News Briefs

  • 1/4/2024

    LUX Interactive Transforms Red Roof Inn's Digital Landscape through Tridion Cloud Migration

    LUX Interactive, a pioneer in digital innovation, proudly announces a groundbreaking collaboration with Red Roof Inn (RRI) aimed at revolutionizing its digital infrastructure. This innovative partnership drives the seamless migration of RRI's website from Tridion on-premise to Tridion Cloud, setting a new benchmark for digital excellence.

    Red Roof Inn, a renowned hospitality brand with nearly 700 properties spanning multiple brands, sought a cutting-edge solution to elevate its digital presence and operational efficiency.

    Benefits of Tridion Cloud Migration:

    • Enhanced Scalability: Tridion Cloud's adaptable infrastructure empowers RRI's website to effortlessly manage increased traffic, ensuring uninterrupted user experiences during peak demand, aligning with RRI's growth trajectory.
    • Agility and Rapid Deployments: The migration facilitates agile deployment of updates, new features, and improvements, enabling RRI to swiftly adapt to market changes and user preferences
    • Cost Optimization: Operating on Tridion Cloud eliminates on-premise infrastructure overheads, optimizing RRI's expenditure. The pay-as-you-go model ensures efficient resource allocation and cost savings.
    • Robust Security Measures: Tridion Cloud boasts robust security protocols and compliance standards, fortifying RRI's data protection and ensuring adherence to industry security regulations.
    • Performance Enhancement: Leveraging Tridion Cloud's distributed server infrastructure enhances RRI's website performance, resulting in faster loading times and an improved user experience, thereby boosting engagement and satisfaction.
    • Reliability and Disaster Recovery: Tridion Cloud's redundancy and disaster recovery mechanisms guarantee uninterrupted operations for RRI. Reliable failover systems ensure website resilience against potential disruptions, ensuring continuous availability.
    • Innovation and Integration Capabilities: Tridion Cloud's suite of services and integrations empowers RRI to innovate rapidly. Access to cutting-edge technologies and seamless integrations with third-party services enables RRI to remain competitive and innovative.

    The collaboration between LUX Interactive and Red Roof Inn signifies a significant leap towards digital transformation, showcasing a commitment to leveraging technology for business elevation. The migration to Tridion Cloud heralds a new era of efficiency, scalability, and innovation for RRI's digital infrastructure.

  • 1/4/2024

    Chowly Acquires Automated Digital Marketing Platform Targetable

    a close up of a light blue umbrella

    Chowly, an all-in-one digital ordering platform for SMB restaurants, announced its acquisition of Targetable, an automated digital marketing platform for the restaurant industry.

    The addition of Targetable's innovative marketing technology to Chowly's extensive suite of services will help increase demand for restaurants. This provides a cost effective alternative choice for restaurateurs that have long been inundated with marketing agencies that charge thousands of dollars a month. 

    This is Chowly's second acquisition in the last 12 months and advances their vision of providing an SMB restaurant everything they need to thrive in a digital and off-premise driven restaurant industry.

    "We're thrilled to welcome Targetable to the Chowly team," said Sterling Douglass, Co-Founder and CEO of Chowly. "The combination of these two businesses is a true 'better together' story that will help tens of thousands of restaurants create more sales without the additional operational headache. What Andrew and Mark have built at Targetable shows a deep understanding of the customer and aligns perfectly with how restaurants want their technology: done for them."

    "Sterling and the Chowly team have been listening closely to their customers for a long time and understand this space with an acute understanding of what restaurants need," said Andrew J. Nash, CEO of Targetable. "Their strategy and customer base are an excellent accelerator for Targetable and will allow this great technology to serve many more restaurants who need the help."

    In January 2023, Chowly acquired Koala, a guest experience platform that led to the launch of Chowly Online Ordering in June. This accompanied two other product launches of Smart Pricing and Chowly's Restaurant Control Center and positions the company for continued growth to meet the needs of their customers.

    Through this combination, Chowly will now be able to help restaurants drive more traffic to their online ordering solution and have it seamlessly integrate into the restaurant's Point-Of-Sale (POS) system leveraging best-in-class technology already in over 17,000 restaurants through Chowly's network of customers. This replaces what used to be 5+ vendors to 1 simple and high quality partner.

    Chowly and Targetable's teams are already hard at work putting together a product combination that the restaurant space has yet to see for SMB brands. More information about the combined product will be released in the coming months.

  • 1/4/2024

    Carnival's Seabourn Fleet Now Come Equipped with Starlink Wi-Fi Tech

    carnival seabourn cruise ship

    Seabourn, the leader in ultra-luxury voyages and expedition travel, has announced that its fleet of ultra-luxury ships has been equipped with next generation Wi-Fi connectivity with SpaceX's Starlink, the leader in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite technology. The upgraded technology provides Seabourn's guests with faster service, greater connectivity and more reliable Wi-Fi wherever Starlink's services are available.

    "Following the positive feedback we received from our guests from the successful rollout of Starlink's enhanced connectivity on our expedition ships, we are thrilled to share that both our ocean and expedition ships in our ultra-luxury fleet now feature Starlink. Our guests can now choose to connect or disconnect as they wish during their extraordinary journeys with Seabourn," said Natalya Leahy, president of Seabourn. "Whether exploring the polar regions, cruising the Mediterranean, or navigating across the oceans, our guests can now enjoy an even more dependable connection, enabling them to effortlessly share those cherished 'Seabourn Moments' and experiences with their loved ones when they are sailing with us."

    "We are so proud to provide a high level of enhanced technology for our guests who want to stay connected, whether it's sharing their personal experiences with friends and family or staying connected with work," added Kathleen Erickson, Seabourn's vice president of technology. "Having this technology will only enhance their experience when they sail on Seabourn."

    Starlink is now available on Seabourn's two new purpose-built ultra-luxury expedition ships, Seabourn Venture and Seabourn Pursuit, as well as its ocean ships, Seabourn Sojourn, Seabourn Quest, Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation.

  • 1/4/2024

    Pacific Hospitality Group Expands Relationship with Silverware POS at its Luxury Lifestyle Hotels

    phone displaying F&B online ordering menu

    Award winning Pacific Hospitality Group has deployed Silverware’s native purpose-built digital GuestX Ordering & Payments solution at their lifestyle properties. This exclusive group includes The Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, Calif. (Olive & Hay Restaurant – awarded the Napa Valley Wine Award by The Napa Valley Vintners in recognition of the restaurants expansive collection of renowned locally sourced wines); the Grand Reserve at The Meritage, also in Napa; the Paséa Hotel and Spa in Huntington Beach, Calif.; Hotel Viata in West Lake Hills, Calif.; and the Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort in Koloa, Hawaii (Red Salt Restaurant – four-time recipient of Honolulu Magazines Hale ‘Aina awards for Best Kauai Restaurant).

    “Silverware’s mission has always been to set PHG up for success,” said JB Crawford, an IT analyst and project manager with PHG. “They do that by developing flexible software, building strong integration partnerships, and providing unrivaled customer service. “Our operations teams are constantly analyzing and improving the performance of their concepts and items. For IT, this state of evolution means there is no such thing as ‘set it and forget it.’ We have to keep up, and Silverware’s flexibility and ease of use helps us do just that.”

    GuestX – fully integrated into the Silverware POS system – is transforming the digital dining experience at PHG properties.

    “GuestX has had a huge impact on our operations,” Crawford said. “Our teams are depending on it more than ever before. We use it for pools, spas, in-room dining, cafes, and large concert events. One thing that management relies on is Silverware’s ability to post to multiple PMS systems across our portfolio. For large, multi-PMS campuses, this is groundbreaking. Having multiple credit-card gateway integrations keeps our business competitive with the various credit-card processors.

    “COVID raised hospitality technology standards for the foreseeable future,” he said. “Touchless payments and flexible ordering are not going away. Digital technology is now commonplace; it’s a self-service tool that diners appreciate because it is seamless and frictionless, and owners like it because of the tremendous return on investment. I’d like to give a nod to Avero, FreedomPay, Givex, Infor HMS, Opentable, Profitsword by Actabl, and Yellow Dog Inventory who have deep integrations to Silverware POS. I would also like to say ‘thanks’ to the Silverware Help Desk whose level of knowledge on PHG properties is really impressive. The team is extraordinarily calm in moments of stress and they escalate quickly if need be. We could not be more pleased with Silverware.”

    Modern Dining Experience

    The GuestX Digital Platform was curated for hotels and resorts to elevate the guest experience in every corner of a property. The solution supports In-Room Dining, Grab & Go, Pool Side, Beach Front, Golf Course, and Banquets operations. GuestX allows guests to seamlessly place orders and pay through their mobile phone from every outlet on your property by credit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay and even post directly to their room. The platform is fully customizable to match your restaurants’ branding ensuring a consistent experience for your guests. Whether a property is dealing with labor shortages or skyrocketing labor costs, operators need a solution to maximize revenues and profits. Silverware GuestX goes a long way in solving these challenges.

    “GuestX is not an online ordering system converted for in-restaurant use, but rather it is a platform specifically designed for in-restaurant dining that frees up staff to focus on upselling and increasing guest spend … improving speed of service … boosting operational efficiencies … and curating an exceptional dining experience,” said Thomas Small, Silverware Global Enterprise Sales Director. “Like PHG, Silverware is forward-thinking in everything we do – especially evolving to meet the digital needs of today’s dining patrons. Our mutual goal is to deliver excellent service and singular, personalized experiences. As the PHG portfolio continues to grow, Silverware is confident that we will continue to grow with them and serve the brands and independents who are looking to activate a digital and modern dining experience.”

  • 12/14/2023

    Chipotle's Cultivate Next Fund Invests in Autonomous Ag Robots, Fertilizer

    Chipotle logo

    Chipotle Mexican Grill announced it is investing in Greenfield Robotics, a company founded with the vision of making regenerative farming more efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable by leveraging the latest advances in AI, robotics, and sensing technologies, and Nitricity, a company seeking to tackle greenhouse gas emissions by creating fertilizer products that are better for fields, farmers, and the environment. These minority investments are being made through Chipotle's $50 million Cultivate Next venture fund.

    Cultivate Next makes early-stage investments into strategically aligned companies that further Chipotle's mission to Cultivate a Better World and help accelerate the company's aggressive growth plans. As a people-first company, Chipotle is seeking opportunities that will elevate the human experience for its restaurant teams and suppliers as well as increase access and convenience for its guests.


    Robots for Regenerative Agriculture 

    Conventional farming destroys weeds with chemicals and soil tillage, resulting in escalating costs, soil erosion and degradation of soil, resistant weeds, and health risks for both wildlife and humans. Greenfield Robotics provides regenerative agriculture solutions without chemicals. Their fleets of autonomous robots are lightweight and cut weeds between rows of broadacre crops, day or night, reducing dependence on herbicides while supporting regenerative farming practices and reducing risk for farmers.

    With its Cultivate Next investment, Greenfield Robotics will continue its efforts to build out its fleet of autonomous agricultural robots and develop additional capabilities for forthcoming iterations of its robots, including micro-spraying, cover crop planting, and soil testing.

    "The work of Greenfield Robotics to build out a tech forward alternative to herbicides plays an important role in ensuring a more sustainable future for the agricultural industry," said Curt Garner, Chief Customer and Technology Officer, Chipotle. "We will help Greenfield Robotics scale their robotic offerings and explore how their robots can be deployed on farms within our supply chain."

    "Like Chipotle's commitment to Food with Integrity, we believe in the future of real, responsibly and sustainably raised food," said Clint Brauer, founder of Greenfield Robotics. "In partnership with Chipotle, we can continue to explore creative solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing farmers across the United States."

    New Age Fertilizer 

    Inspired by the natural occurrence of lightning breaking down nitrogen in the air and rainwater bringing it to the soil as nitrate to create natural fertilizer, Nitricity has pioneered a practice of creating artificial lightning. The company leverages air, water, and renewable energy from the artificial lightning to produce a cleaner, more sustainable, and cost-efficient fertilizer. The current process of producing, distributing, and using nitrogen fertilizer by way of the Haber-Bosch method requires a large amount of fossil fuels and emits significant amounts of carbon dioxide, contributing to 5-7% of total global GHG (greenhouse gases). Nitricity's nitrogen fertilizer has 5 to 10 times less GHG emissions due to its electrified production and field application process. Nitricity is building its production model of fertilizer on or near its end customers to limit the emissions from fertilizer distribution and application. Currently, up to 20% of fertilizer in the U.S. is imported through an expensive and complex supply chain.

    Nitricity has started field trials for their fertilizer product with Salinas Valley farmers, including Chipotle suppliers in the region. Funding from Cultivate Next will be used to scale up Nitricity's production of nitrogen, build out the company's infrastructure, and support the launch of its first commercial product within the next two years.

    "We're proud to support Nitricity's pursuit of a product innovation whose environmental benefits are complimentary to Chipotle's approach to Food With Integrity," said Jack Hartung, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, Chipotle. He added, "Fertilizers have experienced steep price increases in recent years due to supply chain issues, fossil fuel price volatility, and rising distribution costs. Nitricity's fertilizer offering not only has the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of the fertilizer industry, but it can be a cost-effective solution for growers in our supply chain."

    "Nitricity is committed to producing fertilizer that is optimized for farmers, not factory production or freight distribution," said Nico Pinkowski, co-founder and CEO of Nitricity. "Partnering with Chipotle will unquestionably accelerate our path toward disrupting the industry with climate-smart technology."

    Tim McAfee, a Cultivate Next Venture Collaborator and current Chipotle produce supplier noted: "I have visited the facilities of both Nitricity and Greenfield Robotics and am optimistic and enthusiastic about the impact these innovations could have on the growing community."

    What's Next for Cultivate Next? 
    Chipotle will continue to provide more updates on the Cultivate Next venture fund in 2024 and beyond. Companies interested in collaborating with Chipotle through the Cultivate Next venture fund can apply by emailing [email protected].  

  • 1/2/2024

    shiftNOW Brings its Flexible Hourly Workforce to Atlanta

    multicultural restaurant team

    shiftNOW, on-demand workforce solution, now serves Atlanta.

    Atlanta marks shiftNOW's second market within the state of Georgia as the company expanded to Savannah in late summer. shiftNOW also operates throughout all major markets in South Carolina, including Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, Beaufort, and Bluffton.

    With Atlanta being one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States, shiftNOW offers a wide breadth of hourly shift types to support all major hospitality businesses with a high-quality, screened workforce.

    "Atlanta is the hub of the southeast and is home to some of the nation's largest brands," said shiftNOW Founder and CEO, David Wise. "We couldn't be more excited to be boots on the ground in Atlanta and start serving our largest market to date."

    shiftNOW's expansion comes at the right time as the state of Georgia broke tourism records in 2022 and welcomed its largest number of visitors yet. Georgia's 167.7 million domestic and international visitors in 2022 helped generate $73 billion in total economic impact.

    Despite the return to normalcy that the leisure and hospitality industry has seen in recent years, the sector has a 5.5% unemployment rate compared to the national average of 3.7%. The 2023 National Restaurant Association Report found that 90% of operators believed recruiting and retaining employees would continue to be a key struggle for their business.

    shiftNOW serves several business types, including catering companies, country clubs and golf courses, restaurants, bars, hotels, hospitality groups, event venues, and festivals. Through the shiftNOW platform, businesses can source hourly workers to fulfill their front-of-house, back-of-house, event, or general labor needs.

    Atlanta-based businesses can now create a shiftNOW Business Account to begin posting their on-demand or full-time needs. With shiftNOW, businesses can review high-quality applicants and select the right worker for their needs – all with white-glove support from a dedicated Account Manager.

    Individuals seeking new work, supplemental income, or the opportunity to network can download the shiftNOW mobile app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

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