There is a lot of news 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Toast Extends Ordering Platform
Toast Restaurant Operating System, the all-in-one restaurant technology platform, today announced a new and improved digital experience which will extend the Toast Online Ordering platform. Starting in the third quarter, Toast will arm restaurant operators with easy-to-use and accurate delivery mapping functionalities. In addition, the company will revamp the online ordering experience by enabling guests to save favorite orders, multiple delivery addresses and credit cards for easy reordering.
“Toast allows restaurants to create branded online ordering experiences for guests without paying third-party commission fees. Since menus are managed on one point-of-sale (POS) platform both in-store and online, guests are never left frustrated because an out-of-stock item is available for order online,” said Aman Narang, co-founder and president at Toast. “Toast aims to deliver more than just a restaurant POS system; our hope is to empower restaurateurs of all sizes with the tools they need to succeed in today’s competitive market. Our Online Ordering Platform is just one of many offerings that will help deliver on this vision.”
The Toast takeout and delivery features work independently or in concert with the Toast Caller ID Service tool within the Online Ordering System suite. The benefits of the new Toast takeout and delivery capabilities include:
- Easy to manage and schedule deliveries with a real-time map
- Quick reorder capabilities for online ordering
- Seamless integration between digital orders and POS
Upserve Success and Growth Plans
Upsurge is now managing more than $11 billion in annual transaction volume, making it the largest provider of cloud-based point of sale and analytics for the independent restaurant industry. Restaurants now use Upserve to manage relationships with more than 32 million active diners and over 23 million meals per month, up more than 100 percent in the last year.
"We're thrilled by our huge growth momentum as restaurants flock from 1990s-era, expensive and clunky point of sale and restaurant technology to our modern, open, affordable, cloud-based platform," said Angus Davis, CEO and Founder of Upserve. "Breadcrumb POS is easier to use and frees managers from the back office, while Upserve HQ provides data-backed insights to give restaurants a leg up on the floor, in their market, and with guests."
Upserve Marketplace Doubles with Addition of New Partners
Upserve also announced the growth of Upserve Marketplace to more than 30 partners, the largest marketplace of integrations for any cloud-based restaurant point-of-sale system, with the addition of new partners across multiple categories including online ordering, reservations, inventory management, invoice management and workforce solutions. Examples of newly signed partners include:
- Menufy and Open Dining join Upserve's growing online ordering program, where orders enter the Breadcrumb POS seamlessly, saving time for restaurateurs, growing revenue, and eliminating order errors.
- BevSpot, MarketMan, PlateIQ, SimpleOrder and xtraCHEF join Upserve's inventory program, helping restaurateurs manage their largest cost effortlessly, while boosting profits and reducing waste.
- Harri joins Upserve's workforce management program, key to recruiting, training and scheduling restaurant staff who compose ten percent of the American workforce.
- Opticard and Swipe It joins the expanding Upserve guest card program, providing integrated gift card sales and deeper guest loyalty solutions.
- These new additions come on the heels of the launch of Upserve Marketplace in April.
New Capabilities for Multi-Location Restaurant Groups
Upserve announced several features for multi-location restaurant groups. These new capabilities offer mid-market and enterprise customers greater visibility, management and communication across locations. These new features include:
Multi-Location Menu Management: Breadcrumb POS by Upserve makes restaurateurs' lives easier by simplifying the process of modifying, adding or deleting menu items across locations. A single master menu enables enterprise-wide control while preserving flexibility of managers at individual locations to make changes when needed. This new feature will be included with the "Pro" tier subscription and will be generally available later this summer.
Multi-Location Menu Optimization: The Multi-Location Menu Optimization feature for Upserve HQ helps restaurateurs compare menu performance across all locations in the brand, making it easier to re-engineer menus based on national or regional customer preferences. Upserve HQ uses a smart AI matching algorithm to "map" menu items across the brand, including for multi-unit restaurants using different POS Platforms, or restaurants that have named menu items inconsistently across locations. Marketing and operations managers can even create their own customized menu reporting categories. This new feature is included with the Upserve HQ "Pro" subscription and available now.
Integration with Epson Kitchen Display System: Upserve is expanding its KDS offerings by announcing the addition of fully integrated support for the Epson KDS and printer systems. This integration provides capabilities for restaurants who require a bump bar and back-up printer that displays on a large screen. Upserve will demonstrate integration at the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago, IL from May 20-23. This new feature will be included with the "Pro" tier subscription and will be generally available later this summer.
Logbook for Upserve Live: The popular Logbook feature is now included in a mobile version of Upserve Live, the industry's leading mobile restaurant management app. Upserve Live users can now make Logbook entries from their phones, encouraging logbook participation by staff. Managers and owners can review accurate and timely reports from the front lines anywhere, anytime. This feature is included with Upserve Live for iPhone version 2.2, available today in the Apple App Store.
Upserve Strengthens Veteran Executive Team; Opens New York Office
Upserve also announced growth to its executive leadership team, with Brad Kime joining as Senior Vice President of Channel and Alliances. Brad brings over 25 years of leadership experience in growing and scaling companies, most notably for his role as President and Chairman of OnDeck Capital from 2009-2013 prior to that company's IPO, and subsequent executive leadership roles at LendKey and Signpost. Brad is also the owner of Tini – a popular bar in Indianapolis that has been a loyal Upserve and Breadcrumb POS client for years. Brad will lead Upserve's newly-opened and rapidly-growing New York City office.
OpenTable and QSR Automations Team
OpenTable and QSR Automations announced a joint integration that will enable participating QSR DineTime restaurant customers to tap into OpenTable's global diner network by surfacing real-time reservation availability on OpenTable's site and apps.
"Diners are already actively searching for and booking more casual, everyday dining options on OpenTable, and the integration with QSR Automations will help us provide them with a greater selection of restaurants," said Christa Quarles, Chief Executive Officer of OpenTable. "The integration with DineTime also further positions us to help thousands of everyday dining eateries across North America to seat more local and traveling diners, while at the same time helping to connect OpenTable diners with the perfect restaurant for even more of their dining occasions."
QSR Automations is the kitchen and restaurant management platform provider for approximately 80 percent of the largest restaurant groups in the casual dining category in the U.S. OpenTable is the leading provider of online restaurant reservations, seating more than 22 million diners per month across its network of more than 42,000 restaurant customers around the globe.
"Through this joint solution, our customers will now be able to make their DineTime configured restaurant visible to OpenTable's network of diners and allow users to find and book their restaurant of choice," said Lee Leet, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of QSR Automations. "This will help restaurants across North America create a seamless dining experience for their guests."
While the reservations feature is phase one of the partnership, the next phase is designed to provide diners with the ability to use OpenTable, integrated with DineTime technology, to see estimated wait times and to add their name to waitlists at participating restaurants before walking in the door.
Grubhub Integrates with Oracle, Breadcrumb by Upserve and Toast
Grubhub announced its integration with Oracle Hospitality. Restaurants using the unified system -- designed with the needs of enterprise and franchise restaurants in mind -- can now manage all of their orders, both in-house and takeout, from one device. Additionally, restaurants will be able to more efficiently staff, save time on menu updates, consolidate financials and free up space on the crowded delivery tablet counter. Grubhub is now integrating with Breadcrumb POS by Upserve and Toast. Restaurants using these systems can now manage all of their orders, both in-house and takeout, from one device. The new integration will also allow restaurants to more efficiently staff, save time on menu updates, consolidate financials and free up space on the crowded delivery tablet counter.
Grubhub's POS integration raises the bar for in-house restaurant technology efficiency and eliminates the need to use multiple tablets, offering restaurant employees a streamlined restaurant operations experience. This means more time for staff to focus on what matters most: serving up delicious food.
"We're completely focused on creating technology that enhances the experience of our restaurant partners," said Stan Chia, Chief Operating Officer of Grubhub. "With restaurant feedback in mind, we've built integrations designed to create efficiencies for restaurateurs. These improvements will positively impact the bottom line of restaurateurs, by helping restaurant owners spend less time on management logistics and more time creating great food."
Some benefits include:
Improved staffing efficiencies - Streamlining restaurant management functions means restaurateurs can deliver more orders for negligible incremental labor. This leads to significant cost savings, particularly for high-volume restaurants
Smoother restaurant operations - Managing orders and inventory directly from the POS system allows staff to focus on serving up delicious food, rather than spending time tracking orders on multiple tablets
Save time on menu updates - Menus updated via the POS system will automatically update on Grubhub's website, and on the mobile web and apps. This offers significant time savings to restaurant employees
Better business insights - Consolidated financial information makes balancing the books and managing tips easier and more efficient
Fewer devices in-house - Integrating into one in-house system allows restaurant owners to reduce the amount of hardware at each restaurant, clearing the crowded counter of delivery tablets to create a more functional space
Easily deploy delivery services across properties – With this new partnership restaurateurs can easily grow their revenues by leveraging delivery and pick up orders nationwide through Oracle Hospitality Simphony software
"Oracle Hospitality is excited to extend the functionality of our Simphony restaurant management software and MICROS POS by partnering with Grubhub," said Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager at Oracle Hospitality. "Together we're enabling restaurants of all sizes to easily add and scale online ordering and delivery services across their entire footprint. With Simphony supporting Grubhub orders, restaurants can easily manage the demand for delivery and in-house orders on the kitchen."
"We're thrilled to welcome Grubhub to the Upserve Marketplace as our newest ordering partner, enabling instant online ordering to Breadcrumb POS to improve productivity, speed delivery time and eliminate errors," said Angus Davis, CEO and founder of Upserve. "Building on the early success we saw with shared customers during the pre-release shipped last quarter, we are excited to now bring this new program to many more of the 32 million active diners who enjoy over 23 million meals per month on the Upserve platform."
"Toast Restaurant POS is an all-in-one mobile, cloud-based platform built specifically for restaurants. Incorporating key facets of the guest experience into one tool, Toast integrates online ordering, gift card capabilities, loyalty programs, labor reporting, and sales data," said Chris Comparato, CEO of Toast. "We are excited to bring our best-in-class customer support and service to Grubhub users nationwide."
Grubhub's point of sale integration -- a top request from its restaurant partners -- is already creating efficiencies for restaurant chains including Protein Bar, along with NYC's Mile End Delicatessen and Chicago's Bombay Wraps.
"Protein Bar and Kitchen's focus on serving delicious, healthy food to guests has been greatly accelerated due to the power of Grubhub's marketplace," said Jeff Drake, CEO Protein Bar and Kitchen. "In addition, Grubhub continues to demonstrate its leadership and restaurant partner focus by innovating on products such as POS integration, that will allow for unparalleled execution of 3rd party online orders."
"We work hard to create Montreal-style specialty foods for our diners to enjoy, and appreciate the additional reach and awareness brought about by online ordering," said Joel Tietolman, co-owner of Mile End Delicatessen in New York. "Grubhub and Breadcrumb's POS integration allows us to update our in-restaurant and takeout menus at the same time, on one platform. This saves us time each day, and ensures that our diners can choose from the most updated menu items, whether they're eating in our restaurant or dining in the comfort of their own home."
"Our restaurant has one simple mission: to bring the delicious street foods that we ate growing up in Bombay," said Ali Dewjee, owner of Bombay Wraps inChicago. "Since the integration of our Breadcrumb POS with Grubhub, it's been easier than ever to manage our back-of-house functions, giving us more time to bring the amazing tastes of Bombay to the people of Chicago!"
FoodLogiQ Introduces Market’s First Real-Time Recall Management Solution
FoodLogiQ launched Recall + Response, the industry’s first real-time, SaaS solution for recall and stock withdrawal management. Serving as a centralized technology platform for executing stock withdrawals, recalls and mock recalls, Recall + Response empowers food companies both large and small to execute faster, more targeted recall management across their supply chain.
The system launches automated communications including phone, email, and text notifications that are developed using pre-built templates in the platform. By preparing and documenting the recall plan in advance within Recall + Response, companies can ensure speed of delivery and consistency of notifications to their supply chain partners when a recall happens.
As seen in this product video, once the recall or stock withdrawal is launched, companies then monitor the platform’s dashboard to track the responses gathered and actions taken during a recall or stock withdrawal - all in real-time. FoodLogiQ will unveil this new recall solution live during a free webinar on Thursday, June 15 at 2 p.m. EDT.
“The food industry finally has a solution that can provide the speed, accuracy and single source of truth that are mission critical during a recall,” said Dean Wiltse, CEO of FoodLogiQ. "With our traceability and recall technology, food companies can confidently make decisions, protect their brand while documenting and recording every step of the process to demonstrate to regulators - and their Board of Directors - their precise and timely handling of the issue.”
“Food companies are under an immense amount of pressure to address recalls quicker and more efficiently. FoodLogiQ’s new product Recall + Response is going to revolutionize the way food companies handle recalls. There really is nothing like it on the market today,” said Gina Kramer, Executive Director, Savour Food Safety International and President, Savor Safe Food.
The average cost of a recall to a food company is around $10 million in direct costs not including brand damage and lost sales. FoodLogiQ’s consumer transparency survey discovered that 50 percent of consumers expect that a recall should be resolved within 1-2 days and almost a quarter would never use or visit the brand again after a recall.
Recall + Response enables users to:
- Define and create withdrawal templates to plan and prepare for common types of recalls and stock withdrawals.
- Launch a mock recall in the platform to test your supply chain’s recall readiness.
- Tailor communications around a recall based on the type of contact or location configured in the FoodLogiQ Connect platform.
- Build in automatic escalation if no action is taken by a particular location or contact within a customized timeframe.
- Track the status and progress of your recall or stock withdrawal to know with certainty the issue has been fully resolved.
HAVI Launches Prescriptive Marketing Platform
HAVI launched the first Prescriptive Marketing Platform built specifically for the restaurant industry that incorporates real-time analytics to help marketers more effectively plan their campaigns. The new Prescriptive Marketing Platform delivers actionable insight into restaurants’ promotional process with proven machine learning analytics to prescribe and optimize marketing activities. HAVI’s new Prescriptive Marketing Platform lets marketers:
- Forecast sales, profit and guest count impacts of their planned LTOs and promotions
- Simulate performance of a new promotion up to 18 months in advance
- Track ongoing promotions and know in real time when to make adjustments
- Get recommendations for new LTOs and promotions that will deliver optimal results
- Have visibility into the supply chain at a granular level – by menu item and restaurant
“Too often, marketing teams at QSR and fast casual restaurants base decisions about their marketing campaigns on instinct instead of analytics because the data is not readily available to effectively inform their strategies,” said Kristin Kranias, senior vice president, analytics solutions, HAVI. “HAVI’s Prescriptive Marketing Platform takes the guesswork out of planning LTOs and promotions so restaurant marketers can plan their annual and short-term marketing calendars with confidence and optimize the success of their campaigns.”
HAVI’s new Prescriptive Marketing Platform combines a cloud-based platform, marketing and point-of-sale data, machine learning infrastructure and HAVI’s 40-year history of analyzing and forecasting foodservice-specific data.
“HAVI has been the foodservice supply chain leader for more than 40 years, and now we’re bringing our advanced analytics capabilities to marketing campaigns in a way that more seamlessly connects supply to demand and optimizes marketing ROI,” added Kranias.
Marketers using the new platform can enter data such as menu items and tactics to forecast sales and simulate LTO and promotion performance. The tool also recommends optimal LTOs and promotions to fill gaps in marketing calendars to meet sales goals. Data can be analyzed nationally, and at the regional and local restaurant level.
SpeedETab Secures Investment
SpeedETab received a majority stake investment from Paymentez. Under terms, SpeedETab will implement Paymentez’s middleware technology to expand the SpeedETab app and its presence to merchants and users across the country. The deal also marks Paymentez’s entry into the US market. Financial details were not disclosed.
“As the complete solution in payments in Latin America, we at Paymentez are thrilled to team up with SpeedETab to enter the U.S. market,” said Juan Franco, CEO, Paymentez. “SpeedETab is an ideal partner as their software and goals align with what we’ve worked toward in Latin America. Together, we will offer U.S. consumers and merchants a superior mobile commerce experience.”
Since launching in mid-2015, SpeedETab powers mobile ordering and mobile payments at over 200 locations across the United States, including popular brands Panther Coffee, Zaro’s Bakery, Gregory’s Coffee, Toby’s Estate, the Adrienne Arsht Center, and many others. For customers, SpeedETab’s mobile ordering apps, available on iOS and Android, allow for a frictionless ordering experience. For merchants, SpeedETab provides a turnkey mobile ordering and mobile payment platform, without the time, capital, and infrastructure generally required to develop such an offering. SpeedETab complements its ordering and payments capabilities with full data analytics, allowing merchants to realize trends and statistics to make better business decisions. SpeedETab will showcase its solution as part of the National Restaurant Show taking place May 20–23, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.
“SpeedETab has grown at a phenomenal rate since our initial launch as consumers and merchants have embraced our platform as the preferred way to order and pay for items at their favorite venues,” said, Adam Garfield, CEO, SpeedETab. “With Paymentez’s proven experience, existing POS integrations and tech resources, we’ll be able to expand our reach and grow SpeedETab to new heights.”
PAR Technology Releases New Feature for SureCheck® 7.1 Food Safety Solution
ParTech, Inc. (PAR) made major enhancements to the PAR SureCheck® Food Safety Solution. PAR’s latest release of SureCheck implements significant improvements in Traceability and Documentation capabilities of the solution requested by customers. SureCheck, introduced in 2009, is assisting some of the world’s largest companies to improve food safety and operational efficiencies in thousands of food service locations, with more than 300,000 total temperature checks a day.
Key features of this latest release, version 7.1, include the following capabilities:
- Record an observation either by barcode or photo
- Correlation of observations to specific store/restaurant location and time of observation
- Document facility organization’s checks and observations
- Ability to provide date and time stamped photo evidence for facility and safety management
“The ability to document environments at grocers, distribution centers or restaurants has never been more important. Our customers requested this capability to not only document, but also to serve as record of incidents that may occur within a location, cleanliness of facilities, or as a visual indication of best practices to be followed throughout an organization,” said John Sammon III, Senior Vice President & General Manager of SureCheck, ParTech, Inc. “We continue to enhance and develop additional product capabilities to meet the request of our customers to further improve work processes and reduce overall operating expenditures.”
Coates Introduces Switchboard
The Coates Group is offering is Switchboard™, their proprietary Content Management System software. Switchboard is data driven, connecting with a brand's CRM, POS, mobile and local marketing systems -- even leveraging external data features such as live traffic, weather and social media. Integrated analytics measure converted upsell offers, enabling chains to optimize their menu at each individual restaurant.
"What we're doing best today is taking restaurant level data to personalize and localize the drive-thru experience," says Leo Coates, company CEO. "That's particularly important with large organizations who need to have rules and logic in place to determine what goes in their restaurant and why, and what product they're showing their customers and when."
Revention Adds Third-Party Feature
Revention released a new feature to accept third party online orders from companies like GrubHub and DoorDash. There are similar integrations offered by third party companies that charge monthly or by transaction for this service. Revention is providing its new Third Party Online Ordering Connector at no charge for customers who subscribe to the HungerRush online ordering platform.
The Third Party Online Ordering Connector allows HungerRush to accept the order from the third party service and directly sends the order to the Revention point of sale. The order displays in the point of sale and automatically prints in the kitchen or displays on the kitchen monitor seamlessly like an integrated online order. Revention also supports the alternative order types and payment methods used with third party online ordering services to easily keep track of the order and payment source.
"Developing this integration was the easiest business decision we ever made," stated Laura J. Gaudin, Director of Product Management. "Businesses are already paying a large number of fees to third party online ordering companies for each order received. Revention does not feel it is in the best interest of the business to charge more money for the same order. By including the Third Party Online Ordering Connector with HungerRush, Revention customers will save money in labor, significantly improve operational efficiencies and rely on a more streamlined solution."
HotSchedules Introduces New Module
HotSchedules® introduced a new Time and Attendance Module and enhanced Configurable Labor Rules designed to simplify how managers handle employee time tracking and assist with hourly worker labor laws including minors, meals and breaks.
The new HotSchedules Time and Attendance Module streamlines the often chaotic and time-consuming process of reviewing and editing employee time cards with an easy-to-use workflow that is integrated with HotSchedules' labor management solutions. Triggers in the web app alert managers to time punch exceptions that need immediate attention before payroll data is exported - reducing the time it takes to sift through and edit employees' punch records.
The HotSchedules Time and Attendance Module captures actual employee hours worked using clock-in and clock-out data from a Point of Sale (POS) or from the HotSchedules Webclock - a mobile and web-based time clock that enforces clock-in/out restrictions. Managers receive automatic, Real-Time Compliance Alerts when employees haven't clocked-in or out of their shift or for a meal or break.
"Compliance and payroll administration are complex and costly issues facing restaurants today," said Sean Fitzpatrick, Chief Operating Officer and Head of Product at HotSchedules. "Our customers continually look to HotSchedules to solve these challenges as they want one solution to manage all of their workforce issues. We built intelligent labor regulation and employee time tracking tools so that managers can handle those decisions in a centralized workflow that incorporates their labor data. Owners, operators and their payroll teams will now spend less time correcting innocent errors or dealing with payroll penalties."
New Enhancements to Configurable Labor Rules give regional and corporate leadership control over how to best configure HotSchedules to adhere to hourly labor laws in the states, counties and cities where their restaurants operate. Minor Rules & School Calendar enhancements assist managers in scheduling minors only when they are legally allowed to work. Additional rule configurability automates the assignments of Meals and Breaks. The system generates warnings when a manager is at risk of scheduling a shift that is out of compliance, helping leadership address compliance issues before they become an expensive problem.
Bob Evans and Chuy's Join the Dinova Marketplace
Dinova, Inc. announced that Bob Evans and Chuy's have joined its exclusive business dining marketplace.
"Bob Evans opened his restaurants based on the belief that travelers wanted a hospitable restaurant with high quality food and a friendly face to greet them while they were on the road. Bob's mantra was 'Treat strangers like friends and friends like family', which is why partnering with Dinova's network of business travelers and corporate diners is such a good fit for Bob Evansrestaurants", said Sara Bittorf, Chief Marketing Officer Bob Evansrestaurants. "Every business traveler craves the comforts of a home cooked meal at some point in their travels and Bob Evans is thrilled to be able to welcome them."
"Over the past 35 years, Chuy's has grown from a few restaurants in our hometown of Austin, TX to 83 locations across 16 states. We've done that by serving the freshest and most authentic Tex-Mex on the planet," said Ashley Ingle, Vice President of Marketing for Chuy's. "We are excited about our new partnership with Dinova, bringing corporate diners to experience Chuy's unique style of made-from-scratch Tex-Mex in a fun and quirky atmosphere."
With the recent announcement of the $40 million investment from Frontier Capital and last month's Atlanta Business Chronicle Pacesetter award win, Dinova continues to add increasingly diverse restaurant concepts to its more than 14,000 locations nationwide.
EnterWorks Offers Tailored Solution
EnterWorks offers a single view of content essential for companies such as US Foods, Restoration Hardware, and Publishers Clearing House, to tailor data for specific audiences and create personalized commerce experiences. However, at the time of its 1998 founding, its mission was bringing together physical and digital intelligence assets and information from a variety of national level command, control, communications and intelligence sources. It applied the “Pangaea” hypothesis of the globe, i.e., the idea of a singular supercontinent, to a centralized and singular view of global, unstructured data.
This virtual data model technology enabled secure, unified and role-based views of heterogeneous intelligence via EnterWorks’ Master Data Management (MDM) and portal technologies. By providing the intelligence community with simultaneous access and a single virtual database that unified disparate and heterogeneous repositories, EnterWorks achieved a singular breakthrough in compiling data on emerging global trends and threats. The unique EnterWorks solution was marketed initially as Pangaea, a Virtual Data Base platform of unified, heterogeneous data bases comprised of real-time cataloging and process automation in e-marketplaces and information portals. Customers at that time included IBM/Tivoli, Boeing, the Defense Department, as well as certain intelligence community entities.
“The launch of EnterWorks as a ‘mass storage prototype,’ (MSP) created a virtual data base providing a unified view of information from legacy intelligence systems and other relevant sources,” said Rick Chavie, CEO of EnterWorks. “As it evolved to a commercial market application today, this unique technology architecture of brings disparate data together for real-time correlative queries and conversions into structured information that takes the form of easily consumed content.”
According to Chavie, the MSP implementation leveraged an intuitive web interface that was ahead of its time in its application of user friendly, technology to access federated views with less training than required of a full functionality client interface. So much so that the portal capabilities providing this access received an award for innovation from the Smithsonian.
John Jones, the Vice President who leads Research and Development for EnterWorks and has an intelligence background, has been with the organization since it launched in 1998.
“Government Agencies needed a solution for tying multiple systems and sources to one unified view and model for reports. At the time, it took weeks if not months to generate needed reports. Through Pangea, aka the EnterWorks platform, we were able to achieve same day turnaround.”
In the early 2000s, EnterWorks branched out from the public sector and engaged consumer, manufacturing, and banking firms as a critical means to supply unified product information and data management. According to Jones, the solution’s ability to centralize product information, such as dimensions, color, size, price, and materials was well aligned with the growth of ecommerce as well as increasing customization of products to serve individual customer communities. What emerged was a technology that could serve complex, global and regional companies in consumer goods, food, medical, technology, office products, equipment, fashion and services.
Chavie adds: “The history of EnterWorks is intriguing. It is fascinating that a platform that started out as a critical data repository for intelligence agencies now applies its unique virtual views of content to store nutritional information, safety regulations, styling details, or variants for configurable manufactured items. Instead of intelligence analysts, we now enable the work of merchants, marketers, ecommerce users, logisticians, dealers and stores, among others.”
Global Payments Releases Xenial
Global Payments Inc. announced the release of Xenial. Launched by Heartland Commerce, a subsidiary of Global Payments, Xenial is revolutionizing the restaurant industry by bringing to market a first of its kind cloud-based, operating system-agnostic global platform. Leveraging Software as a Service (SaaS), Xenial delivers powerful and easy-to-use technology to restaurant operators of any size.
"Xenial extends our technology-enabled, software-driven strategy and advances our position as a leader in providing vertically fluent, best-in-class solutions," said David Mangum, Global Payments President and Chief Operating Officer. "An innovative and highly integrated solution, Xenial delivers a unique level of service flexibility that allows our customers to significantly enhance the consumer experience across all channels."
Xenial touches virtually every point of the restaurant ecosystem, from ordering and menu management to customer engagement, reporting and analytics. The user-friendly Xenial app can be downloaded to Apple, Android and Windows devices, and can be deployed on an unlimited number of devices at a store without a per terminal fee.
"Today's restaurant operator wants a more dependable, intuitive and modern management platform," stated Christopher Sebes, President of Heartland Commerce. "In a high-tech, self-serve world, the complete platform can be used at many customer points of interaction including counter, drive thru, kiosk, and in app on mobile and tablet. It is quite remarkable how simple Xenial is to install and operate."
Through Xenial's cloud architecture, local stores are able to run their computer devices while sharing orders, processing payments, overseeing kitchen management and reporting locally without an in-store IT server. Even if the internet connection goes down, Xenial allows restaurants to operate for up to 30 days without interruption, sharing orders with local devices running the app.
Leveraging the platform's extensibility, Xenial plans to continuously release additional restaurant value-added feature enhancements throughout 2017 and expand its foundation into retail, liquor and multiple regions across the globe.
Nectar Connected Solution
Nectar Labs is pouring up a solution with the launch of their first product: the Connected Pourer and Stopper which combines ultrasound technology and a software platform to precisely measure how much alcohol is left in a given bottle for automating inventory, managing shrinkage and self-replenishing. The Nectar Connected Pourer and Stopper literally puts a cap on the multi-billion dollar lost revenue crisis.
Created by two entrepreneurs with more than 20 years experience building consumer products, Nectar’s caps are designed to fit seamlessly into a bar’s current operation. Built over 50,000 hours of research and development, the proprietary pourer and stopper will hold up to everyday stresses of bar life without slowing bartenders down. Each cap continuously communicates with the app, keeping track of inventory in real-time. When a bottle is finished and replaced, Nectar automatically depletes it from inventory, and when inventory is running low, orders can be placed directly with distributors saving bar managers precious time and money so that they can focus on customer experience instead of the stock room.
“With Nectar, we’ve had a number of insights that would have been impossible to find before, which has dramatically improved our operations,” said Anjan Mitra, owner of DOSA restaurant. “Plus, with 24/7 inventory management and one-touch ordering, our bar managers don't have to worry about working after hours to keep inventory in check. Instead, they can focus on delivering the best possible guest experience and creating amazing cocktails.”
“Nectar is doing the same thing for alcohol consumption data that Google did for click through data. By bringing disciplined metrics to a previously unmeasured space, Nectar is closing the massive information gap while making the bar industry more intelligent and efficient,” said Aayush Phumbhra, co-founder and CEO of Nectar. “Now that sell-out data will be available in real-time and orders can be self-replenished this technology has the potential to help improve the unit economics of the industry.”
Nectar’s Connected Pourer and Stopper was designed to offer:
Universal Form Factor: Each cap is designed to adjust and fit every alcohol bottle on the market
Industrial Strength Construction: An airtight seal withstands the wear and tear of bar life; guaranteed to be alcohol and wash-proof
Simple Setup: Setup is intuitive and does not require extensive training or infrastructure
Deep Data Insights: Bars and distributors can now understand shrinkage and manage inventory in real-time, giving them the ability to optimize operations.
One-touch Ordering: Create orders and email them directly to distributor reps with the push of a button.
“Until now precisely measuring and managing inventory has been guesswork. It’s insanely difficult to track how much bars and restaurants lose on a given night, or month or year,” said Prabhanjan “PJ” Gurumohan, co-founder and COO of Nectar. “Nectar’s technology tackles this global, multi-billion dollar problem by seamlessly integrating into a bar’s existing operations. It’s accurate, non-invasive, and doesn’t force the bartender to change how they do their job.”
Nectar is already live and has been used to manage more than 100,000 live pours in select locations such as the W Hotel in Miami and Dosa Restaurant in San Francisco. The company has also conducted more than 2.5 million pours using custom robotic arms in its lab for testing the caps for accuracy and durability.
Verifone Introduces Carbon 8
Verifone added Verifone Carbon 8 as a member of the Carbon family. Designed for high-touch industries such as hospitality and restaurants, Carbon 8’s namesake showcases a high-resolution, eight-inch, merchant-facing tablet that enables a more portable and lighter device to fit a variety of fast-paced environments. Able to run applications that help merchants operate and grow such as accounting, real-time inventory management and staffing tools, Carbon 8 offers convenient new features including a shoulder strap for comfortable carrying and optional, detachable thermal printer for on-the-spot receipts.
“When portability is more important and space is limited, we now have Carbon 8, which we see in the hands of on-the-go merchants for hotel checkout, pay-at-the-table, curbside assistance and other portable and mobile use cases.” said Glen Robson, EVP, Global Head of Solutions, Verifone. “This latest innovation comes after last year’s introduction of our award-winning category killer Carbon 10, which strikes a perfect balance for those merchants who want a large countertop display with portability when they need it.”
“Verifone is working with its partners to deliver on payment security, EMV and mobility so that their retail clients can focus on their businesses and serve their customers,” said Thad Peterson, Senior Analyst, Aite Group. “Carbon 8 is a good example of the way POS is evolving, providing merchants with a multifunctioning and integrated system that can be customized for vertical applications and is adaptable to changing consumer expectations.”
The Verifone Carbon series is powered by the Intel® high-speed chipset for fast processing to run and integrate any POS software and third party applications. Designed with dedicated merchant and consumer facing tablets for optimal business management and consumer engagement, Carbon will have access to the Verifone App Marketplace where merchants will be able to discover, purchase and install commerce apps and customize their device to personalize the customer experience.
Voice Teleservices Works with Bruegger's
Voice Teleservices, a Portland, ME outsource call center, was recently selected by Bruegger’s Enterprises, Inc. as their sole provider for handling customer telephone orders for their growing catering business.
"Since 2011, we have demonstrated an expertise in serving restaurant chain clients who have moved telephone orders from their local restaurant locations to a centralized call center. We are very excited to add Bruegger’s Bagels to our mix of fast-casual restaurant operators who have trusted the Voice Teleservices team to serve their guests," said David Sawicki, Founder/CEO Voice Teleservices.
Traditionally, restaurant operators have handled inbound telephone orders at the local restaurant level, where callers often experience busy signals as wait staff struggle to provide attention to their on-site guests. By moving these calls to a centralized call center like Voice Teleservices, inbound order calls are not missed, the guests enjoy a better ordering experience, and dedicated telephone agents are able to spend more time serving guests, understanding their needs, and increasing the average order value.
"Our partnership with Voice Teleservices has helped us grow our sales and guest service. The Voice Teleservice team provides a level of knowledge and service that has been a notable improvement in our sales and the service we provide to our guests." Barbara Blackwell, Director of Catering, Bruegger’s Enterprises, Inc.
Verifone Teams with Eigen
Verifone and Eigen Development Ltd. have partnered to enable The Keg Steakhouse + Bar to offer secure pay-at-the-table service.Verifone is supporting Eigen with the VX 690 payment terminal, software development kit, and the developer environment needed for the managed payment solution provider to offer a complete EMV and P2PE solution. This integration enables restaurants to provide their customers with three levels of security through the card, the payment terminal, and the encrypted data in the network, in every transaction.
“For more than 20 years, Verifone has been a valued partner in providing secure payment solutions and today, the partnership includes pay-at-the-table service for our restaurant customers across North America,” said Rob Coulthard, General Manager, Eigen. “While the overall EMV migration is in progress, the U.S. market is in its early stages for pay-at-the-table, and we see tremendous growth opportunities for this solution in the hospitality vertical.”
“At all of our North American restaurant locations, we are constantly striving to enhance our guest experience,” said Ron Varley, Vice President of IT, The Keg. “Pay-at-the-table enables our servers to complete the bill transaction directly with our guests in an efficient manner, leading to better service. The addition of a PCI-listed P2PE solution with EMV, ensures credit card data is secure, makes PCI compliance easier, and reduces chargebacks.“
“Pay-at-the-table also improves and speeds up customer service by dramatically reducing a server’s trip to the POS to close a transaction,” said Joe Mach, President of North America. “With Eigen as our partner, Verifone offers our restaurant clients and their patrons a checkout experience that is fast, convenient, and more secure.”
Loupe Loyalty Digital Check Presenters
Loupe Loyalty offers loyalty and marketing technology for sit-down restaurants with the Loupe Loyalty Digital Check Presenters.
Customers sign up at the table in fewer than 10 seconds. Points are earned and accrued based on how much money a guest spends. Points are redeemed for exclusive Perks that work within a restaurant’s menu and margins. Owners use automatic text message reminders and special promotions to pull customers in on slow nights.
Since Loupe Loyalty utilizes existing customer habits, it’s able to achieve a 77 percent adoption rate with no influence or effort from service staff. Loupe Loyalty also demonstrates a 15 percent guest return within 30 days, according to the company. As the digital alternative to untraceable and clumsier loyalty clubs, Loupe Loyalty appeals to owners of casual- and fine-dining establishments because of its unique combination of proven results with a sleek and unobtrusive appearance.
Digi International Relaunches As Digi Smart Solutions Group
Digi International® introduced the Digi Smart Solutions™ group. Created from the strategic assets of the Digi Honeycomb™, FreshTemp™ and SMART Temps® product lines, the combined group will offer solutions to address the specific needs of foodservice, transportation and logistics, and healthcare industries including pharmacy.
Designed to deliver real-time insights, Digi Smart Solutions provide an efficient subscription-based service that continuously and wirelessly monitors task management activities and the temperature of perishable, high-value goods. Digi Smart Solutions provide centralized oversight of food safety processes, improve operational efficiencies, and provide chain of custody verification.
Digi Smart Solutions help organizations comply with public health requirements and food safety regulations set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“With the wealth of our assets and expertise we have best-in-class products for local businesses as well as international enterprises. Our solutions span the entire chain of custody to help companies achieve operational efficiencies, complete visibility and verification of compliance,” said Kevin C. Riley, Digi’s chief operating officer who oversees the Smart Solutions group. “Additionally, as markets’ needs continue to unfold, we’ll be able to update our products to address those changes.”
Digi Smart Solutions address the day-to-day issues of maintaining product quality and safety while lowering costs and achieving overarching goals of higher customer satisfaction and brand reputation. They also address the needs of customers with unique challenges that span operational and safety regulatory requirements. Digi has established itself as a clear leader with more than 10,000 locations under management, a combined 25 years of temperature management experience and more than 1 billion temperature sensor readings. A sample of current customers includes Tim Hortons, Love’s Travel Stops, Hennepin County Medical Center, Rite Aid Corporation, and the University of Notre Dame.
Foodservice: Products are designed to address the wide variety of environments in the foodservice industry including Quick Service Restaurants (QSR), full service restaurants, corporate dining, grocery stores, convenience stores and food service operations within other locations (i.e. movie theaters, rest stops, etc.). The system helps customers meet stringent task management, food safety and sanitation needs to securely capture, document, and report equipment and food temperatures to meet and exceed the U.S. FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and Model Food Code. The solutions streamline manual operational checklists and provide insight to managers on how well their teams are adhering to quality and food safety guidelines.
BrightSign Offers Self-Serve Ordering Kiosk
BrightSign, LLC® teamed up with Felbro Displays to develop a new self-serve ordering kiosk aimed at the QSR market, among others.
“Self-serve ordering at kiosks has the potential to be the next big thing in restaurant-based digital signage,” said Jeff Hastings, BrightSign’s CEO. “Similar to how digital menu boards reinvented the restaurant experience over the past decade, kiosks will be central to restaurant design in the years ahead, as proprietors further explore the use of technology to enrich the customer experience.”
The kiosk itself measures 18 inches wide, 40 inches high and just 4 inches deep. Felbro Displays designed the kiosk with flexibility in mind, with a variety of installation options for restaurants to consider. The unit can be freestanding, attached to a wall, pole-mounted, integrated with countertops, and offers various ADA options. This installation flexibility is important, especially for restaurants that want to add kiosks with minimal disruption to their existing layout.
Key components include:
- 27-inch ELO PCAP touch screen
- BrightSign XT1143 digital signage media player
- Verifone UX-series transaction-processing software
- Star Micronics SK1-32 POS receipt printer
“When assembling a solution like this, the final product is only as good as its weakest link, which is why we selected only the best components for this kiosk,” said Robert Price, Vice President Sales and Business Development at Felbro Displays. “The end result is a kiosk that’s easy to deploy, simple to manage and ultimately reliable – we believe this is the most complete, flexible self-serve kiosk currently available.”
Quantifind Partners with Corner Bakery
Quantifind announced a partnership expansion with Corner Bakery, one of its signature clients using the SIGNUM for Restaurants platform. This agreement means that Corner Bakery will have continued access to the Quantifind platform, SIGNUM for Restaurants. This tool analyzes five years' worth of restaurant information – including more than 780 million online conversations from 65 million consumers – and matches it up against a panel of 3.5 million receipt transactions to determine which consumer segments, discussion topics, and interests groups drive revenue for Corner Bakery and its competitors.
"Quantifind has been a great partner. SIGNUM for Restaurants allows us to pull out the signal from the noise by providing an intelligence layer that sits above our internal and external data sources," said Frank Paci, CEO of Corner Bakery.
The SIGNUM for Restaurants solution includes data for 80+ leading brands across Fast Casual, Quick Service, and Casual Dining restaurants. Clients can drill down into competitive revenue drivers across different consumer segments, unique interest groups, and more than 60 discussion topics – including menu items, pricing, service, operations, and mobile technology.
"We're thrilled to deliver for Corner Bakery. Their team pushes us to innovate and brings the best out of our product suite. We look forward to the next chapter, including analyzing and surfacing insights on their voice-of-customer survey data," said Ari Tuchman, CEO and Co-founder of Quantifind.
Noodle Expert App
Amoy announced a free mobile application that lets restaurant operators quickly learn how to create noodle-centric dishes or easily build their own Asian hot bar. "Our Amoy Noodle Expert app is designed for busy restaurant operators who are ready to take advantage of consumer demand for Asian cuisine," saysBrad Kumin, Vice President of Foodservice Marketing for Ajinomoto Windsor. "It is easy to explore a variety of Asian noodles, their origin, and recipe applications. The app can literally recommend a noodle hot bar based on the items selected."
The app is a revolutionary tool for restaurant operators and its launch coincides with Amoy's existing line of noodles, including: Chow Mein, Lo Mein, Soba (buckwheat), Hakka, Yakisoba, Japanese Udon and Ramen noodles. Amoy also now offers new Ready-To-Eat (RTE) Yakisoba, Lo Mein, Chow Mein and Whole-Wheat noodles, which are pre-cooked and pre-portioned for consistent quality and convenience.
"Our new line is the perfect solution for operators who want to add one or two Asian dishes to their menu, or convert a hot bar they use in the mornings for breakfast to a noodle bar for lunch or dinner," says Doris Fung, Sr. Category Manager: Appetizers.
The Amoy Noodle Expert app is available for free on iOS or Android and includes seven key features: The ability to learn about noodles (noodle 101), noodle bar planning, chat functionality, recipes, promos, a broker locator, and the ability to calculate food costs (including yield calculation). It's going to empower restaurant operators that serve noodles and modernize the food industry as a whole.