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News Briefs

  • 5/21/2023

    NRA Show News: SpotOn Introduces Proprietary Restaurant Point-of-Sale Hardware

    spoton pos

    SpotOn unveiled the new SpotOn Restaurant, which combines the restaurant point-of-sale software with a suite of proprietary, patent-pending hardware designed by SpotOn. The new SpotOn Restaurant was built for efficiency, reliability, and ease of use, making it easier for restaurant staff to deliver a seamless experience for their guests.

    As a majority of restaurant operators describe their restaurant's technology as lagging rather than leading*, SpotOn set out to build a suite of premium hardware to meet the evolving needs of a modern restaurant. This includes the 15.6” Station, the 10” Counter, and the 6.5” Handheld, designed with input from highly-respected restaurant owners and operators in SpotOn’s Restaurant Advisory Council. 

    • Adding new features, functionalities, and modules to existing POS is a priority for 71% of respondents, according to HT’s  2023 POS Software Trends Report.

    • Station, the 15.6” point-of-sale features a HD touchscreen with a slender design that makes it quick and easy for servers to input orders from large menus with many modifiers while maintaining a small footprint. The Station is offered in multiple configurations, including an attached or detached guest-facing display, base payment reader, or side-mounted payment reader, all featuring contactless and dip payments technology. 
    • Counter, the 10” point-of-sale is ideal for limited counter space and smaller menus. The Counter offers contactless and dip payments technology and an optional guest-facing display to help improve speed and accuracy. 
    • Handheld, the 6.5” mobile point-of-sale is designed to increase the speed of service and comes with a leather hand strap for easy handling. The Handheld features integrated contactless and dip payments technology, enabling seamless tableside payment with a screen that automatically flips to face the guest. Operators can choose to include a laser scanner for loyalty sign-ups and redemptions.

    Based on input from its clients and advisors, SpotOn prioritized efficiency, reliability, and ease of use for restaurant staff and guests alike. 

    “When you’re operating high-volume restaurants, every minute counts,” said Benson Wang, Owner of Palm House Hospitality and member of SpotOn’s Restaurant Advisory Council. “The upgraded SpotOn Handheld with larger screens will make a major difference in speed and accuracy, making it easier for our team and giving them more time to focus on our guests.”  

    SpotOn will begin rolling out its new SpotOn Restaurant hardware in Q4. As part of the rollout, SpotOn is partnering with FIS to become a payment facilitator, providing more end-to-end control of payment processing for its clients. This will also open up tokenization, giving SpotOn clients a more in-depth view of their customer’s preferences and purchasing habits to provide a more personalized experience. 

  • 5/10/2023

    Wendy's Pilots Google Cloud's Generative AI

    Wendys global next gen drivethru

    Wendy's and Google Cloud announced an expanded partnership to pilot an artificial intelligence (AI) solution, Wendy's FreshAI. The technology has the potential to transform Wendy's drive-thru food ordering experience with Google Cloud's generative AI and large language models (LLMs) technology.

    Demand for Drive-Thru

    With 75 to 80 percent of Wendy's customers choosing the drive-thru as their preferred ordering channel, delivering a seamless ordering experience using AI automation can be difficult due to the complexities of menu options, special requests, and ambient noise. For example, because customers can fully customize their orders and food is prepared when ordered at Wendy's, this presents billions of possible order combinations available on the Wendy's menu, leaving room for miscommunication or incorrect orders. Google Cloud's generative AI capabilities can now bring a new automated ordering experience to the drive-thru that is intended to enhance the experience that customers, employees and franchisees expect from Wendy's. As HT reported last month, one Wendy's franchise, Wenspoke, is expanding its use of AI in the drive-thrus.

    "Wendy's introduced the first modern pick-up window in the industry more than 50 years ago, and we're thrilled to continue our work with Google Cloud to bring a new wave of innovation to the drive-thru experience," said Todd Penegor, President and CEO of the Dublin, Ohio-based QSR. "Google Cloud's generative AI technology creates a huge opportunity for us to deliver a truly differentiated, faster and frictionless experience for our customers, and allows our employees to continue focusing on making great food and building relationships with fans that keep them coming back time and again."

    Pilot Near HQ

    In June, Wendy's plans to launch its first pilot of Google Cloud's AI technology in a Columbus, Ohio-area, Company-operated restaurant, using those learnings to inform future expansions to more Wendy's drive-thrus. The pilot will include new generative AI offerings, such as Vertex AI and more, to have conversations with customers, the ability to understand made-to-order requests and generate responses to frequently asked questions. 

    This will all be powered by Google's foundational LLMs that have the data from Wendy's menu, established business rules and logic for conversation guardrails, and integration with restaurant hardware and the Point of Sale system. By leveraging generative AI, Wendy's seeks to take the complexity out of the ordering process so employees can focus on serving up fast, fresh-made, quality food and exceptional service.

    Today's update builds upon Google Cloud's and Wendy's long standing partnership to enhance the Wendy's restaurant experience. Since 2021, Wendy's has leveraged Google Cloud's data analytics, AI, machine learning (ML), and hybrid cloud tools to make it faster, easier, and more convenient for customers to access the brand.

  • 5/21/2023

    NRA Show News: GoTab Partners with OpenTable to Streamline FOH Operations

    GoTab order screen with man hands

    GoTab unveiled an integration with OpenTable to improve operations for a smoother-running, faster-turning front-of-house.

    Connecting OpenTable’s reservation data with checks on the GoTab point-of-sale (POS), the integration empowers restaurants with valuable insights into guest spend, table status and order history to paint a holistic view of the floor and streamline operations from host to management level. With real-time status updates on each table and automated check creation once a meal is completed, the integration enables restaurants to improve turnaround times and maximize throughput. Additionally, instant access to information from guests’ past visits and interactive reports provide visibility into real-time performance, revenue, and more, while allowing operators to provide a more personalized guest experience.

    Stone Brewing is the first operator to leverage the integration to increase efficiency and improve the guest experience at its tap rooms.

    “The GoTab and OpenTable integration (is) ... providing us with valuable insights into our guests’ spend, helping us manage our tables more effectively and getting real-time notifications when spend thresholds are reached,” said Allison Lawley, Director of Hospitality Operations at Stone Brewing. “With this integration, we can now provide our guests with even better service, making sure their experience at Stone Brewing is unforgettable.”

    OpenTable easily integrates into the GoTab POS to connect real-time data – such as table status and spend – providing the host and wait staff the information they need to increase turnover and enhance hospitality.

      To learn more about the GoTab and OpenTable integration, visit https://gotab.com/integrations/opentable.

       

    • 5/21/2023

      NRA Show News: Popmenu Leans Into AI

      diners eating

      In addition to a new offering that can create content on the fly with OpenAI’s GPT, Popmenu is sharing an advance peek at an AI feature that automatically recommends email, text, social, and event marketing campaigns based on guest behavior, order history, previous campaign performance and other inputs.

      Popmenu’s platform captures complete data about a restaurant’s guests, enables the restaurant to easily connect with guests and nurture relationships, and simplifies operations to ease pressure on staff as the business grows. Everything is built to provide restaurants with more control over their day-to-day with consolidated systems and better guest experiences.

      Popmenu is showcasing its latest AI offerings at the National Restaurant Association Show.

      Automated Social Posts: Popmenu has always helped restaurants get more from their menu and website. Now, Popmenu scans the restaurant’s entire website to recommend social posts each week promoting popular dishes, upcoming events, new reviews, opportunities to sign up as a VIP, and more. Operators can easily post an image and caption generated by OpenAI’s GPT on their social channels in a matter of seconds and, if they don’t like the caption, the technology will instantly rewrite it until they do.

      Advisor: Popmenu is showcasing the current version of its marketing recommendation feature as well as an exclusive sneak peek at the advanced version rolling out in the back half of the year. Show attendees can see how Popmenu automatically weaves marketing advice into its platform for guest outreach, ordering events, and other activities based on guest actions, online ordering history, effectiveness of prior campaigns, and more. For example, “This email offer generated $5,000 in online orders in March. You should run it again this week!”

      Popmenu will also roll out an automated, preset, monthly marketing calendar with suggested copy and images for social posts, emails, texts, and more based on guest behavior, effectiveness of prior communications, customer input, and best practices.

      Performance Overviews: Popmenu recently released dashboards that not only provide performance data, but make it easy to identify next best actions. They are also available via Popmenu’s app.

    • 5/21/2023

      Applova, Samsung Form Partnership for the Self-Serve Kiosk

      handshake partnership

      Applova Inc., a provider of restaurant digital ordering technology, is partnering with Samsung Electronics America Inc. to launch the all-inclusive kiosk to provide contactless ordering and payment solutions.  

      With the integrated Applova software, Samsung kiosks deliver end-to-end automation to manage every aspect of transactional ordering. The all-in-one kiosks come equipped with a high-definition touch-screen, card terminal, printers, and more. Samsung touch-screen display enhances customers’ purchasing experience with clear and crisp visuals to attract customers. Applova’s intelligent user interface provides personalized, multi-tier upselling on every transaction by making recommendations of targeted and relevant add-ons. Clover merchants can easily install the kiosk solution and seamlessly synchronize it with their dashboard.

      Applova kiosk solution reduces queues, increases consumer spending, drives customer engagement, and repeat orders through loyalty programs.

    • 5/21/2023

      Jurny Releases Free, AI-Enhanced PMS, Tools Powered by GPT-4

      ai_chatgpt

      Jurny Inc.'s. newest product, JurnyOS 2.0, is powered by GPT-4 and features dynamic AI tools designed to connect, optimize and automate operational tasks and guest management.

      JurnyOS 2.0 Highlights:

      • Nia is Jurny's advanced AI assistant built on GPT-4, which can automate tasks and enhance customer service while improving operational efficiency. It is already more accurate at many tasks than the average human agent and, thanks to generative AI, is rapidly improving each day; Nia can already handle full conversations with guests, making it infinitely scalable.
      • Jurny now offers a completely free PMS leveraging generative AI to assist hosts with managing their properties. With no onboarding fees, an intuitive UI, and the help of virtual assistant Nia, properties are live in minutes.
      • Jurny's new OS and PMS feature an integration for Airbnb. Property managers can sign in once to seamlessly connect to the Airbnb platform, sync content and historical data, update rates and availability, and receive bookings in real-time from the easy-to-use Jurny platform.
      • Jurny offers a natively integrated technology stack, including popular tools like Wheelhouse, Autohost, Minut and others for advanced analytics & reporting, channel management, reputation management, electronic payments, IoT access control, website development and more.

      For more information about Jurny's  hospitality technology ecosystem and to try its PMS with Nia for free, visit www.jurny.com.

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