News Briefs

  • 4/19/2023

    Two-Thirds of Travelers Agree: The Best Getaways Are Spontaneous

    Family standing in front of a Motel 6

    As temperatures begin to rise, travelers are getting the urge to explore, and new research shows they're acting on that spur-of-the-moment travel bug. Recent data from leading economy lodging brands, Motel 6 and Studio 6, reveals that two out of three (67%) Americans with travel plans this year say that the best trips are spontaneous and decided on a whim.

    The study, which surveyed over 2,000 Americans who plan to travel this year also found that almost three-quarters (73%) would be willing to visit a surprise destination. 

    "Taking a last-minute getaway is a great way to add some joy into your life," said Julie Arrowsmith, President and Interim CEO of G6 Hospitality, parent company of Motel 6 and Studio 6. "For those seeking a new adventure this summer, they can rest easy knowing that Motel 6 and Studio 6 are here to provide clean, comfortable and affordable places to stay so travelers can spend more on the actual experiences and events that brought them to the destination."

    Traveling Distances, With Companions
    Seven in 10 (70%) travelers report they are indulging in longer excursions by traveling more than three hours from their hometown. And, what's an unforgettable summer road trip without loved ones – either human or furry friends. When asked about companions, more than three in four (78%) travelers prefer to journey with other people, while almost one in three (28%) are planning to explore with pets.

    Off-Season & Longer Trips
    With impromptu trips on the rise, more than two in five (44%) vacationers admit they are switching up their travel experiences this year. Most notably, the typical "travel season" may be a thing of the past, with almost half (47%) indicating that they are just as likely to get away during the off-season or weekdays as opposed to peak times like holidays and weekends.

    Another one in three (32%) are indulging in their wanderlust by taking longer vacations than ever before. For those longer trips, vacationers needing a home-away-from-home can rest easy with an extended stay lodging option like Studio 6, where rooms come well-equipped with a full kitchenette and on-site laundry.

    Hotel Stays & Prioritizing Discounts
    In fact, no matter the length of the trip, nearly half (49%) of American tourists plan to stay at a hotel or motel. And, when booking accommodations, two-thirds (66%) say rewards programs are important to them while on the road. Those looking to save this summer can enjoy exclusive promotions and discounts while saving 6% off their stay by joining My6, a free rewards program from Motel 6 and Studio 6 with deals to support summer adventures.

  • 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.

  • 4/19/2023

    Sojern and Xcaliber Collaborate to Drive Direct Bookings and Increase Revenue for Asia-Pacific Hotels

    Sojern logo

    Sojern, a travel marketing platform, and Xcaliber, a direct booking platform offering cloud-based solutions for hotels, announced a new collaboration to collectively drive direct bookings and bolster revenue for Asia-Pacific hoteliers. 

    “Focused on travel from day one, our commitment to generating more direct relationships while driving online bookings is stronger than ever," said Lina Ang, Managing Director, APAC, Sojern. “Sojern’s new partnership with Xcaliber, the latest with a homegrown partner in the region, means together we can utilize our respective strengths to provide strategic marketing solutions to regional hoteliers. 2023 is the first year in APAC with no travel restrictions, so our partnership comes at a time of renewed optimism for the travel industry”.

    With reports stating that Asia-Pacific’s travel industry could be the first to recover by 2023 this year will be pivotal for the hospitality industry. In an increasingly competitive digital landscape Sojern and XCaliber have partnered to play to each other's strengths. Sojern’s digital marketing expertise enables hoteliers to reach, engage and convert travelers along every stage of their planning and booking journey. Xcaliber offers innovative cloud base solutions that help more than 1,000 hotels in South East Asia to maximize revenue through hotels brands websites. 

    “A trusted hotel partner since 2009 offering solutions such as booking engine, payment gateway, website development, digital marketing, property management system and ecommerce management, we pride ourselves on adding value to hotels and their guests. With Sojern’s industry expertise and mutual focus on driving direct bookings for hoteliers we are delighted to announce this new partnership,” said Pipat Amonrungmetham, CEO & Founder of Xcaliber. “After a challenging few years for the industry this strategic collaboration will allow us to strengthen our value adds for hotels.”

    Throughout its 15 years, Sojern’s unwavering focus on travel has increased its resilience and reaffirmed its vision to become the #1 travel marketing platform. Sojern was also recently ranked amongst the top Digital Marketing Agencies globally in the 2023 HotelTechAwards. Headquartered in Thailand, Xcaliber also operates in Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and Laos with local experts. 

  • 4/19/2023

    California Restaurant Association Offers Members U.S. Bank and Elavon's Payment Solutions

    paying at a coffee shop

    U.S. Bank and Elavon, one of the world’s largest payment processors, will now serve up customized payment solutions to restaurants across California under an agreement with the California Restaurant Association.

    Elavon recently signed a contract with the CRA, a statewide trade association representing 22,000 member locations. The new partnership will provide the tools or resources that ensure the Golden State’s restaurant and hospitality industry can better manage operations and receive customer payments safely, quickly and efficiently.

    Newly released research by U.S. Bank and Elavon found that 70% of restaurant-sector respondents say customers’ ability to order and pay quickly influences their choice of restaurant.

     

    That's inline with the findings from HT's 2022 Customer Engagement Technology StudyWhen it comes to top restaurant technologies that guests demand, 49% say the ability to pay for food via mobile device (i.e., contactless payment) is tops, according to HT's 2022 Customer Engagement Technology Study.

    California restaurant owners can benefit from the full suite of U.S. Bank banking and payments solutions including capabilities such as menu, order and employee management, invoicing, banking services, and the ability to view sales data in real-time – all from an easy-to-use dashboard.

    The partnership agreement comes on the heels of U.S. Bank’s recent acquisition of MUFG Union Bank, further strengthening U.S. Bank and Elavon’s presence and service offerings in California.

    “Our members are always looking for partners who can provide high value and excellent service,” said CRA Chief Operating Officer, Mike Doerr. “We believe our Association partnership with Elavon will provide that, and Elavon’s service is offered at an attractive price point to CRA members.”

  • 4/19/2023

    Coast Hotels Selects Shiji's Online Reputation Management Solution to Drive Guest Satisfaction Across North America

    Shiji and Coast Hotels logo

     Shiji Group, a hospitality technology partner, announced that it has installed its online reputation management platform Shiji ReviewPro across 16 Coast Hotels properties and 8 restaurants in North America. Coast Hotels is a Canadian hotel brand with properties across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon, Alaska, Washington State, California, and Hawaii.

    With the addition of Shiji ReviewPro, Coast Hotels will have the necessary tools to provide exceptional service and further improve their guests’ experience. Shiji ReviewPro's innovative technology, global footprint, commitment to client support and training, and integration capabilities make it the ideal partner for Coast Hotels to build on their already-strong reputation and grow their business. The platform provides the Coast Hotels team with insights into guest feedback and helps them respond to reviews in real-time, resulting in improved guest satisfaction and loyalty.

    "We are excited to partner with Shiji and leverage their expertise in guest feedback management to drive guest satisfaction and build our brand," said Brigitte Diem-Guy, Vice President of Revenue Strategies & Communication at Coast Hotels. "Shiji ReviewPro allows us to understand our performance and guest satisfaction levels across our properties, even before the guest arrives, to ensure we are providing the best possible experience."

    "As we continue to grow our presence in North America, we are excited to partner with Coast Hotels to help drive their growth through guest satisfaction," said Kevin King, Chief Operating Officer of Shiji Group. "Shiji ReviewPro is an ideal solution for hotel brands that are committed to exceptional service and guest satisfaction, and we are proud to be Coast Hotels' partner of choice."

    Coast Hotels plans to expand the use of Shiji ReviewPro solution across several additional properties by the end of 2023.

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