Featured Stories from Restaurant Technology News
Restaurant365 Closes $88 Million Funding Round to Expand Operations
Restaurant365 announced today that it has closed an $88 million minority investment led by ICONIQ Capital, a Silicon Valley growth equity firm. This marks Restaurant365’s third round of funding after closing nearly $40 million in Series A and Series B financing with a minority investment in Janmuary 2018 and January 2019.
Restaurant365 bills itself as the world’s only all-in-one, cloud-based, restaurant-specific accounting, back office and reporting solution. In January, the company closed $20 million in Series A financing with a minority investment from Bessemer Venture Partners, which also participated in the current round. Bessemer is also a minority investor in Toast, a restaurant POS solution provider which earlier this year raised $250 million in Series E funding at a whopping $2.7 billion valuation.
Most restaurant companies have either a manual process for entering, approving and paying invoices, or resort to using multiple third-party systems to try to automate and record these elements of accounts payable management. Restaurant365 is the first and only company to provide complete AP Automation, built specifically for restaurants, in a single platform.
Read the Spotlight Interview with John Moody, Co-founder of Restaurant365
“We are expanding the company in all areas to keep up with, and really stay ahead of, our growth,” John Moody, Co-founder of Restaurant365, told Restaurant Technology News. “Regarding software development, we want to keep bringing new and innovative ideas to the restaurant space within a faster time frame. Too long has this market been underserved with good point solutions, but disparate systems. Where appropriate we want to keep enhancing and expanding our platform to fulfill the needs of our customer. By accelerating our development, we can bring things like our integrated end-to-end AP Automation to the industry in a very short period of time.”
Coca-Cola’s Digital Marketplace, Powered by Omnivore, to Connect Restaurants to Technology Solutions
Coca-Cola North America has a long history of providing restaurant owners with value-add products and services. Coca-Cola-branded cash registers, first introduced in the 1930s, are a good example. Today, the world’s largest beverage company is focusing on a different breed of technology solutions.
One such solution, announced this week, is a digital marketplace that will connect the company’s foodservice customers to more than 150 pre-vetted and pre-integrated restaurant technologies for front of house, back of house and outside of house. The marketplace is powered by Omnivore, a universal point-of-sale connectivity platform that offers seamless integration into roughly 90 percent of restaurant point-of-sale (POS) systems.
In Expanding Its AI Conversational Platform, Good Times Burgers Talks The Talk
Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard, a quick service drive thru chain in Denver, Colorado, has spent recent months proving that a small restaurant group can advance the frontier on next-generation restaurant technologies just as well as any of the major chains. Now the company has announced the expansion of its conversational AI platform from pilot testing for breakfast into lunch and dinner.
Meanwhile, as reported here, McDonald’s will begin using AI-enabled platform capabilities to present customized menu items on its digital signage at drive-through locations. The menu items that it serves up will be based on an individual customer’s initial food order and also according to such factors as the weather, the time of day, and how busy the restaurant is at the moment. The menu can also be used to serve up “popular” items that also happen to have particularly high profit margins.
And last month, as reported here, Sonic Drive-In, the fast-food restaurant chain owned by Inspire Brands, the parent company of Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings, announces that it, too, is getting into the game. The Oklahoma-based company began testing the waters of a new drive-in and drive-through ordering experience for QSRs with an AI-powered voice assistant and personalized dynamic menu. The new technology is coming to selected Sonic locations in the U.S. later this year.
Five Ways U.S. Food and Beverage Brands are Using Technology to Drive International Success
In today’s modern restaurant, the rise of the Millennial generation has greatly impacted how restaurant franchises adapt technologically in order to win the attention, business and loyalty of the international customer. One of the driving forces behind this need to advance is the global Millennial generation, who lives on data and information. If a franchise does not adopt technology solutions to meet the needs of these global decision makers, it will not have customers – period.
In the past, a franchise’s bottom line was not necessarily influenced on whether a franchise upgraded its technological capabilities. This led many franchises to hold off on updating, as it is a substantial financial investment to innovate. Today, this is no longer an option. Either a franchise invests in technologies to meet customers’ expectations and needs, or it fails to maintain and grow its customer base.
Case is point – Bob’s Big Boy. Did you know the original double patty burger came not from McDonald’s, but from Bob’s Big Boy? At the height of its success, the fast-casual chain had over 750 restaurants across the country. It was one of the first burger brands to go international, and had restaurants in 30 different countries. However, McDonald’s is the reigning burger chain in today’s market because it innovated technologically, when Bob’s Big Boy did not. Today, Bob’s Big Boy is making a comeback, but it will be costly.
Innovating technologically is crucial to the success of any franchise looking to break into the global market.
Upserve Launches Its Free Restaurant Marketing Grader Tool
Upserve recently launched its Restaurant Marketing Grader, a free tool that helps restaurants identify gaps in their digital marketing efforts and identifies practical ways for them to boost their online impact.
The Upserve Restaurant Marketing Grader is simple to use. Restaurant owners and managers just need to input the name of their business, and they are automatically given their overall digital marketing score. Users then have the option of inputting their contact information in order to receive their full score, complete with actionable insights.
The grader makes sure that a restaurant’s digital marketing is optimized across important sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp, with the overall score being determined by data consistency, review sites, social media, and online visibility.
To Sustainably Manage Food Waste, The Government Palace of Chile Installs Power Knot LFC Biodigester
Power Knot, the market leader in products that process waste food in commercial foodservice operations, has announced that the Government Palace of Chile has installed its Power Knot LFC biodigester.
El Palacio de la Moneda, located in Santiago, is the seat of the President of the Republic of Chile, and is essentially the equivalent of the United States’ White House. This is Power Knot’s first contract with a government agency in Chile and was managed through ENERGIA ON, Power Knot’s representative in Chile.
The decision by the staff at la Moneda to install an LFC-300 biodigester was driven by the government’s ongoing commitment to raise national awareness about how recycling at a local level can have national impact—and that the waste-reduction practices implemented by the nation’s most prominent public building should be adopted by public- and private-sector foodservice operations.
Chowly Achieves Dramatic Improvement in Cash Flow with Invoiced’s Accounts Receivable Automation Solution
Invoiced, the leading solution for accounts receivable automation, today announced that its customer Chowly, a restaurant software company that integrates third-party delivery orders into restaurants’ point-of-sale (POS) systems, achieved dramatic improvements in its cash flow by automating its billing and collections workflows using Invoiced’s award-winning platform.
In the first month of using Invoiced to automate A/R tasks end-to-end including issuance, reminder communications, payment acceptance and reconciliation, Chowly reduced its DSO (Days Sales Outstanding) by 28 percent. In the first full quarter of using Invoiced, Chowly increased its on-time collections rate by 53 percent. Since deploying Invoiced in December, Chowly has also enjoyed new peaks in collections performance metrics in each subsequent month.
4 Tips for Boosting Foot Traffic to Your Restaurant (and How Technology Can Help)
A restaurant can offer the best food and service in town and yet none of it will matter if the restaurant doesn’t manage to draw a steady flow of foot traffic. It’s a frustrating dilemma, particularly when it often feels like a simple luck of the draw between which restaurants get a generous influx of visitors and which don’t. Restaurant operators aren’t powerless, though.
There are various techniques for stacking the odds in favor of your restaurant that are particularly effective with the aid of technology, including these four proven tips for boosting foot traffic.
Restaurant Technology News is the hospitality industry’s premier source of information and insights related to technology innovation at the world’s leading quick service, fast casual and full service restaurants. Our reporting, research and opinion pieces reveal how forward-thinking restaurant operators are upgrading their technology capabilities to improve operational performance and the quality of the guest experience, as well as to reduce waste and improve environmental sustainability, and how top solution providers are advancing the frontier on next-generation restaurant technologies.