DoorDash has expanded its DoorDash Kitchens ghost kitchen concept to San Jose, Calif., after launching in Redwood City, Calif., two years ago. In San Jose, DoorDash Kitchens will prepare food based on the menus of six restaurant partners that include Milk Bar and Canter's Deli in the expanded experiment, which is initially set to run through November and could expand to new markets in the future.
Cedar Fair Entertainment plans to break ground this year on a 1,500-seat complex in Ohio to host esports events. The $28 million project includes 200 gaming stations, as well as locker rooms and dormitories for gamers.
Burger King parent Restaurant Brands International is focused on expanding digital efforts including loyalty programs and digital menus throughout its portfolio of brands, which also includes Popeyes and Tim Hortons. "In our home markets, digital sales are up 60% year-on-year, and we think this is just the beginning," RBI CEO Jose Cil said.
Nir Sela is a restaurateur with a background in technology, and his most recent experiment is the acquisition of a robot called Bellabot that can greet guests and deliver food and drink orders to tables. The robot is helping fill the gap as Sela struggles to hire more human staffers at his two Texas restaurants.
Austin-based artificial intelligence voice ordering startup ConverseNow has raised $15 million it will use to further develop its products and hire more staffers. ConverseNow has created AI voice assistants it calls George and Becky that take orders via multiple channels including phone, drive-thru, self-ordering kiosks and online chat.
Homebase, a startup whose tech platform helps small and mid-sized businesses manage their hourly employees, has raised $71 million in a new funding round that includes investments from Focus Brands President Kat Cole and actor Matthew McConaughey. The company, which has raised $108 million thus far, will use the funds to continue adding customers and services, founder and CEO John Waldmann said.
Singapore was the first country to approve the sale of cultured meat made from cells, and Israel seems likely to follow, Tom Philpott writes. While investors have poured billions of dollars into cell-based meat startups and optimistic inventors and industry watchers have predicted the technology's ultimate success in replacing traditional meat production, scaling production is complicated and likely to take a while longer, Philpott writes.
Google Assistant reportedly is testing a "fast checkout" prompt, automatically filling out payment information and addresses to streamline the shopping experience. The feature appears to still be in the pilot stage.
Mini-gaming handheld Panic met a 20,000-unit preorder goal for 2021 within the first 20 minutes of opening sales. Units sold after the initial batch of preorders won't start shipping until 2022.
Synchron has received approval from the FDA to begin clinical trials of its Stentrode, a brain-based implant technology for patients with paralysis. The company has received US approval to test its commercial solution in humans before Neuralink, Elon Musk's brain-computer interface project.
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