News Briefs

  • 10/31/2023

    Weldon Spangler Named CEO of TGI Fridays

    Weldon Spangler, a longtime TGI Fridays board member and highly experienced restaurant executive, has been appointed CEO of TGI Fridays, effective immediately. He succeeds Brandon Coleman, who has resigned for personal reasons.

    Spangler will lead implementation of the growth plan to revitalize the brand on a global scale. There are currently 700 TGI Fridays restaurants in 51 countries offering high quality American food and drinks. 

    Spangler brings extensive background in the restaurant industry and his impressive career spans over 30 years of experience, during which he has built a reputation for his unwavering focus on customer experience, store operations, and marketing with successful tenures at Subway, Papa Murphy's, Dunkin' Brands, and Starbucks.

    Rohit Manocha, Co-Founder of TriArtisan Capital, a New York-based private equity firm and the controlling shareholder of TGI Fridays with extensive experience in the restaurant sector, will continue to collaborate closely with Mr. Spangler and the dedicated team at TGI Fridays in his role as the active Chairman of the company.

  • 11/5/2023

    Posiflex Launches Clamshell POS Terminal Haydn ZT Series

    posiflex haydn zt series

    Posiflex Technology Inc.  announces the availability of a POS terminal featuring a clamshell design that optimizes maintenance efficiency, conserves space and enhances operational security. The Haydn ZT Series enables effortless lifting of the monitor using a touch button, providing convenient access to internal modular components for easy repairs, replacements, and upgrades. This entire process can be completed in as little as one minute. This feature renders it an ideal choice for deployment in restaurants and other retail or hospitality venues.

    • 71% of restaurants are leveraging data gathered via the POS for digital engagement, according to HT's 2023 POS Software Trends Report

    For most customer-facing businesses, the POS serves as a vital lifeline. Ensuring its smooth and efficient operation is crucial, as any downtime can lead to increased costs and reduced profit margins.  

    Super-Rugged, Smooth Operations

    Powered by a high-performance Intel  Tiger Lake or Elkhart Lake CPU, the ZT Series employs a die-cast aluminum chassis design to facilitate effective cooling without the need for a fan. The fan-free and screwless design eliminates mechanical weak points and offers robustness and reliability advantages. Rigorous IP44 protection is also integrated to safeguard against dust, dirt, grease, and spills, ensuring seamless operation and extended service life under the demands of daily and continuous use.

    Concealed Designs for Data Protection and Clutter Prevention

    To further guarantee uninterrupted operation and service, the Posiflex ZT Series incorporates a hidden I/O design that prevents connection to untrusted devices, thereby averting potential data corruption. The USB ports are secured with a locking mechanism to prevent unauthorized data transfer and virus infection.

    Moreover, the power supply is concealed in the base, and a 3-way cable management system maintains tidiness on the desk, enhancing the store environment and user experience.

    Flexible Installations and Viewing Angle

    To accommodate diverse environments, the ZT Series offers a choice of 15" or 15.6" true-flat PCAP touchscreen monitors, along with various desktop and wall mounting options tailored to specific workstation requirements. Additionally, the ZT Series supports a unique 0-90° swivel hinge design that provides users with a more comfortable viewing angle and adaptable deployment scenarios.

    Enhanced Connectivity and Functionality

    The Posiflex ZT POS terminals further enhance the functionality through diverse and flexible I/O deployment. Select models are equipped with the convenience of 24V PoweredUSB, broadening connectivity options. The terminals can be supplemented with dedicated side attachments to provide versatile features that cater to different needs. This includes retained ports for seamless integration with fingerprint sensors/i-Button, MSR, and RFID devices and a second monitor featuring an internal scanner.

  • 11/5/2023

    Scooter’s Coffee Names Joe Thornton CEO

    Joe Thornton headshot

    Scooter’s Coffee, known for its fast drive-thru and specialty coffee, announced that Joe Thornton will be appointed Chief Executive Officer of Scooter’s Coffee, effective January 1, 2024. 

    Thornton currently serves as the company’s President and will succeed Todd Graeve, who will retire after serving as CEO since 2016 and after nearly two decades in the Scooter’s coffee business.

    The remainder of 2023 will serve as a transitional period for Thornton and Graeve.

    “I am honored to continue the leadership legacy and lead Scooter’s Coffee into the future in support of our franchisees and employees. The family roots, core values and stability of this company are unmatched,” said Thornton. “I knew this company was special from the moment that I arrived, and I have a deep commitment to ensure that we continue to build an enduring brand.”

    Thornton has 40 years of leadership experience in large-scale operations, strategy and human resources at some of the most prominent industry-leading companies, including most recently as Chief Operating Officer at HMSHost and, prior to that, Chief Operating Officer at Jamba Juice. Thornton also spent 25 years combined at Starbucks and Blockbuster in executive leadership roles earlier in his career.

    As the company looks ahead to a strong future with Thornton leading the growth and changes on the horizon, the co-founders also recognize and are appreciative of the path built over the last 25 years.

    Graeve joined Scooter’s Coffee in 2005 as a franchisee and developer in Kansas City, alongside his business partners. In 2008, he joined the leadership team at the company as Chief Financial Officer of Scooter’s Coffee. He served as CFO for eight years, before transitioning to CEO in April 2016.

    “Almost 20 years ago, I started on this journey at Scooter’s Coffee as a franchisee, and I’m so excited to circle back to my beginnings and help my family with their Scooter’s Coffee franchise journey,” said Graeve. “I will always treasure my time as CFO, CEO and a franchisee, and I will be rooting loudly from the sidelines as this company continues to build on its greatness.”

    Scooters' network is approaching 750 stores in 30 states.

  • 11/5/2023

    CEC Entertainment Hires Mark Kupferman to Serve as Chief Insights and Marketing Officer

    Mark Kupferman CEC

    CEC Entertainment, LLC., announced today the appointment of marketing veteran Mark Kupferman to the position of Chief Insights and Marketing Officer (CIMO) for the company's flagship brand, Chuck E. Cheese, and its virtual kitchen brands, including Pasqually's Pizza & Wings along with overall enterprise responsibility for all insights and research. Kupferman is a marketing leader with expertise in brand development, digital media, menu innovation, and in leading high-performing teams to deliver transformational growth throughout his career.

    "I am thrilled to have Mark join CEC Entertainment to lead the marketing strategy for the world's largest family entertainment center brand, Chuck E Cheese." said David McKillips, President and CEO of CEC Entertainment. "His proven expertise and success across the restaurant and family entertainment business is a perfect complement with the most aggressive brand transformation in the Company's history."

    Kupferman will lead all marketing functions, menu innovation, communications, as well as the brand's digital marketing and consumer journey initiatives. He will be responsible for developing and executing strategies that position Chuck E. Cheese for long-term growth, both domestically and internationally.  Additionally, he will oversee the entire Company's insights and research responsibilities. 

    Kupferman comes to Chuck E. Cheese with more than 25 years of marketing strategy, media, advertising, and brand experience. Most recently, he was Chief Commercial Officer at Ruth's Chris Steak House and worked prior as the Senior Vice President of Consumer & Guest Experience at Six Flags Entertainment, where he built the industry's most successful membership program.  Prior to Six Flags, he led the research and insights Teams at Universal Orlando and Paramount Parks.

    Kupferman will be based at the CEC Entertainment corporate support center in Irving, Texas.

  • 11/5/2023

    David Miller Joins Pink Taco as COO

    pink taco logo

    Pink Taco has appointed David E. Miller as Chief Operating Officer.

    Miller has almost two decades of leadership experience with other renowned brands, including Hard Rock, Carmine's, City Winery, Joe's Crab Shack, and Virgil's Real BBQ. In his new role, Miller will oversee operational strategy, financial management, quality control, and human resources, all aimed at enhancing efficiency and profitability for the company while upholding its commitment to delivering exceptional service and food with a rocking vibe. 

    In the near term, he will spearhead the ongoing growth of Pink Taco's flagship location in New York City's Time Square, as well as four other  locations. He also will oversee the brand's expansion across the U.S., including Las Vegas, and globally, with a focus on London and the Middle East.

    Most recently, Miller served as Chief Business Officer at Alicart Restaurant Group, based in New York, which included Carmine's Family Style Italian Restaurants and Virgil's Real BBQ, with a total of seven locations in New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas. Between July 2018 and August 2022, he was Chief Operating Officer at City Winery, where he contributed to the company achieving over $110 million in annual sales and introduced innovative programs for customers. His previous roles include serving as Regional Vice President at Joe's Crab Shack and the Chief Operating Officer and Director of Operations at NYY Steak, and Director of Operations of Hard Rock International. Mr. Miller currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Harry Chapin Foundation, which supports organizations that have demonstrated their ability to significantly improve the lives and livelihoods of people to achieve self-sufficiency.

  • 11/5/2023

    Duetto Launches Advance, Delivering Real-Time Rate Optimization and First-to-Market Data Integrations

    duetto logo

    Duetto, a Revenue Management Software (RMS) provider for the hospitality industry, has announced that Advance, its real-time, dynamic revenue optimization solution, unveiled at ITB in March, is now available to hotels around the world.  

    “Advance is a set of tools for near real-time rapid response to market changes to capture revenue in an automated way, driving both RevPAR and operational efficiencies. The constant data monitoring identifies triggers and automates room rate increases based on demand, but also optimizes forecast accuracy through leading market indicators. Advance’s automation and frequent updating of third-party data sources reduces the manual work required to collect local market event data from various sources, but also creates context and a recorded history,” explained Darren Koch, Chief Product Officer, Duetto.

    Real-time Pricing Recommendations

    Using Dynamic Optimization, Advance generates new rate recommendations as needed to ensure that rates are optimized to capture sudden changes in demand in line with hotel booking data.

    Dynamic optimization leverages the property's existing pricing framework and specified constraints for base rate bounds and acceptable changes. It gives hotels peace of mind knowing that their rates will always remain competitive, flexing up and down – or remaining stable – depending on market fluctuations.

    Advance Data Partnerships

    Core to Advance is an extended and exclusive data package that includes an industry-first revenue API delivering demand data and events data.

    • Competitive rate intelligence: High-quality, reliable rate shopping data that updates multiple times per day, providing hotels with up-to-date information on how rates are fluctuating in their markets.
    • Market search: Market demand data helps revenue teams surface trends and seasonal demand patterns. Coupled with web traffic data, Advance builds out a more exact picture of customer demand and price sensitivity, as well as marketing efficacy.
    • PredictHQ recommended events: Duetto Advance integrates PredictHQ’s intelligent events data spanning festivals, concerts, conferences, sporting events, and more, enabling hotels to identify market signals driving changes to demand from events to maximize revenue and create a historical record for future forecasting impacts. 

    Actionable Business Intelligence

    Central to the Duetto Revenue Strategy Platform is CommandCenter, Duetto’s customizable business intelligence dashboard. For Advance users, this delivers additional data inputs and visualizations.

    CommandCenter gives hotel revenue teams unparalleled visibility of the revenue performance of their properties, enabling them to immediately identify and capitalize on the largest opportunities in their business, faster than ever before.

    Users can immediately see which days require attention due to unusually high or low demand, and act upon this. Customizable data views enable users to view data for one property or one thousand - and zero in on specific properties or clusters that are over or under-performing.

    Duetto Advance provides real-time, dynamic revenue optimization to enable rapid response to market changes. It enables hotels to create a competitive advantage through market and events data direct from the source to provide context for demand. Never miss an opportunity to increase revenue.

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