News Briefs

  • 12/11/2023

    Juice Bar Franchise Uses AI Solution to Field Callers' Questions

    Voicify Pure Green

    A Pure Green juice bar franchise has selected Voicify as its conversational voice AI provider.

    Voicify AI Answering uses natural language to field customer questions such as 'What hours are you open?'; 'Do you deliver?'; 'Tell me about your menu.'; and 'May I place an order?'. At customer request, Voicify AI Answering sends an SMS text with a link to the Pure Green menu, store directions, and online ordering platform. The system continually learns and improves based on customer questions.

    Pure Green has more than 100 franchise locations in 15 states.  

    Voicify AI Answering is available through a monthly fee that it says will quickly pay for itself in crew labor savings and additional customer spend.

    As consumers have become more comfortable with non-human customer service and Artificial Intelligence solutions in general, they are more open to interacting conversationally by phone with a frontline AI assistant. Voicify AI Answering is optimized to handle natural human speech. This means that customers can speak normally without modifying their speech at all. As needed or at customer request, the AI Answering assistant can connect the caller with human store staff.

    Voicify AI Answering will enable Pure Green franchises to harness voice AI to free up store staff to fulfill orders and serve in-store guests without neglecting customers who call the store. 

    "We're on a mission to build healthier communities by connecting people with superfoods," said Pure Green Franchise Founder Ross Franklin. "Voicify AI Answering helps us fulfill our mission by making it incredibly easy for our customers to connect with their local Pure Green Franchise superfoods location and our healthy cold-pressed juices and smoothies. The vast majority of caller questions - hours of operation, directions, and so on - can be answered by Voicify AI. It's like having an extension of our team."

    Voicify's suite of tools transforms guest experiences across multiple points of service with seamless deployment and can scale to any size restaurant operation. Designed to deploy quickly and integrate directly with existing phone, POS, kiosk and other restaurant technologies,  Voicify sets the standard for conversational AI by learning quickly and delivering intelligent and reliable performance for any situation.

  • 12/11/2023

    Comcast's MachineQ Teams Up with Spotta to Detect Bedbugs with Tech

     Spotta's wireless Bed Pod sensors and app

    MachineQ, a Comcast Company, and Spotta are teaming up to offer an innovative solution for hoteliers to detect bedbugs before they become problematic. This solution is much needed, especially considering the growing resurgence of hotel bedbug infestations across the globe. According to reports, these infestations cost U.S. hotels $111,000 annually per brand, which includes maintenance, treatment, lost revenue, and other expenses. This figure does not factor in the effect that an outbreak can have on a brand’s reputation, which could further increase the overall cost to the hotel.

    The solution works by installing Spotta’s wireless Bed Pod sensors discreetly underneath mattresses. The traps use pheromones with no discernible odor to lure bugs in. If one is detected, it activates Spotta’s AI detection system to analyze and validate that a bedbug is inside the trap. Upon detection, the image is sent with the exact time and location to the cloud using MachineQ’s network. Real-time alerts with the information captured are sent to hotel employees, allowing them to act fast and remediate before the situation can become widespread, further disruptive to hotel operations, and potentially cause irreparable harm to a brand's reputation.

    “Our 24/7 monitoring solution provides hoteliers peace of mind by detecting bedbugs quickly, enabling swift action to help reduce damage and guest impact,” said Robert Fryers, CEO at Spotta. “We’re excited to partner with MachineQ to offer an innovative solution for hoteliers – leveraging their established IoT network connectivity platform – in the U.S. amidst a persistent bedbug issue.”

    Bryan Witkowski, Head of Product and Strategy at MachineQ, adds, “We are proud to continue offering unique and scalable IoT solutions with partners like Spotta to expand our platform’s value to customers in hospitality. Our clients can start with bedbug monitoring and add other use cases to help manage risk, such as water leak detection and staff duress, using the same network infrastructure for a low total cost of ownership and fast deployment."

  • 12/11/2023

    PAR, DoorDash Integration Creates Seamless Ordering Environment


    ParTech, Inc. (PAR) has partnered with on-demand delivery platform DoorDash. This collaboration is dedicated to advancing the restaurant industry by improving operational efficiency and customer satisfaction, further expanding PAR’s ecosystem to include over 500 integrations, the largest in the industry.  

    Integrations are top of mind for many restaurant operators. According to HT's 2024 POS Software Trends Survey, 85% of operators surveyed say integrations with other systems is driving POS purchasing decisions. 

    In a time when dining expectations extend beyond a restaurant’s four walls, factors such as delivery speed, ordering flexibility, and the overall dining experience play crucial roles. However, these preferences present a critical challenge to the restaurant industry. This new partnership addresses the challenge head-on by seamlessly integrating DoorDash with PAR Brink POS , a cloud-based point-of-sale software, and MENU Link, a marketplace order management solution within PAR MENU ecosystem for omnichannel ordering.  
    “We live in a world where digital-savvy consumers demand seamless digital experiences,” said Savneet Singh, CEO of PAR. “Our partnership with DoorDash unifies the ordering landscape and simplifies restaurant tech stacks. This enables faster and smoother operations for all stakeholders without compromising guest satisfaction.” 

    The integration of PAR's MENU with DoorDash’s marketplace capabilities empowers enterprise restaurants by automatically processing orders through PAR Brink POS®. This provides centralized control over menu offerings, dynamic pricing for different channels, store-level information, and sales tracking. Simultaneously, restaurants can leverage the PAR partner ecosystem to consolidate tech stacks, enabling more efficient operations through a single, integrated platform. 

    To learn more about the recent joint effort and view all partnerships and integrations, please visit 


  • 12/10/2023

    Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria Uses Data-Driven Marketing Strategies to Enhance Customer Experience, Boosts Sales

    lou malnatis pizza

    Lou Malnati's Pizzeria, a renowned Chicago-based pizza company, is revolutionizing its marketing approach through sophisticated data analysis. In a partnership with DataDelivers. a provider of data-driven tools and services in the restaurant industry, Lou Malnati’s has implemented  strategies to optimize sales, enhance customer engagement, and drive traffic to their restaurants.

    “We’ve taken a data-driven path to better understand our customers and how they use our brand,” said Bob Nygren, CFO at Lou Malnati’s. “Leaning into analytics has helped refine our approach and the results are following.”

    Lou Malnati's has adopted a customer-centric marketing approach, delving deep into customer demographics, psychographics, and preferences. By stratifying customers into frequency cohorts, the company can effectively activate specific groups with targeted messages. The process involves gathering extensive data and building a robust database structure, followed by leveraging advanced analytics capabilities to refine marketing strategies.

    To accomplish this, Lou Malnati's has partnered with DataDelivers to manage their database and optimize customer information. Using the Customer Management Platform Lou Malnati’s successfully completed the data collection and advanced analytics phases in just 60 days, ultimately leading to the enhancement of their marketing strategies. This partnership enabled Lou Malnati's to streamline message delivery, enhance campaign effectiveness, and identify the most responsive and unresponsive customer segments that are categorized as heavy users, frequent users, at risk and lapsed users. By tailoring messages to each cohort, Lou Malnati's has seen remarkable results, experiencing incremental improvements in sales ROI with every campaign.

    Nygren emphasizes two key elements to their data-driven strategy – innovation and measurable success. The company employs data analysis to uncover actionable insights, combining innovative thinking to explore uncharted territories and progressive methods to refine their approach continually. Through the use of hold-out groups and control groups, Lou Malnati's assesses the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns objectively. The approach, which replaces gut feelings with real data, has provided a new perspective and valuable insights into customer behavior.

    As Lou Malnati's progresses, the company plans to further refine their strategies based on response rates and customer feedback. This test-and-learn approach, facilitated by DataDelivers, ensures that the company can adapt swiftly to changing market dynamics and customer preferences.

    "We've transitioned from gut feelings to real numbers. DataDelivers has been instrumental in helping us understand our customers better, enabling us to tailor our messages and offerings effectively. Our partnership is a testament to the power of innovative thinking and actionable data analysis," added Nygren.


  • 12/10/2023

    Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti Announces Retirement

    logo, company name

    Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti has announced his intent to retire after 24 years with the company.

    "...I know it’s time for the Company to benefit from its next generation of leaders. Our current leadership team is an incredible group and is well positioned to drive the Company forward to even greater heights. For the better part of the last two decades, Shake Shack has been my life’s work and I’ve never been more optimistic about our team, our leaders and what’s ahead for this Company," according to a statement from Garutti.

    Garutti recalled Shake Shack's origins: "In 2004, Danny (Meyer, Union Square Hospitality Group's Founder and Executive Chairman)  envisioned a permanent kiosk in the Park, quickly scratched a pencil sketch of the menu, and we opened our very first Shake Shack. All the while, our teams were busy leading fine-dining restaurants, but I kept finding myself drawn to, and most comfortable, when I was in the Shack spinning shakes and cooking ShackBurgers with the team. But in those days the Shack was a one-off project - meant to activate and raise money for Madison Square Park - and none of us imagined we'd ever have a second Shack, never mind a global family."

    Today, there are more than 500 Shacks in 33 states, and 18 countries.

  • 12/11/2023

    Sonder Holdings Inc. Appoints Tom Buoy as Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer

    Sonder logo

    Sonder Holdings Inc., a next-generation hospitality company that is redefining the guest experience through technology and design, announced the appointment of Tom Buoy as Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, effective December 11, 2023.

    Buoy has resigned from Sonder’s Board of Directors and transitioned into this newly created position in the company’s leadership team. As Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Buoy will be responsible for all aspects of revenue generation and strategy, including revenue management, marketing, sales, and distribution.

    Buoy has over 30 years of experience in the hospitality sector. He was previously Interim Chief Executive Officer and Board Director for Radisson Hotel Group Americas, where he was responsible for the corporate offices and more than 680 hotels in the company’s portfolio throughout the Americas. Additionally, Buoy served as Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer at Radisson Hotel Group Americas, and was part of the company’s Executive Committee. During his career, he led the commercial transformation at Extended Stay America, and also served as Senior Vice President, Customer Marketing and Revenue Management for Morgans Hotel Group (previously Ian Schrager Hotels).

    “Tom is one of hospitality’s most seasoned commercial leaders, so I’m thrilled to welcome him to our management team. In Q3, our revenue grew 29% year-over-year as we continued to make progress towards our goal of sustainable positive free cash flow. We have significant revenue opportunities ahead of us, and Tom’s leadership and deep hospitality experience will help us to deliver results,” said Francis Davidson, Co-Founder and CEO of Sonder.

    “As I experienced firsthand during my time on its Board, Sonder is an incredibly dynamic business, with a bold mission to revolutionize hospitality for the next generation. I’m excited to transition into the company to oversee all aspects of topline revenue growth, combining industry best practices with disruptive thinking, at this key moment in Sonder’s journey to profitability,” said Tom Buoy, incoming Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Sonder.

    This transition comes about with the upcoming departure of Shruti Challa, Chief Revenue Officer. She will support during the transition in an advisory capacity.

    “Shruti has been an outstanding executive at Sonder, having built a phenomenal team from the ground up, and skillfully navigated the pandemic where we outperformed all benchmarks. I'm incredibly proud of what she's done for the company, and I am excited to see the new opportunities she pursues,” said Francis Davidson, Co-Founder and CEO of Sonder.

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