News Briefs

  • 9/19/2023

    PPDS Launches New Philips Professional Soundbar Bringing Powerful Cinematic Audio Experiences to Hotel Rooms with Philips MediaSuite TVs

    Philips Professional Soundbar

    PPDS, the exclusive global provider of Philips professional displays and dedicated AV software solutions, is delighted to announce the launch of the powerful two-in-one Philips Professional Soundbar HAL5023 with built-in subwoofer, designed for Philips MediaSuite TVs.

    Continuing PPDS’ accelerated ‘total solutions’ strategy, the new Philips Professional Soundbar combined with Philips MediaSuite – the world’s most advanced dedicated hotel TV – delivers the industry’s ultimate audiovisual experience, transforming hotel guest rooms into highly immersive cinematic experiences.

    Designed and built in collaboration with TP Vision’s Philips sound team the slick and stylish trapezoid-design (W70 x D12 x H7cm) Philips Professional Soundbar features a professional 2.1 channel setup, with an output power of 200 W max / 100 W RMS (10% THD), bringing crystal clear audio performance. The built-in subwoofer adds an extra punch, immersing guests even deeper into the action. 

    Suite sound installations

    Back-end controls through Philips MediaSuite TVs also allow for specific configurations to be put in place, including volume limits, ensuring surrounding rooms are not impacted or disturbed.

    Designed for fast and effortless installation, the freestanding or wall mountable (brackets included as standard) Philips Professional Soundbar, can be easily configured using the professional setup menu on the Philips MediaSuite TV. All related settings can be quickly and efficiently copied and transferred to the entire TV fleet remotely through cloning via PPDS CMND, saving significant installation times and costs.

    Controlling your experience

    Removing the need for multiple controllers, the Philips Professional Soundbar can be controlled using the standard Philips MediaSuite TV remote. Alternatively, the Philips Soundbar can double as a high-end speaker system for guests wishing to play their preferred music, podcasts, and radio stations via apps and accounts on their own personal devices. This can be achieved either through Bluetooth or via Philips MediaSuite’s inclusive Chromecast built-in technology.

    With security a key feature on Philips MediaSuite TVs – and all PPDS solutions – all customer data, including Bluetooth pairing information from personal devices, is immediately cleared upon check out from the hotel.

    Conforming with Philips MediaSuite’s impressive, near cable-free presentation, the Philips Professional Soundbar also comes equipped with a custom-designed power cable adapter*, enabling it to be powered via a single power socket, shared with the TV. An anti-theft cable to help prevent unauthorised removal of the device is also included.

    Jeroen Verhaeghe, Global Business Development Director Hospitality, commented: “Philips MediaSuite was designed to enhance and, in many aspects, reinvent the hotel room experience, accommodating all the features and services guests are accustomed to in their own homes, within the hotel room. With a long-term commitment to offering Chromecast built-in™ technology, together with unrivalled relationships with streaming giants, such as Netflix, we’ve revolutionised the way people can access and enjoy their favourite movies and shows on the road. Today, we’re providing the opportunity for hoteliers to take that experience to the next level, with the Philips Professional Soundbar.”

    Jan van Hecke, Global Product Manager Professional TV, added: “With today’s announcement, the industry's most advanced professional TV solution has just been given the perfect upgrade with even greater, more powerful sounding audio. With Philips Professional Soundbar, the in-room experience, for many, can now surpass that enjoyed at home, changing guests’ perceptions of hotels, and helping to ensure positive reviews and repeat business.”

    The Philips Professional Soundbar is due to be available in warehouses Q4, 2023.

  • 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.

  • 9/19/2023

    Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza & Wings Drops AI Phone Solution

    Anthony's coal fired pizza

    Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza & Wings is doing away with its automated phone answering system. From now on, customers will have a real person at the restaurant taking calls for their orders. 

    "Our guests have told us loud and clear that they want to speak with a human when placing orders," said Carl Bachmann, Chief Executive Officer of BurgerFi. "Technology is critical for innovation, but AI for guest service was not providing an exceptional experience for our guests. Becky – our AI – has been removed. It's time for her to go, so we're saying ciao, baby! We want our guests to know we welcome them back – and their calls!"

    As the rest of the world moves toward AI, Anthony's, owned by BurgerFi International Inc., is keeping it real and priority is doing what's best for the guest. The company will no longer use an automated answering system and instead will have humans operating their phones. Customers will get to chat with a live person instead of an AI. "Everyone at Anthony's must be serving a guest or someone who is," said Bachmann." It must be a win for the guests, a win for the team members and a win for our stakeholders."


  • 9/19/2023

    Cracker Barrel Adds Rewards

    Cracker Barrel Old Country Store  introduces Cracker Barrel Rewards. Members of the unique program can earn Pegs (like points) through restaurant or retail purchases and redeem them for rewards.

    Plus, members can enjoy more of what they love from Cracker Barrel with Birthday, Anniversary and Surprise Bonus Rewards, and one-of-a-kind digital experiences just for being a member.

    Earn Pegs toward Rewards

    The program is inspired by Cracker Barrel's iconic and beloved peg game. Members earn Pegs on qualifying purchases made at all Cracker Barrel locations, on and in the Cracker Barrel app for every dollar spent, including to-go, delivery, catering and retail merchandise.* The program is free and easy to join, and members receive a complimentary Barrel Bite appetizer just for signing up. To enroll, guests can visit any Cracker Barrel location nationwide, the Cracker Barrel app or

  • 9/19/2023

    Tim Hortons Promotes App, Credit Card Usage with Free Transit Mondays

    Tim Hortons credit card

    Starting Sept. 25 and through Nov. 6, Tims Credit Card holders can get up to $10 back on transit fares every Monday when they use their card to tap onto a transit system that accepts Metrolinx's Presto contactless payment.

    "We're so excited to be partnering with Metrolinx and some of the largest public transit systems in Ontario to give Tims Credit Card holders the opportunity to save money on their transit fares every Monday for a limited time," said Markus Sturm, Senior Vice President of Financial Services and Digital at Tim Hortons.

    Loyalty Pays

    Fans can apply for the Tims Credit Card through the Tim Hortons app and once approved, immediately can  their card to Apple Pay or Google Pay and be ready to get up to $10 off on transit fares on their Monday commute with this offer.

    Cardholders can also earn 5 Tims Rewards Points per dollar spent on their transit purchases. Points can be redeemed for more free coffee, beverages and food at Tim Hortons restaurants as a way to help fuel their Monday commutes.

  • 9/19/2023

    Travel Recovery Continues as Hoteliers Embrace Upselling with 70% Increase in Summer 2023, According to Mews Data Snap

    mews logo

    Mews, a hospitality cloud, released the Mews Data Snap, a real-time measure of hospitality’s performance during the summer of 2023 (June, July, and August). The report also compares this year’s data to summer 2022 to pinpoint how the hospitality sector is changing.

    Based on data from Mews partners worldwide, the Mews Data Snap unpacks hospitality’s performance across five key areas: occupancy, ADR and RevPar, online check-ins and upsells, and additional bookable spaces. 

    For the North American market in particular, key findings include:

    • Travel continues to move in a positive trend: average occupancy for summer 2023 was 62%, up 5% YOY. June was the best-performing month, while August saw the highest percentage of rooms occupied.
    • Increased rates didn’t deter consumers from traveling this summer: ADR and RevPAR saw clear, positive movement despite little change in occupancy. ADR rose 9% YOY ($25) to an average of $294, in part due to inflation among other factors. RevPAR saw a significant increase of 14% YOY ($22) to $178, including on average $30 higher in June YOY. 
    • Travelers continue to embrace the convenience and instant gratification of online check-in and upgrades: while the number of guests utilizing online check-in remained relatively the same YOY (nearly 20%), more guests upgraded their reservations via online check-in, as upselling increased 31% YOY to $51 per upgrade. Top upgrades include early check-in, pet fees, late check-out, breakfast, and drinks or food upon arrival. 
    • Non-room revenue is proving to be an excellent diversification strategy: nearly 20% of hotels in North America are selling additional bookable spaces to day guests and visitors (such as parking lots and meeting rooms), a 69% increase YOY, with average revenue generated per space increasing 22% YOY (an average of $362 extra per reservation). Monthly additional bookable service revenue more than doubled YOY. 

    “It’s easy to talk about hospitality trends based on what we feel is happening, but there’s no substitute for real data,” said Matt Welle, Mews CEO. “Not only can we see that people continue to return to travel, but the data shows that hoteliers are embracing the idea of hybrid hospitality and a more creative use of spaces and reaping the rewards.”

    To get the full picture of this summer’s performance across Mews hotel partners worldwide, download the Mews Data Snap: Summer 2023.

  • Show MoreShow More
This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds