News Briefs

  • 2/12/2023

    HotelPORT Partners with Media Production Company

    handshake partnership

    HotelPORT has announced a partnership with Runway 4, a media production and storytelling company. This latest collaboration will allow hotels to improve their marketing efforts with high-quality media production and engaging storytelling. Through this partnership, HotelPORT and Runway 4 will provide hotels, restaurants, and spas with media services including ideation, video production, photography, and content creation, including 3D and VR experiences.

    The partnership will provide hotels, restaurants, and spas with the tools and resources they need to effectively market themselves and stand out  in a competitive  environment. It will help hospitality businesses attract more guests and improve bookings, ultimately leading to increased revenue.

     

  • 2/6/2023

    Salad and Go Expands in Texas

    Salad and Go  salad and iced tea

    Up and coming QSR  Salad and Go  is expanding in Texas with three new locations opening in February in the Houston markets of Katy, Richmond and League City.

    The Katy store located opened February 1, the Richmond location at  is set to open February 17, and the League City store plans to open its doors on February 22. These new locations will mark the start of rapid brand expansion across the Greater Houston area.

    These suburbs were strategically selected as ideal markets for Salad and Go as some of the fastest growing communities in the region. Conveniently located in some of Houston's most popular suburbs, the new locations will provide fresh, high-quality meals with quick and easy convenience at an affordable price.

    As Salad and Go continues growing its national presence with a strong focus on Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, and Nevada, the brand's expansive growth has it on a positive trajectory to provide fresh and affordable food to communities in more than 125 locations by the end of 2023. Houston is the next step in the brand's expansion across Texas with plans to open additional stores in the market throughout the new year.

    Salad and Go's chef-curated menu provides guests with food for any time of the day by offering a variety of delicious and healthy items including salads, wraps, breakfast burritos and soup as well as beverages including hand-crafted lemonades, teas and cold brew coffees.

    Salad and Go ensures each meal contains fresh, quality ingredients while keeping prices low by vertically integrating operations and distribution, and sourcing ingredients directly from high-quality local farmers and suppliers whenever possible. The brand's mission to make fresh, nutritious food convenient and affordable for ALL extends beyond its stores and is demonstrated in the work the brand does to donate 4,000 meals every week to those in need, as well as in partnerships with nonprofits to support and fundraise for various worthy causes.

  • 1/9/2023

    Focus Brands Accelerates Dual Branded Locations

    Foucs Brand dual branded Jamba Juice and Auntie Annes

    Focus Brands says dual branding is the future of QSR, and the parent company of Auntie Anne’s®, Carvel, Cinnabon, Jamba, McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Schlotzsky’s, is leading the charge. Today, the Focus Brands portfolio boasts 175-plus open dual branded units with at least 65 more in various stages of development across the country. 

    Drive-Thru Convenience

    The Focus Brands portfolio brands have signed agreements to open more than 50 dual and tri-brand locations in the coming year, many of which include drive-thrus for added convenience as interest in dual branded franchise opportunities continues to surge.

    Flexible Store Formats

    Focus Brands is among the brands introducing new store formats, including Krystal, Jack-in-the-Box and Panera Bread, which opened its Panera To Go, solely offering Rapid Pick-Up and Delivery shelves where guests and delivery drivers can easily pick up orders.  

    Focus Brands has long pioneered the concept of dual branding, predominately in malls and non-traditional locations with Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabon. Now, the company’s portfolio brands have found new opportunities with streetside dual branded units, which is paving the way for immense franchise growth. 

    “Dual branding is the future of our brands, especially on the specialty side of the business,” said Brian Krause, Chief Development Officer at Focus Brands. “There will always be a place in malls, but there is an immense amount of growth opportunity in streetside venues, and, by dual branding, there is more opportunity for enhanced revenue.”

    The company invested heavily in consumer research to identify how to create combinations of its iconic brands to resonate with consumers and meet them where they want to be met.

    Focus Brands has identified four dual-brand concepts:

    • Auntie Anne’s/Cinnabon
    • Auntie Anne’s/Cinnabon/Carvel
    • Auntie Anne’s/Jamba
    • Cinnabon/Carvel – Cinnabon Swirl. 

    While key consumer benefits vary by dual-brand combination, one consistent benefit has been convenience. Having these brands together in one location makes them far more accessible than they are individually. This convenience also creates opportunity for franchisees, as co-branding leads to an expansive menu that drives enhanced unit-level volume. 

     

  • 1/14/2023

    Walk-On's Sports Bistreaux Invests in Tech Transformation

    Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux is making its largest technological investment in brand history.

    Walk-On’s is implementing a systemwide aggregator to consolidate third party orders, partnering with Lunchbox to upgrade its online ordering platform and guest loyalty program, and introducing a partnership with Toast to level up its POS management system.

    71% say the ability to integrate with other systems is driving their POS purchase decisions, according to HT’s2 2023 POS Software Trends Report.

    Walk-On’s new loyalty program and app, designed by Lunchbox, are scheduled to launch in the first half of 2023 with an improved interface and back-end integration that will create a more seamless user experience for guests and operators alike. 

    Continuing with marked enhancements to the guest experience, Walk-On’s is also partnering with BOWEN to modernize the brand’s website presence and streamline the online ordering experience. 

    In addition to the upgraded Toast POS system, Walk-On’s is installing Toast Kitchen Display System, and rolling out Toast Go 2 mobile handheld POS devices for tableside and curbside use at current and future locations. 

    Walk-On’s will implement a phased rollout across all current locations throughout 2023 and begin immediate implementation at all new restaurants in their development pipeline. 

  • 2/12/2023

    TAILOS Robotics Partners with Aimbridge Hospitality

    cleaning person

    Aimbridge Hospitality has partnered with TAILOS Robotics to use the TAILOS Robotic Vacuums at its hotels.    

    While labor shortages have been a persistent issue in the hospitality industry, TAILOS' technology provides a solution that can help alleviate these challenges. The robots can effectively clean hotel rooms, hallways, conference rooms, and large banquet spaces, freeing up staff to focus on other tasks and allowing hotels to operate more efficiently.

    TAILOS' advanced robot technology has proven to significantly improve guest satisfaction scores (GSS) and increase overall cleanliness. The robots are designed to deep clean carpets up to 95% of the surface area, leaving no spot untouched and ensuring a spotless environment for guests. No setup, mapping, or integration is required. Simply "Press Play, Walk Away" and let the vacuum do the dirty work.

    With the implementation of our carpet cleaning robots, Lorraine Cruz, General Manager at Fairfield San Antonio, recognizes the tremendous benefits this technology brings to her properties. "We love using TAILOS in the hallways, and our guests love it too. It does an outstanding job keeping those areas clean," says Cruz.

  • 2/12/2023

    Krystal's Fans Vote for New Marketing Tagline

    Krystal logo

    Krystal's, new brand tagline that was chosen wholly by its fans. The new tagline – "Now You Know."  leans into the concept that while people previously might not have known the hype around Krystal, now they know.

    2 Chainz, Head of Krystal's Creative Marketing, kicked the poll off on February 6 for fans on his Twitter. This was after Charlamagne Tha God and Ray J echoed 2 Chainz on The Breakfast Club radio morning show challenging brands to put fans in the marketing co-pilot seat. 

    Krystal Designs New Prototype with Off-Prem Dining in Mind

    "Now You Know." highlights the brands evolution and puts concepts such as The Side Chik campaign, celebrity partnerships, nationwide expansion, and even a late-night trip to Krystal with your friends, front and center. 

    "Now You Know.' celebrates the idea that our brand has cultivated a strong personality," said Casey Terrell, Chief Marketing Officer for Krystal. "People know us for our delicious food, but they also recognize our cultural resurgence. When we share about what we have been up to and what is in the works we will hear "I didn't know you all were doing that," well now they know."

    Through polling the week of February 6, the brand brought guests to the front of the process and connected with the people they serve on a daily basis. Fans voted via social media between the options of "Now You Know." and "Who Else?" for Krystal's new tagline. "Now You Know." won fans hearts and votes by a 2:1 ratio.

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