Time for Restaurant Tech Team Ups and Record-Breaking Dash

This edition of MRM’s News Bites features  General Mills Foodservice, Toast, Fourth, Gordon Food Service and Square Roots, Monkey Group and Field Day, Paytronix and Zenreach, Serve and ItsaCheckmate, 360Training and Qwick, BevSpot, Textio and McDonald's, DoorDash and PlantPure Communities.

Send news items to Barbara Castiglia at bcastiglia@modernrestaurantmanagement.com.

Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest Open

Marking its fifth year, the Neighborhood to Nation™ Recipe Contest from General Mills Foodservice is bigger than ever—doubling the number of winners to give even more independent restaurants and food trucks the chance to win more than $200,000 in cash and prizes. The restaurant recipe contest is officially accepting entries for original recipes that use at least one item from General Mills’ list of eligible products as a recipe ingredient.

The annual Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest gives restaurants and food trucks the opportunity to showcase their one-of-a-kind dishes and enjoy some time in the national spotlight. This year’s competition will honor 10 Regional Recipe Winners, two from each region, who will each receive $5,000 in cash and an additional $1,000 to share with a local charity of their choice. General Mills will also travel to each regional winner’s hometown to host a festive celebration event at their restaurant or food truck as a way to recognize them in their communities.

“We started this contest five years ago to recognize the hard work and passion that our favorite neighborhood restaurants put into their menu items—those signature dishes and familiar favorites that stand out and instill a great source of hometown pride,” said Alyca Judge, senior marketing manager for General Mills Foodservice, which partners with restaurants to provide back-of-house products, recipe inspiration and culinary support.  “We look forward to traveling across the country to celebrate the 2019 contest winners, and putting them and their award-winning recipes on the center stage.”

One of the 10 regional winners will also be named the Grand Prize Recipe Winner and receive a total of $10,000 in cash and $2,000 to share with a local charity as well as a three-day trip for two to the 2019 New York City Wine & Food Festival, the premier food and wine event that celebrates America’s favorite foods.  

For every eligible recipe received from March 1 to April 30, 2019, General Mills will donate $5 to No Kid Hungry®, a national campaign to end childhood hunger in the United States, up to $10,000.  

“We have been touched by the generosity of independent family and neighborhood restaurants over the years and how much they give back to their own communities,” said Judge. “As General Mills Foodservice marks the fifth year of Neighborhood to Nation, we sought a meaningful way to show our gratitude, and we are proud to help raise funds for childhood hunger which impacts neighborhoods nationwide.”

Contest Details

The Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest is open to foodservice operators, chefs and line cooks who develop and prepare recipes for menu items served at independent, commercial restaurants or food trucks. From March 1 to April 30, 2019, participants may log on to www.neighborhoodtonation.com to submit an original recipe using at least one ingredient from General Mills Foodservice’s participating brands: Pillsbury™(biscuits, puff pastry and pie dough), Gold Medal™(baking mixes), Yoplait®(yogurt) and Mountain High®(yogurt).

Recipes will be judged based on taste, appearance, creativity and foodservice viability. Ten Regional Recipe Winners (representing the West, North Central, South Central, Northeast and Southeast) will be announced in August as well as the Grand Prize Recipe Winner. In addition, this year’s contest will recognize one of the Regional Winners with the “People’s Choice” award and an additional $1,000 to the local charity of their choice, based on fan voting on the General Mills Convenience and Foodservice Facebook page.

Toast Empowers

Toast released a suite of new features focused on the guest experience: Toast Guest Feedback, the first multi-channel guest feedback platform built exclusively for restaurants. Toast Guest Feedback empowers restaurant owners to collect and act on guest reviews in real-time via Toast Digital Receipts and Toast Go.

“We’re committed to helping the restaurant industry apply technology to increase revenue, improve operations, and delight guests,” said Steve Fredette, president and co-founder of Toast. “In an industry where online ratings can dramatically impact revenue, reputation management is more important than ever for the Toast Restaurant Community. We developed Toast Guest Feedback in response to this trend; restaurateurs can better manage their online reputation, perform service recovery, attract new diners, and retain guests.” 

With Toast Guest Feedback, restaurateurs can collect positive or negative reviews from dine-in guests when checking out with Toast Go; they are also able to collect feedback from diners ordering food to-go through Toast Digital Receipts. Restaurant managers can elect to receive an SMS notification every time a guest leaves a negative review.

Real-time feedback empowers restaurant operators to show their commitment to the guest experience by immediately addressing negative reviews. Timely responses to negative ratings are more important than ever – a Toast study found that 65 percent of one-star Yelp reviews were posted within one day of a poor dining experience. The Toast Guest Feedback report summarizes all reviews, providing restaurants with invaluable information that they can use to coach their staff, adjust their menu, and improve the guest experience.

“At SuViche, it's crucial that every single guest has a perfect experience; Toast Guest Feedback is our last line of defense in ensuring our guests leave happy. The majority of our diners are non-confrontational – but they still want to be heard,” said Ryan Egozi, director of operations for SuViche Hospitality Group. “Before Toast Guest Feedback, we would sometimes find guests wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing a negative experience in-person, so they would instead leave a negative review online. Now, we’re able to reach guests before they leave to make it right.”

Increasingly, guests are looking for ways to spend less time in line or order their favorite meal from home. Toast’s self-ordering kiosks simplify the guest ordering experience and improve throughput in high-volume restaurants. New Toast Kiosk features include:

Payments and tipping: Guests have the option to tip when placing an order on a Toast Kiosk. Toast’s data shows that adding tipping to the checkout flow increases tips, on average, by 30 percent;

“Order is ready” text notification: When paired with Toast KDS, Toast Kiosk can automatically send guests an SMS message when their order is ready; and,

The Toast Kiosk start screen is now customizable to incorporate brand colors and images. Restaurateurs can also highlight add-on items to incentivize guests to bolster their orders, or choose to hide menu items that they do not want to offer on a Toast Kiosk.

Fourth Goes Full Service

Fourth launched its full-service HR, benefits and payroll services in the U.S. market. In addition to its complete hospitality operations platform with sales forecasting, scheduling, purchase-to-pay and inventory capabilities, Fourth now offers full-service payroll, benefits and HRO services, following its recent acquisition of Choice HR. By combining the power of its advanced hospitality management technology with deep HR expertise, Fourth enables operators to simplify their processes, optimize profits and improve employee engagement all while managing complex HR and payroll compliance. 

“Labor management and payroll processing are a burden for many restaurant companies,” said Chris Sullivan, founder of Outback Steakhouse. “Combining restaurant workforce and scheduling technology with HR and payroll processing services solves a major problem for many companies. I have always believed it was possible for this to be done better and excited to see how this will revolutionize our industry.” 

According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the turnover rate in the restaurant industry holds firm at around 70 percent. In addition to workforce management challenges and day-to-day operations, restaurant operators are also spending countless hours navigating increasingly complex HR and compliance issues. Traditionally, operators have relied heavily on multiple technology platforms, or worse, paper and spreadsheets, to manage these tasks, resulting in unmanageable amounts of siloed data. Fourth’s hospitality operations platform breaks open these data siloes, providing complete visibility across the entire business in real time. Additionally, by providing unmatched access to full-service, hospitality-specific payroll, benefits and HR services, Fourth enables operators to focus on improving business outcomes rather than onerous HR matters.

“As we roll out Leon in the U.S., we are so grateful to be in the safe hands of Fourth,” said Glenn Edwards, managing director at LEON USA. “We truly believe we’d be a bit lost and certainly failing in the hands of a non-hospitality specific payroll service provider. The support from our dedicated Fourth team is unparalleled, and their knowledge of U.S. payroll is encyclopedic. We would definitely recommend Fourth to a hospitality operator wanting to get their payroll 100 percent right, 100 percent of the time.”

The solutions include:

All-Inclusive Hospitality Operations Platform: The Fourth platform seamlessly integrates with every major POS system, finance platform and many industry specific third-party applications. With one user name and password, operators can quickly access a wealth of reports and dashboards.   

Full-Service Payroll, Benefits and HR Services: Eliminating the need for multiple systems, Fourth brings advanced hospitality operations management technology as well as full-service payroll, benefits, workers compensation and HR services together, providing managers the freedom to focus on improving business outcomes rather than tedious HR matters. 

Advanced Demand Forecasting: Rather than simply cataloging historical data, Fourth’s complete platform provides unrivaled advanced demand forecasting – using predictive algorithms and machine learning to factor in historical trends, weather and local events. By calculating a daily baseline forecast at 15-minute intervals by sales item, Fourth’s demand forecasting capabilities enable customers to ensure they have the labor and the inventory to deliver a great guest experience – every time.

Analytics and Reporting Dashboard: Fourth’s intuitive platform features interactive graphs and charts that are automatically populated based on the unique KPIs of the business. With all the information an operator needs stored on the Fourth platform, CEOs, CFOs and managers can easily turn data into actionable insight at a click, leading to better business decisions. 

“As former hospitality professionals ourselves, we understand first-hand the challenges that today’s operators face, including labor and evolving compliance issues,” said Simon Bocca, chief operating officer at Fourth. “Now that the integration of Choice HR is complete, we are enabling operators to streamline HR processes and more effectively manage their workforce. Because our technology is so deeply rooted in the industry, it genuinely transforms the way our customers can operate, eliminating time-consuming manual processes and freeing them to spend time where it matters – with their team and their customers.”

Fourth continues to expand its footprint in the U.S., currently recruiting an additional 25 employees to its 70-person team in New York and Florida.  

Gordon Teams with Square Roots

 Gordon Food Service®‚Äč  and Square Roots formed a strategic partnership will ultimately see new campuses of Square Roots’ indoor farms built on or near Gordon Food Service distribution centers and retail stores across the continent, enabling year-round growing of premium quality herbs, greens, and more, and made available to Gordon Food Service customers. 

This partnership reflects a shared vision and commitment by both organizations to invest in a modern, unique offering to meet growing customer demand for local food across North America. It also signifies the first, significant expansion to new locations for Square Roots and its unparalleled farmer training program, enabled by the company’s scalable “farmer first” technology platform. The Square Roots and Gordon Food Service exclusive partnership comes at a time when customer tastes and palates are seeing an increasing demand for fresh, high-quality, local food. 

“Customers want an assortment of fresh, locally grown food all year round. We are on a path to do that at scale with Square Roots and are excited to be the first in the industry to offer this unique solution to our customers,” said Rich Wolowski, CEO of Gordon Food Service. 

Square Roots’ mission is to bring local, real food to people in cities by empowering the next generation of leaders in urban agriculture. The company combines a high-tech farming platform with a unique “Next-Gen Farmer Training Program” to train passionate people to become future leaders in the food industry. 

Meanwhile, Square Roots’ Transparency Timeline enables customers to trace exactly how and where their food was grown and who grew it, simply by scanning a QR code on its packaging. Now, having partnered with Gordon Food Service, this unique ability to bring technology-enabled local food will soon become a reality for food-conscious consumers across North America. And the Next-Gen Farmer Training Program will soon open up doors for even more driven young people, arming them with the skills to take part in building a better food system for our future. 

Tobias Peggs, co-founder and CEO of Square Roots, continued, “This partnership means we will grow delicious, local, real food at huge scale. We’re so happy to be working with a mission-aligned partner in Gordon Food Service – leveraging technology to bring real food to a huge number of people across the country, while delivering real social impact by empowering thousands of young people to become our country’s future farmers.” 

Monkey Group Partners with Field Day

Monkey Group and Field Day formed a strategic partnership to help multi-unit brands staff last-mile marketing opportunities, deploying brand ambassadors to conduct community marketing and sales outreach specifically focused on each restaurant operators’ catering business. 

Field Day works with large restaurant brands to understand their sales and marketing challenges and goals, and then aligns each objective with the solutions Field Day offers. Brand ambassadors employed by Field Day are tasked with driving brand awareness and excitement to targeted local businesses, so a navigational map is algorithmically developed highlighting which type of businesses to target within each assigned trade area. 

“Once we define the challenge, the process then kicks into gear,” said Alex Nocifera, Founder and CEO of Field Day. “We aim to be responsive to a brands’ needs so we don’t acquire brand ambassadors until after we have our customer needs and geographies established. If it’s catering outreach, we’ll go about getting menus and apparel, conduct logistical scheduling and hold in- depth training sessions for ambassadors. Once those items are checked, we’re off and running.” 

What gets reported back to the restaurant team is a list of sales leads, the map area covered, duration of field work, photos of the overall experience, and the number of sales collaterals distributed throughout the market. Every canvassing moment is tracked and documented within the Field Day platform along with pictures verifying the time spent. 

Paytronix Teams with Zenreach

 Paytronix Systems, Inc., is  collaborating with Zenreach, creator of the Walk-Through Ratetm that connects online marketing with in-store results, to help their mutual client, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, gain a deeper understanding of more of its guests in order to offer them more targeted and highly personalized experiences.

“Helping merchants get to know 100 percent of their customers is what we do,” said Michelle Tempesta, head of marketing, Paytronix Systems, Inc. “This Zenreach integration is part of a larger Paytronix initiative to strategically integrate and build proprietary features that enable our merchants to identify all of their customers and then use the data to grow their concepts through additional unit planning as well as boosting same store sales through multi-channel engagement.”

As Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza expanded the number of its locations, the restaurant chain was looking for ways to maintain a high level of guest engagement in keeping with its “everybody-is-family” approach to customer service. To do this, Anthony’s leveraged Zenreach for its WiFi marketing platform to collect guest information during the WiFi login process and leveraged Paytronix’s Rewards Platform to understand customer preferences and drive loyalty.

Anthony’s wanted to integrate the two technologies to streamline data flows and remove manual intervention in order to make the process more efficient form end to end. Customer contact information and visit behavior collected through Zenreach would personalize communication and flow automatically to Paytronix where it would be used to reward customers for visits. The results were significant:

  • Doubled reach of loyalty program
  • Collected 150,000 new customer emails
  • Brought back 1,800 Lapsed Customers

“Previously, customer data collected through Zenreach had to be manually downloaded and then uploaded into Paytronix to drive the restaurant’s loyalty program – a process which was arduous and very time consuming,” explained Skip Kimpel, VP Information Technology, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza. “Our Club Rewards program is growing much faster now and the number of customers invited to join has more than doubled. By combining timely and relevant communication with a rewards program, we’re getting better performance and value from our customer communications.”

“As businesses scale, they rely on technology to know their customers, personalize communication, and keep them coming back,” said Zenreach VP product, Kai Umezawa. “Our goal at Zenreach is to help our merchants accomplish this by connecting digital communication with real-world results. It’s satisfying to team up with partners like Paytronix who share this mission.”

Serve Partners with ItsaCheckmate

Serve  announced its official partnership with ItsaCheckmate. Joining ItsaCheckmate’s list of partners that facilitate food sales and delivery in the growing on-demand restaurant business, Serve increases its reach and furthers its goal of becoming a global engine for e-commerce.

"Our partnership with ItsaCheckmate is significant considering its reputation for enabling partner restaurants to bypass outdated processes and send orders directly to their kitchen printer,” says Serve’s CEO Shahan Ohanessian, whose team recently won the prestigious DevProject Award—presented at DeveloperWeek 2019–for its innovative software, business processes and transaction protocols. “With the benefits provided by our blockchain-based on-demand technology, Serve will not only assist ItsaCheckmate and their POS partners but also help drive transparency and decentralize last-mile logistics for food delivery customers across the globe.”

Renowned for its innovative software currently utilized by established delivery companies, Serve is at the forefront, making last-mile delivery logistics a viable option for every business, from global businesses to small mom-and-pop restaurants. Offering solutions for the transportation, logistics and retail industries, with countless more applications to come, Serve provides accountability at every stage, helping end users including enterprises and providers increase efficiency and reduce costs by removing unnecessary middlemen from transactions.

“ItsaCheckmate makes the process of accepting orders from these ever-growing online ordering platforms and delivery services much more efficient, allowing the restaurants to grow their revenue without increasing the associated costs” says Vishal Agarwal, founder and CEO of ItsaCheckmate. “We are very honored to have this opportunity to integrate with the Serve platform. As the volume of online orders is only going to grow, we can scale upwards and help restaurants massively streamline their orders from these sources while keeping costs stable.”

“As restaurants streamline their operations to take advantage of rapidly increasing online orders, we expect hundreds of thousands of restaurants to benefit from ItsaCheckmate’s unique solution," adds Tiger Global Management Partner Scott Shleifer.

360training and Qwick Partner

360training.com and Qwick  joined forces to make it easier than ever for hospitality professionals to earn extra money in their downtime. As a result of this new partnership, hospitality professionals using the Qwick platform will now have access to 360training.com’s catalog of accredited food and beverage courses so they can earn or renew required certifications and pick up open shifts all in one place.

“Qwick is excited to partner with 360training.com to provide the professionals on our platform with an easy way to obtain up-to-date certifications, making them fully compliant in their respective roles,” says Blaine Light, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Qwick.

Qwick’s platform not only addresses the issue of understaffing within the food and beverage industry, but it also provides servers, bartenders, dishwashers, and cooks in Phoenix, San Diego, and other markets coming soon with flexible opportunities to work when they want to. 360training.com will be the sole training and certification provider for Qwick’s users looking to pick up shifts in the hospitality industry in real time.

“We are thrilled to partner with an innovative company like Qwick. Not only does this collaboration help Qwick create a safe and compliant workforce, but it makes it that much easier for hospitality professionals to find the dependable jobs they deserve,” says Chris Detrich, Vice President of Sales at 360training.com. “We look forward to helping Qwick and its users fulfill their training needs for many years to come.”

BevSpot Expands  Features

BevSpot launched its new automated invoice management, advanced recipe building, and batching features. The new features expand BevSpot’s offering by giving restaurant operators greater control of their end-to-end operational processes and fill key gaps between their currently established systems—specifically their Point of Sale (POS), and Accounting systems. In addition, the features are universally applicable to every F&B operation in the world and will simplify the user experience for all current and future customers.

BevSpot is an all-in-one food and beverage management software company that provides a simple but powerful solution for managing day-to-day operations including inventory, ordering and invoicing, recipe costing, and sales and loss tracking on any internet connected device anywhere in the world.

“Our mission is to empower the global food and beverage industry with beautiful, easy to use mobile technology,” said Rory Crawford, BevSpot's Co-Founder and CEO. “These new features provide restaurants with a simple but powerful solution for managing day-to-day operations including inventory, ordering and invoicing, recipe costing, and sales and loss tracking on any internet connected device anywhere in the world.”

Chidubem Ezeaka, BevSpot’s Co-Founder and Chief Product Engineer said “We knew it was critical for our customers to have the ability to seamlessly process invoices in order to maintain up-to-date inventory usage and ingredient pricing. This new invoice management feature accomplishes this by enabling a user to simply snap a photo or upload a file of invoices for automated processing. This invoicing feature in conjunction with existing inventory, recipe, and sales tracking features provides users with a comprehensive solution to manage their entire operation.”

“At BevSpot we listen very closely to our customers and dig deep to understand their challenges,” said Nichole Mace, VP of Product. “An acute pain point we identified especially for our food customers is the need to track items that go into prepared and batched recipes. Working collaboratively with our customers we developed a solution that allows our customers to create, track and report on prepared ingredients and recipes. Further, we added functionality to break down a single item into many items as part of this solution. This provides users complete control of recipe creation and plate costing, all delivered via a beautiful and intuitive user interface.”

The food and beverage industry still rely heavily on spreadsheets and clipboards. BevSpot helps industry professionals easily transition from these spreadsheets and clipboards to cloud-based software. By digitizing their inventory, invoice, recipe, and sales data, BevSpot helps users gain valuable insights to improve their bottom line.

According to Crawford, in an industry where the average restaurant runs on six percent profit margins and 59 percent of restaurants fail in their first three years, BevSpot customers are 10x less likely to fail and 30 percent go on to open up new locations each year. It’s a staggering metric that highlights both the value of data in running a successful restaurant as well as the success of operators that recognize the opportunity to adopt cloud-based solutions to improve existing operations.

Textio Teams with McDonald's

Textio, the developer of the world's first augmented writing platform  announced a new partnership with the McDonald's Corporation.

Together with its Franchisees, McDonald's receives upwards of 20 million applicants a year to support hiring nearly two million people, making them one of the most significant employers in the world. As McDonald's is planning for their next stage of growth, they are investing in world class technologies that improve their hiring and recruiting processes at scale. Textio, a 2019 Finalist for the SxSW Innovation Awards, has been brought on board to enable McDonald's to not only recruit and hire faster, but also to ensure they reach top-quality applicants in an inclusive manner.

As McDonald's continues to modernize their technology across the enterprise, from self-order kiosks to adopting newer recruiting technology, McDonald's saw an opportunity to partner with Textio to bring the vibrant culture and brand voice of McDonald's into the recruiting process.

"At McDonald's, our goal is to create feel good moments that ensure everyone feels welcome and included. That starts with the language we use when we reach out to you as a candidate," said Joshua Secrest, Sr. Director of Global Talent Attraction. "Textio's innovative augmented writing platform will give us the insights to know, in real time, whether the language we are using is attracting the most qualified and diverse candidates we can."

Textio is fueled by a massive data set of real-world hiring outcomes from hundreds of millions of job listings across industries and around the globe. Every month, this data set grows by 10 million new documents, with the latest hiring results attached to each one. The work with McDonald's will further develop the platform's capabilities in the hospitality and franchise industry.

"Partnering with one of the world's most iconic brands is such a treat (pun intended). I'm excited to see McDonald's embrace augmented writing and modernize their recruiting process," said Kieran Snyder, co-founder and CEO, Textio. "This partnership will change the experience of millions of people applying to McDonald's every year and allow McDonald's to showcase its unique culture in the language that they use."

In addition to making it easier for hiring managers and recruiters to write collaboratively in McDonald's brand language, Textio Hire will allow McDonald's to write gender neutral job posts, aligning with the company's goals to combat gender bias in the workplace.  

"We're excited to see the language patterns Textio uncovers to help our teams continuously learn and grow in the moment," said Secrest. "Textio takes the sometimes painful process of writing a job post or a recruiting email and makes it fun and engaging."

Dashing to a Record

DoorDash officially broke a Guinness World Record for the largest-ever mosaic made of cans at the Santa Monica Pier to celebrate the success of its flagship Project DASH social impact program. 

mosaic

On Friday, March 1, DoorDash unveiled a must-see record-breaking mosaic at the Santa Monica Pier. This visually stunning 22 x 25 ft installation  in the design of an elephant included more than 6,000 cans.  DoorDash’s founding mission is to deliver good by connecting people and possibility; with its flagship social impact program, Project DASH, DoorDash leverages its logistics expertise to tackle the dual epidemics of hunger and food waste.

In  its first year, Project DASH rescued more than 500,000 pounds of food, providing 429,000 meals to people facing hunger and diverting 279,000 pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere. This installation represents the sheer weight of food rescued and transported to hunger relief nonprofits by DoorDash’s Project DASH over the past year, which totals 625,000 pounds – the weight of approximately 48 African elephants. All of the cans used will be donated to the LA Regional Food Bank.

Restaurants Sign on For Plant Pure

The nonprofit organization, PlantPure Communities (PPC), report that two key milestones had been reached via the PPC Restaurant Campaign. With the addition of Snack Mafia – a restaurant located in Guwahati, India – there are now over 100 restaurants participating in the Campaign. Restaurants must offer at least one plant-based, oil-free meal on their menu in order to participate. The PPC Restaurant Campaign responds to the growing demand from health conscious diners seeking plant-based, oil-free menu options when dining out. Participating restaurants are discovering that nutrition-based healthy menu options help expand their customer base by attracting new diners seeking meatless, low fat menu options. 

The PPC Restaurant Campaign is being driven by the 200,000+ people connected to the PlantPure Communities Pod Network. To date, restaurants in eight countries – including, Australia, Bulgaria, Denmark, Israel, Canada, India, Italy and the US – have made this healthy menu item addition. Aparajita Barbora, manager at Snack Mafia (the 100th restaurant to join the Campaign), said: “I never thought business would increase so rapidly after joining the Campaign. We are adding more meat-free & dairy-free options to our menu as the number of people aware of the health benefits of a plant-based diet grows every day.”  According to Foodable Labs, “51% of chefs in the U.S. are now offering vegan options.” Leland Neal, CEO of Taco Rico Franchising, a Tex-Mex restaurant chain in Florida with six participating restaurants, said, “We take pride in being able to offer many healthy vegan and vegetarian options. Doing this really sets us apart from any competition and allows us to grow sales in this exciting market.”  Jeanne Minier, Assistant Manager at the Loving Hut Restaurant in Norcross, Georgia said, "We have new customers every day who have adopted the plant-based eating for life and are eager for oil-free and plant-pure choices. We encourage all restaurants to answer the call for more meat-free and oil-free options."

As part of the Restaurant Campaign, Pod members venture out into their favorite restaurants to collaborate with chefs and restaurant managers to promote the addition of plant-based, oil-free options to their menus. The Campaign is supported by a virtual online toolkit which contains tips on how to approach a restaurant, how to adjust the menu, and how to ramp up business via social media and local press. Participating restaurants are spotlighted in PPC e-newsletters and social media platforms, are added to an interactive map on the PPC website, and PPC subscribers living within 50 miles of the restaurant are notified of the new healthy meal options, and encouraged to dine there with family and friends. “Everything we eat is either good or bad for our health — restaurants that add meat-free, oil-free meals make it possible to dine out with friends and family while supporting customers’ health goals,” said Jody Kass, PPC Executive Director. “The restaurant industry is changing – because American consumers are changing. More people are waking up every day to the realization that they can take control of their health and reverse their heart disease, diabetes and other chronic illness – just by changing what is on the end of their fork. While restaurant industry trends are always evolving, healthy plant-based dishes are here to stay!” said Nelson Campbell, PPC Board Chair and Founder.

Beyond the health benefits of eating more plants, reducing the consumption of animal based foods also helps curb climate impact. An important report issued by the UN in October 2018 recommends that everyone reduce their consumption of animal products by 30% to avoid irreversible damage to the planet. There is growing momentum to push plant centric menus for public health and the health of the planet.

To find out more about the PlantPure Communities Restaurant Campaign, visit this webpage and check out the Restaurant Campaign Toolkit and the interactive map listing participating restaurants.