News Briefs

  • 4/3/2023

    Oaky Introduces Front Desk Upsell Automation

    Oaky Front Desk Upsell Automation platform

    Oaky, a hyper-personalised hotel upselling software solution, has announced the release of its new Front Desk Upsell automation solution. This new functionality is designed to transform front desk agents into upselling superheroes, boosting revenue and keeping employees happy and motivated.

    Providing its customers with robust Pre-stay and In-stay Upsell capabilities, Oaky has enhanced its tool suite by adding another powerful solution to enable hoteliers to effectively integrate upselling into their day-to-day operations and upsell throughout the entire guest journey while taking advantage of streamlined segmentation, dynamic pricing, reporting and more. Front Desk Upsell automation functions as a recommendation engine and delivers prompts on what to upsell during check-in to your front desk agents in real time. Mews is the pioneering PMS to launch Oaky's brand-new Front Desk Upsell automation, followed soon after by OPERA Cloud, providing access to Oaky’s solution directly from the interface of their PMS.

    The top advantages of this new product are threefold.

    1. Oaky's Front Desk Upsell automation enables hotels generate 3-9 times more upsell revenue, assisting hotels in increasing RevPAR and TrevPAR. 
    2. It helps to attract and retain top talent since Front desk agents that are more successful at upselling also earn more commission than in other hotels, underpinned by Oaky’s exciting Gamification functionalities 
    3. Finally, it saves time and boosts upsell productivity by providing ongoing access to an up-to-date and real-time list of available hotel room upgrades and services, including pricing and other crucial details for successful upselling, which simplifies the upselling process and eliminates manual work.

    “One of the major challenges that the hospitality industry has been experiencing in recent years is increased staff shortage and employee turnover. This is why retention programs and the right incentives, such as higher commissions, development opportunities and work-life balance benefits, are key to making your employees happy. I am genuinely excited to have been working with over 50 hotel chains across the globe on creating a product that helps both generate revenue for the hotel and create a positive work environment that continuously attracts new talent.” - Erik Tengen, co-founder and CEO of Oaky.


    In addition to releasing the new product, Oaky is partnering with the best training companies to offer live workshops on cultivating front desk upsell culture and educating on effective upselling. The goal is to support hoteliers in establishing a strong upselling culture, equipping front desk agents with tried-and-tested upselling techniques and the knowledge of upselling psychology, and, thereby, increasing upsell conversions and revenue. 


  • 4/1/2023

    QSR Automations Recognized for Excellence in Customer Service

    QSR Automations customer service team

    QSR Automations earned recognition for excellence in customer service and support.

    At MURTEC, QSR Automations’ VP of Hardware Solutions and Support, Kathi Klein, received fHospitality Technology ’s 2023 Top Women in Technology Lifetime Achievement Award. 

    During her more than 30 years in the restaurant technology industry – half of those at QSR Automations–Klein has amassed incomparable knowledge in understanding and troubleshooting kitchen display, front-of-house, and the associated hardware and networking platforms needed to run them. 

    But what truly sets Klein apart is her natural ability to nurture relationships and foster talent, which has made her an effective leader in QSR Automations’ Support Services Team. During her long tenure at QSR Automations, Klein has built one of the industry’s strongest and most effective support teams. In fact, under Klein’s guidance, the team has received a 99 percent satisfaction rate from customers in 2021, and last year handled more than 16,000 inbound and outbound calls, which earned them a bronze award for Excellence in Customer Service from the 2022 Stevie Awards. 

    This was the third bronze Stevie award for the team, as last fall, Klein accepted two additional bronze awards from the Stevie Women in Business Awards on behalf of QSR Automations–one for excellence in customer service, and the other for growth. QSR Automations was selected for these honors from more than 1,500 nominations from around the world.

    “Just as our technology is the heart of a restaurant kitchen, our people are truly the heart of this business,” said Angela Leet, CEO of QSR Automations. “My colleagues are passionate about innovation both in and out of the office, and it’s immensely gratifying to see them recognized for these achievements.”

    QSR Automations, headquartered in Louisville, Ky., with offices in the United Kingdom, is a global industry leader in kitchen automation and guest management services.

  • 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. 


  • 4/3/2023

    Miraggio Thermal Resort Selects Cendyn’s Integrated Sales and Marketing Platform

    aerial view of miraggio thermal spa resort

    Cendyn, a catalyst for digital transformation in the hospitality industry, is excited to announce that Miraggio Thermal Resort has selected Cendyn to power their B2C and B2B CRM with the company’s award-winning eInsight™ CRM and the new eInsight™ Sales – the only fully integrated and automated B2B & B2C solution in hospitality. 

     With Cendyn’s complete CRM platform, Miraggio Thermal Resort can drive profitability, enhance personalization, and drive ancillary revenue and upsells by leveraging the first-party data that has been cleaned, collected, and organized within the CRM’s rich guest profiles. With the addition of Cendyn’s newly launched eInsight Sales, Miraggio can leverage the same PMS data that powers eInsight CRM to centralize all relevant profile data directly into the sales automation CRM module as well as reservation and production data at the account level. The combined platform gives their sales team unprecedented visibility to every activity in the pipeline, including the ability to track all activities and opportunities by sales stage, and even create highly bespoke automatic and ad hoc sales campaigns targeting corporate clients and travel agents. 

     “We were searching for digital solution that would allow us to fully understand our guests with data-rich guest profiles as well as organize our sales process and pipeline,” said Stefanos Iliadis, Director of Sales and Marketing at Miraggio Thermal Resort. “After speaking with Cendyn and learning about the benefits of combining our B2B and B2C needs within one platform, we feel like we’ve found the ideal solution to help us reach new markets, empower our sales team, and provide even more unforgettable experiences for our guests.” 

     “We are excited about working with Miraggio Thermal Resort as they take their guest engagement and sales to the next level with the first and only fully integrated and automated B2B and B2C solution in the hospitality industry,” explained John Seaton, Chief Revenue Officer at Cendyn. “We’ve seen the increases in revenue and guest satisfaction that can come from leveraging data through eInsight CRM and look forward to seeing how the addition of our new B2B Sales solution truly connects the dots between guests, marketing, and the sales pipeline to provide a comprehensive technology solution for hotels and resorts.”  

  • 4/3/2023

    PPDS Brings State-of-the-Art Entertainment to Miami’s Luxury Beach Haus with 200+ Chromecast Built-in ‘All Inclusive’ Philips MediaSuite TVs

    Interior of a guestroom at Beach Haus

    PPDS, the exclusive global provider of Philips professional displays, is excited to announce its exclusive range of Chromecast built-in Philips MediaSuite 4K TVs, have been selected and installed inside Miami’s luxury Beach Haus Bal Harbour vacation residence, delivering ultimate all-inclusive entertainment experiences to guests, together with immediate cost efficiencies.

    Located along Miami’s world famous sandy beaches, in the affluent and upscale village of Bal Harbour, the Beach Haus – spaced over three buildings – goes beyond a traditional hotel, with spacious living suites, full kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms, complete with all the amenities found at home. With guest stays ranging from a few days to a few months, the TV plays a vital role in achieving its ‘A vacation that feels like home’ promise.

    As part of a major modernization project, replacing the existing, cumbersome entertainment TV setup  , which had resulted in poor guest experiences and negative feedback – Beach Haus teamed with PPDS and hotel solution specialist, Hospitality1, working side-by-side throughout the entire process – before, during and post installation – integrating more than 200 Philips MediaSuite TVs in the living room (65”) and bedroom areas (55”) across all three Beach Haus Bal Harbour complexes. 

    "At Beach Haus, we do not compromise on quality or experience," commented Walter DeFortuna, owner of Beach Haus. "We want guests to enter our units and feel like they have never left home. We did a lot of research in the market to find the right solution, and that's when we discovered Philips MediaSuite from PPDS. 

    “When Walter reached out about needing a new solution that was modern and intuitive for his guests, we suggested researching Philips MediaSuite,” added Dhar Patel, owner of Hospitality 1, a direct hotel supplier. The Philips MediaSuite TV is the only solution in the US market that we have found which allows guests to cast their apps without any additional equipment. So far, we have had extraordinary success with this product because it is turn-key for the owners, and we knew it would be for the Beach Haus as well.”

    Philips MediaSuite TVs were the standout choice, as it’s the first dedicated hospitality TV designed exclusively to provide enhanced in-room guest experiences. It offers a seamless and natural transition, similar to how guests access all their favorite TV channels and streaming platforms at home, with no additional hardware or subscription requirements.

    Cast your eyes on this!

    Philips MediaSuite TVs provide a night and day contrast to the previous setup. All unsightly and unsecured third-party USB solutions plugged into the previous TVs are no longer required. Philips MediaSuite is the world’s first dedicated hospitality TV to feature Chromecast built-in technology and security.

    Philips MediaSuite puts the guest in complete control of their entertainment experience.  Connected securely to the Beach Haus Wi-Fi, guests can now select from their favorite providers – such as Netflix®, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Apple TV+, Paramount+, Spotify™ – using their own device (tablets, phones, laptops) and personal accounts, and stream in up to 4K directly onto the big screen in a couple of clicks. This is a stark contrast to the previous set up, which required a frustrating four to five-step login process, resulting in an often poor guest experience and negative feedback. The inclusion of Chromecast built-in™ also eliminates the vulnerability of external devices, which were susceptible to theft and tampering, as well as reducing maintenance and replacement costs.

    Running on the ever-updating Android TV OS, Beach Haus guests also benefit from having secure access to thousands of apps via Google Play, including popular services such as local news, weather, games, YouTube, plus secure voice control capabilities via Google Voice*. Philips MediaSuites also feature Netflix-ready functionality, embedded on the TV, allowing guests to immediately pick up shows and movies exactly where they left off on their accounts.

    Beach Haus was previously paying several monthly subscriptions to provide a comparable list of channels and services to guests, which are now no longer needed, saving significant monthly costs.

    Julian Verlarde, General Manager at Beach Haus, commented, “The inclusion of Chromecast built-in™ solves so many obstacles faced by both ourselves and our guests. Times have changed and each guest has their own preference on how they wish to enjoy their favorite TV shows and movies. They don’t want to be restricted. With Chromecast built-in™ to Philips MediaSuite TVs, they are in complete control of their experience. This is night and day to anything we’ve seen before.”

    Safe and secure remote management

    The inclusion of Philips MediaSuite has resulted in instant time and cost efficiencies, a savings valued at more than $10,000 a year.

    With the previous solution of USB devices designed for consumer use at home and not for a commercial property, and security of customer data of paramount importance, Beach Haus staff had to ensure a lengthy process of manually deleting all data and resetting all accounts accessed on each TV upon a guest’s departure – a process that could add up to two hours per day for staff when turning around rooms for new guests.

    With Philips MediaSuite, all actions can now be managed entirely remotely, with guest data immediately deleted and disconnected upon their departure, saving more than 730 hours annually, and speeding up suite turnaround times.

    In addition, all software updates and general troubleshooting of Beach Haus TVs can now be managed and controlled entirely remotely via PPDS’ single, intuitive platform – Philips CMND. TVs are also fully customized and branded, with Beach Haus now able to easily tailor each TV to the apartment and guest. This includes individual languages, marketing or messaging, Beach Haus services (bicycle rental, housekeeping, parking, beach chairs), local information (bars, restaurants, shops), or customizing screens to celebrate a specific occasion, such as a birthday or anniversary.

    In keeping with Beach Haus’ and PPDS’ focus on sustainability, Philips MediaSuite TVs have also been designed for long-term use. The Android platform allows TVs to be updated with the latest features and functionalities as and when they become available. This ensures Beach Haus TVs provide a consistent performance in every room while remaining relevant longer and extending product lifetimes for increased sustainability. Updates can be scheduled and installed on all or individual displays entirely remotely, during a convenient time, such as when a room is vacant, to avoid disruptions.

    Joe King, VP of hospitality, North America at PPDS said: “We understood that Beach Haus were getting very frustrated using multiple providers to get the solution they desired. With Philips MediaSuite, it’s one solution, all contained in one TV, and from a single vendor. That’s unique and something we’re very proud of.”

    DeFortuna added, “The most important thing for us is that our guests love it… and they do. If a guest loves something, then we have return on investment, as people will come back repeatedly and will refer us to their friends and family. The support we received from PPDS was like nothing we had experienced before, from the initial order to a seamless installation and after-care, and we’re delighted by the results.”

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