News Briefs

  • 4/20/2023

    Wendy's Franchise Expands Use of AI in Drive-Thrus

    Wendys exterior at night

    Wenspok Companies, a Spokane-based franchise operator of Wendy's operating 65+ restaurants., is expanding use of camera-based drive-thru timers in partnership with  Berry AI

    Wenspok began testing Berry's camera-based drive-thru timers last year. The system provides more actionable data, is easy to install and maintain, and helps restaurants improve speed of service. The success in testing fueled Wenspok's desire to add the technology to more locations and is committed to an upcoming rollout.

    RTN releases Restaurant Technology KPIs

    "With Wenspok's desire to build a drive-thru that improves operational efficiency while delivering an elevated guest experience, Berry's camera-based drive-thru timer solution is a natural choice," said Adam Azril, Wenspok's Director of Technology and Training. "The Berry AI platform has exceeded our expectations and we are excited to deploy the solution to more restaurants. Our intention isn't to replace jobs – quite the opposite. The goal is to have the employees focus on higher-value tasks and make their jobs easier over time."

    Berry AI estimates there's 200,000+ drive-thrus in the country and predicts that in five years, tens of thousands of locations will adopt the camera-based drive-thru timer technology.  

    Since its founding in 2019, Berry AI has been on a mission to improve the QSR guest experience and is in active partnerships with numerous top-50 QSR brands.

  • 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.

  • 4/20/2023

    Royal Caribbean Group Outlines Progress in Annual Seastainability Report


    Royal Caribbean Group released its 15th annual Seastainability Report today, providing an in-depth update on the company's corporate responsibility strategy and performance across its three wholly owned brands – Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises.

    2022 marked a watershed moment in the company's advancement of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts. Defining events include the 30th anniversary of the company's first environmental program, Save the Waves, and the publication of the first Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) report, published with the 2022 Seastainability Report.

    "As we advance on our sustainability journey, our strategic priorities remain rooted in creating business value and uplifting our employees, guests and the communities we visit," said Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. "Through collaboration and innovation, we continue to make great strides on our commitment of delivering great vacation experiences responsibly."

    The targets and strategies laid out in the annual report highlight Royal Caribbean Group's progress to reduce emissions, promote the safety and wellbeing of its guests and employees, including its commitments to sustainable tourism, protecting the oceans it sails and inspiring and empowering the communities it visits. 

    Highlights from the report include:

    • Setting a short-term target to reduce carbon intensity by double digits by 2025, compared to 2019, that advances the company's vision for net zero emissions by 2050 — Destination Net Zero
    • Signing a partnership agreement with Mærsk McKinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping to develop zero carbon technologies and solutions for the maritime industry
    • Completing the first renewable diesel pilot in the U.S. on Royal Caribbean Group's Navigator of the Seas
    • Introducing the world's first net-zero cruise terminal in Galveston, Texas, extending the company's efforts and strategies from its ships to its shoreside operations
    • Creating a new Executive Diversity Council to prioritize DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) initiatives and create accountability, empowering and inspiring employees
    • Confirming U.S. shoreside gender pay equity analysis shows that 99.98% of women are equally compensated compared to male employees at Royal Caribbean Group
    • Launching the Royal Caribbean Kickstarter Program supporting tourism related entrepreneurs in The Bahamas with trainings and seed-funding, empowering the communities the company visits
    • Growing the number of sustainable tours certified by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) – now more than 3,500 around the world
    • Increasing its sustainable seafood sourcing – 83% Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and 75% Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified
    • Renewing its partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and committing an additional $5 million to preserve ocean health

    The report references the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and is aligned with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards for Cruise Lines.

    With a sustainability journey that began over 30 years ago, Royal Caribbean Group has remained steadfast in its commitment to innovate and advance the solutions necessary for a better future. Building on a robust portfolio of technologies that improve energy efficiency, water treatment, and waste management, it has worked to introduce environmentally friendly ships that move the company closer to achieving Destinations Net Zero, the company's vision for net zero emissions by 2050.

    Visit to dive deeper into Royal Caribbean Group's 2022 Seastainability Report and learn more about the company's positive impact activities.

  • 4/20/2023

    MDO Celebrates Earth Day by Helping Hotels Reduce Environmental Footprint

    hotel restaurant w/ view of a body of water

    MDO, a hotel performance management platform, continues to shine the spotlight on hotel owners and operators dedicated to reducing their environmental footprint. This Earth Day, MDO celebrates the 15 operators comprising more than 1,500 hotels who have qualified for MDO Sustainability Certification by verifying a paperless night audit process to save substantial natural resources.

    Companies such as Crestline Hotels & Resorts, Commonwealth Hotels, Remington Hotels and McNeill Hotel Company have all adopted a paperless night audit process. Going paperless has enabled the night audit teams to move critical financial documents into a secure, digital environment for storage and compliance. The process can be directly correlated to significant reduction in tree and forest harvesting.

    The MDO Sustainability Certification launched late last year, and its rapid adoption demonstrates the industry’s accelerated focus on sustainability efforts.

    Key Facts for Hoteliers on Earth Day

    According to the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (SHA), to keep pace with the targets outlined in the Paris Agreement, the global hotel industry needs to reduce carbon emissions per room per year by 66% by 2030 and 90% by 2050. Leading hotel companies have aligned themselves with science-based target initiatives (SBTi), which manage emissions reductions and net-zero commitments. Many hotel companies have adopted near-term targets on the path to achieving net zero.

    The paper and pulp industry is the 4th largest emitter of greenhouse gasses among U.S. manufacturing industries. The paper industry is responsible for 9% of the total emissions of carbon dioxide from manufacturing industries. The production of 17 reams of paper releases 110 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. On average a tree can only produce 17 reams of paper but takes about 100 years to grow. Trees release oxygen and absorb greenhouse gasses. Hoteliers can help purify the air through saving trees.

    Paper makes up 26% of landfills and degradation produces methane, a greenhouse gas with 23 times the heat trapping capacity of carbon dioxide. Landfills are the source of 34% of methane released and the single largest source in the U.S. Hoteliers can save cubic yards of landfill space by not printing nightly audit reports.

    In addition to helping its hoteliers eliminate printing, MDO has a longstanding tradition of planting one tree each year for every hotel that is live on MDO’s myDocs Digital Document Management solution. In 2022, 2,600 new trees were planted through the National Forest Foundation of Missoula, Montana.

    As of January 2023, MDO and its customers’ efforts contributed to saving 45,470 trees, 7,653 cubic yards of landfill, and 17,393,592 gallons of wastewater.

    How to Get MDO Sustainability Certified

    To become MDO Sustainability Certified, hotel owners and operators can visit the MDO Sustainability page to enter their information.

    The MDO Sustainability Certification program will take just a few minutes to fill out and preview your environmental impact immediately. The verification process will take about one week to complete so long as you meet the requirements and coordinate with our team.

    This program is a self-certification program validated by use of MDO’s myDocs product. Certificates are good for one year and will automatically renew based on continued communication.

  • 4/20/2023

    Snack POS Adds Tipping Feature on Customer-Facing Screen

    Snack POS

    Snack POS, a provider of restaurant point-of-sale software, introduces a new feature that allows customers to add a tip directly on the customer-facing screen. 

    This eliminates the need for customers to ask for a separate receipt or find the appropriate section on the paper receipt to add a tip. When the customer is ready to pay, the customer-facing screen will display the total amount due, along with options for adding a tip. Customers can choose from preset tip percentages or enter a custom amount. The tip amount is then added to the total bill, and the transaction is complete.

    The new tip feature is available to all Snack POS customers immediately and can be easily added to their existing system through a simple software update.

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