Branded Strategic Hospitality, an investment and advisory firm focused on early- and growth-stage technology in the restaurant and hospitality industries, has added 12 companies to its portfolio in 2021, bringing its total number of investments to 23 — including brands such as Ovation, Chowly, TapRm, PourMyBeer, Minnow, and Bbot.
Since March 2020, Branded has grown from just six investments as the firm accelerated its stake in emerging technology that addresses the industry’s most critical challenges and opportunities in the rapidly growing landscape of off-premises dining, ghost kitchens, automation, and customer loyalty.
“Technology is the hottest and fastest-growing segment of F&B, so the time to invest is now. We’re thrilled to be working with so many tech companies that are truly changing the game and helping to create the restaurant of the future,” said Michael “Schatzy” Schatzberg, co-founder and managing partner of Branded Strategic Hospitality and owner/operator of several New York City restaurants, including Barbounia, 5 Napkin Burger, and Isabelle’s Osteria.
Additionally, during a time when technology has become more important than ever to owners and operators, in 2021 Branded launched the Hospitality Marketplace, a digital e-commerce platform providing best-in-class technology, innovation, professional services, and suppliers for the food and beverage segment. To date, more than 150 companies have joined the Branded Hospitality Marketplace. Over the last year, Branded also has grown its podcast, “Hospitality Hangout” — which explores exciting trends, happenings, and breakthroughs in hospitality technology — to almost 10,000 subscribers and 167,000 streams. Hosted by Schatzberg, “The Restaurant Guy,” and Branded co-founder and managing partner Jimmy Frischling, “The Finance Guy,” “Hospitality Hangout” has over 30 episodes featuring interviews with senior executives from CKE Restaurants, Amazon Web Services, Oracle, Union Square Hospitality Group, Resy, Zuul, and more.
“Since our founding in 2018, Branded has cultivated a vast community representing every corner of the industry committed to helping the restaurant and hospitality sector succeed. We’ve solidified ourselves as an incredibly valuable partner and advisor because, as restaurant operators ourselves, we live and breathe the hospitality industry every day and understand their needs and biggest challenges,” said Frischling. “Our new investments coupled with the launch of the Branded Hospitality Marketplace and the growth of the podcast have led to an incredibly strong year thus far and we look forward to maintaining the momentum as 2021 continues.”
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