MRM #RestaurantTech: Foodiebot and Shack App

by MRM Staff 18 Min Read

The intersection of hospitality and technology is evolving at a rapid pace. To keep a pulse on these trends, Modern Restaurant Management (MRM) magazine launched a MRM #RestaurantTech column.  To submit items, contact MRM Executive Editor Barbara Castiglia at bcastiglia@modernrestaurantmanagement.com. 

Orderscape Introduces Foodiebot

Orderscape.com, has developed a best-in-class, full food ordering chatbot to launch early in Q2 to over 6,000 restaurants in the U.S. The company will initially offer restaurant clients and consumers access to Foodiebot Voice™ for Amazon Alexa followed by Foodiebot Chat™ for Facebook Messenger and other chatbot platforms. The Foodiebot portal is an entirely new sales channel that will scale to handle millions of restaurants worldwide.

The launch will support more than 6,000 restaurants nationwide through a partnership with Vancouver-based MonkeyMedia Software, creator of MONKEY, the  cloud-based software for takeout, delivery and catering.

“There is no precedent for a restaurant technology startup launching with this many restaurants while enabling a new conversational commerce sales channel for an entire industry,” said Michael L. Atkinson, CEO and founder, and long-time restaurant technology entrepreneur. "We are extremely proud to partner with MonkeyMedia Software to bring Foodiebot to its more than 6,000 restaurant clients, integrating seamlessly with its food ordering solution for takeout and delivery."

“Orderscape brings decades of restaurant expertise and a best-of-breed conversational UI to our restaurant partners. Foodiebot creates real value, reaching more customers and generating new revenue in an entirely new way,” said Mo Asgari, President of MonkeyMedia Software. 

“With mobile apps withering on the vine, conversational commerce is an exciting new trend, but it’s extremely challenging to get right. Our team pushes the envelope beyond today’s state-of-the-art simple reordering of preset meals to full menu ordering capability for potentially millions of restaurants. Our goal has been to create a truly magical ordering experience for customers that scales worldwide,” said Ted Cohn, CTO and founder.

Customers will be able to access Orderscape's Foodiebot on Amazon Alexa devices initially via custom-branded skills for each restaurant brand partner. Shortly after its Alexa rollout, the company plans to publish Foodiebot for Facebook Messenger. 

"Through this new platform and integration we will be able to further shape how and when customers order their food and get it delivered," said Erle Dardick, CEO and founder, MonkeyMedia Software, The Catering Institute and Catering Insights. "This partnership marks a new era in food ordering."

Waitlist Me Adds Features

Waitlist Me, Inc. announced a new set of table management features for its popular iPad and Android apps that helps restaurant staff know the best place to seat the next customer. The solution for managing tables without a spatial floor plan is an industry first, and was developed by combining insights from psychology, data science, and cutting-edge design principles.

Most restaurants still use an old-fashioned laminated floor plan and a grease pen to mark off occupied tables. However, the inability to see key information like how long tables have been occupied makes it difficult for wait staff to optimize table assignments and estimate wait times. There are apps that add in layers of data, but they make the mistake of designing around the old floor map concept.

"Floor plans look simple, but are deceptively complex," said Brian Hutchins, Waitlist Me CEO. "Deciding where to seat the next customer requires a haphazard search across the whole map followed by a complicated process of interpreting a lot of unstructured data. Wait staff don't need a map of the tables. They know where to go. What they need is a fair, easy, intuitive way to know where to seat the next customer."

In the Waitlist Me app, tables are represented by boxes of equal sizes for simple comparisons. Table sections are organized as lines that can be read from top to bottom, and left to right, like a book. Open tables for each section stand out in green on the left. Then tables that have been occupied the longest show next in the row, with the time occupied displayed in the lower left.

Sections of tables can also be organized into different saved layouts to fit varying needs or times of day. For example, a restaurant manager might divide tables into six sections for a busy weekend night, and switch to a layout of only three sections for a regular day.

"With Waitlist Me's table management features, customers get better service, with less waiting. Employees get their fair share of the work, and the tips. And this all leads to a more efficient and profitable business," said Hutchins.

Reserve Receives More Funding

Reserve announced a $10M Series B round to further its efforts to create better dining experiences and change they way restaurant reservations are made with the support of Expa Capital, First Round, Human Ventures, and others. 

Last May, the company released Reserve for Restaurants (RFR) — its table management software for restaurants. In just nine months, the number of restaurants using RFR has tripled to 519. Later this year, the firm expects to release a table management solution to make it even easier for restaurants to gain more control of their dining rooms by better understanding customer demand and maximizing seatings every day.

Additionally, Reserve has gone nationwide. While they've traditionally operated in our focus cities (New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington DC and, as of a few weeks ago, Asheville, North Carolina), there has been a lot of interest in Reserve for Restaurants from all over the United States. So, we’re officially making it available across the country — no matter the city. 

CAVA Selects ParTech

ParTech, Inc., said CAVA has selected PAR’s cloud-based Brink POS® Software, EverServ® 8000 point of sale terminals, PAR Tablets, and Kitchen Display System (KDS) for all current 23 locations, with plans to open an additional 10 restaurants in 2017. 

The Mediterranean-focused restaurant was founded in 2011 by childhood friends Ted Xenohristos, Ike Grigoropoulos, and Executive Chef Dimitri Moshovitis, who wanted to bring modern, authentic fare to the masses. CAVA features a customizable menu of over 50 ingredients, like their signature Crazy Feta, Border Springs Spicy Lamb Meatballs, and Cauliflower Quinoa Tabbouleh, as well as creative rotating seasonal offerings of juices, soups, and roasted vegetables. CAVA is committed to working with best in class food partners including local farmers and artisan producers.

CAVA was seeking a robust solution that could be easily managed remotely, not only by CAVA, but also by their partners. Also important to CAVA management, was an infrastructure that would support their accelerated growth in new store openings.

“PAR’s Brink software balances reliability with modern infrastructure. The total solution has a sleek design, is quick to deploy, and was able to resolve a lot of challenging problems like California labor laws, which makes it critical for our daily use,” said Josh Patchus, Chief Data Scientist & Director of Technology, CAVA. “Our relationship with Brink has been centered on honest and open communication, which feels more like a budding partnership rather than a typical forced client-contract negotiation.”

“The confidence that CAVA has expressed in selecting PAR’s Brink POS Software and Hardware exemplifies how PAR’s solutions can provide overall business efficiency and be customized to fit the brand,” said Paul Rubin, Senior Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer for ParTech, Inc. “We are honored to be working with such an innovative, modern, and socially responsible brand and look forward to seeing how the company continues to grow this year.”

STG Acquires Fishbowl

Fishbowl Inc., has been acquired by Symphony Technology Group (STG) based in Palo Alto, CA. Fishbowl will leverage the long standing expertise that STG has to offer and will welcome Marc Bala, STG Managing Director, and Adam Hendricks, STG Vice President, to its Board of Directors.

STG is a strategic private equity firm with $2 billion in assets under management focused on transforming high-potential companies into definitive market leaders. The firm’s long-term outlook allows its portfolio of software, data and analytics companies to develop innovative product offerings that will appeal to high-growth markets.

“We found immediate alignment in terms of our long-term vision and strategic synergies with STG. They have a tremendous track record of delivering innovation and scale in the analytics and CRM space,” said Dev Ganesan, CEO of Fishbowl. “STG’s investment and strategic support will allow us to continue to scale our platform, empower restaurant brands to deliver successful customer experience and engagement, and revolutionize the restaurant industry.”

Fishbowl’s intelligent customer engagement platform, ingests and analyzes vast amounts of structured and unstructured data from myriad sources, including POS, email clubs, SMS, mobile, online ordering, reservations, loyalty and more, to uncover and predict critical guest insights, desires and preferences, identify strategies to execute data-driven decisions and engage in an omni-channel manner with guests in a more personal, relevant, and effective way using its engagement and targeting platform.

“Fishbowl is an established leader in the restaurant industry with an excellent track record of providing innovative and mission-critical solutions that serve the needs of more than 250 of the world’s leading brands and restaurant chains,” said Bala. “We are thrilled to partner with Dev and the Fishbowl team to help accelerate the growth of the company’s next generation customer engagement platform and to drive even more value for the leading brands that rely on Fishbowl daily to increase traffic and sales. We are looking forward to the journey ahead.”

Canaccord Genuity acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Fishbowl.

Yogurt Mountain Deploys Gusto® POS

Gusto®, announced their successful point–of-sale rollout to Yogurt Mountain. Birmingham, AL based Yogurt Mountain operates 39 locations throughout the United States including corporate, franchisee, and Books-A-Million stores. After an extensive search, Yogurt Mountain selected Gusto to replace their legacy point-of-sale. Without any operational interruption, Gusto deployed to all Yogurt Mountain locations within one month.

“We’re excited to be working with Yogurt Mountain,” said Gusto founder and CTO Bill Draper. “Yogurt Mountain’s selection of Gusto gives them unprecedented visibility into their business, increased flexibility in managing their different store types, and reduced training and support costs. They share our vision that POS must be more than a simple tool for accepting payments but rather a complete solution that allows operators to holistically manage their business.”

Yogurt Mountain Vice President Julie Wade noted,“The Gusto team's experience with multi-unit chains really set them apart. They focused on understanding our business needs first then developed a rollout plan that offered flexibility with our scheduling and avoided disruption. Their desire to forge a long term partnership was obvious from our very first meeting.”


“We strive to be a trusted partner to Yogurt Mountain, doing for them what we believe that no other POS company could do,” said Don DeMarinis, Gusto’s Chief Revenue Officer. “The Gusto Platform is truly a technology platform and not simply a buzz word used by so many of our competitors.”

Bridg Appoints Mike Horowitz as Chief Product Officer

Bring appointed Mike Horowitz as the company’s Chief Product Officer. Horowitz brings 20 years of enterprise and consumer software development experience to Bridg.

Mike Horowitz

As CPO of Bridg, Horowitz will be responsible for defining and implementing Bridg’s short-term and long-term product strategy, roadmap and vision.

“We’re pleased to welcome Mike as chief product officer of Bridg,” said Amit Jain, founder and chief executive officer of Bridg. “Mike comes to Bridg with best-in-class product and technology leadership and with a strong track record of developing innovative consumer and enterprise products for mobile and web. His breadth and depth of experience will be instrumental as we continue to expand our product platform.”

Horowitz has a long track record of developing innovative products for startups and established technology companies. Previous to Bridg, he led the product team at Ticketmaster / Live Nation, and managed multiple products at Google, including Photos, AdSense, and Google Apps. He's also worked and advised at multiple startups including Applied Semantics, Fetch Technologies, and Abot Labs.  Horowitz holds a B.A. from Duke University and his MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA.

“I am honored to join the Bridg team to support the company in its mission to provide personalized and tailored marketing to today’s consumer, while helping restaurants and retailers forge stronger relationships with their customers,” said Horowitz. “Bridg’s advanced predictive intelligence technologies unlock valuable data to improve customer engagement and I look forward to working with the team to build great products that our clients and consumers love.”

Shack App Debuts

Shake Shack launches its first-ever mobile ordering Shack App for iOS is now available nationwide. To celebrate the occasion, Shake Shack is giving away a free single ShackBurger® to each guest who downloads the new Shack App, redeemable at any U.S. Shack (‘cept airports, stadiums and ballparks) until Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

To get a free ShackBurger, guests simply need to download the Shack App, create an account and use the promo code “shackappy” at checkout. For more deets, head to shakeshack.com/app.

“The Shack App brings a whole new way to experience Shake Shack for our guests—meeting them where they are, when they want, on their terms,” said Randy Garutti, CEO of Shake Shack. “Our initial test and rollout have gone very smoothly, and I am thrilled to share that you can now order ahead at nearly all of our U.S. Shacks.”

Photo courtesy of Shake Shack

The app was developed to elevate the in-Shack guest experience, resulting in shorter pick up times and convenient mobile ordering. Guests can now order Shake Shack when they want it and right from their phone. With the new Shack App, guests can pick their food, choose an available pickup time and it will be cooked-to-order and timed to their arrival. All pickup times are in fifteen minute increments. Check the app for availability throughout the day. More power to ya.

The Shack App features the Shack classics–all-natural beef burgers, flat-top dogs, chicken, frozen custard, crinkle cut fries and more–and includes all of the mobile ordering essentials: guests can find Shacks via a location finder; pick from their favorite orders; keep track of food allergies; access nutritional information; see the latest events and promos; connect to all Shake Shack social media channels and share feedback. What’s more? At any time, guests can view the live Shack Cam at the O.G. Shack in New York City’s Madison Square Park.

The Shack App was created in collaboration with several key partners including mobile product agency Fuzz, mobile ordering platform Olo, guest engagement platform Paytronix and digital experience testing services from Applause. An Android version of the app is in development.

Dinova Adds Zoës Kitchen

Dinova, Inc., said Zoës Kitchen has joined its exclusive business dining marketplace. With more than 200 locations across the United States, Zoës Kitchen aims to deliver goodness to its customers by providing fresh, scratch-made Mediterranean meals, served with gracious hospitality.  From grilled kabobs and savory entrees to tasty salads and creative sandwiches, their wholesome food and flavors are designed to leave guests feeling good, both inside and out.

"Having a Mediterranean brand like Zoës Kitchen available to our business diners is another great fast casual option for travelers looking for unique, healthy alternatives while on the road," said Vic Macchio, CEO and founder of Dinova. "Whether they are looking for a nutritious, scratch-made lunch option, or a place to wind down for dinner after a busy day, Zoës Kitchen is a fabulous option for business diners when they are on the road, are conducting business meals or are planning catering for their office," said Casey Shilling, Chief Marketing Officer, Zoës Kitchen.  "We are thrilled to be a part of the Dinova network, as we are always looking for opportunities to introduce our modern Mediterranean dining experience to more guests."

With the growth of its marketplace to $6 billion in dining spend influence, continues to add increasingly diverse restaurant concepts to its more than 14,000 locations nationwide. Zoës Kitchen is the latest edition to the growing roster of national brands to join Dinova's business dining marketplace. In recent months Dinova has also welcomed Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse and Del Frisco's Grille, P.F. Chang's and Buca di Beppo.


Paytronix Deploys its New Pay at the Table Solution to 197 CPK Locations   

Paytronix Systems, Inc. and California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) completed a national roll out the software company’s new Pay at the Table mobile solution. The polished casual restaurant brand partnered with Paytronix to develop the Android and iOS applications to enhance the in-restaurant, online ordering and takeout experiences, fully integrated with its award-winning loyalty rewards platform through one easy-to-navigate mobile app experience. 

The enhanced CPK Pizza Dough® Rewards application integrates with NCR Aloha Cloud Connect, Aloha Table Service, and the Paytronix Rewards and CRM Platform to deliver relevant, fast, and convenient guest experiences, including offering CPK’s guests the ability to pay for their check from their mobile device and leave precisely when they are ready to do so. Using a single account username and login, CPK guests can access their account to see Pay at the Table check history, change their password, update their profile, check loyalty reward balances, redeem rewards, as well as store their payment information. CPK can continue its relevant mobile messaging strategy with the new app that includes the Paytronix message services: email, push, pull, and geofenced messages. 

Features include:

  • Mobile pay
  • Simple in-restaurant check-in to unlock mobile dine-in features
  • Enhanced mobile takeout ordering
  • Location-based navigation to find the nearest CPK restaurant
  • Push notifications for local promotions and offers
  • Tip calculator
  • Insider updates on seasonal items, promotions and more
  • Past purchase history for quick and easy reference

“We developed our new and improved CPK Pizza Dough Rewards app with our highly mobile guests in mind. In fact, 80 percent of our Pizza Dough Rewards loyalty members engage with us through their mobile device,” said Ashley Ceraolo, senior vice president of marketing and beverage at California Pizza Kitchen. “More than ever, our guests are looking for flexibility and an authentic experience that’s customized to their needs, whether dining-in, grabbing a meal to go, or simply tracking their reward status for their next visit. By incorporating innovations in mobile pay, omnichannel messaging and more, all fully integrated with our loyalty program, we’re putting more control of the dining experience in our guests’ hands.”

“The enhanced CPK Pizza Dough Rewards app uniquely blends multiple APIs into one seamless application platform, from the mobile device to the table to our point-of-sale system,” said Andy Mai, CIO at California Pizza Kitchen. “The result is a best-in-class omnichannel experience that empowers our guest to interact with us how, where and when they want in a convenient and easy-to-use way.”

Version 2.0 of the CPK mobile apps introduces both single sign on and mobile payment, which makes dining with CPK exceptionally convenient.

“It’s been a pleasure working with CPK on this innovation. Research shows that pay by mobile could shave about 12 minutes off each casual dining experience. This is a huge win-win for brands and guests as it has the potential to help table service restaurants win back market share that’s been moving to fast-casual concepts,” said Andrew Robbins, president, Paytronix Systems, Inc.

diningDATA Success

diningDATA now processes payments and analyzes data for more than $1 billion in annual sales. In just over 2 years in operation, the company has helped more than 1,000 businesses use their data to grow sales, with more than 600 added in the past 12 months.

"Our goal is to help restaurants increase their bottom line, improve operational efficiency, and reduce unnecessary costs," said Managing Partner, Paul Hadfield. "We strive to help restaurateurs keep track of the many moving parts in their business. As competition in the hospitality space continues to grow, it's imperative that all small to medium sized businesses use technology to their advantage to make more informed decisions."

The company currently provides in-market sales and support in Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, Philadelphia, Miami, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Columbus, and Brooklyn. In 2017, diningDATA's expansion plans include entering the New York City, Dallas, and Los Angeles markets while expanding its product line.

SendaGuy Now Expands

SendaGuy Now has expanded its service offering to include preventive maintenance services.

“Establishing a preventive maintenance schedule specific to the needs of a restaurant’s equipment and sticking to it will extend the service life of the equipment, eliminating costly repairs,” said Eric Schechter, Certified Restaurant Facilities Professional and Chief Business Guy at SendaGuy Now. “SendaGuy Now helps restaurants locate quality contractors who can provide these important services when required without a service contract.”

SendaGuy Now’s platform matches the details of a restaurant’s repair or preventive maintenance request with the skill set of a qualified service technician working nearby, who can come when needed, usually same day.

Similar to Uber, SendaGuy Now identifies service technicians working in dense urban areas who have idle capacity and pairs them with restaurants nearby that need their specific services. The company says it’s a win-win for all.

“SendaGuy Now has been a huge help in getting our repair and maintenance needs organized and under control so I can focus on all the other needs of the two restaurants I manage," said Kristina Scher, GM of Corkbuzz.

SendaGuy Now currently has over 450 restaurants registered with the app. Customers include independently owned full & quick service restaurants, hospitality groups, and franchisees. On-demand preventive maintenance services include:

Cleaning of grease traps and exhaust systems

Checking:

  • Air conditioning systems
  • Fire suppression systems
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Refrigeration
  • Ice machines
  • Commercial kitchen equipment
  • Backflow preventers
Delegat Updates Brand Identity

Delaget, LLC unveiled a newly-updated brand identity and website, marking a banner year of significant growth and innovation at the company.

"Delaget started as a research project in the basement of a Taco Bell franchise almost 20 years ago. Since then, we've evolved into a 100-person insights company, serving more than 11,000 customers worldwide. We wanted our new brand identity and website to reflect this transformation – and to reflect our commitment to helping our customers run smarter, more profitable operations," said Jason Tober, Delaget CEO.


Delaget has a full suite of restaurant solutions that help restauranteurs find, understand, and act on operational insights, including: outsourced payroll and accounting, restaurant reporting, analytics, and loss prevention. In the competitive restaurant world, these insights and intelligence are a game-changer. That's why Delaget's new tagline is "Smarter Wins" and the logo represents a stylized fox, a symbol of both wisdom and agility.

"The fox ties closely to our mission, to show our customers the wisdom within their data and recommend actions that help them address issues and capitalize on opportunities. The 'Smarter Wins' tagline speaks to the competitive advantage our solutions bring in this hyper-competitive market," said Renée Munro, Director of Marketing at Delaget.


Delaget's completely-revamped website offers updated and expanded content that will help franchise owners and their teams improve their operation. Content includes checklists, action plans, and best practices on optimizing labor, reducing loss, scheduling, managing payroll providers, and more.

"From our new office space, to record company growth, to our new brand identity and website, these are exciting times at Delaget. What's most exciting is having the opportunity to work with even more restaurant franchises, getting to know them and their challenges, and providing them with the tools to address those challenges and enhance and grow their business," said Jason.

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Goes Solar

 The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf® is slated to undertake a complete re-brand and refresh this winter and will make convenient mobile device charging a part of this, working with ZON, Inc to provide solar powered mobile device charging services, will keep The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® patrons' phones and tablets charged up while they enjoy the The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®food and beverage experience.

The technology charges three mobile devices at one time as fast as a wall outlet, day or night. And, customers can use their mobile devices while it charges. 

Tim Welsh, VP of Development with The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®, stated, "The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® has been focusing on driving innovation for our guests since 1963.  From the invention of our Ice Blended® beverage to our new partnership with ZON, we are always looking to improve our guest's experience."

Cameron Welborn-Wilson, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at ZON, Inc., explains, "Imagine the last time you saw your phone battery drop below 20% and how you immediately wonder where you can charge up.  Now people don't have to worry about bringing a special device or extra battery with them, as they can simply go to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® and charge up, while using their phone, and go about their day stress free."

WCAS Reinvests in Revel

Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS) has led a significant new growth capital investment in Revel Systems.WCAS made its initial investment in Revel in 2014, and following the transaction, WCAS will be Revel’s new majority shareholder.

WCAS and Revel appointed Scott Betts as the Company’s new Chief Executive Officer. Betts brings significant experience in senior management roles, most recently as CEO of Global Cash Access, and previously at First Data Corporation and Procter & Gamble.

Eric J. Lee, General Partner at WCAS, commented: “During the past two years, Revel has driven significant product innovation, gained market traction in key industry verticals, recruited terrific talent to the Revel team, and demonstrated strong client traction and growth. Revel’s founders have shown great vision and determination in building the Company. Looking forward, we believe that there is significant market potential for Revel’s leading cloud-based POS solution, and WCAS is excited to fund and catalyze this next phase of Revel’s growth and success. As we do, we especially want to welcome Scott Betts as the Company’s new CEO. With deep technology solutions and global operations experience, he will bring terrific strategic and operational focus as we drive this next phase of growth.”

"Revel’s mission has always been to make business owners’ and operators’ lives easier and more efficient – spurring entrepreneurship and leading the industry with excellent features and functionality. Keeping customers and their success at the forefront will always be core to the organization,” said Lisa Falzone, co-founder of Revel Systems. “Revel is on a great trajectory. Lisa and I look forward to watching the company grow and evolve,” commented Chris Ciabarra, co-founder of Revel Systems.

“I am very excited to join the Revel team and continue Lisa’s and Chris’ great work in building and delivering an outstanding solution and superior business value to our clients,” commented incoming CEO, Scott Betts.

Pizza Inn Launches App Loyalty Program

Pizza Inn collaborated with Punchh, to offer guests an innovative app-based loyalty program.  Guests can earn points for their purchases while enjoying the ease and convenience of ordering through the Pizza Inn website on the new "Pizza Inn Rewards" app. The program is currently in 41 locations.

"The Pizza Inn Rewards program is another way for us to reward our most loyal guests," said Bob Bafundo, president of Pizza Inn, Inc.  "We have so many enthusiastic fans who dine with us multiple times a week and our new rewards program will allow us to show our appreciation.  Just like the new tagline and logo update, the rewards program will play a significant role in attracting the next generation of Pizza Inn fans."

"Consumers expect to engage with their favorite restaurant brand across any channel any time for loyalty, ordering, and other interactions", said Shyam Rao, CEO, Punchh.  "Using the Punchh-powered Pizza Inn Rewards program, we look forward to helping Pizza Inn engage loyal customers, transform them into brand advocates, and attract the next generation of new customers that will drive sales."  

DineTime Adds Feature to Alexa

DineTime added a feature for its Amazon Alexa skill. The DineTime skill provides diners a voice-controlled and hands-free way to get on a waitlist at any DineTime network restaurant.

The collaboration between Amazon Alexa and DineTime began at re:Invent 2016, where DineTime was a finalist in the Alexa Skill Contest, a challenge to build an innovative voice experience using the Alexa Skills Kit.

"Our first launch of the DineTime skill gave diners the benefit of using voice commands to hear restaurant wait times and now the updated version of the skill allows diners to make actionable, on-demand decisions," said Lee Leet, founder and chief executive officer of QSR Automations. "Now diners can not only hear the wait times, but put themselves on the wait list. The clock for waiting starts at the point of interacting with Alexa, not when you arrive at the restaurant."

Using Alexa via products like Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, Amazon Fire TV, and Fire tablets, users can access other features embedded in the skill like nearby or city-specific restaurant locations, distance, exact wait times, and remotely get in line.

The skill is an extension of DineTime's in-store guest management software that collects waitlist data from restaurants. The information, collected from DineTime-equipped restaurants, is sent directly to Alexa-enabled devices creating a seamless and precise user experience.

"DineTime was selected as a finalist in the Alexa Skill Contest as it helps address a customer pain point when dining out, has propensity for high usage, and improves customers' overall dining experience," said Rob Pulciani, Director, Amazon Alexa. "This innovative skill is the first to offer customers the ability to get in line at a restaurant from anywhere. We are excited to give this convenience to owners of Alexa-enabled devices."

The DineTime Skill for Alexa is now available for free through the Amazon Alexa app. Users can also voice enable the skill by simply saying "Alexa, enable the DineTime Skill."

Firehouse Subs Reups iwht ArrowStream

ArrowStream, Inc. said Firehouse Subs will renew its contract for ArrowStream’s market-leading OnDemand software. 

Since beginning its relationship with ArrowStream in 2014, Firehouse Subs has relied upon OnDemand to support spend visibility and trend analysis in its supply chain. Firehouse Subs leverages the actionable intelligence OnDemand provides by utilizing the software’s “at your fingertips” reporting to uncover product and inventory needs, allowing Firehouse Subs to continue expanding its footprint without compromising any operational efficiencies or savings.  The Preemptive Audit feature also allows for Firehouse Subs to be proactive in its supply chain management approach by catching and addressing potential price accuracy issues before they ever impact an invoice.  

“Over the past three years, Firehouse Subs has undoubtedly stepped up our supply chain operation, in large part because of the intelligence that ArrowStream’s OnDemand software provides us,” said Matt Riddleberger, VP of Supply Chain Services, Firehouse Subs.  “The way OnDemand aggregates and packages all of our real-time supply chain data allows for us to make more informed and faster decisions, which saves a great amount of both time and money. We are thrilled to have a partner in ArrowStream that has proven to consistently innovate and raise the bar with its technology.”

“Firehouse Subs has done an excellent job leveraging ArrowStream’s technology to take their supply chain operation to the next level,” said Jeff Dorr, Chief Customer Officer at ArrowStream. “Throughout our partnership, Firehouse Subs has continued to demonstrate why they are one of the leading brands in the restaurant industry.  With Firehouse Subs and many other Top 100 restaurant chains utilizing OnDemand, ArrowStream is fully recognized and embraced as an industry-leader. That said, we never stop innovating, and are looking forward to delivering another series of game-changing new capabilities for our customers in 2017.”  

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