February 3, 2021

The Morning Sun

Local company develops new tech to help restaurants survive
Customer confidence is key for hospitality industry to recover

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich., February 2, 2021 — The hospitality industry, more than any other industry in the nation, has suffered the most significant sales and job losses since the COVID-19 outbreak began. To respond to the growing needs of the industry, local company Bring Your Own Data (BYOD™) has created a solution to assist restaurant owners in operating their business, and to give customers assurance that establishments are safe to dine in.

As part of the solution, BYOD™ has produced a digital platform that allows operators to connect and track key elements of their business including labor, food costs, sales, customer engagement, food delivery, menu management, reservations, food safety and general maintenance. COVID-19 requirements also led to the developments in the application including employee health screenings and temperature verification (Temp Protect™), contact tracing (Guest Protect™), and event space registration (Event Protect™).

“In the restaurant business, people don’t see all the measures that are taken behind the scenes, but they have always trusted that the right protocols were in place.” said Dave Dittenber, owner/founder of BYOD™. “We need to start defining the new normal, and if that means more transparency, this technology will show the consumers that restaurants are doing what they need to do to create a safe environment to dine.”

BYOD™ currently has more than 200 customers utilizing their platform and have strategically partnered with TRUST20 – a subsidiary of Gordon Food Services. TRUST20 is a certification program that follows high standards and tactics to ensure that each consumer is confident that a restaurant is safe to dine in. These standards include cleaning, sanitization, and social distancing to ensure the health of employees and diners.

“Innovative technologies like BYOD ™ are critical to get businesses open during this time of uncertainty,” said Erin Strang, President + CEO of Central Michigan University Research Corporation. “This is really what makes magic happen -- industry driving innovation with the support and tireless work of the SBDC and the MEDC.”

Central Michigan University Research Corporation (CMURC) and its partners at Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Small Business Development Center (SBDC) were able to administer BYOD™ a BAF award to provide support for specialized services. The BAF award will allow the necessary milestones including legal work and improving training tools required to implement the program into new facilities.

For those in the hospitality industry, MRLA or TRUST20 members can utilize the platform for free, or $25 per month for one year. No additional hardware is needed. Contact sales@byod.ai for more information.

About BYOD™
Bring Your Own Data (BYOD) is a platform that integrates many practical tools, that are easy to understand, and simple to use. In addition, BYOD uses a universal interface architecture that allows us to connect to many of the hospitality solutions such as ToastTM. COVID-19 requirements led to the development of Temp Protect™, Guest Protect™ and Event Protect™ addressing the specific needs of employee health screening with temperature verification, guest contact tracing and event space registration and screening. With all three products the resultant data is stored in the stable and secure BYOD™ backend situated in the AWS Cloud environment. Due to the ongoing development of BYOD™ the “Protect” products were able to be developed and brought to market quickly and have been deployed through and Alliance Agreement with the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association to GLBR to businesses throughout the State of Michigan.

About Central Michigan University Research Corporation
CMURC is a professional and diverse coworking space with accelerator programs focused on product and strategic development for entrepreneurs to positively impact the economy in the Great Lakes Bay Region. It brings together local, regional and statewide partners to accelerate the success of entrepreneurs, professionals, and corporations growing businesses and jobs by leveraging the resources of Central Michigan University, the Mount Pleasant SmartZone District and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. CMURC is committed to inclusive entrepreneurship with the ultimate goal of closing the opportunity gap because people from all backgrounds deserve access to business and entrepreneurial resources.