News Briefs

  • 10/3/2023

    Samsung Partners With SoundHound and White Castle to Revolutionize Voice AI Drive-Thrus With Next-Gen Display Technology

    soundhound white castle samsung logos

    SoundHound AI, Inc., a provider of voice artificial intelligence (AI), and Samsung Electronics announced that they will be working together with White Castle, America’s first fast-food hamburger chain, to deploy next-generation, voice-enabled outdoor digital signage technologies that will revolutionize the way that brands interact with consumers.

    The ground-breaking collaboration will provide voice AI-enabled dynamic drive-thru menu boards to White Castle restaurant locations. The display technology combines SoundHound’s sophisticated proprietary speech recognition and Samsung’s MagicINFO™ digital signage software to provide an exceptional, interactive customer ordering experience, complete with intelligent, real-time insights for the brand.

    “With White Castle Cravers everywhere hungry for our hot and tasty menu options, we are investing in processing orders at the drive thru even more swiftly,” said Mike Guinan, Vice President of Operations Services at White Castle. “By working with tech innovators at SoundHound and Samsung, we’ve been able to create an engaging ordering experience that customers are loving. It’s the model for tomorrow today – and evidence of how friendly technology and great partners can be a game changer.”

    With the White Castle collaboration becoming the gold standard for using voice AI-enabled menu boards at the drive-thru – with orders processed in just under 60 seconds, and 90 percent order completion rates that exceed previous staff-based benchmarks – SoundHound and Samsung have committed to collaborate on future projects. The companies plan to deliver this scalable, repeatable format to drive sales while creating experiences that customers love.

    “In uniting our extensive voice AI expertise with Samsung’s MagicINFO display technology, we’ve created a first-class interactive experience for White Castle’s drive-thru customers,” says James Hom, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at SoundHound. “We look forward to finding new opportunities to partner to unlock the power of digital outdoor signage and turn menus into interactive restaurant portals with almost limitless possibilities.”

    “With MagicINFO, Samsung is helping transform menu boards from simple, static displays to personalized, easy-to-navigate experiences for the customer that also deliver business benefits to the restaurant,” said James Fishler, Senior Vice President of the Display & Home Entertainment Divisions at Samsung Electronics America. “By integrating SoundHound’s AI-driven voice technology, we’re providing an extraordinary experience for White Castle customers when it comes to enjoying what they love. This is just the beginning of a relationship that will propel their brand to the cutting-edge of customer experiences powered by innovation.”

  • 6/21/2023

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

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    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.

  • 10/3/2023

    SevenRooms Launches Revenue Management to Help Operators Increase Sales & Profitability

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    SevenRooms, a guest experience and retention platform for the hospitality industry, announced the launch of a new solution for restaurants: Revenue Management. The product serves as an engine for operators to generate more sales and profitability from the same seats, using data science to recommend how to optimize availability and increase table utilization.

    To survive current economic conditions, restaurants need solutions that can save them time, reduce their labor costs and increase their sales and profits. Inspired by effective revenue management strategies long-used by the travel industry, Revenue Management extends this practice to the restaurant industry. The product automates these processes without the need for analysts, additional staff or high-priced consultants to manage changes, helping to:

    • Fill more seats, more often to increase sales by reducing the time seats sit empty
    • Save time and reduce burdensome labor costs by automating in-depth analysis, quickly making changes with a 'do-it-for-me' option
    • Provide operators with easy-to-digest insights along with ready-to-use actions that demystify proven steps taken by revenue leaders

    Other systems on the market today may offer reporting on a handful of insights, but none help operators immediately action revenue-focused suggestions with a 'do-it-for-me' option that has an instant impact on their operations. Sample actions include recommendations on party size or dining duration configurations, when to institute cancellation policies to decrease last-minute cancellations, floor plan configuration recommendations and more. Diners also benefit, with more available reservations, a better dining experience (e.g. being sat on time and not being rushed out the door) and more unique experiences and offerings to choose from when dining out as operators have more time to focus on the guest experience.

    Notably, Revenue Management also gives operators insights into how much demand was missed across booking channels by summarizing data on recent reservation attempts. This helps operators better manage these channels and optimize their books to offer more reservations across their most profitable channels.

    "With Revenue Management, we are delivering on our promise to help operators make more money, providing a product that automatically executes on strategies used by the most successful hospitality brands throughout the world – without having to add team members or search out implementation experts," said Angela DeFranco, VP of Product at SevenRooms. "This tool is both proactive and reactive, helping operators uncover untapped opportunities while simultaneously working to identify potentially harmful configuration issues that may restrict venues from maximizing sales and profitability. Today's operators are busier than ever, and we are excited to bring Revenue Management to hospitality operators, helping them automatically fill more seats, more often while continuing to elevate their guest experiences."

  • 10/3/2023

    Fastpayhotels Launches a Unique Members-Only Brand Through DerbySoft

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    Fastpayhotels, a B2B accommodation distribution platforms, announces the launch of Zinantis, a new Distribution Private Club, through DerbySoft, the leading technology provider of high-performance Connectivity services.

    Zinantis is a unique brand where members can access direct inventory from global hotel chains, guaranteeing the lowest distribution costs. Stemming from the Greek word for encounter, Zinantis offers frictionless onboarding processes for suppliers and distributors and will enhance the distribution content for all members. Members will benefit from a wide range of data reporting, making Zinantis a win-win for suppliers and distributors.

    Elodie Leunen, CEO of Fastpayhotels explains, “Our unique tech will offer a set of exclusive solutions to chains and distributors at a cost of distribution adapted to every business model. We aim to be the distribution club for a group of members who understand the actual environment and want better visibility, not only for bookings but for inventory gaps, and opportunities for sales. It makes sense to us to partner with DerbySoft and combine efforts in creating the best frictionless onboarding process to access chains’ direct inventory.”

    The three rules for Zinantis, Trust, Care, and Exchange, promote transparency and unique technology created by Fastpayhotels and DerbySoft to resolve key issues in the distribution process.

    “DerbySoft is always on the search for unique opportunities to flex our Connectivity services and technology, and Zinantis is it for this unrivaled members-only club,” states Duane Overgaard, President of Connectivity Services and SVP for DerbySoft. “Zinantis offers technology that coincides with DerbySoft, and we appreciate being involved in this launch.”

    Officially launched in September, Zinantis is already live with major global chains, followed by a growing waitlist of suppliers.

  • 10/3/2023

    Data Travel Launches Hapi Guest Focus on Salesforce AppExchange

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    Data Travel, LLC announced it has launched Hapi Guest Focus on Salesforce AppExchange, empowering hotel companies to craft personalized guest check-in experiences and drive upsell opportunities right at the front desk.

    Hapi Guest Focus is currently available on AppExchange at https://appexchange.salesforce.com/appxListingDetail?listingId=81d4effe-5575-4b05-a4bd-65282de68eed

    Hapi Guest Focus

    Hapi Guest Focus empowers front desk team members to leverage the wealth of guest data residing in Salesforce. By transforming this data into actionable insights, hotels can now curate exceptional guest interactions starting at time of arrival. Through the app, front desk agents can curate the check-in process, view guest preferences, and even facilitate restaurant reservations and spa appointments, creating a seamless and personalized arrival experience.

    Hotel operators have long struggled to provide a truly personalized guest check-in experience due to the lack of readily available guest preferences and profile information. Now, through Hapi Guest Focus, front-desk employees have that critical information in their immediate purview without having to switch back and forth from one system to the next.

    Comments on the News

    • "Hapi Guest Focus surfaces the 360 degree view of guests for the agent, creating actionable insights when it matters,” said Luis Segredo, CEO of Data Travel. We are excited as this is only the next step, and more will follow to assist agents."
    • "Hapi Guest Focus is a welcome addition to AppExchange, as it accelerates business transformation for customers by enhancing customer experiences,” said Alice Steinglass, Executive Vice President of and General Manager, Platform at Salesforce. “AppExchange is constantly evolving to connect customers with the right apps and experts for their business needs.”
  • 10/3/2023

    Mews Acquires Nomi to Accelerate AI Guest Experiences and Personalization

    MEWS and NOMI logo

    Mews announced its acquisition of Nomi, a Nashville-based hospitality startup, as it continues focusing on its mission to enable remarkable guest experiences. Nomi will be included within Mews Guest Journey, empowering hoteliers to provide a hyper-personalized experience for guests. 

    Founded in 2021, the Nomi team has developed a local tour guide for travelers, using predictive analytics and AI to respond to recommendation requests while considering the personality type of each user, unique preferences, interests and needs. For hotels, Nomi delivers real-time customer insights, helping them to better understand their guests, make data-informed operational decisions and provide brilliant guest experiences. 

    Nomi was founded by Tim Drisdelle, a former Apple engineer who worked on Siri and Apple retail payments, and Natasha Drisdelle who has worked in the hospitality industry for almost twenty years, including time as a director of Omni Hotels & Resorts. Natasha was also founder and CEO of hotel management company, Lord & Liberty Hotels where the idea for Nomi originated. 

    Tim Drisdelle, who now leads the Guest Experience engineering team at Mews, commented, “Nomi grew out of our hotel management company, Lord & Liberty, as we recognized the pain point for travelers looking for great local spots that match their unique preferences. We built Nomi to bring back joy and wonder for every traveler and we’re excited to continue this journey as part of Mews to help hoteliers enhance the guest experience even further.” 

    Richard Valtr, founder of Mews, added, “Mews was started to make it easier to personalize Guest Experiences for every traveler and create a community within every hotel. I’m delighted to welcome Nomi into the Mews family as we continue to double down on our mission to enable remarkable guest experiences. We’re excited about working with hoteliers to tailor their guests’ stay to suit their needs and interests.” 

    The acquisition was managed by Mews Ventures, the company’s venture and investment arm which was launched to accelerate the technological transformation of the hospitality industry. The Nomi acquisition marks the seventh acquisition for Mews Ventures, with previous acquired companies including Cenium (2022), Bizzon (2022) and Hotello (2023). 

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