MRM #RestaurantTech: PeachWorks with Toast, Loyal Punchh, Freevo Debuts and a Smart Coaster

by MRM Staff 22 Min Read

Partnerships and product launches are featured at the intersection of hospitality and technology in this edition of Modern Restaurant Management (MRM) magazine's #RestaurantTech column.  To submit items, contact Barbara Castiglia at bcastiglia@modernrestaurantmanagement.com. 

Toast and PeachWorks Partner

Toast announced a partnership and integration between its Restaurant POS and PeachWorks. Together, Toast and PeachWorks will provide restaurant operators with scheduling and inventory capabilities designed to empower restaurants - from SMB to enterprise - with a seamless back-of-the-house experience.

PeachWorks has a complete suite of integrated apps that puts users in control of every key aspect of the back-office, taking the guesswork out of restaurant management. PeachWorks Scheduling allows staff members to view schedules, trade shifts, and manage availability requests over the internet, email, or via mobile text. PeachWorks Inventory combines the simplicity of managing inventory on a spreadsheet with the power of a fully integrated, mobile, cloud-based solution.

"Our best-in-class partner ecosystem, the Toast API Partner Program, provides our customers with the industry’s finest restaurant technology tools, allowing users to streamline operations and grow revenue," said Aman Narang, president and co-founder of Toast. "Toast enables restaurants of all sizes to create the perfect guest experience; we are able to continue to deliver on this vision thanks to our partnership with PeachWorks.”

Through the integration with PeachWorks and Toast Restaurant POS integration, users will be able to:

  • Configure dashboards: using an easy drag and drop interface, set specific preferences and easily keep tabs on actual versus scheduled labor
  • Send internal and external messages: easily update staff about schedule changes in real-time
  • Set enforcement windows: require a manager's approval when an employee tries to clock in or out beyond the specified range
  • View real-time updates: gain visibility into business rule conflicts and overtime alerts in a single display window
  • Obtain visibility into inventory: with the ability to easily track items, add receipts for items purchased, declare prep, run powerful reports to track large variances and determine cost of sales, users can manage inventory items and recipes, resulting in greater customer satisfaction and profit margins

"The anchor of any successful restaurant operation is the POS, and Toast dominates the cloud POS space. Together, PeachWorks and Toast form a powerful team to convert data into actionable information that management can rely on for more efficient and profitable operations," said Jim Kanir, CEO of PeachWorks. "We're proud to be a part of the Toast/PeachWorks partnership which provides one of the most compelling productivity combinations in the industry."

Toast offers advanced functionality to manage the day-to-day operations of the restaurant, including quick menu modifications, real-time enterprise reporting and labor management on an easy-to-use interface. The platform also features revenue-driving tools including physical and digital gift cards, loyalty programs and online ordering. For additional information, click here

Punchh Gets Loyal

Punchh announced that Apple Pay users visiting participating restaurants will soon be able to not only pay for their purchases, but earn and redeem rewards and loyalty points using Apple Wallet.

Punchh’s Restaurant Marketing Cloud™ is the first platform that bridges the gap between restaurants and customers, empowering restaurants to shape personalized offers that attract and engage more meaningfully with loyal customers. Punchh’s clients include more than 85 leading restaurant chains such as Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, El Pollo Loco, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Pieology, Quiznos, and Smashburger.

“Consumers expect rich, digital experiences when they engage with the brands they love, and that includes being able to pay with their iPhone,” said Shyam Rao, CEO, Punchh. “By offering Apple Pay with Punchh-powered restaurant loyalty programs, we are not just facilitating a faster, easier and more secure method of payment to the industry, but enabling restaurants to tailor their experience in a way that drives increased visits and sales. It’s an industry game changer.”

Punchh modernizes customer engagement programs within weeks, offering the ability to segment customers, predict customer behavior, create and execute targeted campaigns, and track performance in real-time. Restaurant interactions include loyalty, ordering, payments, offers, feedback, surveys, games, and gift cards.

Brands including Smashburger, Quiznos, and MOD Pizza will be offering Apple Pay with the Punchh integrated solution starting later this year.

"By adding Apple Pay to our Punchh-powered mobile app, it will not only be easier for customers to pay with their iPhone, but join our loyalty and rewards program to start earning and redeeming points immediately,'" said David Martinelli, Senior Director of Marketing, Smashburger. "Since Apple Pay users will be prompted to join our loyalty program upon payment at the register, we believe that the opportunity to drive revenue growth through repeat visits and higher sales is enormous."

“We are thrilled to be able to offer Apple Pay,” said Chris Ruszkowski, Senior Vice President Marketing and Advertising, Quiznos. “As more and more customers want to use Apple Pay in stores, we believe this integration kills two birds with one stone. It enables us to offer next-generation payment solutions on-par with customer expectations, while also building loyalty and incentivizing them to come back more often.”

For participating restaurant brands, Apple Pay users will be prompted at checkout to add the restaurant’s loyalty program to their Apple Wallet. Once added, customers will automatically begin earning points and receiving specialized offers, which can be redeemed during future visits. Restaurant brands using the integrated solution will be able to match customers who have opted in to their loyalty program with their payments and receipts, know which menu items they purchased, and incentivize them to use Apple Pay.

Security and privacy is at the core of Apple Pay. When a credit or debit card is used with Apple Pay, the actual card numbers are not stored on the device, nor on Apple servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element on the user’s device. Each transaction is authorized with a onetime unique dynamic security code.

Ziosk at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Restaurants

Ziosk and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Restaurants, part of International Meal Company, have partnered to bring tabletop tablets to Margaritaville Restaurant locations. Under the partnership, Margaritaville Restaurant guests will enjoy the convenience of self-ordering and payment security at the table through Ziosk’s Europay MasterCard Visa (EMV) and Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE). P2PE technology helps to ensure sensitive credit card data is protected from first card swipe, while in transit, all the way to payment providers.

The Ziosk will also help the restaurant group collect an unprecedented volume and quality of survey insights to better understand the voice of the guest. The Ziosk post-dining survey allows guests to provide real-time feedback on their dining experience and these insights provide a deep understanding of the sales and service behaviors of the servers. Margaritaville Restaurants will also be able to leverage talent management solutions through the Ziosk to better determine training needs and to identify and recognize top performing staff members.

The Ziosk 7-inch tablet will be displayed on each table, enabling diners to interactively explore menu items and specials as well as order appetizers, beverages and desserts without having to wait for their server. Additionally, guests can participate in a variety of entertainment activities including trivia and games, all designed to enhance a communal experience at the table.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Ziosk to improve our payment security standards through EMV technology, while obtaining measurable and actionable data from the Ziosk surveys,” said David Crabtree, President and CEO of International Meal Company U.S. “Creating a unique and wonderful dining experience is our number one priority, and the introduction of the Ziosk will give guests the choice to pay at the table for the first time, providing greater control and security, while improving efficiency on the operations side.”

"We are excited to be working together with International Meal Company and their Margaritaville Restaurant locations to offer guests a more convenient, secure and customized dining experience," said Austen Mulinder, CEO of Ziosk. "The Ziosk will also provide Margaritaville Restaurants with valuable and impactful survey data insights to help improve server performance, attain feedback on various menu items and ultimately enhance the guest experience.”

Commanding 95 percent market share in the deployed tabletop tablet space, Ziosk tablets are currently in more than 3,000 restaurants across all 50 states. Ziosk has over 170,000 tablets interacting with more than 50 million guests per month.

Uncle Maddio's Chooses ParTech

Uncle Maddio’s Pizza has deployed PAR’s cloud-based Brink POS® Software and EverServ® 500 and 550 terminals for 50 locations, with plans to expand locations. Uncle Maddio's Pizza is a category leader of the create-your-own, fast casual pizza restaurants. The restaurant's unique fast bake ovens offer the most throughput in the industry and can produce 200 pizzas per hour.

ParTech, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of PAR Technology Corporation.

Uncle Maddio’s Pizza has a robust site growth plan and was looking for a solution that could support their development.  With a set of technology constraints that they were experiencing, Uncle Maddio’s Pizza needed a POS that offered better credit card processing, gift card capabilities, loyalty program integration, and more resourceful report and data functionalities.

RDS, a value-added reseller, facilitated the process to identify the best solution for their needs.

“Installing a cloud-based software was the direction we knew we wanted to go. What attracted us to PAR Technology was the ability they have to grow and shift with our business needs,” said Jenelle Brown, VP of Operations, Uncle Maddio’s Pizza. “Being an emerging brand was also a big attraction to us. We have had a great experience working with the Brink team and have developed a great relationship with the service team as well as   help desk personnel. They always take our feedback and use it to further advance their technology.”

Since deploying Brink, Uncle Maddio’s Pizza has been able to implement online ordering, integrate their loyalty program and third-party delivery platforms. It has proven to be a good hub for other revenue streams for the business.

“Brink will be a great resource for Uncle Maddio’s Pizza’s growth and innovation plans.” said Paul Rubin, Chief Strategy Officer, ParTech, Inc. “The improvements and expansions for ordering, integrations and reporting that Uncle Maddio’s Pizza has already experienced with Brink fully exemplifies the capabilities the software has. We are excited to be a part of the growth journey and look forward to seeing how PAR and Brink will continue to support them.” 

"We are pleased to be a part of this exceptional partnership with Uncle Maddio's and PAR. A truly seamless integration of technologies is possible when the right team is assembled. This project was not focused only on POS terminals, but on streamlining processes to gain maximum efficiencies across the board," said Walt Davis, General Manager, Retail Data Systems.

Restorando Partners with TripAdvisor

Restorando and TripAdvisor announced an agreement integrating Restorando’s restaurant network into the TripAdvisor desktop website, mobile website and mobile app experiences. Through the Restorando integration, TripAdvisor will facilitate reservations for diners in seven Latin American countries including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Uruguay. Restorando works with over 5,000 restaurants and has seated 20 million diners to date across the Latin American region.

Consumers browsing TripAdvisor restaurant listings now have the option to reserve a table online at thousands of popular restaurants in Latin American cities such as Buenos Aires, Mexico City and Bogota, among others. By clicking the “Reserve” button, consumers are brought to Restorando’s online or mobile platforms to quickly and easily book a table.

“We are excited to partner with TripAdvisor to facilitate delightful dining experiences for travelers,” said Frank Martin, Co-Founder & CEO of Restorando. “We strongly believe local restaurateurs and the food they serve are among the best things our region has to offer. Enabling this connection is in our core mission.”

“As one of the world’s largest restaurant sites, we are always looking for ways to make it easier for travelers and locals to find and reserve a table anytime, anywhere,” said Bertrand Jelensperger, Senior Vice President, TripAdvisor Restaurants. “We’re thrilled to extend the reach of our online reservations platform and bring Restorando’s extensive restaurant network to TripAdvisor users.”

Terms and length of the agreement will not be disclosed.

xCeL London Hospitality partners with Preoday 

ExCeL London Hospitality, the official catering partner for ExCeL London, is working with technology provider Preoday to offer mobile and online ordering of food for exhibitors at the venue. Exhibitors will be able to get food and drink at a convenient time, thus improving their overall experience. Exhibitors at ExCeL London will now be able to order their food and drink from eateries on the venue’s central boulevard, and have it delivered directly to their stand, so that they don’t have to miss precious moments waiting in the lunch queue. 

Users simply download the ExCeL London app from the App Store or Google Play, then choose what they would like to order and pay - all in a matter of minutes. 

The service will launch at the Protection & Management Series taking place at ExCeL on the 22nd June. Future developments of the service will include collection options for visitors. 

Andrew White, CEO of Preoday explained, “ExCeL London welcomes over 4 million visitors every year and at peak times, there can be huge volumes of people purchasing food on the boulevard. The ability to pre-order food and drink from their phone or computer will help improve the experience for busy exhibitors. ExCeL London Hospitality is leading the way in the industry and providing a service that customers will appreciate and come to expect everywhere.” 

Kevin Watson, Director of Catering for ExCeL London Hospitality, commented, “As part of our plan to transform our hospitality environment to help create a great experience for all who come to ExCeL, our partnership with Preoday will help make food purchasing faster and more convenient. We look forward to introducing and expanding this mobile and online ordering service at ExCeL.” 

ExCeL London Hospitality is a partnership between ExCeL London and Levy Restaurants UK 

Brio, the Smart Coaster 

New Potato Technologies, Inc., launched Brio, a smart coaster that pairs an interactive app and drink safety technology to enhance a user's social drinking experience.

The bar has been raised in the realm of cool drinking technology. Designed to bring people together in social settings while adding an extra layer of defense from drink tampering, the Brio Smart Coaster is now available for purchase for $39.99.

Conveniently sized to fit into a purse or back pocket, the Brio Smart Coaster can be taken to restaurants, bars, or any nightlife establishment to spark new connections and provide a source of entertainment; all while helping the user keep track of his or her beverage.

Brio features 24 bright white LED lights that illuminate in unique patterns, and comes with coaster inserts that express a user's personality. Additional inserts, including custom-designed coasters, can be purchased separately.

By connecting the free Brio Smart Life app to their Brio Smart Coaster via Bluetooth, users have access to innovative and engaging features, including:

Brio Mingle: Users create real-time reports that other users can use to guide their evening plans and find places or events that fit their vibe.

Brio Actions: Brio can perform a multitude of actions with a simple tap, including "Find my Brio," which allows users to locate their drink. Other games and customized light functions are also available.

Guard Mode: Place Brio on a drink and activate Guard Mode through the mobile app. If someone tampers with the drink, Brio will display a light sequence alarm and send a notification to their mobile device.

Dinetec Joins Sandy Alexander

Sandy Alexander announced Dinetec as the newest company to become part of the Sandy family. Dinetec, headquartered in Orlando, FL, is led by John Glick and specializes in the development and implementation of technologies tailored for the restaurant industry and their guests. Dinetec's platform offers guest facing innovations, data management, dynamic workflows, menu programs, compliance and mobile and Wi-Fi integration, providing solutions to key markets such as casual dining, fast casual and quick serve.

Sandy Alexander CEO and President Mike Graff stated, "We're extremely excited to have John Glick and Dinetech as part of the Sandy family. John has a sought after combination of innovation, strategy, and manufacturing, and an uncontested understanding of the market."

 Glick stated, "Understanding the dining out guest is an ever evolving process. Overall, the simple truth is that consumers have more choices, and choices equal opportunity. The right combination of marketing and applied technologies will help to define the guest experience and ultimately drive traffic and ROI."

Sandy Alexander's resources combined with Dinetec will create a new holistic vertical to serve the restaurant industry and their guests.

Health Freak Cafe Upgrades to Naranga

Health Freak Café upgraded to Naranga's franchise management software to assist with the onboarding of new franchisees, central operations and secure employee training. Based out of Western Australia, Health Freak Café has focused on providing diners with healthy food options for everyone, including individuals with specific dietary needs.

As the number of locations increase, Health Freak Café has turned to Naranga's central operations software to manage and support their complete network of franchisee locations. Easy-to-use mobile accessibility will allow them to efficiently communicate across all locations, while measuring key performance metrics.

In addition, Health Freak Café has also switched to Naranga for online employee training capabilities. With this solution, Health Freak Café will provide secure video training to each location with follow up quizzes and dashboard reporting to ensure employee comprehension.   

Raluca Petrut, National Operations Manager at Health Freak Café said, "As we grow, we realize that having one source of truth for our franchisees, both from an operations and training standpoint, is paramount. We love the intuitive interface of Naranga's platform and the option to add additional capabilities down the road."

"Partnering with Health Freak Café in Australia is another milestone for Naranga's international expansion. We are honored that they chose us and we are committed to providing them with the same superior service as we do with our clients here in North America," said George Duffield, VP of Enterprise Sales at Naranga.

PDQ Goes with LogicSource

The PDQ restaurant brand entered into a multi-year agreement with LogicSource®. As part of the agreement, LogicSource® will provide the fast-casual chain with sourcing and procurement management for all of PDQ's new standalone store construction as well as existing facility repair and maintenance.

"Based upon our strategic decision to redesign and reduce the cost of our restaurants, while maintaining the outstanding dining experience our guests have come to expect, we have been impressed with the LogicSource sourcing and procurement expertise," said Nick Reader, PDQ CEO and Co-Founder. "Their sourcing and procurement utility drives measurable savings, process improvements and automation while supporting ongoing value engineering. We are excited to work with LogicSource as we look forward to building new PDQ restaurants in the coming years." 

"In a relatively short time period, Bob, Nick and all of the incredibly dedicated PDQ team has done an extraordinary job of redefining what upscale, casual dining in this country could and should be," said David Pennino, President and Chief Executive Officer, LogicSource®. "Working with good people is core to PDQ's mission, so all of us at LogicSource® are truly honored to have the opportunity to help them keep growing so they can remain focused on serving up their delicious, high quality food and genuine warm hospitality."

Dinova Receives ACG Accolade

Dinova, Inc. was recognized at the Association for Corporate Growth® (ACG) annual Atlanta Chapter Georgia Fast 40 Awards Gala.The ACG is a global professional organization with the mission of Driving Middle-Market Growth®. 

CEO and founder, Vic Macchio, took the stage to accept the award on behalf of the entire company. “Dinova’s success starts, proceeds and ends with people,” said Macchio. “We have employees who are passionate about the work we do, and the ACG Georgia Fast 40 Award is a great example of the dedication and commitment of the entire company.”

Applicants were required to submit three years of verifiable revenue and employment growth records, which were validated by national accounting firm and founding Diamond sponsor, Cherry Bekaert LLP. An ACG Selection Committee evaluated each application and conducted in-person interviews with all qualified applicants. All companies on the list are for-profit, headquartered in Georgia and reported 2016 annual revenues ranging from $15 to $500 million.

“These 40 companies represent 9,574 new jobs and $2.03 billion in revenue growth over the last two years alone,” said Justin Palmer, chairman of the 2017 Georgia Fast 40 Awards and Vice President at Genesis Capital, LLC. “We are proud to honor these great companies in our communities.”

SICOM CFO Honored

SICOM CFO, Michael Schaffer has been honored with the Philadelphia Business Journal’s CFO of the Year Award for his outstanding performance as a financial steward.      

“In the one year that Mike has been with SICOM, he has demonstrated his in-depth financial expertise during our acquisition of RTI and positioning us for further growth and profitability,” said Jim Flynn, CEO of SICOM.  “He is an invaluable asset to our management team, guiding us to make sound financial decisions and ensuring our fiscal integrity.  We are proud of Mike for being honored with this prestigious award.”  

Schaffer joined SICOM in May 2016 and has brought a diverse background in operational finance along with process improvement from 25+ years of experience within Fortune 100 public companies, privately held companies, and private equity portfolio companies.  He came to SICOM from global digital signage software company, Scala, Inc., where he was CFO and COO.  He brings to SICOM expertise in financial management, treasury operations, information systems, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic planning.  

Schaffer is a graduate of Bucknell University with a B.A. in economics and mathematics, and earned an Executive M.B.A. through the GE Financial Management Program.  

Schaffer will be honored at a ceremony on July 13th at the Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia.   

Cin7 Launches App Store

Cin7 announced the launch of the Cin7 App Store, allowing customers to quickly and easily set up and scale-up Cin7 to suit their business needs. 


The Cin7 App Store is a centralized, easy-to-navigate catalogue of the Cin7 core production, warehouse, POS and B2B capabilities plus 120-plus integrations to the popular accounting solutions, ecommerce platforms and marketplaces, retailers, logistics and shipping providers, and sales, marketing and payments applications that businesses use to efficiently sell their products..

"Cin7 gives our customers integrated control over inventory management across their entire business, so it is itself a very powerful solution," says Cin7 Founder and Chief Architect Danny Ing. "The App Store takes the complexity out of further implementing Cin7 to give customers even more time to focus on their core business."

With other inventory management software, customers may spend hours dealing with multiple vendor support teams to integrate third-party solutions, services, and trading partnerships. For EDI connections to big-box retailers, the process can take months. The Cin7 App Store lets users "click-and-connect" to activate the Cin7 integrations in minutes to seamlessly implement a real-time, full-view inventory and supply chain management solution.

"This is one of the most significant upgrades Cin7 has made to the solution," says Ing. "Weve invested significantly in the last 18 months building capabilities, adding integrations and improving the back-end. Now were making it even easier for our customers to seamlessly tap into and amplify the Cin7 solution."

The Cin7 App Store is organized by integration type, including its core modules, 3PL providers, accounting software such as Quickbooks Online, marketplaces like Amazon, retailers including Nordstrom and much more. Ease-of-use features include:

  • Clean, navigable interface
  • Fast, "click-and-connect" user implementation to easily set up and scale as business grows
  • Workflow charts and descriptions of each integration and how it works with Cin7
  • Easy access to in-depth help and technical documentation
  • Integration dashboards for subscribers to monitor connection status and sales activity

Cin7 gives customers actual stock levels and costs in real-time as they sell their products through their online and brick-and-mortar sales channels and as they fulfill orders from their warehouse and 3PL partners. The Cin7 App Store makes it easy to extend that power to however they sell, store and ship their products.

Freevo Debuts in Chicago

Freevo, a membership-based mobile app offering complimentary food and drinks throughout the city, launched in Chicago. The app, which began beta testing earlier this year, has since attained thousands of users and over 150 partner restaurants covering the greater Chicago area, including Sayat Nova (Streeterville), Mama Milano’s Pizza Bar (Old Town) and Milt’s Barbecue for the Perplexed (Lakeview). The Freevo team’s goal is to give locals a new reason to explore and support independent restaurants around Chicago.

“We’re thrilled to be launching Freevo for the first time in a city so renowned for its culinary scene,” said Anthony Miller, CEO of Freevo. “Chicago residents are already using their membership to discover new restaurants in their own neighborhoods, and the best part is they are trying them out at no cost.”

Membership costs $20 per year for unlimited usage and all food and drinks offered on the app are 100 percent complimentary on redemption. Freevo members get access to an easy-to-use mobile app for satisfying a coffee craving, grabbing breakfast or lunch with a co-worker, going out to dinner or finding a late-night snack. The app uses GPS to present members a variety of choices within their immediate vicinity, so no matter where someone is in Chicago, there are Freevo offers nearby. With Freevo there are no sneaky gimmicks, advertising, in-app purchases or exaggerated discounts, and the average member is saving over $8.50 per redemption. 

The Freevo app was designed to provide independent restaurants with the ability to offer members select menu items for free to draw in customers and drive earnings when they need it most. Beta testing has shown that the average Freevo member brings a friend or two along and buys more than just redeeming their complimentary item. In addition, after a positive dining experience using Freevo, members are more likely to become repeat customers. 

Restaurants are already reaping the benefits, including Chicago staple, The Original Gino’s East.

“As a well-established restaurant in Chicago, we’re grateful to have a loyal customer base. Being a part of the Freevo app has given us the opportunity to attract new patrons during the times we need them most,” said Chris McKinney, franchise owner of The Original Gino’s East, “We’ve loved serving Freevo users and can’t wait to see the continued success the app brings us in the future.”

Freevo was developed in partnership with Restaurant Depot LLC. 

“Our shared values made the partnership with Freevo a natural fit. We both believe in the importance of providing people with savings and supporting independent food businesses,” said Senior Vice President Larry Cohen from Restaurant Depot LLC. “When it comes to choosing a restaurant, Chicagoans have many options, but the Freevo App can help expand their dining choices by making it more affordable for people to try a new neighborhood spot.” 

Diversified Restaurant Group Selects Delaget

Diversified Restaurant Group, LLC, a restaurant group that manages 150 Taco Bell restaurants in Northern California and Nevada, today announced a new payroll and accounting partnership with Delaget, LLC.

"We reached the 150 store mark through acquisitions of larger franchise groups, and we want to continue to grow our restaurant portfolio. You can't run – or grow – a company effectively with multiple different systems and processes. After an analysis, we determined that we needed to outsource our payroll and accounting to eliminate redundancies, make us more effective in running our current portfolio of stores, and help make us nimbler and more competitive for future acquisitions," said Erich Moxley, SVP and Franchisee at Diversified Restaurant Group, LLC.

Diversified Restaurant Group is leveraging Delaget Books, a time-saving payroll and accounting service focused on multi-unit operators. With Delaget Books, franchise owners save time by having Delaget experts process accounts payable and receivable, daily cash reports, P&Ls, payroll, and expense reports, and handle other accounting tasks.

"We looked at several other competitors, and we found that Delaget was the right partner for us. We already trust Delaget for our restaurant reporting, their team has a deep understanding of the industry, and other outsourcing services didn't have all the bells and whistles we were looking for. These reasons made it a much easier decision to outsource," said Erich.

Outsourcing will also allow Erich and the team at Diversified to focus what really matters to their business.

"Instead of spending time managing numerous vendors, invoices, and other payroll and accounting functions, outsourcing will allow us to focus on developing our business, acquiring and building stores, and working with our middle and store level management teams to run a more efficient operation," said Erich. "I didn't become a franchisee to run a payroll company or CPA firm. I became a franchisee because I want to run restaurants," he added.

"At Delaget, our mission is to help restauranteurs run smarter, more profitable restaurants. By outsourcing payroll and accounting, the team at Diversified will have more time to focus on strategic initiatives and growing their business. We're excited to partner with them and help them make their growth easier," said Jason Tober, Delaget CEO.

Taco Bueno's New Website

Tandem Theory was awarded the digital redesign and deployment of the Taco Bueno website this spring. The site, developed with the consumer in mind, was built to be responsive for on-the-go customers, to highlight Taco Bueno's new offerings and support increased web traffic.

New features of the site also include:

  • An intuitive experience that highlights breadth of menu, supports business objectives and customer mindset
  • A new and improved design aligned with Taco Bueno's brand positioning 
  • Cross-device compatibility to include desktop, tablet and mobile 
  • Added accessibility across all devices and browsers 

In addition, the website features an emphasis on franchise operations and an enhanced careers section, while seamlessly elevating new business priorities such as Shop and Ship, easy-to-prepare bundles of Taco Bueno favorites for parties or get-togethers. The website launch was also planned to handle increased web traffic and showcase the brand in a new and fresh way in advance of  CBS' Undercover Boss episode featuring Taco Bueno's President and CEO, Michael Roper.   

"Taco Bueno needed a partner who could execute a website quickly and flawlessly while addressing our critical business needs," said Philip Parsons, CFO, Taco Bueno. "Tandem Theory's agile approach to design and development, along with their customer-first mindset, helped us move beyond outdated paradigms, improve functionality and navigation, and deliver a visually engaging site that meets and exceeds the expectations of our diners." 

Technomic Introduces Ignite

Ignite is the newest foodservice industry intelligence platform crafted by Chicago-based market research and consulting firm Technomic Inc. Designed to provide foodservice leaders with a 360-degree industry view, this integrated search engine offers all-inclusive data and analysis on tailored information searches, delivered seamlessly and rapidly through Microsoft, PowerPoint or mobile APIs to cater to users' busy on-the-go lifestyles.

The operator, consumer and financial intelligence housed in Ignite provide insights into micro and macro trends shaping the industry. Data sources include menus representing over 275,000 locations updated quarterly, as well as reports on 140,000 consumer foodservice visits each year to identify product opportunities across consumer sets. In addition, Ignite's library houses over 800 data reports that are continuously updated to share and support development recommendations.

Ignite elevates users' knowledge of their customer base, competitive set and larger industry to support product development and identify gaps that represent areas of opportunity. "It is designed to be the independent resource to help foodservice leaders across commercial, noncommercial and retail sectors support business decisions with facts and insights," says Patrick Noone, executive vice president at Technomic.

Benefits of Ignite include:

  • Engaging in predictive capabilities to identify the next big flavors and ingredients.
  • Following industry disruptors through ongoing news tracking and analysis reports.
  • Understanding consumer decisions along the path to purchase. 
  • Distinguishing the competition and identifying lost business based on the consumer consideration set.
  • Recognizing eater and operator archetypes and the associated behaviors of these groups.
  • Using social listening to analyze brand mention and engage with influencers. 
OCEAlert is Released

 OCEASOFT, released  OCEAlert™, a new solution that enhances cold-chain monitoring and drastically helps reduce the risk of product loss. The real-time alert generation solution offers a high level of protection for sensitive and perishable products. OCEASOFT designed and developed OCEAlert™ in cooperation with one of the world's leading experts in information generation systems.
The demand for enhanced monitoring during product transit or storage continues to rise in the pharmaceutical industry, and healthcare, agri-food, transportation, and logistics sectors. It is critical for managers in charge of sensitive products to be alerted quickly to take action in case of unexpected situations.

When alarm conditions are detected and reported by OCEASOFT dataloggers, OCEAlert™ sends alerts via text or voice message to a configured list of phone numbers, any time of day or night.  Users receive clear and timely information regarding the cause and location of the anomaly. When a notification message is received, the user can acknowledge receipt of the alert directly from their mobile device and take appropriate action to address the problem.  This new offering is compatible with OCEASOFT’s existing range of Cobalt™, Emerald™, and Atlas™* dataloggers, as well as its future products. Without any hardware installation, OCEAlert™ can be deployed rapidly across any organization, ensuring high availability through a robust and secure implementation.

Poutine on Demand

Old school poutine culture meets high tech convenience as the legendary Smoke's Poutinerie joins forces with SkipTheDishes. Today, the power of poutine on-demand is in the palm of Canadians' hands via their SkipTheDishes smartphone app. With SkipTheDishes, the world's most advanced ordering and delivery technology, nothing can stand in the way of satisfying Canadian's cravings for the mouth-watering, mind blowing, poutine concoctions Smoke's Poutinerie is serving up as Canada celebrates 150 years! To mark the holiday, SkipTheDishes is offering free delivery for select Smoke's Poutinerie restaurants across Canada until July 2. Look for delivery options at the following locations: Vancouver, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Waterloo, Hamilton, Port Credit, Barrie, Oshawa, Ajax, and Ottawa, with the remaining locations to roll-out in the coming months.

"Our company vision at Smoke's Poutinerie is to achieve GLOBAL DOMINATION! by providing a unique, 'Canadian Food Experience' that will entertain the world, and SkipTheDishes' delivery technology brings us one step closer," says Ryan Smolkin, founder & CEO (Chief Entertainment Officer), Smoke's Poutinerie. "We have created an entirely new food category based on this iconic Canadian dish. In honour of our partnership with SkipTheDishes and just in time for Canada's 150th birthday, we offer a new poutine masterpiece: The OHHHH CANADA! Poutine – it's topped with peameal bacon, double-smoked bacon, French toast sticks and maple syrup. With free delivery on SkipTheDishes until July 2 – there's no reason not to satisfy your poutine craving."

Stampede Distributes Comhear Line

Stampede has been named a United States distributor of the Comhear line of ProAV MyBeam™ directional/3D audio speakers that are in increasingly high demand by theme parks and other attractions featuring immersive consumer experiences. T

“We are excited to add Comhear’s ProAV MyBeam™ line of directional/3D speakers to our portfolio of audio solutions,” Stampede President & COO Kevin Kelly said. “We are confident that our North American reseller network will be just as thrilled to offer the speakers to their customers in the kiosk, digital signage, stadium, museums, theme parks, cinemas, and house of worship vertical markets. The combination of Comhear’s MyBeam™ professional products and Stampede’s world class, high value-added sales and support team creates a dynamic new marketing team that is going to meet the needs of more end users in more vertical markets than ever before.”

According to Comhear President Perry Teevens, “Comhear’s MyBeam™ platform is ideally suited for theme park attractions and other directional and highly immersive applications. They eliminate the need for participants to wear headphones to experience deep immersive spatial sound effects, which are an essential part of the 3D experience. MyBeam is a major breakthrough for public audio applications. We are proud to team up with Stampede to make our line of products available to ProAV resellers throughout the United States.”

The ProAV MyBeam™ from Comhear is a compact, programmable, internally amplified line array loudspeaker in a minimal visual profile. It employs twelve 1” range dome drivers in a self-amplified DSP-driven line array to project one or more customizable beams of audio. If horizontally mounted, each beam provides wide vertical and steerable narrow horizontal dispersion that is ideal for targeted announcement, limited dispersion music, private beaming, sound masking, etc. wherever highly articulated control of sound is essential. The ProAV MyBeam™ speaker is easy to install and set up, and has a slim profile with mounting points on the back and sides of the array. The speaker is perfect for digital signage applications, kiosks and ATMs, museum displays, and lobbies and other venues that need 3D audio.

CurbStand Names CEO

CurbStand, the cashless valet app that allows users to seamlessly locate, pay, tip and request their cars for valet parking from their mobile device, has officially named co-founder Arya Alexander as its Chief Executive Officer. Alexander took the wheel at CurbStand as the Interim CEO in March 2016, following the departure of Serge Gojkovich. Since his appointment as Interim CEO, Alexander has increased revenue more than 300 percent and has taken the company to a cash flow positive position by refocusing the valet app into a full parking business. “By vertically integrating with the parking operation, we’re better able to control the customer experience from end to end. We're also able to reduce our costs by taking on the leasing agreements, which has dramatically improved our unit economics making our stands more profitable and accessible,” said Alexander.

Under Gojkovich in 2014 through early 2016, CurbStand licensed its technology platform to over 30 valet parking companies across 9 US markets and raised $6.5 million in funding. “Serge did a great job scaling CurbStand at an incredible rate, but in order to be more successful, I truly believe we need to own and manage the full valet parking operation, and Arya is the perfect fit to take us forward,” says CurbStand board member and co-founder, Moncef Abbou. “In the future, we will revisit licensing our platform to other parking companies so they can extend CurbStand’s seamless user experience to their customers and better manage their own operations.”

CurbStand became a fully integrated valet service in March 2016 through a partnership with a local valet parking service with 20 restaurant accounts at the time, and has since added 50 other businesses to its portfolio including Republique, Yamashiro, H.Wood Group, JetSuiteX and 7 other airport accounts including Burbank Airport, Hawthorne Airport, and Las Vegas McCarran Airport.

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