News Briefs

  • 3/18/2024

    Fast Casual Brands Merge, Create BiteLabs

    three guys

    Hungry House a New York-based fast casual restaurant platform, is merging with MegaBite , based in Lima and Mexico City, a multi-brand platform bringing curated, chef-backed cuisine to market through various delivery channels and its own app. 

    Together, the two companies create an international, multi-brand fast casual player with 13 locations in three countries: USA, Mexico and Peru. With a combined annual revenue over $6M, the joint entity will double down on continued growth across the verticals of in-store retail, first-party delivery, and third-party delivery partnerships with UberEATS, GrubHub, DoorDash, and Rappi in Latin America.

     Both companies will continue to operate as vertically integrated players to maintain their mutually high levels of food quality and hospitality that are core to the brand of their new entity, BiteLabs

    Not a Ghost Kitchen

    "We believe that Hungry House and MegaBite, operating together, have the potential to be the most innovative, tech-enabled, multi-brand fast-casual restaurant group across the Americas. We'll continue to bring our vision of chef-backed fast casual restaurants with a dynamic in-store experience, and a robust native app, to diverse audiences passionate about great food. This will uplift choice for the consumer with groundbreaking, high-quality culinary brands developed in partnership with today's most exciting chefs and provide a range of choice for the consumer facilitated by algorithmically personalized options," says Pedro Neira, CEO of MegaBite and the newly created entity. "We are definitely not a ghost kitchen platform. Given that our customers can reach us with in-person eating in our restaurants, via pickup, through third-party apps, as well as online through our own native apps and websites, I would say our business model mirrors more that of Sweetgreen, CAVA, and Shake Shack. The only difference is that we are serving multiple brands in our locations and not just one."

    Hungry House provides the joint entity with expertise in business-to-business catering service, while MegaBite offers extensive expertise in data-driven, food delivery optimization across its multiple sales channels. The deal also creates exciting synergy with the talent of the combined C-Suite leading the next chapter of growth for the company. 

    The transaction solidifies Hungry House and MegaBite's momentum at a compelling time in the fast casual segment. Both companies have since 2021 been building in the same space. The joined companies will not build in the ghost kitchen space, but instead expand by building upon a multi-brand, in-store retail and multi-channel approach similar to that of Wonder, which recently secured an additional $100 in funding from Nestlé. The growth and expansion of Hungry House and MegaBite, and the current merger, have been facilitated by Wilshire Lane Capital, Carao Ventures, SNR VC, McK Hospitality, Alaya CapitalAmarena VC, and independent investors like Russ Rosenband, Atit Jariwala, and Andrew Balogh.

    This news builds on the growth of Hungry House's existing NYC footprint. The company recently launched a newly updated location in Manhattan on January 22. Previously Pure Grit BBQ (now a Hungry House portfolio brand), the new location stands for culinary collaboration, and brings together innovative, chef-inspired flavors through a single multi-brand culinary platform, available in person and online. The launch of the new restaurant, in the heart of Manhattan's Flatiron District, also featured a special announcement about Hungry House's upcoming partnership with chef and online personality Emily Fedner, of Food Lover's Diary, featuring an Eastern European-influenced dumpling menu, now available at both Hungry House locations in Manhattan & Brooklyn for pickup and delivery.

    Pictured from left:  Co-Founder and COO Andrew Corrigan, Co-Founder and CEO Pedro Neira, and Co-Founder and Head of Growth Solamon Cruz Estin, formerly of UberEats and DoorDash.

    About BiteLabs
    Moving forward, the company envisions continuing to launch tech-enabled, multi-brand fast-casual restaurants where guests can sit and eat onsite, order for pick-up or delivery via a native app and various third-party channels, and also locations that can serve the B2B markets with the same variety and quality that it serves the B2C market.

  • 3/18/2024

    Otelier Launches Rec: The Automated Financial Reconciliation Tool to Drive Profits

    otelier logo

    Otelier, a hospitality performance optimization platform that puts data and efficiency at the heart of hotel operations, has launched an innovative new product, called Otelier Rec, that automates financial reconciliation workflows, saving hotels potentially thousands of dollars per month.

    Rec tackles the increasingly difficult challenge of identifying and resolving discrepancies in financial records, preventing unnecessary revenue and expense leakage. Removing manual methods and automating financial reconciliation helps hotels uncover missing revenue they otherwise may have overlooked, saving expensive labor hours ilrakn the process. Automated reconciliation speeds up month-end closing, allowing for near real-time reporting of profit and loss statements and enabling better visibility into hotel performance.

    “There are so many stakeholders involved in a hotel booking that it’s easy to find discrepancies by the time revenue flows through to the bottom line,” said Niki Johnson, Chief Product Officer at Otelier. “For example, when OTA bookings are canceled late or the guest leaves early, many hotels end up paying full commissions on those bookings at the end of the month. Automatically detecting discrepancies and proactively taking action leads to accuracy and savings.”

    Rec includes three automated financial reconciliation workflows: 

    • Bank Reconciliation is a set of workflows that help ensure cash and credit card revenues are correctly making their way from the Property Management System (PMS) and/or Point-of-Sale System (POS) to your bank account. 
    • OTA Reconciliation prevents overpayment to third parties like and Expedia by automatically monitoring booking status, cancellations, and room charges for bookings, ensuring accurate commission payments.   
    • Income Journal Audit automates the daily transfer of reconciled income directly to your hotel’s accounting system, including revenue, taxes, cash, credit card transactions, and ledger balances. Configurable to your hotel’s needs, this workflow remembers as you map codes over time and reduces the time spent on this daily task. 

    Otelier Rec is available as an add-on to any of Otelier’s products, including DigiAudit, IntelliSight, and TruePlan. 

    “Discrepancies in accounting can add up to thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars per month at full-service hotels. Without automated reconciliation tools, hoteliers are undoubtedly leaving money on the table,” said Otelier CEO Vic Chynoweth. “We’re excited to add Otelier Rec to our product lineup, the latest step in delivering a unified platform that meets the evolving needs of today's hotelier.”

    Otelier was launched in February 2024, bringing together the best features and functionality from MDO, Datavision, inTouch, HelloGM, Focal Revenue Solutions, and Broadvine, to deliver a unified platform that puts data and efficiency at the heart of hotel operations. Otelier’s suite of products includes: 

    • DigiAudita night audit compliance solution that allows hoteliers to automate back office tasks, reduce operating costs and stay in compliance.
    • TruePlana budgeting and forecasting solution that allows hoteliers to simplify and streamline budgeting processes and forecast with confidence.
    • IntelliSight: Otelier’s new business intelligence solution that allows hoteliers to aggregate cross-functional data for powerful analysis and insights. 
  • 3/18/2024

    Jurny Introduces Hyperefficient, Collaborative AI Multi-Agents to Automate Hotel and Short-Term Rental Management


    Jurny, a vertical AI solution for automating hotel and short-term rental operations, announced the public launch of its AI Multi-Agent system. This industry-first technology marks a significant milestone in the evolution of property management solutions, introducing specialized AI agents designed to cooperate and handle specific tasks like concierge services and guest communications, without the need for human intervention.

    "Our AI Multi-Agent technology marks a turning point for the hospitality industry,” said Luca Zambello, CEO of Jurny. “It signals a seismic shift, transforming our interaction with technology and property management, and opening up new possibilities that we didn’t have before.”

    Zambello added, “This initiative extends far beyond hospitality. It establishes the foundation for a surge in AI innovation across countless sectors. Startups creating the infrastructure to harness the full capabilities of next-generation AI will emerge as the biggest winners in the next five years."

    Jurny’s Multi-Agent system is a network of several purpose-built AI agents that are able to reason and make decisions on their own, including a local concierge agent, a guest communications agent, a quality assurance agent, a reporting agent, an upsell agent, and more. These agents communicate and interact with each other to accomplish complex tasks. Jurny’s AI agents mimic the collaborative dynamic of a real-world team. When a property manager or a guest has a question or an issue, Jurny’s agents “consult” each other to quickly deliver an accurate, informed response.

    This system is only possible with Jurny’s vertically integrated, centralized data platform. Unlike fragmented legacy systems, Jurny's platform allows AI agents to work efficiently across all software components.

    The introduction of the industry's first commercially available AI Multi-Agent system showcases Jurny's commitment to innovation and further positions the company as a leader in shaping the future of AI applications, not just in hospitality, but across a broad range of industries. For more information about Jurny and its AI Multi-Agent technology, please visit Jurny's website,

  • 3/18/2024

    Howard Anderson Promoted to Chief Executive Officer at Odyssey Resorts

    howard anderson headshot

    Odyssey Resorts, Minnesota’s largest resort property developer, announced that Howard Anderson has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer effective May 1, 2024. Kirk Schultz is retiring from the position he has held since 2019 and will stay on in an advisory role during the transition.

    As CEO, Anderson provides strategic direction and leads the day-to-day financial operations of Odyssey Resorts. The company owns and manages a portfolio of nine resorts located in the North Shore of Lake Superior and the Brainerd Lakes area in Minnesota.

    Anderson joined Odyssey Resorts in 2022 as Vice President of Strategic Planning and was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2023. He has guided and managed several of the organization’s key functions, including sales and marketing, group sales, and resort operations. During his time with Odyssey, Anderson formed deep partnerships with the company’s guests, team members, and owners. He has overseen key initiatives for the company, including the addition of the Ruttger’s Bay Lake Resort in Deerwood, Minn., to the Odyssey Resorts portfolio in 2023 and the creation of new food and beverage programs at Odyssey’s core restaurants at Grand Superior Lodge, Larsmont Cottages and Caribou Highlands Lodge.

    Anderson has more than three decades of experience in the hospitality industry. He served as Vice President of Operations at ZMC Hotels before joining Odyssey Resorts. He is an accomplished leader, skilled at brand development, market planning, hotel management and financial execution.

    “I am humbled to be named the next Chief Executive Officer of Odyssey Resorts. Hospitality is part of who I am and something I care deeply about. I am excited to lead the next chapter of Odyssey Resorts,” said Anderson. “With unbelievable properties in one-of-a-kind locations, we can offer unmatched vacation experiences. I look forward to working with our strong team to deliver lasting memories for our many valued guests and homeowners.”

    Anderson received a B.A. from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. He is a past board chair of Hospitality Minnesota, a past president of the Minnesota Lodging Association, and a member of the Minnesota Lodging Association’s “Minnesota Hospitality Hall of Fame.”

    “I want to extend my gratitude to the guests, homeowners, and team members of Odyssey Resorts. I am proud of what we were able to accomplish together, and I will cherish the friendships I made during my time as CEO,” said Schultz. “I also want to congratulate Howard Anderson on this announcement. He is eminently qualified for the position and will continue to build on the strong tradition of excellence at Odyssey Resorts.”

    Odyssey Resorts manages and operates East Bay Suites in Grand Marais, Caribou Highlands Lodge in Lutsen, Lutsen Sea Villas in Lutsen, the Mountain Inn at Lutsen in Lutsen, Breezy Point Cabins on Lake Superior in Two Harbors, Grand Superior Lodge in Two Harbors, Larsmont Cottages in Two Harbors, Beacon Pointe on Lake Superior Resort in Duluth and Ruttger’s Bay Lake Resort in Deerwood. Blackburn Investment Management, a Minnesota-based group of private investors, is the lead investor in Odyssey Resorts.

    “Howard Anderson is the right person to be the next Chief Executive Officer of Odyssey Resorts. He has proven to be an invaluable asset to our guests and an advocate for our team members,” said T.J. McMillan, CEO of Blackburn Investment Management. “He has a deep knowledge of the current state of the hospitality business and is a collaborative thinker focused on achieving goals and planning for future success. We are also grateful to Kirk Schultz and his years of service, especially during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. He steered Odyssey through some very difficult times with poise and grace.”

  • 3/17/2024

    Loop Raises $6M

    delivery app

    Loop, a SaaS provider enabling restaurants to maximize their third-party delivery service profitability, has closed $6M in seed funding.

    The round was led by Base10 Partners with participation from Afore Capital. Funds raised will support Loop’s accelerated growth, as it continues to partner with top restaurant brands to make delivery a more sustainable revenue stream. Loop will spend this year investing in its expanding suite of products to serve restaurants’ complex back-office needs.

    “We are always looking to back founders that have lived the problems they’re solving with software,” noted Rexhi Dollaku, General Partner at Base10 Partners. “Loop’s co-founders felt all the pain points presented by back-office reconciliation and digital food delivery when they ran a restaurant together. We are honored they have chosen to partner with us and are looking forward to helping them through this next stage of their journey.”

    Loop’s AI-powered platform already serves the growing brands like Dave’s Hot Chicken, Freddy’s Frozen Custards and Mo’Bettahs (Savory Fund Portfolio) across thousands of locations, reconciling over $100M of restaurant transactions. Loop’s solutions mean restaurants of all sizes can spend less on costly accounting thanks to the company’s ability to combine automation, and best-in-class AI technology.

    “Loop is the best-in-class solution and a must-have solution for brands like Dave’s Hot Chicken where 25% of our revenue is powered by third-party delivery,” said James McGeehee, CFO of Dave’s Hot Chicken.

    Third-party delivery is already responsible for more than 25% of revenue for countless restaurant brands, and is set to be a $1T global industry in this decade. Restaurants pay 20-35% in commissions to delivery platforms unlike other revenue channels, challenging their financial models and accounting systems. Additionally, 3-4% of orders that leave the door have accuracy issues that affect guest experience and the restaurant’s brand, decaying revenue.  Loop applies proven technology to help restaurants stay in lock-step with all elements of finances & operations related to third-party delivery. Now, that whole new business vertical, which can often be a pain point for operators, can be a sustainable revenue stream.

    To learn more, visit

  • 3/17/2024

    Ghost Kitchen Kitchen United's IP Sold

    merger handshake deal

    SBE and C3 Founder Sam Nazarian has purchased Kitchen United's IP and ghost-kitchen related assets and has formed Everybody Eats, a holding company comprised of C3, Nextbite and Kitchen United.

    Everybody Eats is a consumer product goods (CPG) and culinary brands company connecting new audiences through food brands in exclusive arrangements. 

    Kitchen United closed its ghost kitchens in November 2023, saying it was focusing on its software business.  

    Since December 23, 2023, Everybody Eats is a 100% asset light IP and premium QSR and CPG Brand company that has secured an equity investment by strategic international platforms such as Legends, and most recently new investments from Alamar Saudi Arabia & Grupo Herdez that join Everybody Eats' roster of strategic investors.

    Everybody Eats will continue to be in the virtual restaurant space by expanding physical footprints and utilizing AI software technology to increase revenue while also introducing chef-driven concepts; brands created and powered by celebrities; and high-quality restaurants and brands to the masses. Everybody Eats has over one billion subscribers within their network of food brands and will expand to various different industries, including: CPG, supermarkets, convenience, casual dining, education, hospitality, limited service hotels all within a brand amplification platform.

    Under Nazarian's leadership, as well as Geoff Madding's, the newly appointed COO of Everybody Eats, (former Nextbite Chief Growth Officer), the new platform will continue to disrupt the food & beverage industry by expanding their capacity to bring together technology, underutilized retail, hotel and kitchen spaces and world-class culinary talent, through the Kitchen United acquisition. 

    "...Since starting C3 in 2019, I have been watching other industry leaders such as Nextbite and Kitchen United in their journeys to change the virtual culinary industry," said Nazarian. "These companies have had incredible ideas and unbelievable instincts but just not enough capital to ultimately disrupt the market. Everybody Eats is the solution; we have created an all-encompassing platform built upon the ideas of the three best thought-leaders in the industry. This is an unbelievable turning point for the industry as I believe the connectivity of a new audience through food is one of the most exciting parts of what we do at Everybody Eats."

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