News Briefs

  • 4/1/2023

    QSR Automations Recognized for Excellence in Customer Service

    QSR Automations customer service team

    QSR Automations earned recognition for excellence in customer service and support.

    At MURTEC, QSR Automations’ VP of Hardware Solutions and Support, Kathi Klein, received fHospitality Technology ’s 2023 Top Women in Technology Lifetime Achievement Award. 

    During her more than 30 years in the restaurant technology industry – half of those at QSR Automations–Klein has amassed incomparable knowledge in understanding and troubleshooting kitchen display, front-of-house, and the associated hardware and networking platforms needed to run them. 

    But what truly sets Klein apart is her natural ability to nurture relationships and foster talent, which has made her an effective leader in QSR Automations’ Support Services Team. During her long tenure at QSR Automations, Klein has built one of the industry’s strongest and most effective support teams. In fact, under Klein’s guidance, the team has received a 99 percent satisfaction rate from customers in 2021, and last year handled more than 16,000 inbound and outbound calls, which earned them a bronze award for Excellence in Customer Service from the 2022 Stevie Awards. 

    This was the third bronze Stevie award for the team, as last fall, Klein accepted two additional bronze awards from the Stevie Women in Business Awards on behalf of QSR Automations–one for excellence in customer service, and the other for growth. QSR Automations was selected for these honors from more than 1,500 nominations from around the world.

    “Just as our technology is the heart of a restaurant kitchen, our people are truly the heart of this business,” said Angela Leet, CEO of QSR Automations. “My colleagues are passionate about innovation both in and out of the office, and it’s immensely gratifying to see them recognized for these achievements.”

    QSR Automations, headquartered in Louisville, Ky., with offices in the United Kingdom, is a global industry leader in kitchen automation and guest management services.

  • 2/6/2023

    Salad and Go Expands in Texas

    Salad and Go  salad and iced tea

    Up and coming QSR  Salad and Go  is expanding in Texas with three new locations opening in February in the Houston markets of Katy, Richmond and League City.

    The Katy store located opened February 1, the Richmond location at  is set to open February 17, and the League City store plans to open its doors on February 22. These new locations will mark the start of rapid brand expansion across the Greater Houston area.

    These suburbs were strategically selected as ideal markets for Salad and Go as some of the fastest growing communities in the region. Conveniently located in some of Houston's most popular suburbs, the new locations will provide fresh, high-quality meals with quick and easy convenience at an affordable price.

    As Salad and Go continues growing its national presence with a strong focus on Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, and Nevada, the brand's expansive growth has it on a positive trajectory to provide fresh and affordable food to communities in more than 125 locations by the end of 2023. Houston is the next step in the brand's expansion across Texas with plans to open additional stores in the market throughout the new year.

    Salad and Go's chef-curated menu provides guests with food for any time of the day by offering a variety of delicious and healthy items including salads, wraps, breakfast burritos and soup as well as beverages including hand-crafted lemonades, teas and cold brew coffees.

    Salad and Go ensures each meal contains fresh, quality ingredients while keeping prices low by vertically integrating operations and distribution, and sourcing ingredients directly from high-quality local farmers and suppliers whenever possible. The brand's mission to make fresh, nutritious food convenient and affordable for ALL extends beyond its stores and is demonstrated in the work the brand does to donate 4,000 meals every week to those in need, as well as in partnerships with nonprofits to support and fundraise for various worthy causes.

  • 1/9/2023

    Focus Brands Accelerates Dual Branded Locations

    Foucs Brand dual branded Jamba Juice and Auntie Annes

    Focus Brands says dual branding is the future of QSR, and the parent company of Auntie Anne’s®, Carvel, Cinnabon, Jamba, McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Schlotzsky’s, is leading the charge. Today, the Focus Brands portfolio boasts 175-plus open dual branded units with at least 65 more in various stages of development across the country. 

    Drive-Thru Convenience

    The Focus Brands portfolio brands have signed agreements to open more than 50 dual and tri-brand locations in the coming year, many of which include drive-thrus for added convenience as interest in dual branded franchise opportunities continues to surge.

    Flexible Store Formats

    Focus Brands is among the brands introducing new store formats, including Krystal, Jack-in-the-Box and Panera Bread, which opened its Panera To Go, solely offering Rapid Pick-Up and Delivery shelves where guests and delivery drivers can easily pick up orders.  

    Focus Brands has long pioneered the concept of dual branding, predominately in malls and non-traditional locations with Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabon. Now, the company’s portfolio brands have found new opportunities with streetside dual branded units, which is paving the way for immense franchise growth. 

    “Dual branding is the future of our brands, especially on the specialty side of the business,” said Brian Krause, Chief Development Officer at Focus Brands. “There will always be a place in malls, but there is an immense amount of growth opportunity in streetside venues, and, by dual branding, there is more opportunity for enhanced revenue.”

    The company invested heavily in consumer research to identify how to create combinations of its iconic brands to resonate with consumers and meet them where they want to be met.

    Focus Brands has identified four dual-brand concepts:

    • Auntie Anne’s/Cinnabon
    • Auntie Anne’s/Cinnabon/Carvel
    • Auntie Anne’s/Jamba
    • Cinnabon/Carvel – Cinnabon Swirl. 

    While key consumer benefits vary by dual-brand combination, one consistent benefit has been convenience. Having these brands together in one location makes them far more accessible than they are individually. This convenience also creates opportunity for franchisees, as co-branding leads to an expansive menu that drives enhanced unit-level volume. 


  • 4/2/2023

    H Hotel Dubai Receives Green Key Certification in Recognition of Food Waste Diversion Efforts with Biodigester

    power knot logo

    Power Knot LLC, a provider of onsite organic waste management solutions, announced that its customer, the H Hotel Dubai, has once again received the Green Key Certification from the Emirates Green Building Council, a leader in environmental responsibility and sustainable operation.

    The H Hotel Dubai is a luxury hotel centered in the heart of Dubai. The five star hotel has 236 rooms and suites, nine restaurants, a night club, and offers in room dining and catering services.

    The Emirates Green Building Council is a non-profit organization that promotes and educates on sustainability in building environments. It is the official Green Building Council for the UAE and endorsed by the World Green Building Council. To receive Green Key certification, qualified properties must meet a strict series of sustainability criteria which cover both the operational activities and energy consumption.

    "The hospitality industry is credited for its large carbon footprint due to its massive food operations and the resulting challenge of food waste," said Sophie Blondel, General Manager at The H Hotel Dubai. "The H Hotel Dubai installed the Power Knot LFC-100 biodigester to address the challenge of food waste. It improves in-house food management and disposes organic waste quickly and safely while greatly reducing the property's carbon footprint." 

    Catherine Malalay, EHS manager, actively looks into all the organic waste generated at the hotel along with the Chef Laurent Petit to ensure all organic waste from their kitchen and outlets are digested and diverted from the landfill.

    The LFC® biodigester is a machine that digests food waste. These machines are usually installed in a commercial kitchen and reduce the expense, inconvenience, mess, and carbon footprint of disposing of food waste that would otherwise be hauled to a landfill. Power Knot has eight different sizes that digest from 10 kg (20 lb) per day to 3000 kg (6600 lb) per day of waste food.

    "The LFC biodigester turns decomposed food into wastewater which is environmentally safe and is being used to enrich the property's landscapes. The machine continuously records the amount of waste ingested and carbon dioxide equivalent that is being diverted from the atmosphere," said Iain Milnes, President of Power Knot. "We're excited that the hotel is actively using data to identify areas that will help reduce overall food wastage and incorporate efficient and intelligent planning in the kitchen."

  • 4/2/2023

    Checkers & Rally's Launches "Rule the Drive-Thru" Game Show

    Checkers Rallys drivethru game show

    Checkers & Rally's merges fun and food in a way never before tasted with its new "Rule the Drive-Thru" weekly game show. The show, which debuts today, surprises unsuspecting drive-thru guests with fry-filled activities and prizes sure to satisfy even the deepest of cravings. 

    The Trail Blazer Leading AI in the Drive-Thru at Checkers and Rally’s

    This show has all the flavor and seasoning of Checkers & Rally's most craveable burgers, fries and sides – real guests spontaneously heading into the drive-thru lane who work up a true appetite playing a vast array of interactive, quirky activities, including Carpool Car-aoke, Fast Food Trivia, Load Your Ride (with life-sized fries), Paint with Ketchup & Mustard and many more.

    "Our guests know the strong value proposition of all craveable items at Checkers & Rally's, and now we can further add to that with the high entertainment value of our never-seen-before 'Rule the Drive-Thru' show in a really playful and energizing way," said Kelley O'Brien, Social Media Director at Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. "Once you jump into the driver's seat and check out new episodes of our show each week exclusively on our social channels, you'll never see any drive-thru the same, all for the better! And who knows what will happen when you next pull up to our window."

    To follow the action, check out Checker's & Rally's on Instagram and TikTok.

  • 4/2/2023

    Noodles & Company Adds New Loyalty Feature

    loyalty buttons

    Noodles & Company adds Extra Goodness feature to its Noodles Rewards program.

    With 4.5 million members and growing, Noodles Rewards' Extra Goodness allows Rewards members to redeem new freebies and discounts daily. Noodles created Extra Goodness to deliver on its mission to make its most loyal guests feel valued and appreciated through a loyalty program that continually gives back. 

    Extra Goodness in Action 

    Noodles is introducing an "always on" perk that Rewards members can redeem once daily. With every daily purchase, Rewards members can apply their Extra Goodness offer to their order at checkout in the app, online, or in-restaurant by scanning their Noodles Rewards barcode. New perks may include a percentage or dollar off the total order, a free upgrade, or a free add-on, and even more delectable offers. 


    Designing & Implementing a Loyalty Program for Your Restaurant

    With Extra Goodness, perks are issued daily and complement the other Rewards members can redeem with Noodles Rewards.  Noodles' digital innovation and presence has grown significantly in recent years, 54% of company-wide sales come through Noodles digital channels and the Noodles Rewards members alone drive 25% of the brand's total sales. The strength in these numbers is due to Noodles' constant innovation and attentiveness to the wants and needs of its guests.  

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