News Briefs

  • 10/16/2023

    Amazon, Booking.com, Expedia Group, Glassdoor, Tripadvisor, and Trustpilot Launch First Global Coalition for Trusted Reviews

    Today, Amazon, Booking.com, Expedia Group, Glassdoor, Tripadvisor, and Trustpilot announced they have teamed up to launch the global Coalition for Trusted Reviews, a cross-industry collaboration committed to protecting access to trustworthy consumer reviews worldwide. Together, members will define best practices for hosting online reviews and sharing methods of fake review detection, aiming to stop fake reviews at the source.

    Companies met in October 2022 in San Francisco at the first ever Fake Reviews Conference, organized by Tripadvisor. Attendees heard from experts in government, academia, and the industry at large on common challenges and potential mitigation approaches related to the issue of fake reviews. This resulted in the establishment of a formal coalition to collaborate on public education and ongoing information sharing between members, in an effort to decrease review fraud.

    The group has agreed to engage in several key areas to protect consumers and partners from fake reviews, working to help ensure the public is not misled by fraudulent content, including:

    Industry Alignment. Developing common standards and definitions for use throughout the industry around what constitutes a fake review and other content moderation nomenclature and measurement.

    Best Practice Sharing. Defining best practices for hosting online reviews and sharing information on updated content moderation process and methods of fake review detection.

    Information Sharing. Sharing information relating to how fraudulent actors operate, such as companies selling fake reviews to businesses seeking to unfairly and improperly improve their reputations.

    Advocacy. Engaging with academics and public policy leaders to promote the benefits to consumers of review content and support industry efforts to combat fake reviews from being published.

    The coalition is dedicated to upholding the highest standards of integrity, transparency, and accountability. Through collaborative initiatives, they aim to set new standards for maintaining the authenticity of reviews, instilling confidence in consumers worldwide.

    Coalition members will next meet in Brussels on December 5th and 6th the second conference, organized by Amazon.

    Amazon

    “Customer reviews are an important part of the shopping experience, and the goal of this coalition is to ensure every review reflects customers’ actual experiences,” said Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon’s vice president of Worldwide Selling Partner Services. “Amazon is aggressively fighting fake review brokers to protect our customers and selling partners, but these fraudsters are a global problem, impacting multiple industry sectors. Through greater collaboration and sharing across industries, including information on fraudsters’ tactics and how they operate, we can more effectively shut down fraudulent review activity, deter other bad actors from attempting to game our systems, and protect more consumers.”

    Booking.com

    “With more than 300 million verified reviews from real guests on our platform, we are actively invested in ensuring the ongoing credibility of our program, both for travelers and our partners,” said Spencer Mott, Chief Security Officer at Booking.com. “From machine learning fraud detection models to custom-made tooling for our teams of experienced moderators, we are continuously enhancing our efforts, including through collaborating with this coalition of like minded platforms. Together we can explore best practices and learn from each other, thereby increasing awareness across the industry to the benefit of an even wider array of consumers and businesses.”

    Expedia Group

    “Authentic reviews are crucial for travelers when booking accommodations, destinations, and experiences,” said CJ Allen, Vice President, Marketplace Experience & Trust, Expedia Group. We use technology not only to detect fraudulent postings but also to implement a human touch, further validating the honesty and transparency of reviews. Expedia Group takes pride in participating in this coalition to combat these fake actors, who pose a direct threat to our industry's most valuable asset: trust.” 

    Glassdoor

    “Job seekers rely on the integrity and authenticity of anonymous reviews and ratings on Glassdoor to confidently make decisions about jobs and companies to work for,” said Cara Barry, Glassdoor Director of Content and Community. “Glassdoor’s moderation team is constantly evolving our multi-tier technological and human review processes to prevent fake reviews on our platform, but we recognize that we must continue to innovate with new approaches. We look forward to closer collaboration with our industry partners to create new frameworks to mitigate fake reviews and maintain trust in content on Glassdoor and elsewhere online.”

    Tripadvisor

    “The trust that consumers and partners have in our platforms and businesses is a top priority for the members of this coalition, all of whom agreed to join together to fight fake review content on the Internet. To further maintain the credibility and authenticity of reviews on our platforms, we aim to make it increasingly difficult for fraudulent actors who try to deceive our customers to operate online,” said Becky Foley, Vice President, Trust & Safety, Tripadvisor. “Combating these operators, particularly those attempting to sell fake reviews to companies looking to improve their online reputations, will be an immediate area of focus.  These actors often operate outside of jurisdictions with a legal framework to shut down fraudulent activity, making robust cooperation even more important.”

    Trustpilot

    “Trust is at the heart of every decision consumers make to buy products and services, especially online. Reviews help to fuel confidence, which makes it imperative that  consumers can rely on the reviews they read, and know that they are genuine and authentic, said Carolyn Jameson, Chief Trust and Consumer Officer at Trustpilot. “At Trustpilot we’re always innovating, searching for different avenues to take on fake review sellers and businesses who try to manipulate feedback written about them. Greater collaboration and sharing of ideas across the reviews industry, through the Coalition for Trusted Reviews will undoubtedly be a major boost in the global fight against fraud and deception as we work to combat those who seek to undermine trust online.” 

  • 10/4/2023

    Chipotle Tests Digital Make Line

    Chipotle digital make line and employee

    Chipotle Mexican Grill 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.

    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.

    Employee & Guest Experience


    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. 

     

    image courtesy of Chipotle

  • 10/15/2023

    Denny’s Hires Pankaj Patra as Chief Digital and Technology Officer

    Denny's

     Denny’s Corporation announced the hiring of Pankaj Patra as Chief Digital and Technology Officer (CDTO), effective October 30. This is a newly created enterprise role that will include support for Denny’s and Keke’s. Patra will be responsible for accelerating the company’s capabilities across all specialties within the Digital, Technology and Information functions.

    Patra comes to Denny’s from Brinker International, Inc., where he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, responsible for overseeing information technology and data security for the company and its restaurants brands. Patra brings 25 years of experience as an innovative enterprise technology architect, digital strategist and information technology leader.

    “Denny’s is an iconic restaurant company that understands and values the connection between great people and smart technology. I am looking forward to working collaboratively across the company to identify opportunities for improvement and implement exciting, innovative, transformative solutions,” said Patra.

    Patra earned his undergraduate degree from the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela and went on to attain his MBA from Southern Methodist University. He is a member of the Dallas chapter of the International Food and Beverage Technology Association.

    Patra is based in Dallas. Michael Furlow, Denny’s Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, will remain on staff through the end of the year to support the transition. For more information, please visit dennys.com.

  • 10/16/2023

    NCR Voyix Corp. Debuts Following the Spin-off of ATM-Focused Business

    NCR Voyix  logo

    NCR Voyix Corp., a global provider of digital commerce solutions for the retail, restaurant and banking industries, announced its debut following the spin-off of its ATM-focused businesses.

    Back in July, NCR Unveiled new names for its businesses. The ATM business is named NCR Atleos.

    NCR Voyix offers comprehensive platform-driven technology and solutions that serve a diversified customer base, ranging from small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to large multinational organizations, around the world. The debut of the streamlined organization will enable NCR Voyix to accelerate its platform conversions, expand its services and deepen customer relationships, while also capturing additional market share.

    “NCR Voyix launches from a position of strength as the market-leading provider of mission-critical digital commerce solutions for retailers, restaurants and financial institutions,” said NCR Voyix CEO David Wilkinson. “Our strong base of blue-chip customers will continue to benefit from our end-to-end solutions, which will be further enhanced by the strategic focus and operational agility of our new organization. As we enter this next phase and execute on our strategy, we will be able to deliver solid growth, profitability and value creation for our shareholders.”

    NCR Voyix begins from a position of strength.

     NCR Voyix is the market leader in its core segments

    • NCR Voyix generates strong recurring and diversified revenue
      • Nearly $4 billion in total revenue
      • Recurring revenue of $2.1 billion, approximately 55% of total revenue
      • Software and services generate approximately $2.5 billion, or nearly 2/3, of total revenue
    • NCR Voyix is a global company with a presence in 35 countries
      • 16,000 employees, including 2,200 field service personnel

    To learn more about NCR Voyix, visit the company’s new website, https://www.ncrvoyix.com.

     

  • 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.

  • 10/16/2023

    TGI Fridays’ Global Expansion Powered by Technology

    TGI Fridays

    With Oracle NetSuiteTGI Fridays  has been able to take advantage of an integrated business suite to consolidate financial processes, increase efficiency, enhance cash flow, and improve decision-making across its global chain of restaurants.   

    Fridays is also using Oracle CrowdTwist, a loyalty and engagement offering from Oracle Food and Beverage, to power its new Fridays Rewards program for customers in the United States.

    TGI Fridays has more than 700 restaurants in 50+ countries. As Fridays grew and its operations evolved to include corporate-owned restaurants, local and international franchisees, third-party delivery partnerships, and virtual restaurants, its internal operations and financial processes became increasingly complex and costly to manage. To simplify processes and improve decision-making, Fridays chose NetSuite as its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

    “The restaurant industry is highly competitive. That’s why we need real-time data on our business performance to respond to changing customer behaviors,” said Jeff Moran, vice president of accounting, TGI Fridays. “With NetSuite, we have consolidated financial processes and embraced automation to improve the speed and accuracy of business insights as we grow – with product offerings and locations around the globe.” 

    With NetSuite, Fridays has been able to gain real-time insights into its operations, enhance cash flow, and improve decision-making by centralizing its financial processes on a single cloud business suite. To further optimize its financial processes, Fridays has taken advantage of NetSuite to automate and improve the efficiency of its accounting functions including accounts payable, accounts receivable, and general ledger reporting. In addition, NetSuite has helped Fridays manage its global network of franchisees by providing support for local languages and currencies everywhere the company operates.  

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