News Briefs

  • 6/21/2023

    Shiji and IPORT Partner to Transform Hotel Restaurant Operations with All-in-One Tablet and Payment Device Solution

    Shiji teaser logo

    Shiji, a global hospitality technology innovator, has partnered with IPORT, an award-winning manufacturer known for enhancing the usability of iPads and iPhones, to introduce an all-in-one software solution for hotel restaurants. This collaboration will provide hoteliers with a seamless combination of a tablet and payment device to maximize their F&B operations.

    The integrated iOS and payment device solution simplifies guest service for hotel restaurant servers, providing them with an effortless tool to cater to their guests' needs. As a certified Apple partner, Shiji and IPORT guarantee exceptional performance and reliability. Hoteliers can choose from multiple device options, including iPad Pro, iPad Mini, and iPhone, ensuring flexibility and compatibility with their operations.

    “IPORT products are built around modularity and flexibility that empower our hospitality customers to do more with the iOS platform. We are thrilled to partner with a leading iPad and iPhone cloud PMS and POS platform provider like Shiji,” said Chris Lawson, Head of Partnerships, IPORT. “We look forward to innovating with Shiji in disrupting legacy, monolithic providers who have limited the industry from harnessing the power of iOS and mobility. The future is bright, and the possibilities are endless with IPORT, iOS, and Shiji.”

    "The partnership with IPORT is a significant milestone for Shiji in our commitment to provide innovative technology solutions for the hospitality industry," said Ryan King, Senior Vice President of Shiji in the Americas. "By combining our expertise with IPORT’s hardware solutions, we empower hoteliers to streamline restaurant operations and deliver exceptional guest experiences. This collaboration represents another step forward in our dedication to driving success in the Americas, and globally."

    The tablet and payment device solution seamlessly integrates with multiple payment gateways, allowing hoteliers to choose the system that best suits their needs. By simplifying the payment process, it reduces operational complexities, minimizes errors, and saves valuable time and resources for hoteliers.

  • 8/17/2023

    Juniper Group Acquires Vervotech, a Leading Hotel and Room Mapping Solutions Provider

    Vervotech logo

    Juniper Group is excited to announce the successful acquisition of Vervotech, a tech start-up making significant strides in the Travel Industry with innovative products, particularly hotel mapping and room mapping solutions.

    Vervotech's flagship product, Vervotech Mappings, has gained widespread recognition in the travel sector for its ability to ensure consistency and accuracy in hotel data. This strategic addition complements Juniper's powerful booking engine, setting the stage for a synergistic collaboration that aims to revolutionize the industry.

    With this acquisition, Vervotech gains access to Juniper's extensive resources and vast industry knowledge. This empowers the company to enhance the capabilities of its products, making them more intelligent and efficient, while also investing further in research and development to remain at the forefront of cutting-edge travel technology.

    "Joining forces with Juniper is an incredible opportunity for Vervotech to impact the global travel industry. By combining our expertise with Juniper's industry-leading booking engine, we'll deliver unparalleled value to our customers and partners," said Sanjay Ghare, Co-founder and CEO of Vervotech. "Leveraging Juniper's network and resources, we aim to establish a strong foothold in Europe, North America, and the Middle East, providing cutting-edge solutions to a diverse range of travel companies and enhancing their business performance."

    With this acquisition, Vervotech will continue to operate independently, driven by the same passion and dedication that has made them a leading force in the travel technology sector. This will enable Vervotech to integrate with more tech partners, alongside Juniper Travel Technology, allowing the company to serve more customers around the world.

    "We are excited to welcome Vervotech to the Juniper family," said Jaime Sastre, CEO at Juniper Group. "Their mapping products and solutions perfectly align with our vision of driving transformation in the travel industry through advanced technology. With Vervotech's expertise, we are confident in providing our customers and our travel technology companies with even more comprehensive and reliable mapping solutions, empowering them to thrive in today's competitive landscape."

  • 8/17/2023

    eTip Debuts Digital Tipping Platform In Europe

    eTip logo

    eTip, the leading cashless tipping and digital gratuity platform in North America, today announces its general market availability in the United Kingdom (UK) and various nations of the European Union (EU). The launch furthers eTip’s market expansion strategy, enabling it to service customers with global portfolios and franchise businesses, as well as to reach new international service industry businesses. The launch solidifies eTip as the pioneering solution for digital tipping internationally with support for customers operating in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

    “eTip has been on the forefront of providing digital tipping to customers in the US and Canada,” notes Nicolas Cassis, CEO and Co-founder at eTip. “With expanded market availability, we can meet the demand we’ve heard from customers with global portfolios, as well as support non-US brands eager to provide tipping and gratuity payouts to hospitality, retail, and restaurant workers in real time.”

    eTip’s customers range across the services sector, including retail, restaurants, hospitality, and any industry where a worker’s income includes gratuity, tips, and service fees. Customers include leading brands across these industries that leverage eTip’s platform to support digital acceptance and disbursements of gratuity and tipping that utilize eTip as a benefit to incentivize employee retention, as well as businesses that wish to provide their guests with a secure and contact-free way to show cashless appreciation for services directly from their digital wallets or with a QR code.

    eTip accelerated its efforts to launch in Europe to prepare customers in advance of changes to European labor regulations that are actively impacting any businesses that accept tips. In May 2024, the UK’s Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act 2022 received royal assent. The Act creates a legal obligation for employers to fairly distribute gratuity, tips, and applicable service charges between workers and is slated to be enforced by May 2024. With eTip, impacted businesses can seamlessly meet the new requirements, including digitally dividing qualifying tips and charges fairly, allocating tips instantly, well within the one-month payout period, and maintain records in line with reporting standards. Further, the eTip employee app enables workers to track gratuity and tips in a single app, request payouts in real time, and hold employers accountable to the new standards. The regulation follows similar regulatory reforms sweeping Europe, including Ireland’s Payment of Wages (Amendment) (Tips and Gratuities) Act 2022 which went into effect in December 2022 and where eTip is already actively working with customers.

    In addition to the ability to meet current changes and forthcoming regulatory requirements in tipping, customers working with eTip benefit by being able to scale digital tipping to existing or upcoming operational expansion plans. Customers can leverage eTip’s existing benefits integration or utilize its turnkey service, lowering the barrier of setting up payouts when entering a new market. Further reducing employee onboarding friction, eTip is available in multiple languages, including Spanish, Italian, French, English, and any language native to the markets its customers operate in.

    The general availability of eTip in Ireland, the United Kingdom, and in time, all nations of the EU is a critical step in its broader vision to bolster service sector businesses and empower workers globally by digitizing archaic cash-heavy functions with a seamless digital tipping and gratuity solutions.

  • 8/16/2023

    SparkPlug Joins Toast Partner Ecosystem

    sparkplug logo

    SparkPlug and Toast announced their official partnership, enabling restaurants to motivate and reward frontline staff.

    SparkPlug is an incentive platform for restaurants to leverage their employee roster and menu items to launch personalized incentives, show employee standings in real time, automate payouts, and track ROI, all in a confidential, centralized dashboard.

    Toast is a cloud-based, all-in-one digital technology platform purpose-built for the entire restaurant community. It works with integration partners in its Toast Partner Ecosystem, a curated portfolio of more than 200 partners who deliver specialized technology and services to help restaurant operators increase sales, engage guests, and keep employees happy.

    "We are thrilled to welcome SparkPlug to the Toast Partner Ecosystem, and delighted to offer our customers automated and personalized staff incentives through SparkPlug's platform," says Keith Corbin, Senior Director, Business Development from Toast. "By partnering with SparkPlug, restaurants can now motivate and retain staff with customized incentives."

    Impact is seen quickly, as evidenced by Joy Hill restaurant in Denver, which experienced a remarkable 450% increase in Kimchi Pizza sales and a 128% surge in Gelato units sold within the initial month of implementing the first SparkPlug campaign.

    Restaurants benefit from the SparkPlug and Toast integration in multiple ways:

    • Real-time ROI tracking: View incentive campaign ROI, period-over-period sales lift, and employee standings via a secure analytics dashboard.
    • Gamification: Introduce an element of friendly competition, as employee leaderboards are updated daily, further encouraging a high level of customer service and teamwork.
    • Improved staff retention: Easily identify and reward top performers, promoting employee loyalty and reducing turnover rates.

    "In the face of the ongoing labor shortage, it is crucial for restaurants and food service operators to adopt inventive strategies to attract, sustain, and retain outstanding employees," stated Jake Levin, Co-Founder and COO of SparkPlug. "We are excited to collaborate with Toast in equipping businesses with the necessary resources to inspire, engage, and compensate their staff, which will aid them in overcoming the current labor challenges and retaining skilled workers long-term."

    By fostering a culture of recognition and reward, incentives will boost staff morale, job satisfaction, and retention, ultimately translating into a better guest experience.

  • 8/16/2023

    Airtame Democratizes Screen Sharing in Hotel Conference Rooms with All-New ‘Share from Browser’ Feature

    airtame share from browser feature on television

    Airtame, creator of the hardware-enabled SaaS platform that allows seamless collaboration in businesses, launched a powerful new screen sharing feature that makes presentations in hotel conference rooms simpler and more secure than ever before. With the new award-winning Share from Browser feature, local businesses and hotel guests utilizing conference rooms and boardrooms can use any popular web browser to instantly initiate screen sharing from personal devices to Airtame-powered displays without requiring any new app downloads, installations or cables and dongles, ensuring a simple and efficient meeting experience.

    “Share from Browser addresses some of the most pressing criticisms of modern collaboration tools in conference rooms, and democratizes screen sharing and hybrid communication for all users,” said Susanne Lund, Airtame CEO. “This is especially useful for businesses utilizing hotel space for important meetings. They do not want to spend valuable time figuring out how to screen share, which could create a frustrating experience. We are always looking for ways to make collaboration easier and more powerful, and in hotels it’s especially vital that all users paying to utilize conference rooms are able to quickly and easily present their content without training, from whatever device they are using.”

    With no login, training or special skills required, Share from Browser eliminates any existing barriers to wireless screen sharing for in-person presentations while enhancing digital security. Once connected to the local WiFi network, a guest can simply follow on-screen instructions to visit the Airtame Browser web app on their personal device, then choose whether they want to share their whole desktop or a specific browser tab or window. Because users don’t have to enter any personal passwords or credentials to connect, they can display their content and presentations without downloading any software or sharing any private information.

    Share from Browser is compatible with Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Safari, for ultimate flexibility and easy access, and will be available on all Airtame screens on subscription.

    The launch of Share from Browser follows a beta period in which Airtame users provided feedback on the feature’s strengths and weaknesses, resulting in a refined user experience that ensures foolproof screen sharing.

    “Airtame is constantly developing new platform features and benefits to make flexible and hybrid conference room collaboration more efficient and reliable,” Lund said. “Share from Browser maximizes productivity and delivers a seamless screen sharing experience for all Airtame users from CEOs to visiting guests – in the coming months we will support the same experience for conferencing to continue our mission to remove obstacles and stressors from collaboration technology.”

  • 8/16/2023

    Palmer Digital Group Launches On-Wall Outdoor Digital Menu Boards

    digital menu board on a brick wall

    Palmer Digital Group, a full-service manufacturer and installer of custom indoor and outdoor digital kiosks, display enclosures, and drive-thru menu boards, announces a new line of on-wall outdoor digital menu boards for the restaurant industry. The new series targets QSRs and fast casual restaurants that lack real estate for traditional menu board structures, including businesses located in outdoor shopping centers, strip malls and busy urban areas.

    The OWDMB series offers single, double, and triple display configurations, with display sizes of 46, 49, and 55 inches.  Chuck Lewis, Vice President, Palmer Digital Group (PDG), explains that PDG launched the on-wall outdoor OWDMB series based on feedback from businesses challenged by narrow drive-thru lanes. 

    “An increasing number of QSRs and fast casual restaurants have embraced drive-thru business as an important revenue generator, and many of these businesses simply don’t have the room to install pedestal-style menu board structures,” said Lewis. “We felt that all QSRs should be able to benefit from digital menu boards even if they have tight drive-thru lanes, so we created a new product line to solve these problems.”

    Unlike PDG’s pedestal-style displays, the on-wall outdoor menu boards do not require a concrete foundation. Systems are easily mounted on a flat wall surface capable of supporting up to 600 pounds, which can be achieved by first mounting a sheet of ¾-inch outdoor-grade plywood to the wall. Power and data cords are run through the wall in advance of installation, with OWDMB display heights recommended between 48 and 52 inches relative to the center of viewer sightlines.

    PDG provides in-house-built IP56-rated enclosures with each OWDMB on-wall digital menu board system to protect against inclement weather elements and other natural intrusions. The enclosure also houses the company’s quad-outlet box, surge filters and media players, and is discreetly mounted to remain out of customer sightlines. 

    Lewis notes that PDG values the customer feedback it receives because it leads to new solutions, such as the OWDMB series. “Our partners and end customers are our eyes and ears in the field, and can see any problems or issues that we may not be able to identify during the product design phase,” he said. “We take suggestions seriously and try to incorporate any changes or modifications that will not raise the cost of the existing equipment to satisfy the needs of our customers.” 

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