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Who's News in Catering for September 30, 2023

Hot Off the Presses

Constellation Culinary Group is proud to announce an exciting hospitality partnership with The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee and its 28,000  sq. ft. Morganroth Event Center on the Larry and Mary Greenspon Family Campus for Jewish Life, opening in summer 2023. The celebrated food and beverage operator will serve as the exclusive caterer for the expansive space, which is located on a scenic 32-acre campus in Sarasota, Florida. Notable features of this exciting new facility is the expansive lobby, which will provide space for pre- or post-event receptions for as many as 300 participants and a 10,000-sq. ft. ballroom, which will accommodate up to 1,000 participants. Additional spaces include meeting rooms that can be configured into separate spaces able to accommodate groups of various sizes. The multi use complex will also have expansive parking facilities with enough spaces to accommodate large groups visiting the center for events, with 300+ parking spaces. Constellation Culinary Group will curate all chef-driven menus for the center’s internal events as well as external events/facility rentals in the onsite 3,000 sq. ft. kosher-style kitchen, offering the same innovative culinary practices that the brand is known for in regional markets across the country. Constellation Culinary Group has an impressive reputation for execution at the highest level, offering top-tier service for group functions both large and small. The new collaboration expands Constellation Culinary Group’s growing presence in Florida. Constellation entered the Sarasota market in December 2019 with the opening of the Sarasota Art Museum where it continues to serve as the exclusive catering partner and restaurant operator. In addition to Sarasota, the brand leads all catering and event operations for cultural institutions throughout South Florida, including the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade, the Pérez Art Museum Miami, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, and the Norton Museum of Art. Constellation Culinary Group also operates onsite restaurants within these prestigious institutions. 


ezCater, the most trusted provider of corporate food solutions, today announced a partnership with Panera Bread to bring the brand’s iconic soups, salads, sandwiches, and more to the ezCater marketplace. The partnership combines ezCater’s extensive reach and authority in food for work with Panera’s deep brand recognition, delicious and diverse menu, and influence as a market leader in fast casual. Businesses can now order catering from nearly half of Panera’s bakery-cafes across the U.S. on the ezCater website and mobile app. In the coming months, Panera and ezCater intend to continue to add hundreds more locations to the ezCater marketplace as they continue to roll out the partnership.   

Products on the Market

Axial Shift, the restaurant operations software provider that is revolutionizing the restaurant industry by providing all-staff level data access, as well as team member competitions and rewards, today announces a new partnership and $4M in seed funding from Silverton Partners. Axial Shift creates gamified incentives that empower and engage frontline managers and staff, while providing actionable insights through real-time data from POS systems. The platform aims to simplify restaurant management and make frontline jobs more appealing, thereby improving staff retention rates. Managers are able to foster healthy competition among team members, create contests, and set goals for frontline teams. Staff can see - in real time - how they are performing throughout their shift. They can earn badges, chase monetary incentives, and create winning streaks. Their efforts are benchmarked across teams to create an experience that makes work feel more like play and increased sales feel more like personal accomplishments. The result is empowered frontline managers, engaged staff, and increased sales across locations. Using the Axial Shift platform, managers can also run their shift from their phones, showing real time labor actuals vs forecast vs ideal. They can also understand tip percentages in real time, review sales mix, and see how targeted items are selling by team member or location. The Axial Shift platform also includes integrated tools that allow operators to consolidate their current tech stack, such as solutions for tip pooling, improved online scheduling, messaging across the entire organization, time and attendance, and access to a marketplace that allows them to integrate with popular apps, such as Airtable, Google Apps, Slack, and more. 


The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley, the leading U.S. producer of premium fresh purées for culinary and beverage professionals, introduces Sweet Ginger, a sweet and spicy balance of ginger and vegan cane sugar with a warm, tantalizing aroma. Sweet Ginger is a reimagined version of The Perfect Purée’s classic Sweet Ginger. Now more flavorful than ever with a pourable consistency, it’s ideal in cocktails, confections, and savory creations. Sweet Ginger is vegan, gluten-free and certified by the Non-GMO Project, America’s gold standard for transparent, natural food. Find it starting Sept. 25 via The Perfect Purée’s online store and its network of foodservice distributors throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Whereas The Perfect Purée’s classic Ginger had a more zest-like consistency, Sweet Ginger pours like a purée so it’s more versatile. 


RuTech Robotic Innovations has wholly embraced robots as a key foundation for what America’s workplaces of the future look like. Founded by noted entrepreneur, restaurateur, venture capitalist and investor Stephanie Gong, RuTech Robotic Innovations was established on the city’s south side in 2021, an innovative outgrowth of the COVID-19 pandemic. RuTech’s specialty is in providing businesses large and small with cutting-edge technology to optimize delivery processes, and improve customer experiences. The RuTech product line includes autonomous disinfecting and cleaning robots, and delivery and reception robots, which today can be found in all types of industries ranging from restaurants, offices, hospitals, convention centers, casinos and malls, to government offices, warehouses, daycare centers, senior centers, bowling alleys and shopping centers. 


Sabert Corporation, a global leader in innovative and sustainable food packaging solutions, is celebrating the company’s 40th anniversary with a remarkable  transformation of its iconic SturdiWare® Catering Platters. Initially introduced in the early 2000s, the SturdiWare® portfolio fortified Sabert’s position as a leader in providing high-quality and stylish food packaging solutions for the catering and foodservice industries. The redesigned SturdiWare® platters continue to embrace Sabert’s commitment to excellence and innovation and its passion for helping foodservice professionals deliver unforgettable dining experiences. The new and improved SturdiWare® line features a sleek, smooth round tray to provide a modern, elevated look for any catered event. Now made of polypropylene, a more widely recycled material, SturdiWare® is an ideal choice to help operators incorporate more sustainable packaging solutions into their operations. The SturdiWare® portfolio is part of Sabert’s extensive Catering Collection, which includes a wide range of disposable catering products that feature a unique blend of innovative designs coupled with premiere functionality. Ideal for fruit and vegetable platters, charcuterie, appetizers, sandwiches and wraps, premium injection molded SturdiWare® platters can accommodate the heaviest of cold and hot foods due to the durability and resiliency of the high-performance polypropylene material. The updated, contemporary design also adds a touch of sophistication to business catering opportunities, corporate gatherings and other special events.  

People on the Move

Town & Country Resort in Mission Valley, a San Diego icon since 1953, announces the appointment of Carlo de Leon as Director of Food and Beverage. In his role Leon will oversee the 671-room resort’s five signature dining outlets – from the signature destination restaurant, ARLO, to the poolside eatery, Lapper Kitchen + Tap, and vibrant Monkey Bar, serving craft cocktails and wood-fired pizzas. Leon brings over two decades of experience in the hospitality industry to the property, most recently serving as the Director of Food and Beverage for Red Rock Resort & Spa in Las Vegas, NV. Leon has held Director of Food and Beverage positions at properties across the U.S., including La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio, TX, Omni Rancho Las Palmas in Rancho Mirage, CA, The Embassy Row Hotel in Washington D.C., and Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, VA. Leon also served as the Director of Restaurants at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, CA, during the resort’s opening. Leon earned his Bachelor of Business, Hotel and Resort Management from Le Cordon Blue Adelaide and an Associate Degree in Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts from California Culinary Academy.  



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