has partnered with Taco Bell on several in-store activations, including two national fundraisers and the two-week Feed a Dream campaign earlier this year, during which time Taco Bell donated a portion of proceeds for every Doritos® Locos Taco purchased to the scholarship. The second national fundraiser will take place during the Foundation’s 25th anniversary, Aug. 31 through Sept. 14, when fans are invited to visit their local Taco Bell restaurant and donate $1 to support scholarships and programs. For more information, click here.

Overtime Pay Citation

The California Labor Commissioner’s Office cited a Jack in the Box franchise operator $903,084 for misclassifying 40 managers as exempt and denying them overtime pay.

Nor-Cal Venture Group, Inc. owns 26 Jack in the Box franchises in California, most of which are in the greater Sacramento area. The Labor Commissioner’s Office opened an investigation after receiving a complaint and found that 40 employees were misclassified as exempt. As managers, they were required to work a minimum of 45 hours per week with no overtime, regardless of how many hours they worked.

Managers who spend less than half of their work time on managerial duties must be paid overtime.

“For these employees, being misclassified as managers resulted in being paid less than minimum wage,” said Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su. “That’s not an acceptable way of doing business in California, and my office will continue to enforce labor laws that uphold that wage floor.” 

Managers who spend less than half of their work time on managerial duties must be paid overtime. Investigators determined that the 40 workers were performing the same duties as other employees.

The citations issued to Nor-Cal Venture Group, Inc. include $416,783 in unpaid overtime wages and penalties, $218,227 in minimum wage violations and penalties, $169,427 in liquidated damages and $98,647 in waiting time penalties for 16 of the workers, who were not paid at the conclusion of their employment. When workers are paid less than minimum wage, they are entitled to liquidated damages that equal the amount of underpaid wages plus interest.

Worker misclassification results in an estimated loss of $7 billion each year in payroll tax revenue to the state. Employees misclassified as independent contractors are also frequently underpaid and do not have on-the-job benefits and protections, including workers’ compensation coverage, family leave, unemployment insurance, the right to organize or join a union, and protection against employer retaliation.

Southern Glazer’s Wins Big at Annual Golden Bar Awards

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, the largest North American wine and spirits distribution company, said its Coastal-Pacific Wine and Spirits dedicated selling division, representing Diageo across 12 open and 17 Control States, was awarded eight National and 15 local Golden Bar Awards. The recognition included the prestigious and coveted National Distributor of the Year Golden Bar Award, won by Coastal Wine & Spirits of Florida.

SGWS presence at the 14th annual Diageo Golden Bar Awards
Diageo’s National Awards event recognizes distributors across the U.S. for their performance on key brands as well as achievements in sales, marketing, and promoting responsible drinking. The Local Awards event recognizes top individual and team performances across each Diageo division.  Golden Bar winners receive a 24-karat trophy produced by the same company who produces the Academy Awards.  
The national awards presented to Southern Glazer’s included:
National Distributor of the Year:  Coastal Wine & Spirits of Florida
Coastal Wine & Spirits of Florida, 2017 National Distributor of the Year at Diageo’s Golden Bar Awards
Captain Morgan:  Coastal Wine & Spirits of Florida
Tanqueray:  Coastal Wine & Spirits of Florida
Ketel One:  Pacific Wine & Spirits of Washington
Ciroc:  Pacific Wine & Spirits of Washington
Innovation:  Coastal Wine & Spirits of Texas
Bulleit:  Pacific Wine & Spirits of Hawaii
Responsible Drinking (Platinum Bar):  Coastal-Pacific Wine & Spirits Brokers of New Hampshire
Gerry Rivero, Executive Vice President, Managing Director, Coastal-Pacific Wine & Spirits of America commented, “As a result of our consistent, outstanding performance, Southern Glazer’s has been able to grow with Diageo to 29 dedicated states since the partnership began in 2002.  Being recognized in front of our peers is an affirmation of Coastal-Pacific Wine & Spirits’ standing as a best-in-class selling organization.”
At the Local Golden Bar Awards, Southern-Glazers’ Wine and Spirits of Nevada was recognized as the top performer on Diageo’s Innovation brands, driven by strong depletion and distribution on new brands including Crown Royal Vanilla Canadian Whiskey, Ciroc Mango Vodka and Hilhaven Bourbon.
In addition, 15 individuals from Coastal-Pacific Wine & Spirits Open and Control states were awarded prestigious Golden Bar Awards across four categories for their outstanding individual performance and leadership during Diageo’s Fiscal Year 2017. Completing the night, Coastal-Pacific Wine & Spirits and Coastal-Pacific Wine & Spirits Brokerage Distributor of the Year Awards were also awarded to the top Open and Control markets within the division.
Sales Consultant of the Year
Andrea Emmons         Coastal-Pacific Wine & Spirits Brokers of Michigan
Keith Johnson             Coastal Wine & Spirits of Kentucky
John Cassab                Pacific Wine & Spirits of California         
Keith Boatright           Coastal Wine & Spirits of Texas
Area Manager of the Year
Ron Juarez                  Coastal-Pacific Wine & Spirits Brokers of Oregon
Carmine Iacona           Coastal Wine & Spirits of Florida
Aaron Mitchell            Coastal Wine & Spirits of Missouri
Zac George                 Pacific Wine & Spirits of California         
Chain Sales Excellence
Casey Eikmeier           Pacific Wine & Spirits of Nebraska
Jennifer Roedell          Coastal Wine & Spirits of Missouri
Merilee Jenkins           Pacific Wine & Spirits of Washington
Jamie McGoun            Coastal-Pacific Wine & Spirits Brokers of America
Michelle Wilham        Coastal Wine & Spirits of Indiana
Amy Harmon              Coastal Wine & Spirits of Texas
Jason Perry                  Pacific Wine & Spirits of California
Coastal-Pacific Wine & Spirits Distributor of the Year
Coastal Wine & Spirits of Florida
 Coastal-Pacific Wine & Spirits Brokerage Distributor of the Year
Coastal-Pacific Wine & Spirits Brokers of Oregon
The company has operations in 44 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, Canada, and the Caribbean, and employs more than 20,000 team members.