As a leading bar and restaurant social entertainment and integrated marketing platform for 30 years, NTN Buzztime Inc. is all about the guest experience. The company redefined dining for customers on Aug. 6 by adding new capabilities to its tabletop tablets. 

Buzztime unveiled its integrated menu, self-service ordering and payment capabilities as options for its free-floating tablets that allow customers to personalize their night out.  “We are very conscious that our technology does not replace the experience the brand wants to give to the consumer,” CEO Ram Krishnan says. “We are not trying to automate the entire experience and replace servers.”

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s the place where memories are made with family around the dinner table and where friends gather to reconnect over a glass of wine. 

In her very own kitchen, Amy Hampton poured her heart into creating wine and using her soirees as inspiration. Her wine was originally served as a party favorite surrounded by music, conversation and family friends. 

“My journey into wine started as a passion for serving others,” Hampton says. “With my background in chemistry, I’m used to being in the lab and creating concoctions. In 2008, I started having parties at my home and using them as case studies to see if my wine would appeal to my guests.” 

Love & Quiches Gourmet began in the early 1970s with two Long Island, N.Y., housewives, a family kitchen and local businesses with an appetite for quiches. Neither woman knew anything about running a business or could even tell you why they chose quiches, but it worked. 

“I had a partner, Jill, a truly close friend, when we started and we were both very good cooks,” co-founder Susan Axelrod remembers. “She always wanted to do ‘something’ and talked me into going into business. Why we chose quiches? We really don’t know. It was an accidental business. Cooking was the only credential we had.”

Long regarded as a center of wasteful spending, reducing waste around corporate travel is a tough task since it is directly linked to the personal tastes of individual travelers. Launching this year, ProcureCon Travel will assemble industry leaders from Oct. 26 to 28 in Fort Worth, Texas to troubleshoot how choice can be preserved while making a meaningful impact on spend.

As procurement’s ability to create savings and serve as the architects of global policy around sourcing continues to be extended across organizations, jurisdiction is being broadened to cover some historically difficult-to-control areas of spend. These areas include IT, contingent labor and travel, all categories that have been growing in spend as well as relative importance to companies in the business environment. Travel is the most subject to personal and cultural differences. 

Danilo “DJ” Tangalin in June was appointed executive chef of JRDN at TOWER23 Hotel in San Diego. He will oversee the chic beachfront restaurant known for its fresh take on California cuisine in a modern and elegant atmosphere. In an exclusive interview with Leisure & Hospitality International, Chef Tangalin shares how his exposure to food and different cultures as a child led him to be the chef he is today. 

Do you think your exposure to food and different cultures as a child influenced the chef you are today?

It has everything to do with who I am as a chef and as a person. Growing up selling lunch door-to-door and knocking on different offices downtown where I grew up in the Philippines taught me to be humble and it makes me appreciate the simple life.

After getting their first taste of Limoncello five years ago in Italy, Tom Kiefer and Linda Losey left the country not only with some “fine” artwork for their walls at home, but with a dream of opening their own mini-distillery and a determination to replicate that recipe.  

“We got lost in Italy and happened to find this restaurant where the chef didn’t speak English and we didn’t speak Italian,” Losey remembers. “We clicked using hand signals and pointing on the menu. It was a great time and they kept trying to get us to buy the artwork on the walls. After our third bottle of wine, he brought out the Limoncello… we left with two bottles of it and the artwork off the walls.” 

Vacationers are influenced by many different factors and attractions when choosing their final destination. Why not draw visitors to your location with beer? 

“Beercations” have soared in popularity in recent years because of the craft beer craze that has taken the country by storm. These vacations are all about trying new craft beers and touring breweries local to the area. “There is something special about learning where something that we use, eat or drink on a daily basis comes to be,” says Peter Rait, owner of Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro in Boston. “The connections we make are what everyone searches for and what life is all about.”

Brewers are not focused on farm-to-glass beer because it is the popular thing to do. The trend has exploded in the industry because brewers have found that using ingredients grown right outside their doors results in a much better product, and the end-result is the only thing that matters. 

“When you get the hops straight from the plant into the fermentation tank or wet hopping as it’s called, it results in an abundance of aromatics that you never knew hops could have,” says Matt Ragan, master barman at Victor Tangos in Dallas. “It’s exciting the focus on farm-to-table, farm-to-glass and farm-to-cocktail because it translates into something better. Especially with those wet hopping, it’s a completely different beer. You get so many nuances and things that it’s an abundance of flavors and aromatics. That is really exciting to get.” 

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