News Briefs

  • 4/25/2023

    IRIS Partners with MYM to Support Expansion of Operations in China

    IRIS logo

    IRIS, a provider of digital F&B and guest experience platforms, is set to increase its market share across China’s growing hospitality market. It announced a new partnership with Asia-based hospitality technology reseller MYM, utilizing IRIS’s Chinese Azure cloud solution.

    IRIS currently serves several Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons and Marriott properties, among others, within China. A key part of IRIS’s plan is to enhance its local service offering and the capabilities of its solution for both current and new clients across China. The report from Mordor Intelligence - China Tourism and Hotel Industry confirmed IRIS’s own insight that the hotel industry in China is currently experiencing a period of growth with hotel groups planning developments and renovations in the coming years. Enhancing the service and speed of delivery and establishing a partnership with an experienced partner, equipped with local expertise and market insight, is an important foundation for building this ambition in a hospitality market that is set for expansion.

    Johan Ohlin, CTO at IRIS, comments: “Since we first launched in China it has been a key focus market for us as a business. Our investment in local hosting and the new partnership with MYM is the beginning of an exciting new chapter for us.

    “In addition to the local presence, language support and the scope of their operations, they also have a great track record and client base so are a strong commercial fit to help us promote our solutions locally.

    “The hospitality industry in China is growing and as operators work to deliver exceptional guest services, for many that means a digital-first solution, in terms of ordering and payment capabilities. Our platform has been built and developed to benefit both the operator and the guest, and we look forward to working with our hoteliers across the region to further support them in realizing their own ambitions for revenue growth.”

    Ricky Huang, CEO at MYM added: “We pride ourselves on the expertise we have throughout the hospitality technology sector and are delighted to be working with IRIS to build a long-lasting partnership that will support both our hotel clients and the wider industry.

    “We look forward to enhancing our service offering and are confident hotels and guests alike will benefit from the knowledge and support that both companies are recognized for.”

    Sunny Zhang, VP of Data Governance and Analytics at Mandarin Oriental also commented: "We value our partnership with IRIS and are delighted with their continued investment in China. IRIS's digital in-room solutions not only offer our guests excellent service but also provide an additional revenue-generating channel for our hotels.

    “The partnership between IRIS and MYM in China has resulted in an enhanced solution that delivers improved local operational support. We look forward to collaborating with both parties to facilitate more business opportunities with the IRIS solution."

  • 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.

  • 4/25/2023

    ConnexPay Partners With Payouts Network to Launch Push-to-Card Technology

    ConnexPay, a payments technology company that integrates payments acceptance and issuance inside a single platform, announced a partnership with Payouts Network, an industry leader in financial technology. Through this partnership, ConnexPay has launched new functionality that will enable payouts via Push-to-Card modalities.

    Push-to-Card Payouts are initiated by the payer, who “pushes” funds in real time to a payee’s account through their eligible Visa or Mastercard debit or reloadable prepaid card. Unlike traditional bank-to-bank transfers, Push-to-Card Payouts are settled in real time and need only the payee’s name and email to set up. The payee’s card information is then captured on the initial payment through a quick and easy white-labeled flow and stored for future payments; there is no need to collect banking information. Push-to-Card Payouts can be made anytime, 24/7/365. With Push-to-Card technology, payments are easy, quick, safe and transparent for businesses looking to pay other businesses or individuals, such as gig workers.

    ConnexPay's primary payment modality is virtual cards, which provide an alternative to traditional cash, check, and ACH payments. Push to Card provides value where virtual card acceptance is unavailable. For example, Push to Card allows businesses to pay gig-economy delivery drivers (DoorDash, Grubhub, etc.) in real time directly to their eligible card account rather than having them wait several days to receive a payment via check or ACH. Powered by Payouts Network, this Push-to-Card solution complements ConnexPay's existing offering by enabling real-time settlements* and visibility into transactions via a new modality.

    Commenting on the partnership, Bob Kaufman, Founder & CEO of ConnexPay, stated: "ConnexPay's partnership with Payouts Network demonstrates our commitment to delivering innovative solutions that meet the evolving needs of our customers. With Push to Card, ConnexPay is poised to offer a new payment process to our customers that is efficient and secure, further enhancing our position as a leading payments provider."

    The new functionality will benefit businesses by eliminating the need for traditional payment methods like checks and ACH, which can take days to clear and have limited settlement visibility. With Push to Card, settlements to the recipient occur in real time, and businesses have full visibility into all transactions.

    "This partnership is a natural fit for us, as both companies are committed to providing innovative and reliable payment solutions," said Payouts Network CEO Keith Smith. "We look forward to working with ConnexPay to bring our Push-to-Card solution to businesses across various verticals."

    “Providing secure and transparent digital payment capabilities is at the core of Visa’s efforts to help enhance how individuals and small businesses move money,” said Yanilsa Gonzalez-Ore, SVP, North America, Head of Visa Direct. “We are excited to extend the benefits of Visa Direct to ConnexPay’s customers across a variety of industries and use cases.”

    The new functionality will be available to all ConnexPay customers and will also help accelerate the company’s expansion to reach more customers across the gig economy, insurance industry, as well as other dimensions of the travel industry. ConnexPay and Payouts Network are also exploring opportunities to expand their partnership to other markets and geographies in the near future.

    "We’re excited about the growth and retention opportunities that this partnership will bring to our business," added Kaufman. "Our customers are already using technology that is at the forefront of PayTech, and this new addition will make their payments much faster, while helping us serve more companies."

  • 4/25/2023

    New Robot Server LOLA Matradee L Aims to Revolutionize the Restaurant, Hospitality and Retail Industries

    LOLA Matradee L server robot

    LOLA™, a National Merchants Association (NMA) revolutionary fintech product line for the modern merchant, reveals one of their most coveted and advanced products, LOLA™ Matradee L, a robot server and food runner that’s paving the way for fully autonomous restaurants. LOLA™ Matradee L, aims to support organizations through an ever-changing business climate that includes labor shortages, evolving consumer demands, technology adoption, inflation and more.

    Specifically designed for the restaurant, hospitality and retail industries, LOLA™ Matradee L, offers the following features:

    • Advanced Obstacle Avoidance: Equipped with LIDAR and AI camera technology, allowing the Matradee L to avoid obstacles and move around in-the-way objects.
    • Multi-Robot Functioning: The LOLA™ Matradee L can work seamlessly with other LOLA™ Matradee L’s. 
    • Smart Advertising: LOLA™ Matradee L’s main screen can be used to display custom videos, pictures and audio to advertise promotions or specials.
    • Three to Four Adjustable Trays: The LOLA™ Matradee L has three to four adjustable trays that can hold a total of 22 pounds. On average, the Matradee L makes about 50-150 trips per day, which with the three trays, is equivalent to 150-450 human trips.

    “As more businesses struggle with labor shortages, inflation and a rising consumer demand for modernization, robots and automation technology continue to be the way of the future,” said Heather Altepeter, CEO of National Merchants Association. “We’re proud to be at the forefront of this pioneering technology, moving the needle in widespread human adoption of robot servers like LOLA™ Matradee L.”

    Also included in the LOLA™ product line, LOLA™ Kiosk 210, LOLA™ Station 500 and LOLA™ Point, are available at no upfront cost to merchants, each catering to organizations’ unique business needs. LOLA™ Matradee L is no different, pioneering the market and adoption of kiosks and robots in the restaurant, hospitality and retail industries. As NMA’s fintech strategies continue to evolve, LOLA™ will expand services for future technology needs. NMA aims to deploy LOLA™ solutions throughout Q3, targeting movie chains, restaurants and retail stores. 

  • 4/25/2023

    Groups360 and Choice Hotels International announce Direct Booking Solution for Group Room Blocks

    choice hotels logo

    Groups360 and Choice Hotels International announced the rollout of GroupSync™ Instant Booking across Choice’s global portfolio in 2023. Soon meeting and event organizers can shop and book online group guest rooms at Choice Hotel properties within GroupSync Marketplace.  

    GroupSync’s direct integration with Choice Hotels will offer real-time best available group rates and inventory to thousands of Choice properties. Planners of small or simple meetings can book these events in real-time, with guaranteed rates and availability. Event organizers will also benefit from viewing inventory availability before submitting an RFP for more complex events. Real-time pricing and availability reduce the booking process for smaller meetings from weeks to minutes. The combination of these two capabilities changes the hotel sourcing process into an instant booking one.

    “We are thrilled to have Choice Hotels join the GroupSync Marketplace,” said Kemp Gallineau, CEO, Groups360. “Their involvement is a testament to our shared commitment to reducing transaction friction in group travel planning. This technology roll-out will help franchisors like Choice continue their history of innovation, enhance their customer relationships, and deliver an improved event planning experience at Choice properties. With the addition of Choice, we anticipate that over 20,000 leading hotel properties will be equipped to offer GroupSync’s online instant group booking functionality in the months ahead.”

    Choice’s commitment to GroupSync technology extends further by allowing its properties worldwide to choose GroupSync Marketing™ for property-level content curation and promotion management tools.

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