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.
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 locatedopened 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.
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.
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:
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.
XTM Signs People2.0 to Its Earned Wage Access Payment and Staff Management Platform
XTM Inc., a Miami and Toronto-based Fintech creator of payment innovations and staff management solutions in the hospitality, personal care and service space, welcomes People2.0 to its Today Financial™ platform for Earned Wage Access (“EWA”) and to its Timely Staff Management Platform for shift management and staff callouts.
People2.0 provides global, mobile, flexible, and remote work arrangements. The company's employer of record (EOR) and agent of record (AOR) establishments around the world create a unique global ecosystem within which talent suppliers can engage any category of worker in any work arrangement, anywhere, while independently-working professionals have access to business support services and portable benefits.
According to Marqeta's CEO, over 80% of workers want instant access to their earning.
“The welcome addition of People2.0 to our platform is the result of a team effort, namely Shean Dillon, CEO and founder of U. Inc., whose innovation and drive will greatly improve the quality of the employee experience and Curtis Khan, innovator and founder of BookJane, our staff management partner,” said Marilyn Schaffer, CEO, XTM. “Together, we are setting out to disrupt and inspire today's workforce and employers with advantages driven by digital automation, featurization and instant access to earnings.”
“I have years of experience in staffing, resourcing and dignifying workers like the important assets that they are,” said Shean Dillon, Founder and CEO of U. Inc. “The mission of U. Inc. is to focus on the work-life quality of workers across North America, bridging digital featurization such as Earned Wage Access between employer and staff. We are thrilled to be part of the XTM and People2.0 EWA program and look forward to fully leveraging each party's strengths.”
RainMaker Hospitality Partners with Think Simplicity for a Cloud Communication System at Its Newest Hotel
Think Simplicity, a cloud communication technology provider of all-inclusive voice and chat solutions for the hospitality industry, announced that RainMaker Hospitality, a full-service hotel management firm, has selected Think Simplicity to provide cloud communication services at its newest property, Towne Place Suites in Georgetown, Ky. This is the twelfth property in the RainMaker portfolio to use Think Simplicity’s technology.
Think Simplicity’s solution was selected for its scalability, reliability, and affordability. All charges are provided in a fixed monthly invoice that is easy to understand for on-property and above-property managers. In addition to cost savings, the RainMaker Hospitality group relies upon Think Simplicity for its seamless installation and activation process, its ongoing innovative software updates, and 24/7/365 support.
Prakash T. Maggan, CFO, Rainmaker Hospitality, said: “Think Simplicity’s customer service and support, ongoing innovations, and lower costs are a benefit to our participating properties. From the beginning, Think Simplicity’s dedication ensures that every installation is tailored to each of our managed properties. By working with one vendor, we alleviate confusion, reduce time, and ensure staff and guests have access to the latest cloud communications today and into the future.”
Joseph De Ciantis, co-founder of Think Simplicity, said: “Forward-thinking hoteliers like RainMaker understand the benefits of utilizing the latest communications technology at their properties. At Think Simplicity, we strive to provide the highest quality equipment, service, and support. We look forward to working with RainMaker to ensure its properties take advantage of our best-in-class cloud phone system, and we proudly welcome the Towne Place Suites to our growing family.”
Epson OmniLink TM-m50II POS Receipt Printer Now Available
Epson introduces the new m-Series OmniLink TM-m50II thermal receipt printer is now available through Epson Authorized Partners. Offering a compact, modern design with a small size ideal for tight spaces, the OmniLink TM-m50II is engineered to deliver exceptional performance, reliability and fast speeds to produce fast checkouts and help minimize downtime, ideal for today's high-volume retail and hospitality businesses.
The new mSeries model offers print speeds up to 500 mm/sec for fast checkouts in high-volume retail and hospitality environments. The sleek enclosure is IPX2 rated for water resistance and its specially treated antimicrobial enclosure material suppresses the growth of bacteria. Additionally, the printer has a flexible configuration, working in either a top-exit or front-exit orientation.
The OmniLink TM-m50II has the versatility to support both traditional PC-POS and mPOS systems with built-in serial, Ethernet and USB interfaces, along with optional Wi-Fi® connectivity. The new printer allows merchants to print from Web-based applications using Epson’s ePOS™ Print technology or utilize Epson Server Direct Print technology for online ordering or remote printing.2 With innovative paper-saving technology, the printer enables businesses to reduce paper usage by up to 49 percent.3
Now available through Epson Authorized Partners, the OmniLink TM-m50II is backed by Epson’s service and support and include a four-year limited warranty coverage.