This edition of MRM's News Bites features S&D Coffee & Tea, Ordermark, TableSafe, Starbucks, Restaurant Revolution Technologies and Thanx, Tripleseat and AllSeated and Nima.
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Elevating Coffee Education
In June, S&D Coffee & Tea invited 18 smallholder farmers to take a deeper dive into post-harvest processing—a crucial step when it comes to the development of coffee flavor and quality. They learned firsthand about general processing knowledge, processing technology, good practices and quality assurance for the main processing methods. S&D has been working closely with the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) to offer the Q Processing Program™ to coffee producers who would not otherwise have access to this level of coffee education.
“We want to provide our farmers with a deeper understanding of post-harvest processing. CQI’s Q Processing Program shows them best practices and helps them notice the nuances that impact the flavor and quality of coffee,” says Olga L Cuellar G, Sustainability Strategy Leader, S&D Coffee & Tea. “This valuable knowledge can be a key differentiator in such a competitive market.”
Launched in 2017, the Q Processing Program provides a scientific and technical approach to processing coffee that improves quality, discusses good practices, increases competitiveness, reduces risk and creates a system that can be trusted throughout the supply chain.
In what is traditionally a male-driven industry, S&D is on a mission to equip more female farmers with the education and tools they need to be self-sufficient and successful. This was clearly evident in the number of women who attended the recent Q Processing Level 2 Program—one-third, which is high, as only 10 percent of women hold a legal land title for coffee farms with access to services. Among them was Luz Adriana Henao Ocampo, a 34-year-old single mother of two and head of her household. She was eager to take her learnings beyond the classroom and share her experience with other farmers.
“I already knew a bit of the theory; however, I had not had a chance to contrast theory versus practice. I liked the hands-on approach, the group activities, and the knowledge I gained from being there,” said Luz Adriana Henao Ocampo. “I was very happy I was able to participate in the course and hope that in the future I will be able to improve the quality of my coffee.”
“I was able to discover a part of coffee producing that is not as well-known but is fundamental to the taste of the coffee we drink. We gained so much insight into the world of processing that I felt I needed to share all this with everyone in Raíz,” recalled Esteban Jaramillo, Raíz Coordinator, Medellín, Antioquia. “I hope the farmers can take all of this hard work and translate it into better coffee, which means better quality of life for them and their families.”
Ordermark Closes $9.5 Million Series A Round
Ordermark closed its $9.5M Series A funding round. With financing led by Nosara Capital, the latest round brings in new investors including Vertical Venture Partners, Techstars Ventures, Riverpark Ventures, and Matchstick Ventures — joined by prior investors including TenOneTen, Mucker Capital, Act One Ventures and AARD Capital.
“This has been a growth year for Ordermark, expanding to reach hundreds of top restaurant brands nationwide, and launching new tools to make it easier and more cost efficient for restaurants of all sizes to increase online ordering,” said Alex Canter, Ordermark CEO and Founder. “This new funding will enable us to reach more restaurants faster, to continue focusing on great customer service and reliability, and to stay ahead of the rapid growth of this market.”
Focused on early-stage online marketplaces, Nosara Capital works closely with founders before investing and then continues to provide CFO services to its portfolio companies after investing.
“Ordermark solves a pain point that Alex knows first-hand from his time as a restaurant operator,” said Ian Loizeaux, Founding Partner of Nosara Capital, “The company helps restaurants to optimize online revenue and allows online ordering platforms to scale quickly into new restaurants. Over the past six months, we’ve been extremely impressed with Alex and his team's ability to execute and keep up with accelerating demand for the Ordermark product.”
Ordermark’s platform sends orders from many different online ordering services to a single tablet and printer — enabling restaurants to work with multiple online ordering services. And Ordermark’s services group handles all onboarding of new online ordering services, ongoing management, and menu and hour changes — freeing operators to focus on great food and customer
Since launching in 2017, Ordermark has added hundreds of independent and chain customers throughout the United States. Customers include TGI Friday’s, Qdoba, Veggie Grill, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Yogurtland, Johnny Rockets and Sonic.
TableSafe Expands EMV Support with First Data Certification
TableSafe, Inc. announced the EMV certification of its RAIL™ payment platform with First Data Corporation, enabling the platform to be used to process transactions at the table with the security of First Data’s EMV standards. The combination of the EMV certification and TableSafe’s advanced security of point-to-point encryption (P2PE) and PCI, prevents cardholder data from being accessible on the POS, minimizing the risk of breach or exposure.
“By certifying TableSafe’s platform with First Data’s EMV standards, we’re delivering on our commitment to provide the restaurant industry with the most secure and efficient payment solution for full service restaurants,” said Gordon Gardiner, Chief Executive Officer of TableSafe. “With the addition of First Data EMV support, our secure payment platform results in greater peace of mind for both the merchant and the guest.”
TableSafe also enables the guest to control the entire payment process freeing up the server to focus on hospitality. The TableSafe platform provides an easy and intuitive interface that enables the guest to review the check, auto-calculate tips, split the bill multiple ways, process the payment and receive email receipts, all from the convenience of their table and without server assistance.
Starbucks in Milan
Starbucks opened the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Milan, designed to be a place where Italian customers can come to discover the art and science of coffee in an environment that leaves its mark and is both a tribute to the city of Milan that a celebration of all that Starbucks has learned about coffee in its 47 years of history.
"During my first trip to Milan in 1983, I was fascinated by the air of community that is breathed in the cafes of the city – moments of human relationship that with so much spontaneity and genuineness were felt among baristas and customers. The opening of Milan Roastery is the story of Starbucks back to its origins, "said Howard Schultz, president emeritus of Starbucks. "Everything we have experienced, from that first moment of inspiration 35 years ago to today and being part of the daily life of millions of people all over the world, we bring with great respect in Italy. On behalf of the 350,000 partners who wear the green apron and the millions that parade in front of them, I am proud and at the same time humble in bringing Italian customers an experience that is the best of Starbucks ".
The arrival of Starbucks in Italy – 78 or global market company – differs from any other market opening in history. Milan marks the first time in which Starbucks establishes its presence in the administration in a new nation in the roasting format, with only two other cases in the world: the Seattle Roastery, inaugurated in 2014 and the Roastery in Shanghai, which opened in 2017. With 2,300 square meters (25,000 square feet), Milan Roastery is located in the Palazzo delle Poste in Piazza Cordusio – just a few streets away from symbolic landmarks such as the Duomo, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and the Teatro alla Scala.
Starbucks opened its first financial year in Europe 20 years ago in London. Since then it has grown in strategic franchise partnerships in over 3,100 businesses in 40 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The introduction of the Reserve Roastery in Milan, managed directly by the parent company, reinforces the company's investment in its quality brand, as part of its global growth strategy, which also serves as a point of sales innovation transmission line and product for its primary exercises worldwide. After the opening of the Roastery, Starbucks will bring more coffee to Milan through the Percassi dealer partner from the end of 2018.
" We have advanced in steps of lead because our entry into Italy was meditative and respectful," said Kevin Johnson, CEO of Starbucks. " The introduction of our Roastery and the high-quality indicative Reserve brand will prepare the ground for the long-term development of our central portfolio of supply points at our international partner Percassi".
" We spent the past year living and breathing in the city of Milan, working closely with dozens of local artisans to bring to life our best experience of administration that captures each of our customers' senses – sight, hearing, touch, smell and of course taste, "said Liz Muller, head of the Starbucks design studio. " From the Palladian floor hand-chiselled to the light green shingles made by the Italian artisan Solari, everything you see in the Roastery is intentional and offers moments of discovery and transparency."
In 2016 Starbucks announced a strategic partnership with the Italian baker Rocco Princi, making its artisanal products just out of the box the exclusive pairing of the company's special Reserve brand After the introduction of Princi delicacies in the roasters of Seattle and Shanghai, the Last year, Princi is now offered to customers in the first Reserve facility located in the Starbucks headquarters, in addition to the first US retail outlet in Princi, which opened its doors this summer in Seattle.
Inspired by the ritual of Italian aperitif – cocktails with pleasantries to be enjoyed with snacks in the early hours of the evening – the Milan Roastery will be the first Starbucks exercise to present bars.
Revolution Teams with Thanx
Restaurant Revolution Technologies, Inc. (Revolution) partnered with Thanx, Inc. Supported by Revolution’s Order One technology, the newly-formed partnership with Thanx adds more convenient ways for off-premise customers to order food from their favorite restaurants while earning and redeeming loyalty rewards through single sign-on. The first restaurant to take advantage of the integration is Garden Catering Restaurants (Garden Catering), a multi-unit chain with locations throughout the Northeast.
“By partnering with Thanx, we are proud to enable our restaurant clients, like Garden Catering, more convenient ways for their customers to order outside the restaurant walls that lead to additional loyalty program activity,” said Revolution CEO Brad Duea. “Providing collaborative integrations and the latest in platform innovations ensures our restaurant partners’ customers receive the best overall experience.”
Order One incorporates all customer orders, whether they were placed via web, mobile, social, phone, text or chat, directly into the restaurant’s point of sale (POS) system for optimal efficiency.
Zach Goldstein, Founder and CEO of Thanx added: “We are excited to integrate Revolution’s technology with our mobile applications where consumers can now place orders with the same account where they earn rewards and leave feedback for their favorite brands. It’s an even bigger step forward for our restaurant partners who can target customers with personalized promotions across channels.”
“All of us at Garden Catering are thrilled to be employing the Order One platform by Revolution, both on our website as well as incorporated into Thanx to streamline loyalty program opportunities for our customers,” said Zino Carr, Growth and Operations Strategist at Garden Catering. “With powerful digital technology in place, we will be able to offer a robust and meaningful experience which will help us to better understand and engage our customers.”
Tripleseat Teams with AllSeated
AllSeated’s technology has been integrated into the Tripleseat platform. This collaboration gives customers the power of Tripleseat’s event management features plus seamless access to 3D and VR floorplanning, guest list management and seating arrangement, saving customers time and travel.
"For hospitality professionals, timing is everything,” says Jonathan Morse, CEO of Tripleseat. “We are pleased to integrate AllSeated’s VR technology into our service. Our event management features and AllSeated's technology will provide venues and event professionals all of the tools they need to make the event planning process fully streamlined and easily turn leads into sales."
"Our goal is to improve the visibility and closing rates of the venues we work with through the help of VR technology,” says Sandy Hammer, CMO and Co-Founder of AllSeated. "We’re excited to partner with Tripleseat to allow event planners the opportunity to view venue floorplans in 3D and VR, and get a better idea of what locations look like before booking.”
Chicken Express Selects Paytronix Platform
Chicken Express deployed the Paytronix Gift Card system. Chicken Express selected Paytronix for its flexible platform that is integrated with the brand’s primary POS, NCR Aloha, as well as all other POS systems used by its franchisees.
The previous Chicken Express Gift Card system required franchisees to add a separate terminal alongside the main POS system. “It was so difficult to use that many restaurants simply avoided dealing with gift cards altogether,” said Ricky Stuart, co-owner of Chicken E Food Service and Chicken Express. “I can’t guarantee what POS we will be using in five years, so we needed a provider that is flexible to fit our current needs,” said Stuart. “Paytronix makes it easy to sell gift cards at the POS, which in turn, makes our franchisees eager to join the program.”
“By removing the barriers to further gift card sales, we’re helping Chicken Express continue on its growth trajectory,” said Michelle Tempesta, head of marketing, Paytronix Systems, Inc. “The merchant experience coupled with the customer experience are key to keeping users actively producing incremental sales.”
The Peanut Sensor
Nima introduced the Nima Peanut Sensor. For the 15 million Americans with food allergies, eating foods they haven’t prepared themselves can be incredibly dangerous. Peanut allergies are particularly risky, with reactions varying from stomach aches to skin reactions, and in extreme cases, anaphylaxis.
“Millions of people with peanut allergies are eating at restaurants every day, not knowing whether or not hidden sources of peanuts in their food is going to make them sick,” said Shireen Yates, CEO and co-founder of Nima. “We are so eager to get this device into their hands to help them make more informed decisions about what they eat.”
The Peanut Sensor can detect 10 parts per million (ppm) of peanut protein and above with 97.6 to 99.2 percent accuracy based on robust validation testing.
Testing with Nima is quick and easy. Start by placing a pea-sized sample of food into a one-time-use capsule and screw on the cap. Then, insert the capsule into the device and press the power button. Testing takes about five minutes, depending on the food or liquid.
Once testing is complete, if peanut has been found, the sensor will display aclear “Peanut Found” message, along with a peanut icon. If no peanut has been found, a smiley face will appear, and the user is free to enjoy their food. Nima designed the Peanut Sensor to be easy for families and kids of all ages to use.
“Nima is not designed to replace any of the precautions people with food allergies or sensitivities are already taking at mealtime,” Yates said. “As someone who has food sensitivities and allergies, I use my Nima to supplement my mealtime diligence, and let Nima take the first bite when I need more information about my food. It’s still extremely important to do your due diligence and continue to take precautions when eating out. Nima is designed to provide one additional data point about your food to help users make a more informed decision before they take the first bite.”
Nima is growing their community of users through their connected sensor and iOS and Android apps. The Nima App allows users to sync the sensor to their phones via Bluetooth and add results of their tests and restaurant reviews to Nima’s database. Community members can rate restaurants and packaged foods based on their sensor’s test results and their experience with the restaurant’s ability to accommodate their dietary restrictions.
Community members use Nima’s database to search for packaged foods by brand to see community ratings and test results. Additionally, users can access a crowdsourced map of Nima-tested restaurants in their area, with green icons designating restaurants with gluten- or peanut-free test results, and orange icons for menu items that tested positive for containing an allergen.