News Briefs

  • 8/24/2023

    IHOP Adds AI to Online Food Ordering

    IHOP pancakes

    IHOP is partnering with Google Cloud to enhance its online ordering experience nationwide with AI technology. Logged-in guests ordering from IHOP online will soon see more helpful and personalized options, including suggestions for their favorite IHOP items that they frequently order. The brand is the first in the restaurant industry to use Google Cloud's Recommendations AI technology for online ordering specifically.

    Powering IHOP's new food ordering recommendation engine is Google Cloud's Recommendations AI solution, which draws on Google's years of experience in delivering recommended content across Google Ads, Google Search, and YouTube. With Recommendations AI, IHOP will lean into Google's experience and expertise in AI and machine learning to create a more personalized and tailored online ordering experience for guests based on customer preferences and changes to IHOP's menu offerings, pricing, and promotions. For example, if a guest has shown an affinity for spicy items in past orders, IHOP will be sure to recommend its new Poblano Eggs Benedicts.

    "At IHOP our guests always come first, and we're constantly making new investments and improvements to meet their evolving tastes and expectations. One of the biggest shifts we've seen with our guests is a preference for online ordering, with IHOP's to-go business rapidly growing to more than 20 percent of total sales in the last few years alone," said Kieran Donahue, chief marketing officer, IHOP. "Our new partnership with Google Cloud infuses AI into IHOP's online ordering experience, making it even easier for our guests to place online orders, quickly find the items they love, and discover our newest products relevant to their individual tastes and interests."

    The deployment of Google Cloud's AI capabilities across its nationwide online ordering system comes as IHOP has nurtured increased growth in online orders.

    In recent years, IHOP has optimized its to-go experience with the launch of a new website, an easy-to-use app, and guest loyalty program that offers exclusive rewards. Additionally, IHOP provides industry-leading to-go packaging that cuts down on moisture, while still trapping heat, thanks to its modular shape. The wide circular design was specifically built to accommodate the brand's signature pancakes.

    "Using Google Cloud's Recommendations AI and BigQuery products, our internal technology team developed an item recommendation engine, the first of its kind in the restaurant space using Google's AI," says Krish Lakshminarayanan, Dine Brands Vice President, Data and Analytics. "IHOP is now quickly building, training, configuring, and launching our own AI models that seamlessly interact with our guests and will provide them with a personalized online experience."

    IHOP's selection of Google Cloud's AI technology was based on a variety of factors, but importantly came down to the ability to fuse disparate data sources together, a flexible model, and overall ease-of-use.

  • 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.

  • 8/24/2023

    Subway Sold to Roark Capital, Parent Company of Jimmy John's

    Subway Inspire Brands Roark

    Subway has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by affiliates of Roark Capital, known in restaurant circles as the owner of Inspire Brands

    An Inspire Brand

    Roark is a private equity firm with $37 billion in assets under management including Inspire Brands' Arby's, Jimmy John's, Dunkin, SONIC and more. Roark focuses on investments in consumer and business service companies, with a specialization in franchise and franchise-like businesses.

    "This transaction reflects Subway's long-term growth potential, and the substantial value of our brand and our franchisees around the world," said John Chidsey, CEO of Subway. "Subway has a bright future with Roark, and we are committed to continuing to focus on a win-win-win approach for our franchisees, our guests and our employees."


    The transaction comes on the heels of Subway announcing its 10th consecutive quarter of positive same store sales. The company will continue to execute its strategy with a focus on sales growth, menu innovation, modernization of restaurants, overall guest experience improvements, and international expansion.

    J.P. Morgan is serving as financial advisor and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is serving as legal counsel to Subway. Timing is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

  • 8/23/2023

    Applicant Matching System Candydate: Apply Like TikTok, Hire Like Tinder

    candydate logo

    Businesses frustrated with time-consuming recruitment can now transform their hiring process via a new platform which leverages dating strategies, AI, and video to help businesses of all sizes find the best fit for their vacant positions. is an Applicant Matching System (AMS) which uses short videos and assistive AI technology to transform the traditionally arduous hiring process. It marries the visual appeal of social media-style video with the efficiency of artificial intelligence, while underscoring the importance of first impressions and collective decision making. It’s TikTok meets Tinder, but for recruitment and the result is an experience that makes the hiring process as sweet as candy.

    Unlike conventional Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), Candydate adapts to every avenue where job vacancies are advertised. From online platforms to print media, web portals, Tweets, stickers, and t-shirts, Candydate is wherever the opportunity is. It's simple: candidates can directly apply to a job offer without the hassle of forms, accounts, or downloads, using a link or QR code. 

    All that's required is a short video where candidates can express their personality and compatibility with the role, giving employers a more authentic representation of their applicants. This innovative approach mirrors speed dating, where compatibility is often gauged in the first few minutes.

    What sets Candydate apart from other recruitment processes is its AI-driven personality assessment. Advanced algorithms evaluate applicants based on a wide range of factors – from body language and personal traits to content – ensuring a strong alignment with both the role and the company’s culture. This approach makes the screening process faster and more efficient, leading to a drastic reduction in time-to-hire. Candydate makes hiring as easy as watching engaging videos or pressing a like button, all the while maintaining the rigor required to build a cohesive team.

    Candydate understands the diverse needs of different businesses, and therefore offers two options. There is an entirely free plan tailor-made for bootstrapping start-ups and gives the everything they need to manage their recruitment process at no cost. For larger businesses and those with more frequent hiring needs, the affordable PRO plan, priced at $99/month is ideal for non-stop hiring and more advanced needs. 

    Aleesa Coe, Candydate operations manager said, "Hiring is a challenging process, especially for small businesses without the luxury of recruitment expert and extensive HR tools. Candydate levels the playing field and provides an effective and affordable way for businesses to discover the right talent. Skills can be learned, but personality remains. 

    “We aim to find candidates who seamlessly blend into a company's culture and ethos, promoting a harmonious and more productive work environment. By focusing on personality traits, we hope to assist employers in avoiding costly hiring mistakes that occur when technical capabilities overshadow alignment with core values and goals."

    For more information, visit  

  • 8/22/2023

    Fourth Partners with Pendella to Bring Individual Life Insurance Benefits to Restaurant Employees

    handshake partnership

    Fourth has partnered with Pendella to provide individual life insurance offerings to Fourth’s human resources (HR) and payroll customers.

    According to financial research firm LIMRA, approximately 42% of Americans would experience financial difficulties within six months if the primary wage earner in their household were to pass away unexpectedly.

    Typically, group life insurance policies offered by employers offer either a flat sum of $20,000 or one-year’s salary as a benefit,” said Gene Cabrera, SVP of operations, HR and Payroll at Fourth. “It is far less than what an individual life insurance benefit could offer or what a family may need from an unexpected or catastrophic event.”

    Pendella's branded life insurance technology seamlessly merges with Fourth's workforce solution platform to create a completely digital process to shop, compare and buy financial coverage – all achieved without requiring a medical exam. Fourth’s HR and payroll customers can purchase comprehensive life insurance coverage for as low as $9 a month and in less than 15 minutes.

    By expanding the accessibility of life insurance, Fourth hopes to close a huge coverage gap in which about 50% of U.S. households (according to the 2022 Insurance Barometer Study by LIMRA) have no individual life insurance. 

    To learn more, join Fourth and Pendella on a live online session about “How Restaurants and Retail Chains can Win the Talent War” at

  • 8/22/2023

    Nomadix Hospitality Leader Mike Gray Named to HTNG Vendor Advisory Council

    Mike Gray, Nomadix

    ​​Nomadix® Inc​., bringing connected experiences to life, today announced its Global Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Mike Gray, has been re-elected for a third term to the HTNG Vendor Advisory Council. This leadership group is an important link between the vendor community, hoteliers and AHLA, as they tackle critical technology needs and shape priorities for the hospitality industry. Nomadix supports the efforts of this council and Gray’s continued dedication to the industry.

    The HTNG Vendor Advisory Council (VAC) represents the collective interests of technology vendors supporting the hospitality industry, focusing efforts on unlocking global business potential. The council strives to surface thought leaders, elevate workgroup outcomes, increase awareness of AHLA initiatives, strengthen Allied membership engagement and educate the hotelier community on industry-wide technology initiatives.

    “We could not be more pleased to welcome Mike Gray for another term on HTNG’s Vendor Advisory Council,” said AHLA CTO Michael Blake. “Mike holds a wealth of knowledge and experience that has helped direct technology advancement in our industry, and he continues to provide sound direction to help us move hospitality forward.”

    “I’m honored to have been re-elected to the HTNG Vendor Advisory Council by my peers and AHLA leadership. Having served on the council for the past six years, I’m excited to continue the important discussions and leading initiatives that improve hotel efficiencies, safety, profitability and technology for a stronger future,” said Mike Gray, global vice president of strategic partnerships at Nomadix.

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