News Briefs

  • 2/1/2024

    Instant Financial Moves Over $1B in Employee Payments, Signaling Increased Demand for EWA

    instant logo

    Instant Financial, the pioneer of responsible earned wage access (EWA), electronic tips and paycard solutions, moved over $1B in employee payments and processed over 52 million employee transactions in 2023, driving an 18% annual increase in distributed payments via Instant’s responsible employee pay platform. Both achievements highlight the increased demand for fee-free employee pay options, and serve as an indicator of momentum for the Payday Revolution.

    The company began last year with a bold new brand identity and an enhanced website designed to signal the onset of the Payday Revolution and solidify its mission to help employees get paid how, when and where they want. Shortly after its Q1 rebranding, Instant completed its Series A2 funding round, underscoring the confidence and support garnered from investors who recognize the societal impact of Instant’s mission.

    “The collective efforts of the groundbreaking strides made in 2023 stand as a testament to our team’s dedication to empowering employees and providing financial freedom to all,” said Tal Clark, CEO of Instant. “Whether it’s earned wages, electronic tips, payroll cards or employee mileage reimbursement, our organization has taken the lead in improving the traditional employee pay cycle. We plan to continue to lead the charge in fee-free employee pay while offering a wider range of options for employees to access their hard-earned pay and tips in 2024.”

    Increasing Demand For Pay Flexibility
    According to PayrollOrg’s 2023 “Getting Paid In America” survey, more than one-third of Americans either want to or already have access to their pay as they earn it. This shift in EWA adoption aligns with a broader trend in how workplaces are evolving.

    In 2023, Instant continued to lead the industry in providing fee-free electronic tips to employees, with a 21% annual increase in the total amount of Instant Tips distributed. With more than half of Americans worried about making their money last until payday, Instant is empowering countless workers across the country to access their earnings how they choose, at companies like Bloomin’ Brands, Papa Johns, Gen Korean BBQ and more.

    Additional achievements from 2023 include:

    The momentum built by Instant Financial in 2023 further solidifies the demand for a future where the workforce has greater control over their financial well-being. In 2024, Instant Financial will remain steadfast in its commitment to revolutionizing how employees receive their pay, fostering a future where financial empowerment is a reality for all.

    Learn more about Instant’s mission to foster financial freedom and wellness across the country at instant.co.

  • 2/1/2024

    Bounteous, Accolite Merge

    acquistion merger man hands holding blocks

    Bounteous  and  Accolite Digital, a digital engineering, cloud, data & AI services provider, have announced their merger, creating a new end-to-end digital transformation services consultancy that partners with leading brands around the globe to co-innovate and drive exceptional client outcomes.

    The combined company will be headquartered out of Chicago with offices across North America, Europe, Asia and will be 5,000 people strong, with 1,200+ in North America, 3,400 + in APAC and 400+ in Europe. Post the merger, the company serves over 300 Fortune 1,000 and high growth clients, solving their mission-critical problems. With this merger, the company will be amongst the world's leading digital transformation consultancies.

    Keith Schwartz will serve as CEO and Leela Kaza will serve as Co-CEO of the combined entity, where they will work together to further their mission of empowering businesses worldwide to compete more successfully in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

    Clients will benefit from a comprehensive range of AI & Data, Cloud, Customer Experience & Martech, Digital Commerce, and Product Engineering solutions. With an experienced, scaled and diverse team of experts across the globe, clients will have access to the right talent to deliver excellence, regardless of location.

    “This combination accelerates the realization of the vision Bounteous has been working toward since our founding: to become the world's preeminent digital innovation partner. Accolite shares our obsession with customer success and has an admirable track record of creating lasting value and impact for their clients," said Keith Schwartz, Co-Founder and CEO of Bounteous. "Together, we are re-shaping the landscape of digital transformation and helping businesses adapt and succeed in the age of the connected customer.“

    "As customer demands become increasingly complex, businesses need a technology partner who can see the bigger picture and deliver solutions that help them win in their category," said Leela Kaza, Founder and CEO of Accolite. "With the digital innovation mastery of Bounteous combined with Accolite’s digital engineering expertise and talent across North America, EMEA, and APAC, we are uniquely positioned to empower our clients to create extraordinary customer experiences that inspire genuine brand appreciation and long-term loyalty. This combination also fulfills our stated goal of becoming one of the top digital engineering firms in the world.”

    Both companies are backed by New Mountain Capital, a New York-based investment firm.

  • 2/1/2024

    BentoBox Introduces the BentoBox Marketing & Commerce Platform

    data pc lady

    BentoBox, the Official Restaurant Technology Partner of the James Beard Foundation, has launched the BentoBox Marketing & Commerce Platform, an all-in-one restaurant commerce engine—encompassing modules for websites, online ordering, reservations, and events management.

    This includes the introduction of BentoCore, the heart of the platform that houses a restaurant's diner data and centralizes menu information, marketing tools, and branding materials. BentoCore powers diner-facing modules that restaurants can activate based on their needs, including Restaurant Website, Takeout & Delivery, Digital Waitlist, Online Catering, Events Management, Reservations, Gift Cards, and QR Code Order & Pay. The activation of more modules allows BentoCore to collect more data, providing a fuller view of restaurant's diners and overall business performance, enabling more targeted marketing and smarter hospitality.

    Key features of BentoCore include:

    1. Diner Database: Gives restaurants a unified view of their diners.
      • It collects and stores data from diner interactions with a restaurant's website, online ordering, reservations, and more, which restaurants can then use to create more personalized marketing and hospitality experiences.
    2. Menu Management: Allows restaurants to centrally manage all of their menus and menu items, taking a one-and-done approach.
      • Whenever a restaurant needs to make a change to a menu, they only need to do it once and the menu will automatically update everywhere it shows up online.
    3. Brand Center: Stores diner-facing brand elements live such as logos, colors, and fonts.
      • Once the restaurant's brand elements are uploaded to the Brand Center, they can be applied to any module, making it easy to give diners a consistent brand experience.
    4. Marketing & Loyalty: Includes all the tools that restaurants need to stay connected with customers and keep them coming back such as email marketing, SMS marketing, and loyalty programs. These include:
      • Automated Emails: After a customer has ordered online, made a reservation, or planned an event, the platform will automatically send well-timed emails encouraging them to do it again.
      • Email Campaigns: Restaurants are able to create custom email campaigns like newsletters and send to pre-built or custom-segmented customer lists.  
      • SMS Marketing
        • Automated SMS: After a customer has ordered online, made a reservation, or planned an event, the platform will automatically send well-timed texts encouraging them to do it again.
        • SMS Campaigns: Restaurants are able to create custom campaigns with promotions and other updates and send to pre-built or custom-segmented customer lists. 
      • Loyalty Programs: Restaurants are able to keep customers coming back by offering rewards and incentives based on the number of orders placed or amount of money spent.

    As restaurants today face numerous challenges, the BentoBox Marketing & Commerce Platform enables restaurants to stand out, sell, engage more diners, and operate more efficiently. As a champion of restaurants and the hospitality industry, BentoBox is providing restaurants with technology that will create better guest experiences, better operator experiences, and faster growth.

  • 2/1/2024

    ProSafe Unveils Revolutionary Safety Features: A Game-Changer for Hospitality Security

    prosafe logo

    ProSafe, a provider of hotel safety solutions, announced a groundbreaking update to its platform, introducing cutting-edge features designed to enhance the safety and well-being of hotel associates.

    Origins and Vision

    The idea behind ProSafe originated from a simple yet profound concept: safeguarding hotel associates is crucial for creating a secure work environment. ProSafe’s Co-Founders are based in New Jersey, the first state that required geolocation panic buttons legally.  Yazan, was a GM at the time  in Southern New Jersey and received a phone call from procurement and was unimpressed by existing options and completely floored by the price of pre-approved vendors.  Having a keen understanding of brand, on-property and above-property operations and recognizing associates as a hotel's most valuable asset, this truth led ProSafe’s Co-Founders to develop and innovate its platform to address various forms of harassment, ensure compliance, and optimize workflow.

    Differentiating from Competitors

    ProSafe distinguishes itself by embracing a holistic approach to safety, setting it apart from competitors. Seamlessly integrating with hotel operations, ProSafe creates a unified ecosystem that prioritizes simplicity, ease of use, and security. This distinctive approach empowers hoteliers to elevate safety measures without compromising their daily operations.

    In addition to its holistic approach, ProSafe offers a suite of features that outshine competitors.  The platform stands out as a cost-effective safety solution, providing comprehensive features at a competitive price point. This ensures that hotels, regardless of size, can implement robust safety measures without straining their budget.

    ProSafe's commitment extends to protecting every staff member at a hotel, from housekeeping to management. This inclusivity sets ProSafe apart, making it the preferred choice for hotels aiming to safeguard their entire team.

    The platform automatically encrypts both audio and visual evidence on the device and a remote server. This not only ensures precise incident details but also prevents data loss in case of device damage or theft.

    ProSafe's Panic Button offers flexibility with both discreet and auditable alarm options. Associates can activate the Panic Button silently or audibly, tailoring their response based on their comfort level with the situation.

    ProSafe introduces its patented SafeKey, a 2-in-1 wearable panic button and master key that seamlessly integrates an additional layer of security into its platform. This unique feature enhances overall protection for associates and hotel operations.

    Legal concerns are addressed by providing a documented trail of incident reports. This not only assists in effective dispute resolution but also mitigates legal liability for hoteliers, ensuring a safer and legally compliant environment.

    New Features Transforming Safety Protocols

    ProSafe's latest features empower associates and hotel management to proactively address safety concerns. The Panic Button feature provides a layer of safety, allowing associates to discreetly or audibly activate it based on their comfort level. Audio and visual evidence are automatically encrypted and saved, ensuring protection and preventing data loss.

    SafeSync, a patented feature, alerts the dashboard and all active users simultaneously, ensuring the quickest possible response time. The platform's streamlined setup process, from creating a ProSafe account to self-installation and associate setup, ensures a simple yet powerful and efficient onboarding process for hotels.

    Revolutionizing Safety and Security

    ProSafe's latest features, combined with strategic partnerships, mark a significant step towards revolutionizing safety and security in the hospitality industry. The platform's real-time monitoring, and access control set a new benchmark for comprehensive safety solutions.

    "ProSafe is not just a set of tools; it's a comprehensive safety ecosystem designed to evolve with the industry's needs," says Yazan Barqawi, ProSafe's CEO. "Our goal is to empower hoteliers with the tools they need to prioritize safety without compromising the warmth and hospitality that define their establishments."

    ProSafe's Commitment to Simplicity and Security

    ProSafe's commitment to simplicity ensures that getting acquainted with the application's interface won't require extra time or training. ProSafe's discretion function darkens the layout when the panic button is pressed, displaying only essential buttons for added privacy.

    Active Alert and Incident Reports

    In the event of an incident, ProSafe's SafeHub immediately notifies hotel management and all associates on site for a prompt and effective response. The platform also offers incident reports, allowing hotels to document and track all incidents, providing essential information if matters escalate.

    Conclusion

    As ProSafe continues to pioneer safety solutions for the hospitality industry, the impact on hotel associates and the industry at large is poised to be transformative. With a commitment to excellence, simplicity, and security, ProSafe is leading the charge in redefining safety standards for hotels worldwide.

  • 2/1/2024

    INNsight Launches New Features, Updates

    Innsight logo

    INNsight, a hospitality software and marketing agency with more than a decade of industry experience, is excited to announce the launch of its newest features and updates aimed at enhancing the digital presence and operational efficiency of hotels, inns, and B&Bs. 

    With a proven track record spanning more than 10 years, INNsight has played a pivotal role in driving hundreds of millions of dollars in direct revenue for its hotel clients. The company’s comprehensive suite of services covers a range of essential online tools, including website design and deployment, email hosting, domain management, pay-per-click management, social media management, and property management system software. 

    INNsight stands out in the industry by offering an all-encompassing solution to eliminate the hassle of seeking multiple providers for digital marketing and management needs. The proprietary software suite includes a property management system, website content management system, reputation management system, facilities management system, email marketing system, and more. 

    One standout feature is ADA TRAY, a reliable and cost-effective patent-pending widget designed to enhance website accessibility. INNsight’s commitment to inclusivity allows users with audio, visual, or mobility disabilities to customize websites, ensuring compliance with WCAG 2.1 and Section 508 requirements. 

    Another noteworthy addition to INNsight’s portfolio is Keen™ Reputation Management. Keen™ goes beyond the ordinary, offering advanced software and services that revolutionize the way businesses engage with customer reviews on major online travel agencies and review platforms. Offering real-time monitoring, Keen™ enables hoteliers to track satisfaction trends, receive immediate notifications for new reviews, and engage customers effectively. Versatile across platforms like Google, Yelp, and TripAdvisor, Keen™ categorizes reviews by tone (neutral, positive, negative), empowering hoteliers to swiftly address issues and build brand loyalty. Keen’s proactive Review Solicitation System sends customized emails to guests, encouraging positive reviews and transforming satisfied guests into advocates. A personalized QR code system strategically placed throughout the hotel incentivizes guests to leave reviews, enhancing online reputation and rankings on review sites. With a dedicated account manager responding within 24-48 hours, Keen™ ensures prompt guest engagement, addressing concerns, and capitalizing on positive feedback. Keen™ sets a new standard for efficient reputation management in the competitive hospitality industry. 

    INNsight proudly introduces its latest product, the Online Guest Directory. This comprehensive and user-friendly directory aims to provide a seamless and personalized guest experience while streamlining hotel operations. With the Online Guest Directory, guests can access information about the property, services, and more, eliminating the need for outdated printed materials and reducing inquiries for enhanced hospitality.

    “We are thrilled to unveil these innovative features and products that reflect our commitment to revolutionizing the hospitality tech landscape,” said Raj Patel, CEO at INNsight. 

    INNsight’s dedication to excellence has garnered the company a reputation as a go-to solution provider for the hospitality industry. For more information about INNsight, please visit https://www.innsight.com/.

  • 1/31/2024

    AHLA: 72% of Americans Likely to Maintain or Increase Hotel Stays in 2024

    72% of Americans say they plan to either maintain or increase their number of hotel stays in 2024 compared to 2023, and hotels remain the top lodging choice for likely travelers, according to a survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association and conducted by Morning Consult.

    The survey found that most Americans (53%) plan to travel overnight for leisure during the next four months, and 32% plan to travel overnight for business. Hotels remain the most popular lodging choice for likely travelers, including 71% of likely business travelers and 50% of likely leisure travelers.

    Despite the positive outlook for hoteliers, the survey also showed that inflation is preventing hotels and other travel-related businesses from reaching their full potential. It found that over the next four months:

    • 56% of respondents said they are less likely to stay in a hotel because of inflation
    • 53% said they are less likely to travel overnight because of inflation
    • 48% said they are less likely to travel by airplane because of inflation
    • 44% said they are less likely to rent a car because of inflation

    The poll surveyed 2,202 U.S. adults from January 6-7, 2024. Other key findings include:

    • 51% of respondents said they are likely to travel overnight for a family trip in the next four months, 39% of whom said they would likely stay in a hotel.
    • 38% said they are likely to travel overnight for a romantic getaway in the next four months, 60% of whom said they would likely stay in a hotel.
    • 32% said they are likely to travel overnight for Spring Break, 45% of whom said they would likely stay in a hotel.
    • 35% of those surveyed ranked high-speed Wi-Fi as the top technological amenity they consider when evaluating hotels.
    • 14% of those surveyed ranked keyless entry or mobile check-in as the top technological amenity they consider when evaluating hotels.

    “These survey results underscore the tremendous potential 2024 holds for hoteliers and hotel employees,” said AHLA President & CEO Chip Rogers. “The year ahead will not be without challenges, however, and these findings show that inflation is preventing hotels from reaching their full potential. Still, hoteliers are optimistic about the year ahead and excited continue providing excellent services for guests throughout 2024.”

     

    Morning Consult Survey Methodology

    This poll was conducted between January 6-7, 2024, among a sample of 2,202 adults. The interviews were conducted online, and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, gender, race, educational attainment, region, gender by age, and race by educational attainment. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

     

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