News Briefs

  • 4/24/2023

    AHLA, HSMAI Americas Announce Partnership to Advance Hospitality Industry

    The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Americas announced a new strategic partnership that will more closely align the two hospitality industry associations to benefit their respective members and advance the hospitality industry.

    The partnership will create linkages to the industry’s sales, marketing, and revenue optimization professionals for AHLA while expanding HSMAI’s organizational reach by aligning it with America’s largest hotel association.

    The new agreement, effective April 25, 2023, includes the following areas of collaboration:

    • AHLA will provide HSMAI with opportunities to participate in AHLA’s On the Road events, and HSMAI will promote the events to its members and local chapters.
    • AHLA and HSMAI will promote each other’s events, campaigns, and education and certification programs, and have reciprocal participation in distribution-focused committees.
    • AHLA and HSMAI will also explore opportunities to align the work of both organizations’ foundations to address industry-wide initiatives on workforce and promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).
    • AHLA and HSMAI leadership will meet regularly to discuss and coordinate key strategic industry issues and shared objectives.

    The AHLA-HSMAI partnership expands upon a relationship the two organizations started early last year, when HSMAI became a content partner for AHLA’s On The Road state hotel conference series, offering innovative and exclusive revenue generation insights at On The Road events.

    “This partnership is a big win for AHLA, HSMAI, and our respective members,” said AHLA Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Kevin Carey. “HSMAI is the leading organization of hospitality sales, marketing, and revenue optimization professionals, and AHLA members will now have more exposure and access to HSMAI’s insights and capabilities. We are always strongest as an industry when we speak with ‘one voice’ and support each other. This relationship advances that objective significantly.”

    “We look forward to working with AHLA to enhance the value we provide our members in the United States and the industry,” said HSMAI President and CEO Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA. “As HSMAI approaches its 100thanniversary, we welcome the many opportunities we have together with AHLA to move the industry forward with a shared commitment to grow business for hotels and their partners.”

    The agreement announced today is one in a series of recent AHLA partnerships that are enabling the organization to better serve its members and keep the hotel industry moving forward. Other examples include:

    • AHLA’s partnership with Questex to produce the industry-leading technology and operations trade show, The Hospitality Show
    • AHLA’s 10-year agreement with HFTP to produce the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI)
    • AHLA’s partnership with the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (ICHRIE) to grow the hotel and hospitality industry workforce
  • 4/24/2023

    Denny's Launches Series of National Wellness, Mental Health Summits

    Dennys exterior of diner

    As part of a national effort to raise awareness and offer expert insights, Denny's is kicking off a series of summits focused on how companies and individuals can better manage and improve their mental health and wellness.

    The first summit is taking place on April 22 at the HPAC Theater in Spartanburg, S.C. The summit will be free to the public and attendees can participate in-person or virtually.

    "Denny's has always been committed to feeding people's bodies, minds, and souls, and this summit series perfectly aligns with our holistic approach to wellness," said Kelli Valade, CEO of Denny's. "The COVID-19 pandemic has placed the topics of mental health and personal well-being front and center. Now is the time to think about how we can bring our whole selves to all facets of our lives, including the workplace."

    The summit keynote speaker is Dr. Daniel E. Dawes, Senior Vice President for Global Health and Executive Director of the Institute of Global Health Equity at Meharry Medical College. Dawes will discuss the importance of addressing mental health equity and the path forward to achieving a healthier society. Other nationally recognized panelists include:  

    • Dr. Shaneeta Johnson, a surgeon, clinician, educator, and researcher at Morehouse School of Medicine and Senior Fellow in Global Health Equity at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute
    • Dr. Monique May, a board-certified and licensed family physician best known as the "Physician in the Kitchen"
    • Dr. Bennie L. Harris, Chancellor of the University of South Carolina Upstate
    • Sharon Lykins, Denny's Vice President of Product Innovation

    "Mental health and wellness significantly impact the quality of life of individuals, families, and communities across the Upstate region and beyond," said USC Upstate Chancellor, Bennie L. Harris, Ph.D. "We are thrilled to join forces with a global leader like Denny's to address one of the most critical public health issues of our time."

    Journalist Roland S. Martin will moderate two panels, "Mindful Eating," which will address the connection between food and wellness, and "Wellness at the Workplace," which focuses on mental health at work.

    A second mental health summit will be offered on October 10 in Nashville, Tennessee.

  • 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.

  • 4/24/2023

    Personica Rebrands to Fishbowl

    Fishbowl logo 2023 version

    Personica, a provider of restaurant marketing solutions, is changing its name back to Fishbowl, effective immediately.

    The decision was made to embrace the company’s legacy and strong brand recognition in the industry.

    Fishbowl was a pioneer of digital marketing for the restaurant industry. Today the company has more than 50,000 restaurant customers; delivers almost nine billion email and SMS messages annually; and has created more than $10 billion in revenue for clients using its promotional offer platform. As the company looks to expand its reach, offering new products and improved customer service, it will do so "under a name that clients can remember and trust," the company says.

    In addition to the rebrand, Fishbowl recently introduced Delightable, the new Guest Relationship Management (GRM) tool designed to help restaurant owners use their own data to build and maintain relationships with their patrons, further enhancing the company’s suite of solutions for the industry.

    The rebrand and product launch signal Fishbowl’s continued commitment to providing innovative marketing solutions that cater to the unique needs of the restaurant industry.

     

  • 4/24/2023

    R.F. Technologies Partners with Solink to Offer Video-Based Business Intelligence to its Full Line of Restaurant Solutions

    RF technologies

    R.F. Technologies announces a partnership with Solink, adding video-based business intelligence to its full line of restaurant solutions. Video analytics is available through R.F. Technologies' Big Dog brand. "Solink becomes a complement to our Big Dog Difference video solutions, along with Big Dog Voice, Design Services, Video System Monitoring, and the coming artificial intelligence," states CEO Bob Noorian.

    Solink is a leader in video security and data analytics, offering purpose-built video security and business intelligence. These cloud-based solutions provide management visibility at a glance. Through customizable dashboards, restaurant management can remotely monitor operations. The video analytics system automatically creates video clips tied to transactions, where management can quickly see anomalies, watching only relevant parts of a recording instead of sifting through hours of coverage. This business intelligence is valuable not only for loss prevention, but for staff training and business improvement as well.

    Big Dog cameras work seamlessly with video analytics, providing restaurant operators the data needed to succeed. Noorian adds, "With the current evolution of restaurant management increasingly occurring remotely at the Operator level, HD camera systems professionally designed, installed, and fully operational are a requirement for the QSR business. Further, Operators need scalable solutions not only for advanced solutions like analytics, but for the coming wave of artificial intelligence."

    R.F. Technologies is the complete solutions provider to the restaurant industry, including drive-thru systems, digital menu boards, and surveillance systems. Video Analytics solutions are available through R.F. Technologies' Big Dog brand at www.rfdrivethru.com and (800) 598-2370. 

    With this announcement, RFT begins providing the full line of Solink capabilities. RFT President Joe Gierut explains, "The benefits from using video analytics seem endless. Whether for loss prevention, security, operations, or business improvement, customers can expect to be highly satisfied with their investment."

  • 4/24/2023

    Vispero to Demonstrate Screen Reader Software for Accessible Point of Sale Systems at National Restaurant Association Conference

    vispero logo

    Vispero™ and TPGi® are pleased to announce that the most popular screen reader worldwide, JAWS®, is now available in kiosks and other self-service devices. This software will allow all enterprises, including restaurants, to increase their revenue by capturing the overlooked, underserved market of customers with visual impairments. It empowers users who are blind or have low vision to enjoy increased independence when performing tasks such as ordering at a quick-service restaurant or café.

    JAWS for Kiosk software is an enterprise-supported screen reader which provides a text-to-speech audio output on self-service kiosks. It can be used with both Microsoft Windows and Android® operating systems. JAWS for Kiosk provides customizable, context-specific instructional messaging to assist users with disabilities and is available in more than 40 languages with a variety of voice options.

    This innovative accessibility breakthrough has already been selected by some of the largest companies in the world and is highly scalable. The software has won three industry awards, including a Living the Values Award from one of the largest Quick-Service Restaurant (QSR) companies in the world as a Global Technology Provider that puts customers first and creates an inclusive environment.

    "We are committed to making the world a more accessible place, and this innovation is an important part of our strategy to do just that," said Bob Ciminera, CEO of Vispero.

    TPGi will demonstrate JAWS for Kiosk at the National Restaurant Association, Booth 6966, on May 20-23, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.

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