News Briefs

  • 10/2/2023

    WorkJam Partners with UKG to elevate Frontline Employee Management for Global Enterprises

    workjam logo

    WorkJam, a digital frontline workplace, announced it has partnered with UKG, a provider of HR, payroll and workforce management solutions, to transform how global enterprises manage their workforces, engage their employees and optimize their human capital strategies. The partnership will combine the cutting-edge features of WorkJam’s super app, including task management, communication, schedule self-service and ESS as well as learning, with the robust capabilities of UKG Pro Workforce Management (previously called UKG Dimensions) to simplify frontline workforce management for large and mid-sized organizations, while helping them increase efficiency, engagement and operational execution.

    “We’re proud to partner with UKG and combine the power of the UKG Pro Workforce Management suite with our digital frontline workplace to give our enterprise customers greater ability to manage and engage their hourly employees,” said Steven Kramer, CEO of WorkJam. “This integration enables organizations to forge stronger connections with their frontline staff, drive targeted communications and simplify task management to increase productivity and efficiency.”

    “With one of the largest and most collaborative partner ecosystems focused on creating great workplace experiences, our technology partnership with WorkJam is the latest example of how we’re helping organizations unlock the full potential of their people,” said Mike May, vice president of technology partnerships at UKG. “With employees being asked to utilize so many applications daily, a seamless technology experience is foundational to becoming a great workplace.”

    UKG Pro Workforce Management is an AI-powered suite that spans time and attendance, scheduling, analytics, strategic workforce planning, and compliance tailored by industry that emphasizes platform extensibility and a modern employee experience. WorkJam is the leading digital frontline workplace enabling large enterprises to orchestrate their frontline workforces to improve productivity, engagement and retention. The company offers a best-in-class suite of modular features including dynamic shift scheduling, seamless communication channels, task management tools and training modules.

    The integration will enable retail, hospitality, manufacturing, healthcare and logistics enterprises to:

    • Increase workforce efficiency by ensuring optimized labor allocation and scheduling accuracy, reducing overstaffing and understaffing while improving resource utilization.
    • Boost employee engagement by empowering hourly employees to manage their schedules, collaborate with one another, access training resources and manage tasks more easily.
    • Strengthen compliance and risk mitigation by making it easier to adapt swiftly to changing regulations.
    • Support effective learning and communication at scale by ensuring a noiseless and personalized environment for each employee to have access to relevant communications, knowledge assets and curriculums.

    In addition, the integration provides enterprises with rich data and analytics, enabling organizations to make more informed decisions to improve operations and human capital strategies.

  • 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.

  • 10/2/2023

    MeetingPackage Raises $4.6 Million in Series A Funding to Boost European Growth and Forge into the North American Market

    meetingpackage logo

    MeetingPackage, an all-in-one sales automation software specializing in venue and group bookings, has secured a $4.6 million Series A round led by Scale Capital. While MeetingPackage is already cash-flow positive and profitable, this additional funding will be used to accelerate growth in Europe and to facilitate expansion into the North American market.

    Furthermore, this funding will empower MeetingPackage to enhance its product suite to accommodate online bedroom bookings for groups and to extend its integrations to multiple Sales and Catering and Property Management Systems.

    Significant progress in recent years

    Three years in a row, hoteliers around the globe have ranked MeetingPackage as the best venue-booking software in the industry-standard Hotel Tech Awards. MeetingPackage is the driving force behind the seamless online booking experiences of more than 6000 properties from independent hotels to global brands. With the new funding and product enhancements, MeetingPackage expects to serve an even larger customer base, covering direct, indirect, online and offline channel sales for groups and meetings & events.

    "At Scale Capital, we have been impressed by the trajectory and focus that MeetingPackage has demonstrated in recent years. MeetingPackage has built a comprehensive product suite, assembled an ambitious and determined team of industry experts, and demonstrated consistent growth and profitability - a rare feat in today's market. We are excited to lead the investment round and support the European and US expansion of the company” remarked Lars Jensen, Managing Partner at Scale Capital.

    Into the future

    The vision of MeetingPackage is to make meeting & event services bookable everywhere.

    “We continue to refine and to innovate our product offerings to meet the evolving needs of the hospitality industry. Our team is gearing up to unveil a series of new features to streamline operations and elevate customer experience. We aspire to set new benchmarks for efficiency, user-friendliness, and customization,” said Joonas Ahola, CEO & Founder of MeetingPackage.

    The expansion into the North American market signifies a key milestone in the growth of MeetingPackage. This move represents not just a geographical expansion, but also a strategic initiative to foster collaborative relationships with local industry players, thereby cultivating a rich ecosystem.

    Joonas continues, "We are stepping into an era where technology creates unparalleled opportunities to the hospitality industry. With a solid foundation and a clear vision for the future, we are ready to redefine what is possible in the venue and group booking domain. This is just the beginning, and we couldn't be more excited to lead the change towards a more connected and efficient industry. Together, with our stakeholders we are setting the stage for a future where MeetingPackage not only meets but exceeds the expectations of the modern venue and group booking landscape.”

  • 10/2/2023

    Fiserv Deepens Clover and BentoBox Integration to Unify Restaurant Operations

    fiserv logo

    Fiserv, Inc., a global provider of payments and financial technology, announced deeper integrations between the Clover point of sale and business management platform and the BentoBox Marketing & Commerce Platform. In addition to an existing Online Ordering integration, the Clover platform now seamlessly integrates with more BentoBox solutions including Catering, Reservations, Kiosk, and Menu Management. Together, Clover and BentoBox offer restaurants an all-in-one technology solution that unifies the in-person experience with the online restaurant. Further, the integrations will help restaurant operators deliver seamless hospitality experiences to diners while simultaneously implementing more efficient processes for operators.

    The Clover platform now integrates with the following BentoBox Marketing & Commerce Platform solutions:

    • Reservations: Once the table status is updated in the Clover platform, the reservation status is also automatically updated. So, when a check is paid with Clover, the next reservation is automatically notified that their table will be ready soon and they should go to the host stand. This maximizes staff efficiency by eliminating the need for manual updating of table status and manual notification to reservation diners, ultimately creating a better diner experience as they get to their reserved table on time.

    • Catering: Online catering orders will flow through the Clover platform, so operators can see and centrally manage all orders—on-premise, online, and catering—in one place. With this integration, restaurants will be able to pull one report for data insights about their diners and their business, creating a single source of truth that unifies staff in the front and back of house. 

    • Menu Management: Operators will have a single source of truth for their menus. If they update their menu through the Clover platform, it will also update the menu on their website or update the menu item for online ordering, Kiosk, or catering. 

    • Kiosk: The existing Kiosk that includes Clover payment processing and Samsung hardware is now powered by BentoBox software that allows diners to place orders via the interactive display. Diners can also pay at the Kiosk using a Clover Flex 3, with no restaurant staff required.  

    “As restaurants continue to evolve in an increasingly digital marketplace, they require partners who provide purposeful technology designed to meet the needs of both the business and the customer,” said Dan Bjerke, Global Head of Clover. "Integrating Clover and BentoBox solutions help to ensure smoother, simpler day-to-day operations and the ability to further tap into omnichannel capabilities.”

    “It’s more important than ever for restaurants to create seamless technology experiences for their staff and customers, from the moment diners look at the restaurant online to when they pay their check at the table,” said Krystle Mobayeni, Founder of BentoBox and Head of Restaurant Solutions at Fiserv. “We’re thrilled to deepen our integration with Clover as we work to simplify restaurant operations for businesses everywhere–enhancing operational efficiency, boosting revenue potential, and cultivating customer loyalty in the process.” 

    Clover is a complete business management system enabling businesses to maximize their operating efficiencies, grow their customer base, and accept customer payments. Businesses using Clover can accept payments of any type, including Apple Pay®, Google Pay®, Samsung Pay®, contactless credit or debit cards, and other digital wallets. As a point-of-sale platform for merchants, Clover processes over $234 billion in payments each year.

    BentoBox, the 2023 Restaurant Technology Partner of the James Beard Foundation, empowers thousands of restaurants to deliver on their mission of hospitality. With the BentoBox Marketing & Commerce Platform, restaurants are able to unify their technology into an all-in-one commerce engine that delivers a seamless guest experience, a better operator experience and sustainable growth. The Platform enables restaurants to build their online presence, diversify revenue, engage with diners and increase operational efficiency through websites, ordering, reservations, marketing tools and more.

  • 10/2/2023

    Historic Windermere House Swaps 'Dinosaur' Software for Enterprise Accounting Solution

    Exterior of Windermere House

    Overlooking Lake Rosseau since 1870, the iconic Victorian landmark Windermere House needed to modernize its accounting and back-office functions in keeping with its status as Muskoka’s premiere hotel and resort. Management company B•Hospitality tapped Aptech’s PVNG enterprise accounting solution to keep the property’s accounting and financial systems on the same page internally and companywide as B•Hospitality prepares for further growth.

    “Shortly after acquiring ownership of this iconic resort earlier this year, we discovered that several of our systems, including our back-office accounting system, would not suffice for our business growth plans,” said Roger Oei, B•Hospitality Vice President, Finance. “The flexibility, future development, and scalability of the existing solution did not align with our anticipated expansion.”

    Previously, the property used a locally developed, PMS-integrated back-office system that is no longer being consistently updated. Oei said software that doesn’t get developed on a continuous basis becomes a dinosaur very quickly.  He needed software he can rely on, that continues to be developed and supported.

    “Developers come and go,” said Oei, “but software support is key, and Aptech has been impeccable in that regard.”

    Windermere House chose PVNG as its preferred accounting solution due to the great success the product delivered at its sister property, the Cambridge Hotel & Conference Centre, in Cambridge, Ontario, said Oei. This 138-room property has been using the system – which handles accounts payable, accounts receivable, general ledger, statistics, financials, and bank reconciliation, all with user-friendly browser navigation – since 2015.

    “Adding PVNG as our dedicated back-office solution will enhance our ability to financially manage and strategically plan our financial growth and success at Windermere House,” said Oei.  “We expect that our favorable experiences at the Cambridge Hotel & Conference Centre will be repeated at the resort.  Further, by expanding our hotel footprint in partnership with PVNG, it will allow our financial team to share resources and knowledge across our hotel properties.”

    Oei and his staff members find PVNG very intuitive, easy to use, and scalable. “As we standardize accounting and finance across our hotel properties, it allows me from a financial perspective to use my people resources at different properties without their having to learn new software,” he said.

    Windermere House will use the system’s general ledger, financial reporting, cash book, and payables functions. The property’s previous back-office system had reporting limitations and relied heavily on paper documents.

    “PVNG has the ability to attach images and backup documents, so information retrieval is easier,” Oei said.

    One of Oei’s favorite PVNG capabilities is its ability to drill down from their monthly reports to identify business reasons behind a particular result. When budgeting, the software enables users to access any journal entry, including backup documentation and invoices, as needed. “From a payroll perspective as well, it allows us to drill down to entries to the payroll register,” he said.

    These self-service capabilities will allow hotel staff members and B•Hospitality’s corporate financial team to perform financial analysis largely without back-and-forth communication regarding specific reports.

    Windermere House (www.windermerehouse.com) offers not only spectacular vistas, but also lasting memories. Accommodations include 58 rooms and suites, along with the private, four-bedroom Windermere Cottage, which was undergoing renovation at press time.

    The PVNG implementation will occur during a planned six-week shutdown in mid-October, after the Canadian Thanksgiving celebration, with reopening scheduled for the third week of November. Traditionally a May-through-September seasonal operation, Windermere House also will use Aptech’s accounting solution to serve guests year-round. “We already have a number of group conferences, corporate events, and holiday parties booked as we head to the holiday season,” Oei said.

    Going forward, B•Hospitality plans to migrate a Florida property to PVNG as well. With all 3 of its hotels initially on different back-office systems, side-by-side comparative analysis proved very cumbersome. PVNG will allow such comparisons easily, quickly, and efficiently.

    “As we continue the traditions at Windermere House in delivering exceptional service and unforgettable generational shared experiences with all our guests,” Oei said, “we are elated to have Aptech as one of our key partners in building our continued success at B•Hospitality.”

    Sam Costa, Aptech Director of Client Success, added, “We take great pride in being able to provide PVNG’s enterprisewide functionality to another B•Hospitality property. We are confident that as the company’s footprint expands, Windermere House and their other properties will benefit from the companywide visibility and strategic decision-making capabilities that our solution provides.”

  • 10/2/2023

    Chipotle Teams Up with Hyphen to Begin Testing New Digital Makeline

    chipotle employee uses new digital makeline tech

    Chipotle Mexican Grill announced it is testing an automated digital makeline in collaboration with Hyphen, a foodservice platform designed to help restaurant owners, operators, and budding chefs move their business forward by automating kitchen operations. Bowls and salads are created by an automated system that moves the entrées through the bottom makeline where ingredients for the order are dispensed automatically. In tandem, a Chipotle team member can leverage the top makeline to create burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and kid’s meals for the same digital order.

    See Chipotle’s Hyphen digital makeline in action here.

    Photos of the Hyphen digital makeline can be accessed here.

    How It Works

    1. Digital orders would be placed via the Chipotle app, Chipotle.com, or third-party platforms.  
    2. If the order included a bowl or salad, those entrées would be routed to Hyphen’s automated system. The bowl traverses along the bottom makeline and positions itself under the specified ingredient container. The intelligent dispensers dynamically portion each ingredient into the bowl. If the order included burritos, tacos, quesadillas, or kid’s meals, a Chipotle team member would use the top of the same makeline to create those entrées.
    3. The completed bowl or salad would be raised from the bottom makeline and revealed at the end of the makeline through an opening in the countertop. A Chipotle team member would place a lid on the entrée and add any final items such as chips, side salsas, or guacamole to the order.
    4. Completed orders would be placed in their designated pick-up area: in-restaurant pickup shelves, walk-up window, or Chipotlane.

    Impact on Chipotle Team Members and Guests
    Approximately 65% of all Chipotle digital orders are bowls or salads, so the cobotic digital makeline has the potential to free up more time for employees to service the front makeline and deliver exceptional hospitality, while simultaneously increasing capacity for digital orders during peak periods.

    The new digital makeline could also help enhance digital order accuracy, improving the guest experience.

    "Chipotle's new digital makeline built by Hyphen embodies our commitment to leveraging robotics to unlock the human potential of our workforce, ensuring an elevated dining experience for our guests,” said Curt Garner, Chief Customer and Technology Officer. “Our goal is to have the automated digital makeline be the centerpiece of all our restaurants’ digital kitchens.” 

    Chipotle’s Investment in Hyphen
    Chipotle invested in Hyphen as part of Cultivate Next, the company's $50 million venture fund that intends to make early-stage investments into strategically aligned companies that further its mission to Cultivate a Better World and help accelerate its aggressive growth plans. As a people-first company, Chipotle is seeking opportunities that will elevate the human experience for its teams as well as increase access and convenience for its guests. Investments may include innovations in farming and supply chain, advanced robotics, alternative proteins, and more.

    Through Cultivate Next, Chipotle also invested in Vebu, a product development company that works with food industry leaders to co-create intelligent automation and technology solutions. Earlier this year, Chipotle and Vebu unveiled the Autocado, an avocado processing cobotic prototype that cuts, cores, and peels avocados before they are hand mashed to create the restaurant's famous guacamole. 

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