News Briefs

  • 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.

  • 4/16/2023

    On The Beach Engineering Director Appointed CTO at Journey Hospitality

    Craig Griffin joins Journey Hospitality as CTO.

     Snapping up travel technology talent, UK hotel technology company Journey Hospitality embarks on a recruitment drive to further bolster its growing team as it seeks to revolutionize hotel ecommerce. 

    The former Head of Engineering at and most recently Director of Engineering at On The Beach, Craig Griffin has taken the role of Chief Technology Officer, tasked with delivering the technology vision for the company, leading the product development for the company’s all-in-one ecommerce platform onejourney® and spa management system Premier Software. Craig has led teams of more than 120 software engineers with experience digitalizing other sectors delivering ecommerce experiences including Yodel and Beazley Insurance. 

    Griffin will join the C-Suite alongside CEO and Founder, Simon Bullingham, and COO Mark Reed, who will manage the company’s operations and lead product client services and agency services. 

    Simon Bullingham, Founder and CEO of Journey Hospitality, said: “Craig’s experience leading and scaling software teams with and On The Beach will enable us to grow our talent and organization to deliver our technology to a wider audience. Craig understands the complexities of hotel tech and will help us continue to innovate the online guest experience for a more profitable future for the industry.”

    Griffin said: “Journey has built a strong reputation for itself over the past decade and its vision is exciting in a very underserved and complex hospitality sector. The new strategic direction, as it evolves into a tech-first company with ambitions to disrupt, is an opportunity too good to refuse. I’m looking forward to building a strong community of engineers that are enabled to deliver their best work and advance their craft.”

    Journey has over 120 staff working from Cheltenham and Cannock, providing consultancy and marketing services combined with proprietary ecommerce and spa software. In the coming months, the technology company will be recruiting more roles, with plans for further expansion later in the year. 

    In March 2022, Journey launched its revolutionary all-in-one ecommerce platform, onejourney® servicing over 150 luxury hotels and resorts worldwide, facilitating multi-product shopping baskets, and driving sales of non-accommodation facilities and services, and ancillary revenue streams. In March 2023, Journey extended its hotel ecommerce portfolio with the acquisition of Premier Software, the UK’s leading spa management system.

  • 4/16/2023

    Shiji ReviewPro Launches ‘The Hotelier's Guide to’ to Boost Hotel Reputation

    tablet displaying ‘The Hotelier's Guide to’

    The team at Shiji ReviewPro has released a new guide to help hoteliers improve their reputation on, one of the leading travel booking websites globally. Titled "The Hotelier's Guide to, the guide provides valuable insights into the importance of reputation and how to improve review scores, resulting in better visibility and increased bookings.

    The report highlights that 95% of travelers read reviews before selecting an accommodation, with more than 85% trusting online reviews as much as personal recommendations. The report also presents six tips for hoteliers to improve their review scores on, including replying to reviews, managing expectations, providing breakfast, delivering great service, ensuring cleanliness and comfort, and monitoring positive mentions in reviews.

    The report also reveals that is the leading platform for hotel reviews, accounting for 42% of all reviews worldwide, followed by Google and Tripadvisor. The new review system on, launched recently, allows guests to provide a specific score out of 10 and submit customized subscores for different aspects of their stay, providing a more detailed analysis of the guest feedback. The system also aims to eliminate anonymous reviews and plans to make guests pinpoint reasons when giving extreme reviews to help hoteliers address pressing issues.

    Furthermore, the report emphasizes that sustainability is an increasing priority for travelers, with 38% of them actively seeking information on a property's sustainability efforts prior to booking. has responded to this trend by offering different sustainability badges that can be highlighted on a property's page and enabling a search filter for sustainable properties.

    "Reputation is one of the most significant assets a hotel can have, and the internet and online reviews amplify, if not carry that message," said Michael Kessler, Chief Executive Officer at Shiji ReviewPro. "We hope that The Hotelier's Guide to will help hoteliers understand the importance of reputation management and provide them with valuable insights to improve their scores on" Added Kessler.

    To download The Hotelier's Guide to, please follow this link.

  • 4/16/2023

    Criterion Hospitality Chooses Atomize RMS to Automate Pricing

    Collage of Images of Victory House Hotel rooms, lobby, etc.

    Atomize, a global revenue management software (RMS) has been selected by Criterion Hospitality to support their Commercial Strategy in the UK. 

    Criterion Hospitality is a management company in the UK and owns several hotels in some of London's most iconic locations, such as Zedwell Piccadilly Circus, Assembly Convent Garden and Victory House in Leicester Square.

    Criterion Hospitality operates over 1000 rooms currently with an additional 2000 under construction or in planning, and has an ambitious expansion plan for the coming years.

    Implementing Atomize is an important piece in building a modern tech stack that supports Criterion’s growth journey ahead. The ambition is to operate a fully integrated tech stack, using the best technology to offer a smooth and personalized service for their guests and at the same time support a lean operation.

    Atomize is part of this tech stack and with its automated rate updates that are based on the latest market demand shifts, the properties can be more proactive in their pricing and capture more bookings with the right rates and offers.

    Assembly Covent Garden and Victory House went live in Q1 of 2023 and In the coming months the remaining properties will be deploying Atomize, providing the entire portfolio with real-time price automation.

    "It just works! Atomize has already proven itself to be a powerful RMS solution that provides a strong combination of artificial intelligence and pricing control mechanisms which from day one started to save our team a vast amount of time. In a competitive market like London, to use a powerful RMS like Atomize with real-time price optimization enables us to instantly respond to demand shifts and allows us to benefit from those demand surges," says Regis Morin, Commercial Director at Criterion Hospitality.

    The access to future demand insights in combination with real-time price automation, resulting in precise and just-in-time pricing - were some of the key criteria for their decision. Criterion Hospitality utilizes a very powerful combination of Atomize and OTA Insights comprehensive product portfolios.  This includes Revenue Insight, Market Insight and Rate Insight - providing Atomize with advanced comp set data, from OTAs and as well as future market demand data to optimize prices up to 730 days into the future in real time. 

    “We are thrilled to work with one of London’s most reputable and forward-thinking hospitality companies. It's clear that Criterion Hospitality are looking for innovative solutions that can help them grow and improve the efficiency of their operation. We are happy to be part of their growth journey and are looking forward to supporting Criterion Hospitality Group’s expansion with our cutting-edge RMS,” says Alexander Edström, CEO at Atomize.

  • 4/16/2023

    SeaWorld Entertainment Hires Marketing Veteran Marisa Thalberg

    Seaworld logo

    SeaWorld Entertainment Inc.  has hired Marisa Thalberg Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, effective April 24.

    In this role, Thalberg will be responsible for brand and marketing strategies that drive revenue, increase visitation across the organization's award-winning portfolio of 12 parks, and elevate the company's conservation mission. Thalberg a is a globally recognized brand-builder and pioneer of digital, social and eCommerce marketing. She is a five-time honoree on Forbes' "World's Most Influential CMOs" list, among other industry accolades.

    Trailblazing Executive

    Thalberg was the first Executive Vice President, Chief Brand and Marketing Officer for Lowe's Companies Inc. from 2020-2022. At Lowe's, she was responsible for the transformation of marketing during which she helped drive record sales and brand growth for the company.

    Prior to Lowe's, Marisa was the Global Chief Brand Officer at Taco Bell, where she achieved category-beating same store sales growth every quarter and captured the highest passion index among fans of any QSR brand. She also provided global brand stewardship for Taco Bell's rapid international expansion.

    In 2002,  Thalberg founded Executive Moms (, an organization created to connect and support accomplished women who are both professionals and moms. She currently serves as a Strategic Advisor to the VC firm Composite Ventures and is on the boards of the Blumenthal Center of the Arts and the MMA. She has served on the boards of the AdCouncil, International Women's Media Foundation, TheatreworksUSA and the Orange County School of the Arts.  

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