Despite facing barriers to entry, Generation Z is embracing entrepreneurship in Canada with an optimistic outlook, according to Gen Z: A New Age in Canadian Entrepreneurship, a new report from technology company Square. The report is based on the findings of a survey conducted with 400 Canadians aged 18–27 who own a business or are in the process of starting one, conducted in collaboration with Leger.
While more than one in two (56%) respondents believe they have better economic opportunities than the previous generation, a far larger percentage of men (60%) than women (49%) shared this optimistic outlook.
When it comes to entrepreneurial role models there is a significant gender divide, with 34% of male respondents indicating they looked up to Elon Musk the most. Women had far less interest in Musk (14%), favouring entertainers-turned-moguls Selena Gomez (25%), Ryan Reynolds (18%) and Rihanna (18%).
The definition of success also varied largely between Gen Z men and women, with 51% of women indicating that growing a customer base was the number-one success factor, compared to only 38% of men. Women were also far more concerned with customer satisfaction (39%) than men (29%).
However, in many areas there was general consensus across genders. For example, more than three in four respondents (77%) believe Gen Z is more open to alternative paths to success instead of a corporate 9–5 job than previous generations. Jasmine Linton, who owns DIBS Scratch Bakery, a bakery in Richmond Hill, Ontario, agrees.
“We're not only more open to alternative paths, but in many cases, I think we actually prefer it,” said Linton. “Being able to do my own thing on my own time, rather than being confined to 9–5, is part of what led me to start my own business.”
Linton is, however, in the minority: 25% of Gen Z entrepreneurs consider their business a full-time endeavour while 53% see their businesses as side hustles.
Technology's Starring Role
Technology is a big factor in growing these businesses from part- to full-time, with 79% of respondents saying they consider technology tools, such as payment processing, essential to starting a business. More than a third (36%) attribute Gen Z's entrepreneurial nature to greater access to technology and related tools. But they still lack comfort with some of the financial tasks required to run a business: 86% of respondents have at least one finance-related task they feel ill-equipped to handle, with more than one-fifth (22%) struggling with knowing how to secure funding. Some (21%) also admit to difficulties with budgeting and cash flow management, and another 19% find it difficult to manage invoices.
TouchBistro launched a comprehensive suite of back-of-house (BOH) solutions that help automate operations and profit management analysis. By connecting these BOH solutions to TouchBistro’s Point of Sale (POS), front-of-house (FOH) operations, and guest engagement solutions, TouchBistro now provides an end-to-end solution that offers all the key capabilities that restaurateurs require to be successful.
TouchBistro Profit Management, Powered by MarginEdge, seamlessly integrates with the all-in-one TouchBistro Point of Sale (POS) and Restaurant Management System to help single or multi-unit restaurants maximize their profitability through greater control over inventory, supplier costs and invoices, menu and recipe planning, food wastage, and accounting.
TouchBistro Kitchen Display System (KDS), Powered by Fresh, delivers accurate orders instantly to the kitchen for preparation. As soon as a ticket is sent from the POS, it appears on the KDS, providing an instant line of communication between FOH and BOH staff, eliminating time consuming manual double entry and costly errors.
Restaurateurs report spending 41% more on food on average than the prior year, with more than half their suppliers raising prices in the last year. Staying on top of supplier pricing changes and invoicing, evaluating plating profitability and predicting what customers will buy, and tracking food usage and mitigating wastage are all complex, time-consuming functions when done manually or with a stack of spreadsheets. However, they are all essential for managing profitability in single or multi-unit operations, especially when inventory costs are rising, new fees are being charged by technology providers, rent is more expensive, and workers are demanding higher wages. Streamlining internal workflows is also essential in reducing expenses and improving customer satisfaction.
As the restaurant industry evolves and new technologies become available, TouchBistro is committed to integrating advanced new capabilities into its all-in-one POS and restaurant management platform, ensuring its solutions are fast to install, intuitive to use, and make it easier for restaurants to focus on building a profitable business that at the same time delights their guests.
Sage Hotel Management, a Sage Hospitality Group company, announced that Robert Butler has been promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In this role, Butler will have complete oversight of Sage’s growing portfolio of more than 60 independent, branded and soft-branded hotels in 16 states and the District of Columbia, with Senior Vice Presidents and Vice Presidents of Sage’s Independent Hotel Collection, Premier Collection and Upscale Collection all reporting to him.
“I am beyond proud to put oversight of our entire portfolio of hotels in the hands of such a talented and capable leader,” said Daniel del Olmo, president of hotels and restaurants for Sage Hospitality Group. “Robert is a proven senior executive with an impressive track record of delivering results by nurturing relationships with all stakeholders, making him the right person to take on the responsibilities of this position. As we continue to grow our portfolio in pursuit of our vision to become America’s favorite lifestyle hospitality company, I am very grateful to have a leader like Robert on our team.”
“Beyond his expertise as a leader and business partner, there are few who embrace our purpose of Enriching Lives, One Experience at a Time more than him,” del Olmo added. “It makes me so proud that an outstanding and like-hearted human like Robert has chosen to continue his career here with us.”
Butler’s career in hospitality spans more than 30 years, where he has consistently demonstrated the ability to lead hotel teams to deliver exceptional performance. Butler spent 14 years at Sage from 2004-2018, culminating in his role as Senior Vice President of the Premium Branded Division. After a short time away, Butler returned to Sage in August 2022 as Executive Vice President of the Premier and Upscale Collections where he has driven operational excellence at all properties in those collections. Outside of his focus on delivering meaningful results, Butler is dedicated to nurturing long-term partnerships with various ownership groups, growing and mentoring talented hoteliers and creating career paths for associates while driving superior associate engagement.
“It’s an honor to step into this role with Sage Hotel Management, and I look forward to continuing to build on the success of our teams as we continue to drive our portfolio forward,” Butler said. “I’m looking forward to exceeding expectations for our owners and partners for years to come.”
Charlestowne Hotels Appoints First VP of Technology
Hospitality management company Charlestowne Hotels announces the promotion of Maxwell Spangler to Vice President of Technology. During his 10-year tenure at Charlestowne, Spangler has overseen the strategic growth of the company’s evolving tech stack and road map, developing and deploying new software and systems, and identifying continued opportunities for innovation.
“Max’s vast knowledge of the technology sector and his thoughtful leadership have been indispensable to Charlestowne’s continued growth,” said Kyle Hughey, Chief Executive Officer of Charlestowne Hotels. “With a keen pulse on industry trends and the tech landscape, Max is always a few steps ahead, keeping Charlestowne ahead of the curve when it comes to imaginative solutions. His growth within our organization is a testament to an unyielding desire for excellence, and a dedication to shepherding our team through the ever-changing currents of innovation."
As a respected industry expert, Spangler leads on implementing cutting-edge tech tools across Charlestowne’s portfolio of 40+ properties. He ensures Charlestowne’s in-house team and on-site property managers are nimble enough to embrace emerging tech trends and also fully understand best practices surrounding key industry topics, such as information security and data integrity.
Most notably, Spangler helped Charlestowne adapt during the pandemic to ensure long-term resilience as the hospitality industry shifted to technologies that enhanced safety, improved operational efficiency, and reimagined how to attract and serve guests.
Spangler has a strong background in hotel operations and systems programming, having spent the early part of his career working in front-of-house and corporate positions within the Charlestowne Hotels portfolio. Some of his key achievements include obtaining optimum performance in financial reporting and strategic capital planning for a range of independent properties and designing and deploying new software—like the Groupify hospitality application—which Charlestowne used to manage and increase profitability for group business. Spangler’s new role enables him to join other VPs in lending strategy and building out more tools to support Charlestowne’s continued growth.
“It’s been a joy to be part of Charlestowne’s portfolio growth over the years, and I look forward to bringing my passion for technology to our team in an even more impactful way through this new role,” said Spangler. “The company’s commitment to marrying timeless service culture with ongoing innovation is evident in the evolution of our tech team. I’m proud to be part of a forward-thinking company that embraces best practices and welcomes new ideas in the tech sector.”
Michael Kotick adds award-winning marketing, innovation, and communications experience to the team from his time working with fast casual and CPG food brands. In his role, Michael will be responsible for overseeing Sweetgreen’s marketing and menu strategy, and will report to Nathaniel Ru, Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer.
Prior to joining Sweetgreen, Kotick served as Chipotle’s Senior Director of Marketing. He was responsible for driving Chipotle’s purpose-driven marketing through national campaigns, brand and sustainability actions, menu and product innovation, digital marketing, loyalty program growth, and in-restaurant experience.
Kotick has been recognized as one of Business Insider’s 25 Rising Stars in Brand Marketing, and has earned a Master's in Global Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management, an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Michigan State University, and a BA in Economics from Michigan State University.
Chad Brauze brings extensive menu innovation experience from quick service to fast casual and fine dining restaurants. In his role, Chad will be responsible for overseeing the Sweetgreen menu development and the innovation roadmap, and will report to Nicolas Jammet, Co-Founder and Chief Concept Officer.
Brauze joins Sweetgreen from Burger King where he was the Senior Director of Culinary Innovation and Sustainability. Prior to that, he was the Director of Culinary and Menu Development at Chipotle Mexican Grill.
Juniper Group Acquires Vervotech, a Leading Hotel and Room Mapping Solutions Provider
Juniper Group is excited to announce the successful acquisition of Vervotech, a tech start-up making significant strides in the Travel Industry with innovative products, particularly hotel mapping and room mapping solutions.
Vervotech's flagship product, Vervotech Mappings, has gained widespread recognition in the travel sector for its ability to ensure consistency and accuracy in hotel data. This strategic addition complements Juniper's powerful booking engine, setting the stage for a synergistic collaboration that aims to revolutionize the industry.
With this acquisition, Vervotech gains access to Juniper's extensive resources and vast industry knowledge. This empowers the company to enhance the capabilities of its products, making them more intelligent and efficient, while also investing further in research and development to remain at the forefront of cutting-edge travel technology.
"Joining forces with Juniper is an incredible opportunity for Vervotech to impact the global travel industry. By combining our expertise with Juniper's industry-leading booking engine, we'll deliver unparalleled value to our customers and partners," said Sanjay Ghare, Co-founder and CEO of Vervotech. "Leveraging Juniper's network and resources, we aim to establish a strong foothold in Europe, North America, and the Middle East, providing cutting-edge solutions to a diverse range of travel companies and enhancing their business performance."
With this acquisition, Vervotech will continue to operate independently, driven by the same passion and dedication that has made them a leading force in the travel technology sector. This will enable Vervotech to integrate with more tech partners, alongside Juniper Travel Technology, allowing the company to serve more customers around the world.
"We are excited to welcome Vervotech to the Juniper family," said Jaime Sastre, CEO at Juniper Group. "Their mapping products and solutions perfectly align with our vision of driving transformation in the travel industry through advanced technology. With Vervotech's expertise, we are confident in providing our customers and our travel technology companies with even more comprehensive and reliable mapping solutions, empowering them to thrive in today's competitive landscape."