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Levy Launches DBK Studio to Pilot and Scale Innovative Technologies for Sports, Entertainment and Hospitality Venues

DBK Studio will work with emerging technology companies and Levy’s portfolio of 250+ sports and entertainment venue partners to deliver the next wave of frictionless experiences

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–January 20, 2022–

Levy, the market leader in creating innovative food and beverage experiences at iconic sports and entertainment venues and events, and restaurants, today announced the launch of its new innovation studio, DBK Studio. DBK will partner with startups and emerging technology companies to pilot and scale technologies across Levy’s portfolio of venues – all aimed at creating the next generation of truly frictionless experiences for guests and team members. From mobile ordering to self-service, and inventory management to team member training, and beyond, DBK will mature technologies across key areas impacting the live event and hospitality experience.

“The way fans and guests prefer to experience food, beverage, and retail has fundamentally changed since most of these venues were built,” said Andy Lansing, President and CEO of Levy. “At no time has the pace of innovation been faster than the past few years. Mobile, contactless, frictionless experiences are the new standard, and our partners recognize that, to deliver hospitality each and every guest values – to truly meet guests where they are – we need to adapt and evolve more quickly than ever. Today, we’re launching DBK Studio to build on the incredible momentum we’ve seen since E15 Group, our advanced analytics group, launched seven years ago. DBK will bring forward the solutions that create the best possible experience for our partners, guests, and team members.”

DBK Studio is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Levy, which was founded in 1978 with a single delicatessen – D.B. Kaplan’s Delicatessen – and now serves guests at more than 250 venues and events. The spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that began at D.B. Kaplan’s inspired the creation of DBK Studio, which will usher in the next era of fan experiences. DBK will be powered by the data insights and analytics resources of E15 – which Levy launched in 2014 and will continue to drive business strategy in each venue. E15’s resources will enable DBK to test, refine, and scale new technology solutions. DBK will have a multi-disciplinary leadership group with decades of experience imagining, implementing, and delivering innovative fan experiences.

  • Sandeep Satish, Managing Director: With 7 years of experience launching the most innovative, tech-driven hospitality programs, Sandeep will oversee strategy and day-to-day operations.
  • Lou Morga, Principal, Frictionless Deployment: Lou joins as the dedicated deployment lead and will play a key role in creating the operational blueprint to implement at scale in each venue. He brings more than a decade of experience leading hospitality operations at major venues.
  • Alison Weber, Principal, Experience Lead: With nearly 30 years of industry experience, Alison has developed many revolutionary consumer-driven experiences as Levy’s Chief Creative Officer. She will work with venue partners to shape guest and team member experiences.
  • Elizabeth Shakespeare, Principal, Portfolio Operations: Elizabeth will monitor the performance of tech partners and ensure value for venue partners, building on years of experience creating successful financial models.
  • Cooper Sturr, Principal, Portfolio Management: Cooper leads the evaluation and selection of new technology partners, tapping into his extensive experience in M&A and corporate strategy.

DBK will also launch with guidance from an advisory network that includes a pair of pioneers in the hospitality and emerging technology sectors:

  • Larry Levy, Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Levy Restaurants: Larry grew Levy Restaurants from its D.B. Kaplan’s roots into an empire of acclaimed restaurants, and the original disruptor creating innovative food and beverage experiences at sports and entertainment venues. He now oversees Levy Family Partners and its portfolio of operating businesses and investments.
  • Betsy Ziegler, Chief Executive Officer, 1871: Betsy Ziegler is the CEO of 1871, the #1 ranked private incubator in the world. Before joining 1871, she served as the Chief Innovation Officer, and the Associate Dean of Degree Programs and Dean of Students at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Initially, DBK’s partnerships will focus on five key areas impacting the guest and team member experience: commerce, venue and staff management, product optimization, business intelligence, and sustainability. DBK will continue Levy’s momentum creating the latest wave of frictionless experiences – from innovative checkout-free and self-checkout markets to expanded mobile ordering – which fans and guests across North America enjoy today.

“There are so many technologies with the potential to make experiences so much more enjoyable for fans, guests, and team members,” said Sandeep Satish, Managing Director of DBK Studio and Vice President of Strategy and Analytics for E15 Group. “These companies just need an opportunity and the resources to learn, operationalize, and scale. DBK uncovers opportunities for these solutions to push the boundaries of what we previously thought possible in sports, entertainment, and hospitality venues.”

About DBK Studio

DBK Studio is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Levy, the original disruptor creating innovative food and beverage experiences at iconic sports and entertainment venues, cultural attractions and restaurants. Levy was founded in 1978 with a single delicatessen – D.B. Kaplan’s Delicatessen – and that spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship continues in the studio. DBK serves as the entry point to scale innovation within the hospitality industry. The group cultivates relationships between startups and emerging technology partners, and venues to test, mature, and scale solutions that enhance the guest and team member experience in sports venues, conventions and cultural attractions, music and entertainment venues, retail shops, and restaurants. For more information, please visit dbkstudio.co.

About Levy

The disruptor in defining the sports and entertainment hospitality experience, Levy is recognized as the market leader and most critically acclaimed hospitality company in its industry. Twice named one of the 10 most innovative companies in sports by Fast Company magazine and one of the top three Best Employers for Diversity in America by Forbes, Levy’s diverse portfolio includes award-winning restaurants; iconic sports and entertainment venues, zoos and cultural institutions, theaters, and convention centers; as well as the Super Bowl, Grammy Awards, US Open Tennis Tournament, Kentucky Derby, and NHL, MLB, NBA, NFL, and MLS All-Star Games. For more, visit www.levyrestaurants.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

FINN Partners for Levy:
Julie Muldowney
[email protected]

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