News Briefs

  • 11/16/2023

    Checkers & Rally's Adds New Executives

    Checkers & Rally's announced the appointment of Michael Blair as Chief Financial Officer and Scott Johnson as Chief Marketing Officer. In their respective roles, Blair and Johnson will help fuel growth in the business, focusing on driving profitability, guest engagement and continued expansion of the brand.  Blair and Johnson will report to Checkers & Rally’s President and CEO, Frances Allen.

    Blair brings significant CFO experience within the restaurant industry both nationally and internationally, with deep cross-functional knowledge leading finance and accounting, payroll, risk management, human resources, legal, and IT departments during his career. Most recently, he served as the Chief Financial & Administrative Officer at Miller’s Ale House. Prior to Miller’s Ale House, Mr. Blair spent nine years with Bloomin’ Brands in a variety of Finance roles including Director of FP&A at Outback Steakhouse before transitioning to Bloomin’ Brands International. In his final two years with Bloomin’ Brands, Blair served as their International CFO, overseeing both company and franchise financial performance throughout the world, including in the brand’s markets in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Brazil.

    Johnson brings a wealth of restaurant industry experience, having led marketing teams for Smashburger, BurgerFi, BRAVO!, Bonefish Grill and Outback Steakhouse, among others. He has a proven track record of delivering significant AUV growth through his innovative work in social media and digital commerce, menu development, consumer engagement and other marketing, advertising and PR initiatives. Most recently,  Johnson served as Vice President, Head of Marketing at Jollibee Group of Companies, where he led marketing for Smashburger and JFC North America. Prior to Jollibee Group, Scott served as Vice President, Head of Global Marketing for BurgerFi International, where he transformed the marketing function and helped the chain grow from 65 to 115 units. Mr. Johnson began his career as a brand manager for Arby’s, before eventually becoming Senior Director of Marketing, where he oversaw the national marketing calendar, new product marketing, and brand development for 3,000 locations in 50 states.

  • 11/15/2023

    RealTime Reservation Accelerates PMS Connectivity with Hapi Integration Platform

    hapi logo

    Hapi, the hospitality industry’s leading platform for fast and cost-effective connectivity between technology systems, has announced a new integration with RealTime Reservation, a single reservation platform for ancillary revenue. Through the integration, RealTime Reservation can ingest data from the Property Management Systems by writing to a single Hapi API.

    RealTime Reservation offers properties in the hospitality industry a comprehensive, easy-to-use guest engagement and inventory management tool that can “reserve a moment in real time.” RealTime Reservation’s series of solutions can be purchased separately or as a suite of services, depending on a hotel’s needs. The platform allows guests to book activities, cabanas, amenities, classes, F&B, and more while staff directly control capacity and pricing. Hoteliers can follow the guest journey and upsell to capture revenue pre-arrival and during their stay.

    With streaming data between RealTime Reservation and the hotel PMS in real time, operators can now instantly send any bookings or cancellations to Hapi, which will forward it to the property’s guest Itinerary systems to view.

    RealTime Reservation is already taking advantage of the integration to allow guests to see a global itinerary, combining bookings from all the hotel and third-party booking platforms. For example, if a guest booked a poolside cabana, they could now easily view their room booking from the hotel together with their cabana booking through RealTime Reservation.

    "RealTime Reservation is committed to providing hotels with the technology they need to improve the overall guest experience," said Shawn Tarter, President and Founder of RealTime Reservation. "This integration empowers hoteliers to provide guests with a central location to view their bookings without having to navigate through multiple systems to find their itinerary.”

    RealTime Reservation is the latest hotel technology solutions provider to turn to Hapi, a hospitality connectivity platform that exposes event streams and transactional APIs at scale. Hapi aims to help hotel companies innovate faster by removing integration, development and deployment challenges. The secure integration between Hapi and RealTime will allow hoteliers to access critical data in a short amount of time with little to no development work on their end. 

    “Operating on a well-integrated tech stack is critical to improving operational efficiency in hotels today, and we are excited to help partners like RealTime Reservation provide solutions to one of the industry’s top challenges,” said Luis Segredo, CEO of Hapi. “Hapi has become the de facto API standard for connectivity and we’re proud to be helping hoteliers at corporate levels action their data.”



  • 11/14/2023

    Midland Introdudes BizTalk BR180 Business Radio

    Midland Radio

    Midland, a provider of two-way radio communication technology, introduces BizTalk BR180 On-Site Business Radio.

    Ideal for restaurant and hospitality, the BR180 offers an affordable, ready-to-use solution that improves operational efficiency for better customer experiences and output.  

    After speaking with business customers, Midland reimagined the business radio to meet business-specific needs, including:  

    • Comfortable to Wear for Long Periods – The lightweight BR180 comes equipped with a belt clip and holster with a rotating hinge and a comfortable headset
    • Easy to Use
    • Long Battery Life – The BR180 holds a charge for 14 hours. 
    • Two-year Warranty 

    “Efficiency is a make-or-break metric for an outstanding guest experience at a restaurant like Jack Stack BBQ,” said Nick Beffer, general manager at Jack Stack BBQ in Kansas City. “We run a high-volume restaurant that demands exceptional customer service, and without the BR180 we would struggle to quickly communicate between different functions, address customer complaints or seamlessly turn tables. Since we adopted the radio, we’ve seen an immediate improvement in these areas and many others, we consider it a critical tool.”  

    In addition to adding efficiencies, the BR180 also acts as a key safety device in case of emergencies since it’s equipped with NOAA Weather Alerts and doesn’t require cell phone or internet service to communicate with others. 

    For more information visit .  

  • 11/14/2023

    DISH Upgrades Hotel Entertainment Experience For Guests


    DISH Business launches EVOLVE M1, a Google Certified Android  Set-Back-Box (SBB) purpose-built for commercial deployments. Leveraging a user-centric feature set and powerful hardware, the EVOLVE M1 provides a great in-room entertainment experience. This new SBB seamlessly integrates with the existing suite of DISH Business entertainment solutions.

    OnStream, the live linear video delivery service, developed by DISH Business, is delivered to the EVOLVE M1’s processor and AndroidTV firmware on board. The anti-microbial voice remote returns with upgraded Bluetooth functionality and an onboard microphone, enabling guests to find their content fast. The EVOLVE M1 easily allows hoteliers to restrict the user interface and prevent guests from tampering with crucial settings, thus reducing troubleshooting from on-site staff. Guests can easily access their favorite streaming applications, via the OnStream user interface, allowing hoteliers to deliver on modern demands. It automatically clears user credentials from third-party apps.

    Versatility in EVOLVE M1 allows for deployments with a wide variety of cable plants and property infrastructures. The sleek, low-profile design conceals unsightly LEDs and the VESA-compatible mounting bracket can hide the device altogether. The EVOLVE M1 embraces a seamless, distraction-free design, both physically and on-screen.

  • 11/14/2023

    Virdee Closes on $12.4M in Funding

    a person holding an umbrella

    Virdee, a provider of guest experience technology and check-in automation,  has raised $12.4 million in an oversubscribed Series A funding round. Virdee will use this funding to further the company’s technological innovation with expanded product features and functionality, while growing its workforce, and deepening its presence in the hospitality sector. 

    The investment follows previous Series Seed financing. Virdee’s total funding has now surpassed $21 million.

    Founded in 2020 by Nadav Cornberg and Branigan Mulcahy, Virdee has seen expansion over the past two years, registering nearly 600% revenue growth in 2022 with similar expectations for 2023. Virdee’s platform connects guests and hotels via digital applications and AI, seamlessly automating all front desk transactions. Everyone from large hotel brands to boutique properties can plug Virdee’s solution into their existing digital experience – elevating the guest experience, eliminating lines, and turning front desk staff into guest relationship managers. Virdee’s installation base includes four of the largest casino hotels in Las Vegas and several other major hotel brands. 

  • 11/13/2023

    VAI Resort Taps Oracle Cloud to Deliver Rock-Star Guest Experiences

    oracle hospitality logo teaser

    VAI Resort, the upcoming largest hotel and entertainment destination in Arizona, is gearing up to open its doors in 2024 with the support of Oracle Cloud. With Oracle’s OPERA Cloud hospitality management platform combined with Oracle NetSuite, VAI will be able to unify its core data and operations on a single, secure infrastructure. This will empower VAI with the tools and intelligence it needs to keep its operation running smoothly while delivering unforgettable guest experiences.

    VAI will also be using Oracle MICROS Simphony Cloud POS to manage all its restaurants and bars and Oracle Nor1 to deliver more impactful upgrade offers for guests and boost incremental revenue.

    “VAI is the manifestation of a dream to create the world’s most iconic resort,” said Howard Weiss, Vice President of Entertainment, VAI Resort. “Our mission is to deliver the best luxury hospitality and entertainment experience in Arizona—and that requires the best technology. From room availability to drinks to our back-office operations, the combined power of Oracle’s Hospitality and NetSuite’s unified platform and real-time analytics and reporting will give us a constant view into our performance which will help us continually evolve how we serve and delight our guests.”

    Creating an Oasis with Oracle

    The new $1 billion 60-acre resort oasis destination, VAI Resort will consist of 1,100 rooms across four hotel towers with 12 dining establishments, 10 unique bars, and a man-made party island. Additionally, the property will include a two-story nightclub, a state-of-the-art 360-degree concert stage, a five-acre swimming oasis surrounded by white sand beaches, luxury retail, and a Spa and Wellness Center, all right next door to the world’s first Mattel Adventure Park.

    Oracle Hospitality OPERA Cloud Platform and MICROS Simphony will enable VAI to seamlessly manage its entire hotel and dining operations including securely managing guest data and preferences, room availability and rates, food waste, and more. With an open architecture, built-in integration services, and open APIs, OPERA Cloud will also enable VAI to accelerate innovation to continually redefine the guest experience. Together with the Oracle Nor1, staff will also be equipped to deliver real-time offers to hotel guests, helping increase revenue.

    In addition to Oracle Cloud, VAI will also use NetSuite enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to automate financial processes and improve business visibility across its operations. With a unified view of its business performance, VAI will be able to make more informed, data-driven decisions to improve guests’ experiences and grow its business.

    “VAI Resort is creating a truly unique resort and an entertainment destination, all in one stunning package,” said Alex Alt, executive vice president and general manager of Oracle Hospitality. “With Oracle Cloud, VAI will have the ability to unify data across its operations, which will enable them to curate unforgettable experiences for guests, while efficiently managing all of the rooms, restaurants, and amenities those experiences require.”

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