Wahlburgers Goes Retail Route and The Straw of the Future

This edition of MRM’s Daily Bite features Wahlburgers and ARKK Food Company, Upserve, Pernod Ricard USA  and LOLIWARE, UNiDAYS and Bareburger, HotSchedules, Papa John’s, Nespressohoneygrow and LevelUp, ParTech and Checkmate, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits  ChefHero, she, Margaritaville Holdings, Meatless Mondays and SpotOn Transact.

Send news items to Barbara Castiglia at bcastiglia@modernrestaurantmanagement.com.MRM Daily Bite Logo

Wahlburgers’ Retail Beef Program

Wahlburgers, along with other investors, has collaborated with ARKK Food Company to develop a retail beef program. The line of consumer products will include ground beef, pre-formed patties, pre-formed sliders, and brick pack, all made with the same proprietary Wahlburgers angus blend of brisket, short rib and chuck, found in its restaurants across the country.

“In all our restaurants and now in our new retail product, we offer a custom blend of angus brisket, chuck and short rib for great texture and flavor,” said Executive Chef Paul Wahlberg. “We wanted to provide the best cuts of angus beef that’s always fresh, never frozen to ensure that every bite is tender, juicy, and packed full of rich flavor.” 

The new retail beef products will be available at grocery store locations nationwide, with an initial launch over the next 30 days at: Hy-Vee, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Safeway, Shaw’s and Winn-Dixie.

Over 1,300 stores within the following states are set to receive the product: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington DC and Wisconsin.

“The brothers and I are all excited to bring a taste of Wahlburgers to stores and ultimately homes across America with our new “Wahlburgers at Home” product line, and we thank our great retail partners for their commitment to the launch,” said CEO Rick Vanzura.

Upserve Opens Customer Service Center

Upserve opened its customer operations center in Denver, Colorado. The multi-million dollar investment in the new center demonstrates Upserve’s commitment to providing the highest levels of reliability and customer service to the thousands of restaurants using its cloud point of sale for restaurants, Breadcrumb POS by Upserve.

Upserve has hired over 50 team members to staff the new Customer Operations Center in Denver.

Upserve has appointed Mike Coar as senior vice president of customer operations to lead over 100 team members nationwide. Based in Denver, Mike brings 25 years of experience in operational and product development roles delivering and supporting a host of advanced technology.

Staffing of Upserve’s Denver center began early this year, and became fully operational in March. Upserve is the only company in the restaurant technology industry to transparently publish its leading platform reliability and customer support metrics on its status site, https://status.breadcrumb.com/. Recent customer operations metrics include:

  • 99.994 percent Breadcrumb POS by Upserve platform availability (Q1 2018)
  • 4.7 stars out of 5.0-star rating on leading independent review sites (April 2018)
  • Less than 10 seconds: average wait time to speak with an agent via live chat (Q1 2018)
  • 76 percent of all support phone calls answered within 30 seconds (March 2018)
  • 82 percent customer satisfaction rate on resolution of support cases (April 2018)

“Unfortunately, legacy restaurant point of sale providers are notorious for terrible customer support,” said Angus Davis, CEO and founder of Upserve. “At Upserve, we proudly distinguish ourselves by providing the most reliable, always-on restaurant point of sale platform, backed by the most dependable, professional and friendly customer support.”

Upserve joins a host of other technology companies that have recently flocked to the flourishing Denver area, which offers tremendous resources and talent, as well as a high standard of living.

“We considered several cities across the nation for Upserve’s ‘HQ2,'” explained Davis. “We were attracted to Denver’s growing, highly talented workforce, great restaurant culture and fantastic quality of life. In Denver, you might say we found a key for every door.”

The Straw of the Future

To further complement Pernod Ricard USA’s  commitment to eliminate single-use, nonbiodegradable straws and stirrers from the beverage business, the company is collaborating with industrial designers and LOLIWARE co-founders, Chelsea Briganti and Leigh Ann Tucker, to reimagine the cocktail consumption experience, top photo.

Founded in 2014, LOLIWARE is the world’s first edible bioplastics company dedicated to replacing plastic with hypercompostable, edible materials derived from seaweed. The company’s mission is to innovate products that are ‘designed to disappear’.  The co-founders commented, “Our world needs a radically new approach to our daily consumption of single-use plastics which too often go to landfill. Our solutions transform disposables into ‘plant fuel’ through composting, or ‘human fuel’ through consumption.”

LOLIWARE recently launched LOLISTRAW, a hypercompostable fully edible straw to help replace the millions of straws and stirrers used in the United States, and around the world, everyday. A plastic straw which is only used on average for 20 minutes can take more than 200 years to break down into smaller pieces and often does not fully disintegrate.

“We are excited to see where the relationship takes us,” noted John Tran, Director of Sustainability & Responsibility at Pernod Ricard USA. “Plastic straws can have a large environmental impact to marine life and oceans. Eliminating our use is only half the battle; offering alternatives that reimagine how straws are made, used, and converted to energy is the next step for genuine transformational change! Supporting LOLIWARE is part of our commitment to a low-carbon, circular economy.”

Pernod Ricard USA’s 2020 Roadmap initiative also focuses on eliminating all operational waste by 2020 and encouraging consumers to share waste best practices. LOLISTRAW contributes to this objective as the straws can simply be consumed or composted at the end of their use.

Bareburger Teams with UNiDAYS

UNiDAYS has teamed with Bareburger  to offer a college student incentive program in New York City. UNiDAYS provides student verification technology and integrated marketing solutions to connect brands with over 10 million Gen Z college students around the world.

As part of the strategic partnership, Bareburger is leveraging UNiDAYS’ Student Verification technology and Student Incentive Program to reward UNiDAYS college student members with 15 percent off at 19 participating locations throughout Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and Hoboken.

Working closely with Bareburger, the UNiDAYS team curated a bespoke launch plan which included the distribution of a geo-targeted launch email across its network of students in the Greater New York area. To generate additional buzz, UNiDAYS created engaging custom content across social stories including Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

“We recently surveyed over 1,800 UNiDAYS members in the U.S. who told us they spend the majority of their money on food after tuition and bills,” said Marisa Allan, vice president of innovation. “That signaled to us how important it was to bring restaurants onto our platform. We’re thrilled that Bareburger has seized this opportunity and recognized that college students deserve fast, healthy food options that don’t sacrifice quality.”

“We wanted to show the hard-working, hungry Gen Z college students some love,” said Nabeel Almagir, Chief Marketing Officer at Bareburger. “Generating this buzz with this influential, engaged audience through our partnership with UNiDAYS is a bonus we’re eternally grateful for. UNiDAYS is the perfect partner to help us cater to this fast-growing community of students, who can then take advantage of the fresh, local and clean food they crave.”

College students in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Hoboken can access the Bareburger offer by visiting http://www.myunidays.com or downloading the UNiDAYS app for iPhone and Android devices.

DiscoverLink Joins HotSchedules Network

DiscoverLink has joined HotSchedules’ Global Partner Network. The partnership adds DiscoverLink’s robust learning and development content to HotSchedules’ Clarifi™ Talent Development system, offering restaurants an entirely new level of industry-specific training resources.

Clarifi Talent Development is an easy-to-use learning and performance management system that identifies skills gaps, rewards top performers and handles other tasks ranging from new hire training and complex compliance tracking. With the addition of DiscoverLink’s content – 75 restaurant-specific courses to start – Clarifi Talent Development offers the most robust and integrated training system available for restaurants seeking to retain staff, grow talent and comply with workplace regulations.

“We needed a true dual-language solution for training and compliance, and only DiscoverLink provides many of their restaurant-specific courses with audio, text, and graphics in both English and Spanish,” said Debbie Martinez, director of training at Hofman Hospitality Group and current Clarifi Talent Development customer. “Not only are many of the courses dual language, but DiscoverLink is constantly monitoring the national, state, and local regulatory landscape and updating their courses as needed, helping to alleviate compliance pressures.”

According to TDn2K research, management retention is the single most important factor in running a successful restaurant. With current turnover rates continuing to increase for hourly employees and restaurant management turnover at a historically high level, staff retention remains a top concern among operators.

“Restaurants that offer the best skills training and career development opportunities attract and retain the best managers, the critical link to great performance,” said Sean Fitzpatrick, chief operating officer and head of product at HotSchedules. “The good news is that industry sales are improving, but that only amplifies operators’ need to keep their restaurants fully staffed. Our partnership with DiscoverLink adds another tool to our Clarifi intelligent operating platform to help restaurants engage and retain their managers.”

Clarifi Talent Development customers will be able to leverage DiscoverLink’s catalogue of existing content as-is or have content customized to meet their specific training needs and company’s branding.

“Our proven content library has been vetted by hundreds of restaurant chains enabling us to provide interactive programs that positively impact key performance metrics like guest satisfaction, employee retention, and profitability, with courses focused on the competencies needed to help restaurants thrive,” said John Poulos, co-founder and president of DiscoverLink. “Our interactive programs positively impact key performance metrics like guest satisfaction, employee retention, and profitability with courses focused on the competencies needed to help restaurants thrive.” 

Papa John’s Tests Beer Delivery

Papa John’s will be testing beer delivery in the Jeffersonville, IN market. As part of this test, Papa John’s will offer a variety of five beers available in 16 oz. 6-packs to consumers in Jeffersonville via carryout and delivery. The variety of beer being offered includes, Miller Lite, Coors Light, Coors Banquet, Dos Equis and Yuengling.

The very first Papa John’s started in the broom closet of Mick’s Lounge in Jeffersonville, IN, which offered beer delivery as an initial menu offering.

In accordance with U.S. liquor laws, a person 21-years of age or older must present a valid state I.D. to the driver upon delivery.  

Nespresso Opens Permanent Boutique in British Columbia

Nespresso opened  its first permanent boutique in British Columbia inside Vancouver’s Metropolis at Metrotown. Designed by Universal Design Studio, this new concept aims to reflect the brand’s commitment to sustainability, strengthen its physical presence in Western Canada and continue its tradition of offering exceptional quality products to coffee lovers across the country.

Nespresso Vancouver Boutique in Metropolis at Metrotown

The boutique’s contemporary space invites guests to explore a variety of Nespresso’s key features, focusing on the brand’s sustainability initiatives and a digital space that delivers an effortless purchase experience and coffee selection program for its consumers.

“We are delighted to announce the opening of the Nespresso Boutique inside Metropolis at Metrotown and be able to provide Vancouver consumers with the ultimate Nespresso experience,” says Jean-Luc Valleix, President at Nestlé Nespresso Canada. “Our expansion to British Columbia gives us the opportunity to strengthen the relationship between Nespresso and our Club Members across Canada, something that is very important for our brand.”

The Boutique’s consumer experiences include:

A Sensorial Welcome: Upon entering the Boutique, Coffee Specialists introduce guests to the vast range of coffees, get hands-on with the coffee grounds inside each capsule, and learn about their distinct aromas.

Discovery at the Bar: As guests peruse the smart and easy-to-use machines and accompanying accessories, a Coffee Specialist will assist them in exploring the coffee ranges further.

Learning in the Lab Kitchen: From lattes with the perfect milk foam to unique coffee creations, guests can experiment with coffee recipes and learn how to expertly elevate their coffee moments at home from ordinary to extraordinary.

Nespresso’s sustainability investments are an integral part of the brand experience. To achieve its ambitious commitments, Nespresso has implemented its ”Positive Boutique” program, an initiative that uses best practice guidelines for waste management, water and energy consumption and the sourcing of materials. The Boutique features table-tops made from used coffee grounds, wood that has been 100 per cent sourced from reforestation programs and energy and water reducing systems.

Further, the brand has launched the “Green Bag” Recycling pilot project in partnership with Recycle BC, giving Club members in the City of Vancouver, Anmore and Coquitlam the opportunity to easily recycle used coffee capsules in their household recycling bin with a recyclable bag specifically designed by Nespresso for this purpose. Based on the success of this pilot, the ambition is to open this free service to the entire province of British Columbia within a year.

honeygrow Partners with LevelUp

honeygrow partnered with LevelUp to develop a completely new digital guest engagement program. On-the-go wholesome food enthusiasts can experience the new online ordering system at order.minigrow.com where they can pre-order a minigrow dish to pick up at any of the brand’s minigrow locations in New York and Chicago today. minigrow will open two new locations in Boston at 125 Summer Street on April 27 and at 565 Boylston Street on May 1. The brand will extend online ordering along with an entirely redesigned app and loyalty program to all its honeygrow locations later this year.

“Our goal was simple: create one app for two concepts, honeygrow + minigrow, while having the capability to do all the fun stuff that we’ve been dying to do for years, while exploring other fun, creative ways to best engage our guests in ways not seen before,” said Justin Rosenberg, CEO + founder of honeygrow + minigrow. “We have a lot of great ideas that we look forward to finally bringing to life.”

“When we started working with honeygrow, we immediately understood the importance of providing an integrated rewards experience that spanned web ordering, mobile ordering, and in-store experiences,” said Emma Beckerle, Director of Client Services and Account Management at LevelUp. “We’re proud to have built a beautiful web ordering, mobile and in-store interaction for honeygrow and can’t wait to see guests using it.”

ParTech Teams with Checkmate

ParTech, Inc.  announced a new partnership with Checkmate, a solution that allows automatic entry of all third party delivery orders directly to restaurant point of sale systems. The technology partnership will allow PAR’s cloud-based Brink POS® Software to seamlessly connect with Checkmate, which integrates various online ordering platforms such as GrubHub, Eat24, UberEats, Delivery.com, Brandibble, and many others.

Checkmate eliminates the need for restaurant operators to manually enter orders to the POS.  All orders automatically flow directly to the POS and in the kitchen, creating vast efficiencies for the line staff. Checkmate also offers a menu management service for restaurants across all online ordering platforms. 

As the percent of restaurant revenue from online ordering platforms increases, Checkmate will enable PAR customers to increase their revenues through the rapidly growing online channel without any of the operational problems and costs that come with it.  Checkmates platform has a fixed monthly cost, so the cost of managing online ordering platforms does not increase as their business grows and additional delivery services are utilized.

“Our company is not built on technology, but on customer service. Restaurant operators and staff need to know that there is someone behind these automated solutions and we provide an always on text/group chat-based support, which re-affirms their faith in this automated solution,” says Vishal Agarwal, Founder & CEO, Checkmate. “Our client testimonials prove that our hard work is paying off and we are actually solving a real problem in the restaurant industry and Brink has been a great partner in being able to create a combined product towards solving this problem.”

“We are pleased to welcome Checkmate to Brink’s large partner ecosystem,” said Paul Rubin, Chief Strategy Officer, ParTech, Inc. “This partnership will provide significant benefits to our customers and support restaurants to manage the growing demand for third party delivery.”

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Expands Distribution Agreements with Southern Glazer’s 

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits expanded distribution agreements in the Pacific Northwest with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Washington’s founding winery. The market expansion includes Alaska, Oregon, Utah, western Washington State and Wyoming; bringing the total alignment with Southern Glazer’s in the U.S. to 26 states. The five-year agreement represents a long-term commitment by both companies to grow the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates portfolio in this important domestic wine region.

“Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is the dominant winery in Washington and a powerhouse in the Pacific Northwest,” commented Wayne Chaplin, CEO of Southern Glazer’s. “Aligning with us in these markets enables them to further leverage synergies in our businesses and accelerate growth of their premium wine brands.”

“Southern Glazer’s and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates have had an incredible 30-year partnership,” added Mel Dick, Senior Vice President of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and President of the Company’s Wine Division. “We look forward to building on this amazing foundation and continuing to champion outstanding Washington wines in the marketplace.”

Some of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates signature brands include Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Crest, 14 Hands, and Red Diamond.

“For nearly 30 years, the Southern team has grown the Washington wine category across its 20-plus markets,” said Ted Baseler, CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. “Assigning Ste. Michelle’s Pacific Northwest business to the Southern Glazer’s team joins two premier organizations who have unmatched 50-year legacies in the wine industry.”

“We are looking forward to expanding our long-term partnership with Southern Glazer’s to include the Pacific Northwest,” added Dan Heller, Executive Vice President, Sales, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. “Southern Glazer’s has built an outstanding distribution platform in our home market. There is no doubt that they are best positioned to grow our share in the marketplace.”

Southern Glazer’s has made significant investments to position the Company as a leader in wine. It has more certified wine experts than any other North American wine and spirits distributor. Its employees have successfully completed more than 5,000 wine, sake and spirits education programs, from introductory to master-level achievements.

These include:

  • Over 2,800 Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) wine & spirits certifications;
  • 19 WSET Level 3 Awards in Sake;
  • 1,600 Level 1 Court of Master Sommeliers®;
  • 120 CMS Certified Sommeliers;
  • 20 CMS Advanced Sommeliers;
  • 14 Master Sommeliers®;
  • Over 600 Certified Specialists of Wine (CSW);
  • 16 Certified Wine Educators (CWE); and
  • 117 Certified Specialists of Spirits (CSS). 
ChefHero Secures Funding

ChefHero, a digital marketplace that allows restaurant owners and their staff to order wholesale food and supplies through one easy and convenient network, has secured $12.6M in Series A funding from investors noted for some of today’s most successful e-commerce brands. The funding was led by Accomplice.co, with participation from Golden Venture Partners, Precursor Ventures and Math Ventures.

Since launching in 2017, Toronto-based ChefHero has grown by more than 118 percent to 60 employees. ChefHero will use the funding to accelerate growth and fuel expansion to select cities across North America where the restaurant scenes are booming. Unlike major food distributors, ChefHero takes a hyper-local approach focusing on cities where there is a thriving restaurant industry. It also aims to improve the way local suppliers and restaurant owners do business together by providing transparency in pricing on one platform with access to hundreds of establishments and vendors.

“Restaurateurs have long been relegated to ordering supplies through late-night voicemails and manually comparing pricing. ChefHero digitizes the buying and selling process on both the restaurant and supplier side to help save everyone time and money,” said Ameet Shah, Golden Venture Partners. “It’s smart technology with global appeal that fills a niche in a booming industry.”    

There are close to 800,000 restaurants across North America that spend billions of dollars on food and beverage products each year. At the same time, food costs account for approximately 30% of a restaurant’s sales. ChefHero allows individual restaurants to buy in bulk, which translates to substantial savings. Typically, only major national restaurant chains are capable of negotiating discounts but ChefHero caters to single and multiple-owned establishments, thus filling a market niche.
“Back in the day, I would spend hours at the end of every night consolidating orders, texting/calling/emailing to six different suppliers,” said Aidan Pascoe, Flock Rotisserie & Green’s. “ChefHero brought me out of the dark ages.” 

Hundreds of restaurants, caterers, food trucks, coffee shops, bars, and pubs like Flock Rotisserie, StrangeLove and Paramount Fine Foods are using ChefHero to order produce, meat, seafood, bread, and dairy products as well as kitchen supplies. The companies save time and money otherwise spent on hours associated with negotiating prices with individual suppliers and tirelessly tracking orders. Small to mid-sized suppliers are also recognizing the benefit of having access to hundreds of potential customers on the ChefHero platform. This reduces or eliminates overhead costs associated with having to pay a front-line sales team to knock on doors. Suppliers also receive one consolidated on-time payment from ChefHero on behalf of hundreds of customers so they don’t have to chase payments from individual accounts anymore. They can also unload overstock quickly, as it is actively promoted to hundreds of prospective customers through the platform in real time.

she Plans Brand Expansion

sbe said  two of its brands – Katsuya and Umami Burger – are expanding into Mexico for the first time with over 40 venues in the pipeline, in partnership with Gin Dinar.

Sam Nazarian, Founder and CEO of sbe, said: “Mexico is a key market for us and we’re proud to work with our incredible partners at Gin Dinar to introduce these lifestyle brands to the region for the first time ever. This is a major announcement for sbe and subsidiary Disruptive Group that emphasizes our growth globally across all arms of the business. After the success that the Umami Burger and Katsuya brands have seen in the US and with their first international ventures in Japan, The Bahamas and the Middle East, we are thrilled to continue the momentum.”

“We are very excited about our licensing partnership with sbe. We believe that both brands will be a resounding success in Mexico as there is a market niche looking for refreshing and innovative options such as Katsuya and Umami. In the same way we are excited to have a relationship with a company such as sbe with which we feel closely linked in terms of its principles, mission and values. These brands are ideal for the portfolio of our company,” said Raul Manuel Beyruti Sanchez, from Gin Dinar and president of GIN Group.

Disruptive Group, whose portfolio also includes  The Bazaar by José Andrés, Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz, and Cleo by Chef Danny Elmaleh, confirmed that four Umami Burgers and two Katsuya outposts will open in Mexico City in 2018. This is a multi-agreement franchising deal with restaurants located in new standalone units, as opposed to inside of existing sbe hotels and residences.

These openings are the first of 60+ Umami Burgers and Katsuya restaurants set to open in the coming years, as Disruptive Group looks to secure franchise agreements with qualified multi-unit operators in major metropolitan areas around the world that leverage sbe’s current growing footprint while expanding into desirable locations.

As well as expansion into Mexico, Umami Burger, with 22 locations currently, has restaurants planned in the UAE and Qatar, as well as 10+ further sites in Japan. sbe is also in talks to bring Umami Burger to other markets around the world, with conversations progressing well with franchise partners in South Korea, Brazil, Portugal, Malaysia, and Turkey. This news comes on the heels of another major announcement for the premium burger brand, who just released three exclusive menu items in partnership with Impossible Foods, the makers of the plant-based Impossible Burger. For a limited time, all US-based Umami Burgers will offer the new Impossible Classic along with two first-ever vegan options, Impossible VBQand Impossible Trufflemaker, making Umami Impossible Foods’ largest retail partner.

With 13 locations worldwide designed by icon Philippe Starck, including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, South Beach, Baha Mar, Dubai, Manama, and Kuwait City, Katsuya’s trademark award-winning cuisine and bold design has created an international empire. sbe has seen success with 6 Katsuyas throughout the Middle East with partner M.H. Alshaya, with an additional 5 more in the pipeline for the region. The fourteenth Katsuya outpost is set to open at the highly-anticipated SLS LUX Brickell in Miami in Summer 2018, with interiors by design duo Yabu Pushelberg.

Margaritaville Resort in NYC

Margaritaville Holdings is building a new Margaritaville Resort in New York City. Located in Times Square at 560 Seventh Avenue, blocks away from the bright lights of the entertainment district and New York’s most popular attractions, the 234-room, 29-story property is expected to open in late 2020. Once complete, the $300 million project will boast several Margaritaville food and beverage concepts, a rooftop LandShark Bar & Grill and pool, retail space and more. 

“From the beaches of Florida to the Great Smoky Mountains to the corner of Seventh Avenue and 40thStreet, Margaritaville brings fun, relaxation and a much-needed escape from the every day to any set of coordinates,” said John Cohlan, chief executive officer of Margaritaville. “The Margaritaville Resort Hotel and the lifestyle experience it offers  will be the perfect complement to the exciting, fast-paced energy of Times Square and we can’t wait to bring this destination to the travelers and residents of New York City.”

The Margaritaville Resort in New York City will bring an authentic “no worries” vibe to the city that never sleeps with Margaritaville’s signature ‘casual-luxe’ design elements, a rooftop pool, St. Somewhere Spa and lounge areas overlooking the city’s famous skyline.

In partnership with International Meal Company (IMC), food and beverage venues include a Margaritaville Restaurant, LandShark Bar & Grill, 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar, Floridays Airstream Café, and an all-new concept, Chill Bar. Retail space is planned for the lobby, allowing guests a way to extend their visit to paradise and bring the island life home.

“Margaritaville at 560 Seventh Avenue is a perfect addition to the pulsing energy of the Times Square submarket, which continues to thrive as one of the city’s most visited neighborhoods,” said Sharif El-Gamal, chairman and chief executive officer of Soho Properties. “We are thrilled to collaborate with one of the world’s most beloved brands and bring New York’s first Margaritaville to Times Square, where it will undoubtedly be a top destination for visitors and NYC residents alike.” 

The resort will be developed by Sharif El-Gamal’s Soho Properties, in partnership with Chip and Andrew Weiss and MHP Real Estate Services. 

Additional details regarding the resort’s amenities will follow in the coming months.

Plant Protein Power

One of the most common concerns in practicing Meatless Monday is whether or not you’re getting enough protein. In a recent online survey conducted by the Data Decisions Group1, 52 percent of the participants agreed that getting enough protein was one of the biggest challenges in cutting back on meat.

To address this issue, Meatless Monday teamed up with the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future at the Bloomberg School of Public Health to create the “Plant Protein Power” educational campaign. Master of Public Health and Registered Dietitian Becky Ramsing, who serves as the Meatless Monday adviser at the Center said, “You definitely don’t need meat at every meal. Beans, nuts, fruits and vegetables can provide ample amounts of quality protein.”

Research shows that substituting protein from red and processed meats with plant protein reduces the risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and cancer.2 In addition, adding more plant-based foods to your diet helps conserve natural resources and lowers greenhouse gas emissions.3

The Meatless Monday Plant Protein Power campaign includes informative posters, social media graphics, animated GIF visuals and a list of frequently asked questions. It also contains a variety of meatless meal suggestions that fulfill the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein. The kit’s contents can be used by organizations like hospitals, schools and companies as part of their wellness programs. Individuals looking for new ways to incorporate more plant-based protein into their diet can also benefit from this free downloadable kit

Meatless Monday was founded in 2003 by Sid Lerner and Johns Hopkins to provide an easy way for people to reduce meat in their diet for their health and the health of the planet. This initiative is now active in over 40 countries and is practiced by schools, hospitals, restaurants, celebrities and whole communities.

Meatless Monday is an initiative of The Monday Campaigns, a public health initiative in association with The Lerner Centers for Public Health Promotion at Johns Hopkins, Columbia and Syracuse Universities. The campaign offers science-based weekly tips, recipes and other inspiration to help people start the week off healthy. Wellness organizations can also download free resources to start their own Healthy Monday programs.

SpotOn Transact Wins Funding

SpotOn Transact LLC announced an initial investment of $20 million led by twin brothers and co-founders, Matt and Zach Hyman.  The Hymans have 20 years of experience in the industry and most recently sold Central Payment to Total System Services (“TSYS”).

SpotOn, founded by the Hyman brothers and Doron Friedman, brings together payment processing and a robust software solution, giving its merchants richer data and tools that empower them to market more effectively to their customers. The SpotOn platform offers the most comprehensive tools for SMB’s including payments, marketing, reviews, analytics and loyalty.

“SpotOn is bringing new solutions to an industry that needs it. We are aggressively investing to bring best-in-class, integrated payment and software solutions to SMB’s,” said Matt Hyman. “In the past year, we have hired over 100 new employees across all departments to provide a strong bench of support to our merchants and Sales Partners.”

“We bring a deep understanding of the concerns and challenges SMB’s face to manage their businesses and build relationships with their customers,” adds Zach Hyman. “A Small Business Owner has two primary finite resources: time and money. The SpotOn platform provides them a simple way to communicate with their customers and grow their business, all at their fingertips and for an extremely low cost.”

As part of its continued growth and investment, SpotOn has made several strong additions to its Management team and Board of Advisors including Kevin Bryla, CMO of National Funding, and former CMO of ADP and Carl English, founder and CTO of Dinerware. The Company anticipates announcing significant partnerships, product releases and milestones in the coming months.