Feb 10, 2024 10 min read

And There's Also a Football Game!

And There's Also a Football Game!
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Friends of Branded!

Happy Saturday, Happy Super Bowl Weekend, and I hope everyone had a great week!

Am I really using the Top of the Fold section of the H^2 to chime in on this year’s Super Bowl and this Super Couple that has been dominating the headlines and blowing up the social media channels, Hollywood magazines and ESPN?

Yes, yes I am!

You can bet on this with the same confidence I have that you will see some roller skates in Usher’s halftime show! For those that might live under a rock, the couple I’m talking about - Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce!

Which way will I go on this most important topic (don’t you know me by now)? The conspiracy theories run deep, and I’ve been told that it would be naïve of me to assume the value this Super Couple brings to the NFL isn’t a glaring signal that this is all some sort of ruse.

If that’s the case, then call me a romantic, call me an optimist (or at least a realistic one), and call me naïve b/c I’m all-in and on Team Taylor & Travis (let’s call then "T^2"). I’ll go even further, and I say I LOVE this romance, but please give me a moment to explain b/c I’m Branded’s Finance Guy, not the Gossip, Pop Culture or Conspiracy Guy. 😊

But before I jump into some numbers that I want to share below, please allow me to express a most personal appreciation to T^2 and I’d like to say that I owe them both a beer.

I accept that I’m a (realistic) optimist, the biggest driver of my enthusiasm or maybe better stated, my appreciation of this couple is what it’s done for my family and specifically, how it’s changed my young daughter’s interest in the NFL (and football in general) and by that, I mean it’s spiked. What has this T^2 relationship done for me? It has my daughter asking me about the schedule of games and watching football games with me (and I’ve heard from many other fathers that my situation is not remotely unique).

Since this love story commenced between Taylor & Travis, nearly two thirds of Gen Z & Millennial women now have a favorable view of the NFL. This is the highest figure EVER reached. According to Morning Consult, female support for the SHIELD (aka: the NFL) has been growing steadily since 2017, but it spiked 11% between July and December of last year.

My daughter has always been a sports enthusiast and enjoys watching both NBA and NHL games with me but had little interest in NFL games. Now all that has changed and its super fun. NFL games are now synonymous with Daddy / Daughter time and how awesome is that?

So, to the haters, complainers, conspiracy theorists, and the like, you do you, but as my daughter learned last year in kindergarten, “don’t yuck on someone else’s yum.” This isn’t just about me; this is about all the NFL fans who may also be finding people that are important to them now engaging with more enthusiasm in our love of football. How amazing is that!?!

I appreciate you allowing me this little personal shoutout to T^2, and since I’ve made the NFL, the Super Bowl and H^2 the theme of this week’s Top of the Fold, let’s stick with it, and bring it back to home (to the hospitality industry).

According to a Seton Hall Sports poll, the presence of Taylor Swift at Super Bowl LVIII is driving a new demographic to tune into the Big Game! How much of an influence is the T^2 factor? 21% of Americans surveyed said that Taylor’s presence influenced their decision to watch the game. Let's first let's put some number around Taylor’s army of fans. Ms. Swift has 280 million followers on Instagram; 95.1 million on Twitter (yes, I’m still calling it Twitter, just like I still call it Shea Stadium and Giants Stadium); 23.9 million on TikTok (I don’t have an account); 80 million on Facebook and 56.3 million on YouTube. Her fan base skews suburban and female, and this T^2 factor will influence the amount of food and beverage and also the selections for this year’s game.

According to the National Retail Federation, spending on food, beverages, decorations, and apparel is estimated to reach $17.3 billion (which is expected to set a new record, eclipsing last year’s high watermark). Food and beverages make up a large majority of that projected spending (over 80%). The average person will spend $86 on Super Bowl food & drinks. The NRF predicts that 200.5 million adults in the US will be watching the game with 112.2 million watching at a party and another 16.2 million at a restaurant bar.

This is Super Bowl Weekend, so I know what you're thinking, I've got to work harder and dig a little deeper. Americans will enjoy more than 11.2 million pounds of potato chips on Sunday alone, followed closely by 8.2 million pounds of tortilla chips (which is accompanied by 8 million pounds of guacamole) and the bronze medal goes to the 4 million pounds of pretzels.

Super Bowl Sunday is the second biggest food consumption day in the US behind only Thanksgiving, however, for certain segments of the restaurant industry, it’s the biggest sales day of the year.

In the spirit of the old game show Press Your Luck, for the restaurant industry, this year’s Super Bowl being only a few days before Valentine’s Day represents some amazing and well-deserved good luck!

It’s expected that 48 million Americans will order in food on Super Bowl Sunday with 60% of those orders being pizza and the silver medal goes to chicken wings.

It’s not only restaurants that will benefit from Super Bowl LVIII as grocery stores will be the biggest winners of them all with the spike in traffic this segment of the market experiences each and every Super Bowl Sunday. Grocery store inflation has come down faster than inflation at restaurants and the value in making food at home is now once again a better deal than ordering in food.

Despite this swing in favor of grocery shopping, according to the NRA (the grilling one), 59% of the nearly 70% of Americans watching from home will be ordering in food. This is up from 31% of Americans ordering in 12 years ago. The times they are a changing!

I don’t want to end the Top of the Fold on a less than awesome note and I’ll try to make sure I don’t.

A less than great figure is the amount of food that will be wasted on Super Bowl Sunday and if last year’s statistics are any indication, we’re expecting to see more than 18 million pounds of food to be leftover and consequently thrown out. That’s the bad news, but I’ll use this as a great opportunity to remind the H^2 readers of Branded’s favorite food waste solution, Copia, who is committed to addressing food waste and supporting the food insecure. Copia’s mission: Copia helps businesses redistribute high-quality surplus to people in need. Help neighbors, improve profitability, show compliance, and reduce emissions all with one simple app.

To all those that will be watching the Big Game this Sunday, I hope you enjoy the time with friends & family. I hope you eat, drink and be merry. As my mom would tell her boys, “Take joy where you can find it,“ and I think this Sunday is shaping to be a wonderful day for my crew and I hope for yours as well.

It takes a village.

Not the Frischling Family, but it looks like a fun crew!

Readers of the H^2 know how seriously Branded takes in-person events and the importance we put on showing up.

In this week’s Shoutout section, I want to recognize and give my appreciation to the events we were so fortunate to be part of this week.

On Tuesday, Branded, in partnership with our new friend Mr. David Homan and his company, Orchestrated Connecting, hosted an event at Isabelle’s Osteria.

Orchestrated Connecting is both an 1,500 person private network of “action oriented givers” and a system of ethics and integrity around the world of connectivity. David and his company amplify and bring together “Connectors” by purposely embracing diversity to share in relational value and work to position this as a valued asset in business, impact, and philanthropy.

A curated group of over 30 friends of Orchestrated Connecting and now of Branded, gathered to talk about Branded's work (as well as the work of others) and how this crew could lean in and be part of our community. David’s mission and value proposition is wonderfully on brand for Branded and I feel my own ethos, “it takes a village” applies perfectly to Orchestrated Connecting.

Before thanking David Homan and the folks from his private network, in the spirit of Orchestrated Connecting mission, I want to express gratitude to Branded’s friend and partner, Mr. Barry Herbst, from The Elliot Group, who thoughtfully brought David and Branded together.

Branded values our network and community and we truly appreciate it when our friends help us expand it.

On Thursday this week, Schatz and I had the privilege of rallying up to Boston to participate in this next leg of Restaurant365’s Transformation Tour 2024 (“RTT”).

I continue to be both excited and impressed with the value that R365 brings to its customers and specifically the relationship the company has with them. Schatz and I hosted our Hospitality Hangout on the road at the event and the episodes we recorded at the RTT will be coming out soon.

I’m bringing this up b/c recording these podcasts afforded Schatz and me to spend some quality time with each of our guests and the expressions of gratitude and appreciation they had for R365 was incredibly high.

I don’t know many people that go into the restaurant business b/c of their love of accounting, bookkeeping and reporting, but the importance of restaurants keeping their financials in order can’t be overstated.

This is Branded’s second appearance at an RTT event and the engagement at this most focused event is incredible.

Branded was thrilled to have two of our most operator-centric portfolio companies participate as sponsors in R365’s event: (i) Incentivio; and (ii) GoTab.

We love when Branded’s portfolio companies come together along with our strategic partners, and this was an awesome gathering up in Beantown this week.

Readers of the Hospitality Headline, that are interested in learning more about Branded’s portfolio companies, investment strategies and future opportunities, are invited to explore becoming part of our Access Hospitality Network.

In today’s episode of Hospitality Hangout, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “The Finance Guy” are joined by Phil Kafarakis, President and CEO of International Foodservice Manufacturers Association.

You can tune in on SpotifyAppleAmazoniHeart, or your favorite listening platform!

20 Years Of Hope

Join national non-profit CORE: Children of Restaurant Employees in celebrating 20 years of supporting food & beverage families.

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This week's winner of the WITW is Branded contest goes to our friend Lee Arbel, showing off one of Branded's finest pieces of swag, while in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Lee has been a longstanding friend of Branded and was also a key member of the team that led to Branded's first exit, Bbot.

We appreciate you Lee and your continued support and loyalty to Branded.

Make your drinks go viral!

Craft personalized drinks for an unforgettable guest experience!

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Digital Restaurant Association 

We champion restaurants to thrive in a digital world

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Welcome to the new IFMA

The future of food-away-from-home is evolving—and so is our membership structure.

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Simple Hack to Get More Online Orders For Your Restaurant

By: Rev Ciancio, Head of Revenue Marketing at Branded Hospitality Ventures

Most restaurants don’t know this but with only a couple of clicks, you can set your preferred ordering link in your Google Business Profile so your guests know which link to use to place an order.

About ACG New York

Founded in 1954, ACG is the premier M&A deal-making community with a mission of driving middle-market growth. ACG’s global network operates within 61 local markets worldwide and comprises more than 100,000 middle market professionals who invest in, own and advise growing companies. ACG provides events, conferences, bespoke meetings, deal-sourcing forums, unique experiences, educational seminars, and numerous benefits to non-members and members alike.

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🔍 Got Questions? We've Got Answers! 🌟

Satisfy your thirst for knowledge? Look no further! It's time to dive into our brand-new segment: "Ask The Headline"! 🎉

📅 We'll be answering YOUR questions every week. And here's the best part: you can choose to stay anonymous or receive a fabulous shout-out when we feature your question!

That’s it for today!

See you next week, (about the) same bat-time, same bat-channel.

It takes a village!

Jimmy Frischling
Branded Hospitality Ventures
235 Park Ave South, 4th Fl | New York, NY 10003

Branded Hospitality Ventures ("Branded") is an investment and advisory platform at the intersection of food service, technology, innovation and capital. As experienced hospitality owners and operators, Branded brings value to its portfolio companies through investment, strategic counsel, and its deep industry expertise and connections.

Learn more about Branded here: Branded At-A-Glance February 2024

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