News Briefs

  • 12/4/2023

    STUDY: Consumers Spent 7.3% More on Restaurant Gift Cards Over Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend Vs. 2022

    Consumers broke out their wallets over Thanksgiving Weekend, spending 7.3% more on gift cards than during the same period in 2022. This according to data from Paytronix. Cyber Monday continues to outpace Black Friday as the highest sales day across both physical and digital sales. In all, the number of cards sold rose only 0.4% with eGift driving much of this gain, an 8.5% increase over 2022, while physical card sales dropped 2.6%.

    “The focus for most restaurants today must be on Cyber Monday, as that is now the true start to the holiday sales season. It completely outpaces Black Friday,” said Lee Barnes, Chief Data Officer, Paytronix. “This is where brands can make a difference. Our clients see huge lifts when they offer rewards for certain sizes of gift card purchases. But also, this demonstrates how deep the shift to digital has gone and is added proof that today’s brands must be offering great digital experiences, no matter what the situation.”

    Sales during November and December make up 45% of annual restaurant gift card sales, with much of that coming during the Thanksgiving to Christmas holiday sales season according to The Restaurant Gift Card Report: 2023 from Paytronix. The report surveys over 200 brands about their annual gift card sales over the course of the year. On average, consumers spent 6.8% more on a per-card basis.

    The Paytronix data indicates that the desire to dine out remains strong with an increase in dollars spent on cards at both quick service and full-service restaurants. Full-service restaurants saw an increase in dollars loaded of 9.6%, while QSRs saw a 2% increase.



    Following trends in closed-loop restaurant gift card sales, the Thanksgiving Holiday Card Sales Research includes data from gift card sales from November 24, 2023 through November 27, 2023, including both full-service and quick-service restaurants. The 2021 to 2022 data looks at 367 brands while the 2023 data includes 351 brands.

     Read the Paytronix Blog: Cyber Monday has taken over Black Friday


  • 12/4/2023

    How Pepicelli’s Pizza Serves Up Operational Improvements, Marketing Programs

    a close up of a slice of pepperoni pizza on a plate

    Ashland, Virginia-based Pepicelli’s Pizza LLC has increased sales by 27% using HungerRush’s full portfolio of solutions to help streamline its restaurant management and market to its growing customer base.

    In addition to using HungerRush’s POS, the restaurant also taps into HungerRush’s automated marketing, loyalty, rewards, delivery and online ordering.

    “One of the biggest challenges we ran into with our restaurant was navigating through the many POS systems on the market,” said Tom Checkosky, Owner and Operator of Pepicelli's. “The promises made by so many did not at all align with the reality of what these other technology providers could offer our business. We needed a strong POS fit for pizza specifically, one that could handle highly complex menus and the nuances of food that travels—and only HungerRush was able to meet and exceed our restaurant needs.”

    Since using HungerRush’s POS since October 2020, Pepicelli’s has recognized the following benefits:

    · Increased total sales by 27%
    · Increased online orders from 20% to 70%
    · Lift in weekly orders by 24%
    · 54% of sales can be attributed to marketing programs from HungerRush 

  • 12/3/2023

    Huddle House Names Blain Shortreed Brand President

     Huddle House announced Blain Shortreed as Brand President. Shortreed is a career restaurant professional with more than 30 years of experience leading top brands. As Huddle House Brand President, he will oversee company operations, the franchise system, marketing, and culinary innovation.

    "We are thrilled to welcome Blain to the Ascent Hospitality Management Senior Executive Team as he assumes leadership of the Huddle House system," said James O'Reilly, Chief Executive Officer for Ascent Hospitality Management. "He brings extensive restaurant operations and finance experience that will be incredibly valuable to the brand. He's demonstrated throughout his career the ability to grow brands and will be vital as we continue to expand and evolve our organization."

    Industry Vet on the Move

    Shortreed's career is characterized by a rich and multifaceted background spanning finance and operations with a wealth of experience. Shortreed has navigated through various progressive leadership roles in these critical domains. Prior to joining Huddle House, Shortreed served as Chief Executive Officer for Long John Silver's, the  quick-service seafood chain with nearly 600 restaurants, where he built a team to deliver on legacy brands' turnaround strategy. He initially joined the company as its COO before taking on the Chief Executive Officer role.

    Prior to Long John Silver's, Shortreed served as Pizza Hut's Vice President of Operations, responsible for the operations of more than 5,000 domestic corporate and franchise-owned locations. He successfully rebuilt the Middle East Pizza Hut team, fostering brand growth, establishing over 100 restaurants, and achieving remarkable increases in customer traffic, sales, and profits. He also served as Vice President of Operations for Yum! Restaurants Canada, where he oversaw operations for the company and franchised KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell locations.

    For more information about Huddle House, visit

  • 12/1/2023

    RBR Data Services Ranks NCR Voyix The World’s Largest POS Software Provider

    NCR Voyix  logo

    NCR Voyix Corp.  continued its position as the world’s largest supplier of point of sale (POS) software in RBR Data Services’ Global POS Software 2023 study.

    NCR Voyix is recognized as the number one global POS software supplier in both total and new restaurant installations, as well as in the Grocery+ category of retail. 

    NCR Voyix, previously known as NCR Corporation, has held the top global supplier position in the study by RBR Data Services, a division of Datos Insights, since the first edition was published in 2016. 

    The Global POS Software 2023 study is based on an analysis of projects with more than 1,000 POS installations worldwide by more than 125 industry suppliers and encompassing nearly nine million POS installations. The report includes commentary and insights into eight segments across grocery, general merchandise and hospitality industries in 48 individual country markets and across six regions. 

    For more information on NCR’s Voyix, visit

  • 12/3/2023

    ConverseNow's Voice AI Assistants Redefine The Restaurant Industry with Outstanding Milestones and Growth

    conversenow logo

    ConverseNow, a voice AI technology platform for restaurants, gives a unique insight into a series of achievements and milestones that signify its success in  the restaurant tech industry.

    Live in restaurants across 46 of the 50 states, ConverseNow's Voice AI technology is seamlessly integrated into restaurants' business models and is discretely enhancing the customer experience with high-level rates of success.

    ConverseNow has developed its business through partnerships with technologies such as ItsaCheckmate and OLO and has continued to push the performance of AI by launching custom Large Language Models (LLMs) from Open AI and Google that are trained using brand-specific datasets, added Rahul Aggarwal, COO, and Product Officer of ConverseNow. 

    ConverseNow's key milestones and achievements over the past 24 months include:

    ●      Over 12 Million Orders Processed: ConverseNow's Voice AI assistants are processing 500,000 successful orders each month, showcasing the widespread adoption and trust of the technology in the restaurant industry.

    ●      Surpassed $10 Million in Monthly Order Value: Sales growth has skyrocketed with an $10.8 million in order value processed per month, marking a 93% increase since 2021.

    ●      22% Increase in AI Accuracy: ConverseNow has achieved a remarkable 22% increase in overall AI accuracy since last year, ensuring seamless interactions between customers and the AI assistants.

    ●      63% Labor Hours Reallocation: The technology has allowed restaurants to reallocate 63% labor hours into processing more orders, driving faster service, reduced wait times, and an increase in order accuracy and value.

    ●      Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score: ConverseNow introduced CSAT scoring in April 2023 and has consistently achieved an average Order CSAT of 4.37, highlighting the high level of customer satisfaction.

    ●      400% Upsell Success Rate Increase: The upsell percentage growth has seen a 400% increase, with a current 16% upsell success rate achieved, boosting restaurant revenues significantly.

    ●      Strategic Integration Partnerships: While integration partner numbers remained stable, ConverseNow has established critical partnerships with Google, OpenAI, Deepgram, Microsoft, and several leading enterprise POS providers.

    ●      National Presence: ConverseNow's technology has expanded into about 1800+ stores in 46 out of 50 states.

    ●      Diverse Service Offering: ConverseNow offers a variety of service offerings, catering to the unique needs of different restaurant chains.

    ConverseNow is enabling restaurant owners and industry leaders to explore the benefits of integrating Voice AI technology into their establishments and join the growing number of satisfied partners that deliver AI-based customer experiences daily.

    To learn more about ConverseNow's Voice AI, please visit


  • 12/3/2023

    Travelport Investors Commit $570 Million in New Equity Financing to Bolster Capital Structure and Accelerate Long-Term Growth and Innovation

    travelport logo

    Travelport Worldwide Limited (“Travelport” or the “Company”), a global technology company that powers travel bookings for hundreds of thousands of travel suppliers worldwide, announced that a group of its existing equity holders and lenders have agreed to invest $570 million of new equity financing into the Company. The new financing will give Travelport a robust capital structure, enable further investment into Travelport’s technology platforms and pave the way for other innovations to deliver new and exceptional ways for the travel industry to serve customers.

    The new investment in Travelport is being made pursuant to an agreement that will significantly deleverage and strengthen the Company’s balance sheet (the “Transaction”). Following completion of the Transaction, Travelport will have a new ownership structure composed of Travelport’s existing equity and credit investors, including Elliott Investment Management, Davidson Kempner Capital Management, Canyon Partners, Siris Capital and other leading institutional investors. These investors will remain well positioned to provide strategic counsel and support to the Company’s management.

    “This investment demonstrates our investors’ support for Travelport and will advance our mission to reinvent a better future for the travel industry,” said Greg Webb, Chief Executive Officer of Travelport. “With this new investment, Travelport will have a strong balance sheet with the least amount of debt amongst its peers, which we believe will put the Company in an even better position for long-term, profitable growth. Most importantly, this Transaction will further strengthen our operating business and accelerate our investments in Travelport+ and other initiatives that make us the most innovative and agile partner to all our customers. We thank our investors for their significant vote of confidence in Travelport.”

    In the last year, Travelport has undertaken several successful strategic investments and initiatives to enhance the technology, products and services it provides to customers. These include the acquisition of Deem, a leading corporate travel management platform, as well as the upgrade of over 85% of the Company’s agency customers to Travelport+. The Transaction will enable further investment in customer offerings, including accelerating new developments in Travelport+, such as support for a wide range of carrier NDC offerings and the Content Curation Layer, the Company’s groundbreaking, machine learning powered search engine that normalizes and personalizes all sources of travel content.

    The Transaction, which is subject to obtaining requisite consents and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, is expected to close by the end of the year.

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