Danny Meyer Is Looking To Invest $220 Million In Culture-Rich, Innovative Companies

Danny Meyer Is Looking To Invest $220 Million In Culture-Rich, Innovative Companies

Is your business built upon a genius idea? Does your brand have a great culture and consumer following with a proven record that can sustain expansion? Are you open to receive a monetary investment and advice from a top restaurateur to grow your business?

Those are the parameters Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer and his team will be evaluating in his next venture.

Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) has raised $220 million for a private equity fund that will invest in 10 to 15 fast casual restaurant concepts, hospitality-facing technology companies and other businesses that share the hospitality group CEO’s employee-centric values.

“Employees first, customers second, community third, suppliers fourth, then investors fifth,” said Meyer today in a “CNBC” Squawk Box interview, as he defined the concept of— enlightened hospitality.

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Not Just Soda, Coca-Cola Showcases Brand Evolution In New Ad

Coca-Cola Delivery Truck

Earlier this year, Foodable sat down with The Coca-Cola Company executive Brad Spickert, vice president of National Foodservice & On-Premise Marketing, at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago.

During an interview for On Foodable Weekly, Spickert revealed the vision James Quincy, the soda giant’s new CEO, had for the popular brand moving forward, as “...a total beverage solutions provider...”

This new focus on “having beverage for all consumers, all occasions…” led to a corporate branding campaign where a TV ad, airing this weekend, will bring that message to the masses at a national scale.

The commercial, which will air during NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” broadcast, has the voice of a young female introducing two out of 90,000, U.S. Coca-Cola employees; Willie Mua, a delivery driver who works for a bottler in Alaska and Jon Radtke, a hydrologist who manages the company’s water sustainability program for North America.

honest tea

Then, the narrator states that the company does more than its name suggests, calling The Coca-Cola Company “an organic tea company,” and “a premium juice company,” as it shows outdoorsy, hard working people drinking Honest Tea, Odwalla juice, and Smartwater, as well.

“AdAge” reports, the beverage leader is completing a refranchising initiative that aimed to return ownership of local bottlers to independent companies in order to dedicate its focus on marketing and innovation.

The spot also suggests, according to “AdAge,” that the 68 independent U.S. Coca-Cola bottlers are “part of the company’s broader family with deep connections in local communities.”

The new campaign urges companies to do more and, as an example, Coke shares what its efforts are to give back, not only to their community, through scholarships for college students, but also to the environment, through the replenishment of water.

The TV ad will be followed by ads in “USA Today” and the “Wall Street Journal” to complete the campaign’s national push. Local ads began running early September.

It will be interesting to see if this campaign will change America's perception of Coca-Cola, a company whose global business relies on 70 percent sales of carbonated beverages.