MRM #RestaurantTech: Upserve Partners with Vista Equity, Tech-Driven Pop-Up Dining and a New CEO in Fishbowl

by MRM Staff 20 Min Read

Strategic growth plans and STEM-ulating news items 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. 

Upserve Teams with Vista Equity Partners 

Upserve formed a strategic investment and partnership with Vista Equity Partners that will enable Upserve to accelerate its growth, grow its employee base and further invest in delivering a seamless platform for restaurateurs.

Key metrics for Upserve’s platform include:

  • More than $11 billion in annual transaction volume
  • 32 million active diners in the last 12 months
  • Over 23 million meals per month
  • Integrations with over 25 platform partners in the Upserve Marketplace

“Our goal is to deliver world-class solutions to help the restaurant industry, so restaurateurs can focus on providing great hospitality to their guests,” said Angus Davis, founder and CEO of Upserve. “Vista’s financial strength and extensive software and data experience make them the clear partner to help us realize our plans for growth and investments in our expanding product suite for restaurants.”

Upserve

“Upserve’s market leadership, culture of innovation, and passion to help their customers succeed all combine to create a unique opportunity.  We’re pleased to welcome Upserve into the Vista family,” said Alan Cline, Principal at Vista Equity Partners and Co-Head of the Vista Foundation Fund. “We look forward to helping the Upserve team continue its exciting growth and expansion in the years to come.”

Existing Upserve investors ranging from Upserve’s very first investor, First Round Capital, to its most recent backer, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, were among those that participated in the financing.

TripAdvisor Adds Management Center

TripAdvisor has introduced new Management Center features for restaurateurs with multiple properties, allowing owners of more than one restaurant business to access and update all of their listings at the same time.

Restaurant owners who subscribe to TripAdvisor’s Premium for Restaurants service can now benefit from the following Group Management Center features:

Group Discount Pricing: Owners of multiple restaurant businesses can receive discount pricing on their TripAdvisor Premium for Restaurants subscriptions for each property of up to 25 percent off.

Portfolio-wide Performance Trends: Track and compare weekly and monthly performance trends across your entire restaurant portfolio including customer actions, page performance and review performance.

Review Management: Read and respond to recent reviews for all properties in a single, easy-to-use dashboard.

Single Property Management: Quickly access and manage listings for each of your properties with a dashboard providing views of current rating, new reviews, review sentiment as well as the ability to turn on/off Storyboard and Favorite Review functionality.

orderTalk's STEM Investment

In an effort to continue to support programs that encourage girls at an early age to embrace STEM related subjects in school and to embolden them to pursue careers in technology, orderTalk, Inc. donated $5,000 to select Girlstart summer camps and after school programs nationwide.

Photo by: www.CoburnPhoto.com

“As the CEO for a progressive digital ordering company that develops software for the restaurant industry, the demand for innovative food ordering solutions is exploding, and with it the need for qualified and talented employees,” said orderTalk CEO Patrick Eldon. “We need to recalibrate the gender imbalance in the computer programing and software development industries and the best way to do that is to continue to support, encourage and inspire students at a young age.”

Girlstart’s mission is to increase girls’ interest and engagement in STEM through innovative, nationally-recognized informal STEM education programs. orderTalk’s donation will fund three Girlstart–sponsored weeklong summer STEM camps, helping to offset the cost of STEM supplies and materials and support the professional development of pre-service teachers. The selected STEM camps, which are in Sunnyvale, Calif., Bellevue, Wash. and Elgin, Ill., are for girls in fourth to eighth grade in high-need communities. Camps feature intensive technology components, such as app development and video game development. All of the Girlstart summer campers at these locations are able to participate in summer programs at no cost.

“We want to support the process of discovery among young girls and demonstrate that STEM topics are admirable and exhilarating subjects, deserving of their attention,” noted Eldon. “Learning should be fun and STEM subjects, when taught with passion, are stimulating and engaging.”

Recent surveys indicate that while girls show an increased interest in STEM subjects at age 11, they begin to lose interest in these same subjects between the ages of 13 and 17 years of age. Programs such as those offered by Girlstart are intended to be highly interactive, thought-provoking and engaging to help spark and sustain girls’ interest through the transitional high-school years and into college and beyond.  

“Currently, only 18 percent of computer science degrees and 24 percent of STEM jobs are held by women,” said Girlstart Deputy Director, Julie Shannan. “We can’t continue to ignore the fact that the technology industry is growing faster than any other industry, yet evidence suggests that interest in technology-related careers by females is stalling. Girlstart programs strive to reverse this trend by captivating girls early on in their educational path.”

This fall, orderTalk’s donation also will fund two weekly Girlstart STEM after-school programs in Texas at high-need elementary schools in Grand Prairie and Irving. The programs engage fourth and fifth grade girls in hands-on STEM activities based upon their school’s curriculum. 

OpenTable Now Available on Amazon’s Echo Show

OpenTable, in cooperation with Amazon, announced a new Alexa skill within Amazon Echo Show, providing diners the ability to make restaurant reservations at thousands of restaurants across the U.S. through Alexa voice-activation or by tapping to reserve.

“We’re thrilled to provide diners with an updated Alexa skill for the Echo Show to help diners book reservations at thousands of restaurants across the U.S.,” said Catherine Porter, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at OpenTable. “With OpenTable’s Alexa skill, booking a restaurant reservation is as easy as saying ‘Alexa, ask OpenTable to make me a reservation’ at your favorite restaurant and you’ll be set.”

Using the OpenTable skill, diners can simply ask Alexa for a reservation at the restaurant, date and time of their choice and OpenTable will surface availability. In addition to the Echo Show, OpenTable’s Alexa skill is available on all Alexa-enabled devices including the Echo, Echo Look, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap and Amazon Fire TV.

Tech Driven Pop-Up Dining Experience

Randi Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, will debut Sue's Tech Kitchen on July 28 in Chattanooga, TN. Sue's Tech Kitchen is a tech-fueled wonderland for the mouth and mind, featuring a STEM-inspired adventure for the whole family to empower kids to engage with tomorrow's technologies and revolutionize family dining in the process.

Envisioned by Zuckerberg and designed by NASA scientist Sam Pfister, Sue's Tech Kitchen is an innovative space that combines dining and technology while immersing guests in a tech playground, allowing them to experience the most cutting edge technologies and enjoy a delightfully interactive dining experience. Diners will be able to eat in the digital age, while composing music with their food, 3D printing their dessert, coding videos game with candy and more.

Randi Zuckerberg

"I'm always encouraging parents to embrace technology into their family's lives in an interactive and healthy way instead of being afraid of it," said Zuckerberg, "So when I was at a restaurant with my two boys, I thought 'how cool would it be if a drone could deliver our food? Or if we could code with candy?' As a result, Sue's Tech Kitchen is coming to life, and I couldn't be more thrilled to be bringing it first to Chattanooga."

After visiting Chattanooga's Innovation District and seeing how positively the city embraces entrepreneurship and how they foster start-ups, Zuckerberg knew immediately it was the ideal place to launch Sue's Tech Kitchen and BETA test the technology.

Sue's Tech Kitchen will make its debut at the Tomorrow Building in Chattanooga, TN on Friday, July 28. After a week in Chattanooga, Sue's Tech Kitchen will then commence a national tour that will run into 2018. Fans interested in experiencing Sue's Tech Kitchen BETA will have the opportunity to vote to bring the roadshow to their cities or towns. For more information, click here.

Soss Named Fishbowl CEO

Fishbowl, a Symphony Technology Group (STG) company named Jim Soss as the organization's next Chief Executive Officer. Symphony Technology Group acquired Fishbowl in January. 

Jim Soss

"We are thrilled to introduce Jim as the new CEO of Fishbowl," said Marc Bala, Managing Director at Symphony Technology Group. “Jim has an outstanding track record of strong leadership. His exceptional expertise in the digital marketing and analytics domain, strong client focus, and proven experience in driving growth and innovation uniquely qualifies him to successfully lead Fishbowl into the future."

Soss joins Fishbowl as a proven C-suite executive with 20+ years expertise in digital marketing, big data and analytics. Previous roles include Senior Vice President & General Manager for Responsys where he was part of the leadership team that resulted in Responsys’ acquisition by Oracle for $1.5B and Chief Executive Officer of Red Aril, a leading data management and technology company which he led through its acquisition by Hearst. Soss’ experience also includes leadership positions at digital marketing and data companies Acxiom, Infogroup and YuMe. 

"I'm honored and I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead this exceptional organization of dedicated and talented professionals. I look forward to building strong, trusted connections with the great restaurant brand partners Fishbowl has been helping for many years,” said Soss. “Fishbowl offers an advanced marketing and analytics platform designed specifically for the restaurant industry as well as superior customer success services designed to accelerate results for today’s restaurants. This is a terrific opportunity that any leader would welcome.”

Alipay Partners with Han Feng Group

Alipay, operated by Ant Financial Services Group, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Han Feng Inc., a food supplier for Chinese restaurants and supermarkets in the U.S. This will enable Han Feng’s merchant partners to accept payment via Alipay, which currently has more than 520 million active users in China alone.

Through the partnership, Alipay will empower Han Feng Inc.’s 14,000 merchants to better serve and connect with Chinese consumers in North America, starting with New York and North Carolina. Alipay will also enable users to find merchants nearby, receive coupons and make purchase decisions through the app’s “Discover” function.

“Chinese consumers leverage Alipay as a Lifestyle Enabler and our partnership with Han Feng provides an experience that combines discovery and payment,” said Souheil Badran, President of Alipay North America.  “By pairing Han Feng’s extensive reach within the Chinese consumer market with the familiarity of the Alipay platform, both Chinese consumers and the merchants that provide them with services will benefit from this partnership.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Alipay as Han Feng Group’s customer base offers a perfect initiating platform to promote Alipay services in the US” said Jonathan Ni, CFO, Han Feng Inc. “By maximizing Alipay’s visibility to the U.S. consumer, we are also bringing our merchant partners access to a new revenue stream.”

Enhanced Glance Pay Available

Glance Technologies Inc. said a new version of the app Glance Pay is now available in the United States and Canadian Apple store for free download.  The latest version of Glance Pay includes enhancements to “Glance Pay Anywhere”, Glance Dollars, Merchant Dollars and upgrades to the Quick-Serve and Full-Serve versions of the app.  

“Our talented technology team has been working diligently on what we believe is one of our most exciting updates of our Glance Pay app to date,” said Glance CEO Desmond Griffin, “We believe these new enhancements are highly disruptive and will make us the worldwide leader in mobile payment technology”. 

“Glance Pay Anywhere” is a Glance Pay proprietary technology which enables Glance Pay merchant partners to send bills to customers anywhere, and securely receive remote payments from anywhere via the Glance Pay App. Combined with Glance Pay’s proprietary anti-fraud technology, the “Pay Anywhere” feature provides merchants with an automated, reliable and convenient method of receiving payment.  Glance Pay has had zero fraud since implementing its anti-fraud technology more than six months ago.

Merchants are now able to be paid through the app from customers that are not on location, either by sending them a code via email or text or by sending a payment request directly through the app. 

In the restaurant space, ‘Glance Pay Anywhere’ was designed  for deposit payments for large groups, payments for catering, or payments for large corporate orders – all of which are areas that Glance Pay’s restaurant partners have been requesting a solution for. Merchants can quickly and easily send bills and payment requests via Glance Pay Anywhere. Consumers are instantly notified of the pending payment request and can confirm and pay remotely with one tap of the finger using the Glance Pay app while still earning  rewards and receiving real time digital receipts. Additionally, consumers no longer have to share their payment details with a variety of merchants in an insecure manner (such as giving payment information out during a phone call), and instead can rely on a much more secure payment environment. 

Glance Pay has now created two forms of credit that can be distributed to app users for compensation (such as referrals) or for promotion.  Glance Dollars can be earned and accrued by Glance Pay users by providing referrals or winning contests and can be used at any Glance merchant within the Glance Pay app.  Merchant Dollars are specific to a particular restaurant and are equivalent to a digital coupon, and may be issued by Merchants through the Glance Pay app and can have a specific start and end date, like a coupon.  Merchants may distribute codes to obtain Merchant Dollars through email, text or printed flyers, but the dollars are redeemable only through the Glance Pay app.  Dollars are automatically added to a users account and are automatically redeemed just by using Glance Pay for payment, making this extremely easy to use for consumers and merchants.  

Clarke Joins Harri

Harri said  Cleo Clarke has joined the team as a strategic customer advocate driving thought leadership and industry partnerships, and engaging the broader Hospitality HR community.

Cleo Clarke

Clarke is a senior human resources professional who has been an executive in the hospitality industry for more than 15 years. Prior to joining Harri, Clarke spent over two years as the Vice President of Human Resources at Eataly, where he was responsible for leading Eataly's Human Resources strategies and providing guidance and leadership to the company’s executive staff, C-suite employees, and the Field Human Resources Leadership Team.

Clarke has facilitated complex, global HR programs for leading hospitality companies, including Hilton Hotels Corporation, Jean-Georges Restaurant Management, Two Roads Hospitality, Sodexo Contract Food Services, InterContinental Hotels and Resorts, and Highgate Hotels.

Luke Fryer, Founder and CEO of Harri, said, “As an owner and operator, I take great pride in Harri’s hospitality industry roots. It is important to me that our solutions are built from within the industry. The opportunity to welcome an HR pro like Cleo to the Harri Team provides an unprecedented ability for us to engage the hospitality HR community. This depth of interaction allows Harri to continually develop a refined product that serves the complex needs and challenges of hospitality in a way that industry-agnostic solutions cannot. We have a big opportunity to achieve industry-focused wins and really add a lot of value to our customers against the backdrop of serious talent shortages, rapidly increasing wages, and compliance complexity.”

Fresh Brothers Selects RMS

Fresh Brothers Pizza hired Revenue Management Solutions (RMS) to provide consulting on menu pricing and other operational strategies. The goal: counteract rising costs and enhance profitability without hurting customer traffic and loyalty. RMS will offer recommendations for menu pricing, menu engineering, analysis of the impact of pricing changes, and advice for ongoing business strategies, all designed to match Fresh Brothers’ pricing and offerings to consumer demand.

The Fresh Brothers relationship is an example of how up-and-coming restaurant chains can benefit from RMS’ 20 years of experience in demand-based pricing and menu optimization strategies. RMS works with a variety of restaurant clients, including five of the top 10 largest restaurant companies in the U.S.

Battling increasing costs is an issue for restaurants across the country, and particularly in California, where the minimum wage is rising significantly. The minimum wage in Los Angeles, where Fresh Brothers is headquartered, is going up 14 percent for larger employers on July 1, from $10.50 to $12 an hour, and will increase to $15 an hour by 2020. 

“It simply makes sense to work with the experts at RMS,” said Tony Dellamano, Chief Financial Officer for Fresh Brothers, which has 19 locations in the Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego. “As we grow, it’s important to base decisions on deep knowledge of our customers’ buying behaviors. With its patented methods for working with transactional data, RMS will help us continue making solid, fact-based decisions in the future.”

Fresh Brothers, founded by Adam and Debbie Goldberg, plans to open five new locations this year, with a goal to hit 50 units in the next four years. The company focuses on using fresh ingredients, factoring in the needs of customers who want vegan or gluten-free options, and combining that with quality customer service. As Fresh Brothers gets larger, it doesn’t want that growth to come at the expense of profitability, which is where RMS comes in.

“As an example of how RMS is helping us, we are taking a look at how we have had one size of salad – a really large salad – for nine years since the company’s inception,” Dellamano said. “Should we go to both a small and a large size? RMS is helping us determine the best course of action through customer testing and analysis. We would like to improve profitability on our salads, but not in a way that will turn customers off.” 

RMS consistently receives requests for assistance from smaller, successful restaurant companies, said Mark Kuperman, RMS’ Chief Operating Officer. “The help we offer is based on our knowledge and experience of how to tie operational strategies to actual customer buying behavior,” he said. “Given the current economic challenges all restaurant operators are facing, such assistance is needed now more than ever.”

Adds Fresh Brothers’ Dellamano: “Beyond labor costs and the cost of goods, operators have to worry about the impact of health care and workers comp insurance. It seems that major cost increases are going to continue to be a fact of life in the restaurant industry, so it’s smart to be proactive in addressing those.”

Forthright Finds Brand Strategy

Springbox produced and delivered a custom-branded content collection and social strategy for the local, family-owned cafe Forthright. The cafe needed to support the launch of their new website with fresh content for their social media platforms, so they enlisted Springbox to generate photo and video assets that would reflect their distinguished brand and showcase their signature dishes and drinks.

Springbox kicked the project off with a strategic workshop to onboard their team, establishing a clear understanding of what makes the Forthright brand and customer experience unique — simple elegance, straightforward fare and fresh-from-the-farm ingredients.

"Forthright had a clear vision and beautifully designed brand. They paid close attention to every detail of their customers' experience — from the front door to the ingredients — they just needed someone to help showcase it," said Megan Coffey, Chief Creative Officer at Springbox. "We are confident that we captured Forthright's essence and delivered authentic content that will elevate the attributes of their brand."

"The Springbox process was strategic and swift," said Elizabeth Swail, the owner of Forthright. "The team laid out a practical plan of attack and promptly delivered a beautiful library of assets, cut and sized strategically for web, print and social, that we can continue to pull from for quite some time."

Forthright attributes the 10 percent uptick in social media followers and engagement to the content collection, which includes a longer brand video capturing the character of the Forthright story, as well as shorter videos focused on brunch, happy hour and special events. 

LocalMoo.com Launches Platform

LocalMoo.com launched a website connecting tourists that are looking to gain genuine local insight and information from "locals" living in that destination, such as things to see, activities, entertainment, festivals, places to sleep, eat and drink. Locals living anywhere in the world, or "Moo'ers" as they are referred to, can sign up for free and earn income part time or full time offering information and add-on services via a proprietary messaging platform developed by LocalMoo.com.

Tourists and business travellers are able to go on to LocalMoo.com, search for a Moo'er in their intended destination, pay $9 to message back and forth with a local in the destination until they gain all of the local information they seek. They are also able to refine their search based on location, gender, age range, interest and services. As additional services, Moo'ers can also offer add-ons such as airport pick up, tour guide services, day trips, activity tickets, etc.

"The people that know a city best are always the locals," said LocalMoo founder and CEO Jonathan Bomser.  "When you go to Trip Advisor or other websites, you're not getting genuine local insight, but rather the visitor's perspective. On LocalMoo, we're offering genuine local insight from people who live there and know the city inside and out."

The website launched on June 12 and already has Moo'ers in over 50 countries including the US, Canada, Ireland, Australia, the UK, Mexico, France, Austria, Thailand, Brazil, Japan, China, and many other countries… and is growing daily.

"Our goal is to cover the world and be in every tourist destination by the end of 2017," says Bomser. "We feel we can be the top local travel connectivity website with our innovative and disruptive platform. If you're paying a substantial sum for a holiday, what better than to enhance the experience with genuine local insight."

McDelivery Expands in Canada

McDelivery with UberEATS has arrived in Canada and people in select cities can now order McDonald's menu items right to them, when they want it, where they want it from the UberEATS app, thanks to a partnership between McDonald's and UberEATS.  

McDelivery with UberEATS is now available in 187 restaurants across Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Greater Toronto Area, and Edmonton allowing guests to enjoy iconic McDonald’s favourites with the simple tap of a button. (CNW Group/McDonald's Canada)

McDelivery with UberEATS is currently available in 187 restaurants across Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Greater Toronto Area and Edmonton, and will be offered in more than 250 restaurants total, including in Calgary, by end of summer 2017.

By downloading the UberEATS app, guests can enjoy iconic McDonald's favourites like the Big Mac® sandwich, Chicken McNuggets® and World Famous Fries™ with the simple tap of a button – enabling even more convenience and choice. The initiative is the latest innovation for McDonald's, which, along with its franchisees, has been focusing on accelerating growth by evolving the guest experience in restaurants in Canada and around the world.

By end of summer 2017, McDelivery with UberEATS will be available in the following regions:

  • Montreal (31 restaurants)
  • Ottawa (18 restaurants)
  • Toronto & Greater Toronto Area (145 restaurants)
  • Edmonton (43 restaurants)
  • Calgary (20 restaurants)

"We are excited to offer McDelivery on UberEATS because it gives our guests more choices and convenience to enjoy McDonald's whenever and wherever they want," said Dave Rogers, Senior Vice President, National Operations, McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited. "We look forward to learning from this launch as we continue to expand McDelivery into more markets across the country."

"With UberEATS, you can get the food you want, where you want it, delivered at Uber speed. We're thrilled to welcome McDonald's to the UberEATS app to give Canadians easy access to their McDonald's favourites at the tap of a button," said Ian Black, Regional General Manager of UberEATS.  "We know that Canadians frequently search for McDonald's in the UberEATS app, so we're excited to expand our reach and deliver what they've been craving."  

The full menu at participating McDonald's restaurants will be available for delivery with the exception of soft serve cones. Guests will pay the same price for menu items as they would at their local restaurants, with UberEATS fees applicable to each order. Coupons, mobile offers and promotional offers are excluded from delivery

Good Neighbor Rewards App Launches

The Max & Erma’s Good Neighbor Rewards App gives users loyalty points for purchases which can be redeemed for rewards. The app also includes a store locator, social media platform integration, a built-in referral program, the ability for guests to give real-time feedback, location specific menus, and awards for signing up.Max & Erma’s announced the launch of its new loyalty app  in partnership with Punchh for its Good Neighbor Rewards program. The app was created using Punchh’s cloud-based technology platform that builds engagement, loyalty and customized restaurant experiences.

“We’ve reinvented our Good Neighbor Rewards program with the help of Punchh to make it relevant and more valuable to our guests. Consumers expect tailored experiences, ease of use and transparency,” said Brigetta Schwaiger, director of marketing, Glacier Restaurant Group. “With the app, we are now able offer a meaningful digital experience to guests while also gaining valuable insight into who our guests really are.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Max & Erma’s, a brand synonymous with great guest experiences,” said Shyam Rao, CEO of Punchh. “Through our Restaurant Marketing Cloud, Max & Erma’s will be able to engage in a more dynamic, personalized way with new and existing guests and drive increased traffic and sales to its locations across the Midwest and East Coast.”

Buffalo Wild Wings Rolls Out Rewards

Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. announced the national rollout of its loyalty program, Blazin’ Rewards. Wing-lovers throughout the United States can now earn points for everyday dining at Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants, while also accumulating bonus points for checking in and frequent lunch visits. Blazin’ Rewards loyalty members earn 100 points for every eligible purchase of $10 or more and can redeem their points for more than 44 items on the Rewards Roster.

The Blazin’ Rewards loyalty program rewards fans for doing what they love to do – eating wings, watching sports and hanging out with their friends at Buffalo Wild Wings. Members can accumulate Blazin’ Rewards points a variety of different ways, including:

  • Ordering food and drinks at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, including through takeout
  • Checking in at Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants through the Blazin’ Rewards app earns 10 points, and when you check in with friends, you’ll receive 10 additional points per friend (maximum 250 points per week)
  • Filling out your Interests page on the Blazin’ Rewards website or app
  • Frequent visits to a participating Buffalo Wild Wings during lunch earns 300 bonus points on every fifth lunch visit
  • Exclusive bonus point earning opportunities and offers via email

“As the sports fan’s biggest fan, the Blazin’ Rewards loyalty program was designed to thank and continually reward our passionate fans,” said Bob Ruhland, vice president of marketing for Buffalo Wild Wings. “We’ve seen positive engagement rolling out Blazin’ Rewards in select markets so far, and as the program grows, so too will our roster of rewards and point earning opportunities for our loyal Guests.”

Since piloting the loyalty program in select markets, Buffalo Wild Wings has registered more than two million Blazin’ Rewards members across the United States.

Baskin-Robbins Delivers

Baskin-Robbins and DoorDash have teamed letting ice cream lovers in nearly two dozen cities across the country have their favorite Baskin-Robbins ice cream treats delivered right to their doorstep. More than 600 Baskin-Robbins locations in 22 cities will be supported by DoorDash delivery, including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC. Residents in the participating cities can use the DoorDash app or website to order their favorite Baskin-Robbins products with just a tap or click, without leaving home or work.

"We're so excited to partner with DoorDash to offer our guests the very best ice cream delivery experience and give them another way to enjoy Baskin-Robbins ice cream treats from the convenience of their own home," said Carol Austin, Vice President of Marketing for Baskin-Robbins. "And to celebrate our ice cream delivery launch and National Ice Cream Month, we're honored to work with DoorDash to deliver joy to several children's hospitals across the country by providing free Polar Pizzas to patients, their families and/or dedicated hospital staff."

The children's hospitals that will receive a Polar Pizza delivery are partners of the Joy in Childhood Foundation (formerly the Dunkin' Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation) whose mission is to bring joy to sick and hungry kids. The participating hospitals include the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Rady Children's Hospital (San Diego) and Phoenix Children's Hospital.

"Nothing brings joy to people quite like ice cream, so we're proud to celebrate our partnership with Baskin-Robbins by having Dashers across the country deliver Polar Pizzas to children's hospitals," said Tony Xu, CEO and co-founder of DoorDash. "Through our partnership with Baskin-Robbins, we're now able to provide our busy customers with the convenience of having the brand's high-quality, premium ice cream treats delivered right to their doorstep." 

Decernis and SpecPage to Offer Joint Compliance Management Solutions

Decernis LLC partnered with SpecPage to integrate its product lifecycle management system (SpecPDM) with Decernis' solutions to assist food and beverage manufacturers and distributors with global regulatory requirements.

Based on this new collaboration, Decernis and SpecPage are launching Compliance Guide, a web-based management tool, which is based on Decernis' compliance management system, gComply Plus, comprising more than 5 million terms from over 90,000 food and beverage regulations and compliance standards across 207 countries worldwide. This will help industry users ensure their product recipes and specifications comply with global regulatory requirements, including information on additives, nutritional values, packaging, contaminants and Standards of Identity.

"With expertise in European and US food law, combined and integrated with the Decernis' expertise and global compliance management solution, SpecPage helps companies introduce new food and beverage products efficiently into the market while taking account of relevant regulations and the needs of their trading partners", said Severin Weiss, CEO of SpecPage. "Many of our clients produce food or beverages on a global scale and need to make information available in various languages. Ongoing changes and the complexity of regulatory requirements present increasing challenges for them."

"Decernis is an ideal partner offering global compliance management tools and expertise, which we can leverage for our clients wanting to export their products around the globe and to keep risks and costs to a minimum. Our integration of their solutions simplify these processes for manufacturers and distributors, and ensure that only accurate and regulatory compliant information is published", he added.

"This cooperation will provide customers access to Decernis' knowledge and technology through the newly launched Compliance Guide based on Decernis' gComply Plus. Having the ability to access industry-specific, regulatory requirements and information is essential for effective product development, safe products and speedy market access." stated Dr. Ruud Overbeek, Chief, Strategy and Business Development at Decernis, LLC. "Decernis' technology-enabled risk management solutions help guide our clients cost-effectively through the myriad of regulatory and compliance requirements. Decernis is very pleased to work with SpecPage to help their customers achieve an effective go-to-market strategy for safe food and beverage products."

Potatopia Adds Age ID

Potatopia’s Broward County, Florida restaurant is using Intellicheck's  Age ID™ to prevent the sale of alcoholic beverages to underage customers. The fast casual restaurant’s employees are using the state-of-the-art technology solution to scan driver licenses and other forms of identification to detect altered and fake IDs. Potatopia is planning to open 45 restaurants in Canada in addition to its future locations in the Middle East and China.

Potatopia franchise owner Bill Bulmer says his Tower Shops location in Davie, Florida is surrounded by five universities in addition to numerous residential communities. For Bulmer, Age ID will make an important difference in many ways. He explained that it is not just about making sure his business is in compliance with laws that prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors. He focuses on personal and corporate responsibility as well.

“I feel a personal responsibility to the customers and communities we serve. It’s about doing the right things in the right ways. We have such a great response and wonderful customers from our college community and our neighborhoods and we want them to know that we care about them, their potential and their future. This is something our company feels strongly about, too.” Bulmer worries that young people don’t understand how easily bad choices can lead to terrible outcomes. “I have a personal perspective on the risks of drunk driving. When I was 16 years old, I was run over by a drunk driver and my back was broken in three places.”

Intellicheck CEO Dr. William Roof said Age ID will help Potatopia achieve its goals.

“We are excited about our partnership with Potatopia and believe we offer the best solution to helping them meet their legal and social obligations. We look forward to growing our partnership as Potatopia implements its plans for nationwide advancement. We are also very pleased by the expanding adoption of our industry leading technology solution in the hospitality market. We understand the difficult challenges facing the restaurant industry in efforts to keep alcoholic beverages out of the hands of minors. With the proliferation of sophisticated fake IDs, employees have a hard time spotting them. This is a safety challenge that raises compliance concerns for businesses that must adhere to the laws and regulations governing the sale of age-restricted products. We are confident Age ID will make a significant difference for Potatopia as it has for so many businesses across the country that face the problem of spotting fake credentials used by minors to make illegal alcohol purchases,” he said.

Age ID reads the data encoded on driver licenses and government issued IDs, authenticating the ID and age information in real-time. It can be deployed on mobile devices including smartphones and tablets and can be integrated with point-of-sale solutions. Age ID draws on a comprehensive proprietary database, updated on an ongoing basis, to ensure ID authentication is timely and accurate. It provides the most up-to-date solution to the problem of spotting fake and altered IDs with its ability to read more than 250 unique DMV barcode formats from every U.S. state and populated territories, all Canadian provinces, and all Mexican States where driver licenses include 2-D barcodes.

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