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News Briefs

  • 3/4/2024

    GiftAMeal Partners with Big Colony to Release Restaurant App-Integration with with Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken

    Lees Famous Recipe mobile app

    GiftAMeal, the innovative cause-marketing program that turns customer photos into meals for local families in need, announces its new partnership with Big Colony, the marketing and technology consultancy purpose-built for restaurant brands. Big Colony recently unveiled Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken's new mobile app, which includes seamless integration with the GiftAMeal platform.

    The Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken app design includes a GiftAMeal button on the home page that allows customers to engage directly and effortlessly with the GiftAMeal program. By simply clicking the button and uploading a photo of their dining experience, customers trigger a restaurant-funded donation to a local food bank to help provide a meal to a family in need. For its community impact, GiftAMeal was presented with HT's Industry Hero Award at MURTEC in 2023. 

    "We are grateful to Big Colony for collaborating with us to make giving back even easier for Lee’s customers. Integrating with restaurants’ mobile apps is the next technological step for GiftAMeal, enhancing the customer experience in a manner that’s easy and impactful," says Andrew Glantz, CEO and Founder of GiftAMeal. 

    Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken, one of GiftAMeal's larger partners at 130 locations, has provided over 125,000 meals to families in need across 32 local food banks since launching the partnership in July 2022.

    "The integration of GiftAMeal in our new mobile app reflects our deep-rooted commitment to community engagement and enhances the integration, making it incredibly user-friendly,” said Dan Sokolik, VP of Marketing at Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken. “This streamlined approach allows our customers to give back impactfully with just a few taps on their smartphones.”

    In addition to the in-app integration, Sokolik also added GiftAMeal to the brand’s online ordering email confirmations via GiftAMeal’s integration with Olo.

    As GiftAMeal continues to expand its network of restaurant partners, Big Colony’s design for Lee’s mobile app stands as a testament to the program's effectiveness in combining technology, dining experiences, and charitable giving for the greater good.a

  • 9/14/2023

    Domino's Updates Rewards Program

    Dominos Rewards Updated

    Domino's Pizza Inc. introduces its new and improved loyalty program. 

    Domino's Rewards offers loyalty members even more opportunities to earn and redeem points across its corporate and franchise store locations. Domino's enhanced rewards program allows customers to:

    • Earn points for less
      • Loyalty members will now earn 10 points on every order of $5 or more
    • Redeem points for even more menu items – and earn free Domino's after just two orders
      • Members can redeem a variety of points for more menu items:
        • 20 points: A free dipping cup, a 16-piece order of Parmesan Bread Bites or a 20 oz. drink
        • 40 points: An order of Bread Twists or Stuffed Cheesy Bread
        • 60 points: A medium, two-topping pizza; pasta; Oven-Baked Sandwich; or a 3-piece order of Chocolate Lava Crunch Cakes
    • Earn more rewards
      • Loyalty perks are now even better, as members will have exclusive access to member-only deals, special discounts and opportunities to earn bonus points!

    "We are thrilled to give the brand's loyal customers additional ways to earn free Domino's items more often," said Mark Messing, Domino's vice president of digital experience and loyalty. "At a time when most brands are scaling back their loyalty programs and making it more difficult to earn and redeem points, Domino's is doing the opposite. We want to make it easier to reward our customers and give them more options so they can get rewarded faster."

    Marketing a LTO 

    From now until Oct. 22, 2023, rewards members can take advantage of a limited time offer to redeem 20 points for a free order of Domino's new Pepperoni Stuffed Cheesy Bread, which is normally a 40-point redemption, in celebration of the product's recent launch. 

  • 3/4/2024

    SiteMinder Launches Its Platform on Mobile

    screenshot of siteminder mobile app

    SiteMinder, the name behind the only software platform that unlocks the full revenue potential of hotels, has today released its industry-leading platform on mobile, to give accommodation providers the power to execute their property’s revenue management strategy and mitigate real-time risks, free from their desk. The mobile app represents the first phase of the delivery of SiteMinder’s smart platform, set to launch later this year, and a key milestone in SiteMinder’s mission to make sophisticated revenue management accessible to every hotel in the world.

    Available in eight languages, today's release of SiteMinder’s mobile app follows a Beta period which saw more than 800 users in over 60 countries signup in spite of no marketing or promotion. It allows accommodation providers to forecast revenue performance and take targeted action whenever needed, using their personalized 14-day overview of rooms sold, revenue earned and best performing distribution channels. Unlike existing solutions, users can also respond to real-time booking demand by easily executing time-sensitive revenue management functions in-app, such as instant rate and availability adjustments, minimum and maximum stay length adjustments, and room sale closures until pricing is fully optimized.

    SiteMinder’s chief product officer, Leah Rankin, says SiteMinder’s mobile app is a response to the thousands of hoteliers who for years have been accessing the company’s platform for desktop from their mobile device. The release of SiteMinder’s platform on mobile is about ensuring they and all accommodation providers have the continuous ability to maximize their property’s revenue performance and take rapid action to avert risks.

    “We are living in a new era of travel that brings with it new booking patterns and behaviors. Never before have hoteliers had to be so dynamic in their response to an unpredictable booking landscape. Speed-to-market can now mean the difference between thousands upon thousands of revenue gained or revenue lost. That is why today, the power of SiteMinder, which for more than 41,000 hotels last year generated over US$45 billion in revenue from more than 115 million reservations, is officially in our customers’ hands,” says Rankin.

    “Without any marketing or promotion, we saw significant early sign up volumes to our mobile app, which indicated the real need and demand for a mobile-optimized experience. It’s an experience where hoteliers can execute their end-to-end revenue management and marketing strategies at speed, when on the move. It’s also where trusted data ensures they don’t miss out on ultra time-sensitive revenue opportunities, like demand-driving public events or changes in competitors’ pricing, and where errors can be fixed within seconds, before any monetary or reputational damage occurs. These are capabilities that have traditionally felt too complex and large scale to execute, even on desktop. But this is the new era of dynamic revenue management, and mobility is at the heart of it.”

    One of the app’s first adopters is Solmar Hotels & Resorts in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico – a favorite destination for US travelers. Hermes Alejandro Avendaño Lopez, the company’s Corporate E-Commerce Coordinator, says  "The new SiteMinder app has been a lifesaver. It was a much-needed step up compared to accessing SiteMinder through our mobile’s browsers, enabling us to be much more dynamic at managing the inventory, rates, and availability of our properties."

    Another early mover, Le Thi To Mai, Revenue Manager at Alba Wellness Valley by Fusion in Vietnam, comments, “SiteMinder’s new app has streamlined our revenue management with quick availability checks, performance reports and rapid rate updates – perfect for our dynamic pricing strategy. It's been a game-changer for us.”

    Adds Encarni Ogea Bermúdez, Director at Costa Azul Hostel in Spain: “The mobile app is super practical, fast and easy-to-use. It allows me to instantly visualize key information, like availability and minimum stays, from the palm of my hand.”

    SiteMinder’s mobile app has been unveiled at ITB Berlin, where the company’s revenue product consultant, Aimee Olley, will provide a keynote presentation about what the release means for the world’s hotels. 


     

  • 3/3/2024

    SHR and Cloudbeds Announce Partnership

    SHR and CloudBeds logos

    SHR, a provider of innovative technology solutions for the hotel industry, and Cloudbeds, the premier hospitality management software platform, proudly announce their collaboration aimed at elevating hotel management through the integration of Allora CRS (Windsurfer) and the Cloudbeds platform.

    The collaboration between SHR and Cloudbeds marks a significant milestone in the hospitality technology landscape. By joining forces, both companies aim to deliver enhanced solutions that empower hoteliers to streamline operations, optimize revenue, and elevate the overall guest experience.

    Key highlights of the partnership:

    • Integration of Allora CRS: The partnership will focus on seamlessly integrating Allora CRS into Cloudbeds' comprehensive hospitality management platform. This integration will provide hoteliers with a unified solution for central reservations, property management, and revenue management.
    • Advanced Connectivity: Hoteliers using Allora CRS and Cloudbeds' platform can expect advanced connectivity and real-time synchronization of data, ensuring accurate and up-to-date information across all aspects of their operations.

    Heinrich Kessler, Chief Commercial Officer at SHR, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership: "We are thrilled to partner with Cloudbeds in bringing a new level of innovation to the hospitality industry. This collaboration represents a commitment to providing hoteliers with cutting-edge technology that simplifies their operations and enhances overall efficiency."

    Sebastien Leitner, Vice President of Partnerships at Cloudbeds, added: "Cloudbeds is dedicated to empowering hoteliers with powerful, intuitive solutions. Teaming up with SHR and integrating the Allora CRS (Windsurfer) into our platform aligns with our mission to provide hoteliers with the tools they need to succeed in today's dynamic hospitality landscape."

  • 3/4/2024

    Mews Raises $110m to Accelerate Cloud Technology in Hospitality

    mews logo

    Mews announced today that it is raising fresh funding of $110m. The round is led by existing investor Kinnevik, alongside Revaia, Goldman Sachs Alternatives, Notion Capital and new investor LGVP. The new funding values the company at $1.2bn.

    The funding follows a year of significant growth. In the last year, Mews has achieved:

    • Over 60% increase in revenue year-on-year, crossing $100m in annualized net revenue
    • A significant increase in Gross Payment Volume to over $8bn
    • Over 16 million annual check-ins at hotels worldwide
    • Over 1,000 integrations with hospitality’s best technology in its marketplace
    • Three new acquisitions (Frontdesk Anywhere, Hotello and Nomi), taking the total number of hospitality companies acquired by Mews to eight

    The latest investment bolsters the financial standing of Mews as it sets itself up for major growth. The funding will see Mews prioritize its global expansion, research and development, and acquisitions, enabling the world’s most innovative hospitality organizations to accelerate their digital transformation.

    Richard Valtr, an ex-hotelier, founded Mews in 2012 when building a hotel in Prague, Czech Republic. Having spent the summer holidays as a night receptionist, Valtr realized that the hospitality industry is built on legacy, on-premise technology. Mews aims to revolutionize hotel operations with its cloud-based system that integrates with thousands of other tech solutions. Today, over 350,000 hospitality spaces are managed via Mews across 5,000 customers worldwide, including Strawberry Hotels, The Social Hub and Airelles.

    Richard Valtr, Mews Founder, commented, “We’re seeing a fundamental shift in the way the world’s leading hospitality brands are accelerating their digital transformation and reshaping the way they deliver hospitality. With this raise we will continue to build industry-leading products with a world-class team behind us. In five years, the way that hospitality brands and guests interact with each other will be completely different, with Mews leading the way.”

    Matt Welle, CEO of Mews, added, “This funding is a credit to the strength of our vision, the Mews team, our forward-thinking customers and committed investors who have helped us get to where we are today. As more hoteliers embrace modern technology, we have a huge opportunity to help them streamline their operations, build more profitable businesses and deliver personalized guest experiences. Mews is in a unique position to truly transform the industry.”

    Akhil Chainwala, Investment Director at Kinnevik, commented, Matt and Richard are building a product and a team that is redefining the hospitality industry. In the short period of time since our initial investment, Mews has outperformed our expectations as it moved into new geographies and segments. Now, we are excited to further back the team to help them realize their ambitions and accelerate even more quickly – especially to extend the platform’s combination of software and payments. We’re looking forward to continuing this journey with Mews and being a part of the transformation that is happening across the industry.”

    Alexander Lippert, Managing Director in Growth Equity at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, added, “Mews is making a transformative impact to support some of the most innovative hospitality brands around the world as cloud adoption accelerates across the $15.5 trillion global travel and tourism industry[1]. With the increased demand for modern technology, Mews and its industry-leading platform is positioned to enable an even wider set of hospitality customers to transform their operations, diversify their revenue and improve the guest experience.”

     

    The latest funding is in addition to the company’s $185m investment round in December 2022, which was led by Kinnevik and the Growth Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

  • 3/4/2024

    WTTC’s Hotel Sustainability Basics Surpasses 1,700 Properties

    logo, company name

    The World Travel & Tourism Council's (WTTC) Hotel Sustainability Basics (Basics), the global initiative helping hoteliers on their first steps to improve their sustainability ratings, has reached a significant milestone with over 1,700 hotels verified across 70 countries worldwide.

    In her speech at ITB Berlin, WTTC President & CEO Julia Simpson celebrated the achievement and highlighted the commitment of the industry towards a more sustainable future. Basics is a key pillar to making hotels more sustainable and giving the public an at-glance verification. 

    Hotels groups from major Travel & Tourism destinations such as France, China, Mexico, India, Germany, South Africa, Philippines, and Norway, amongst many others, have joined the groundbreaking initiative.

    Major hotel brands which have now adopted ‘Basics’ include Jin Jiang, one of the world’s biggest hotel groups with more than 10,000 hotels, European hotel giant Louvre Hotel Group, Choice Hotels, and Radisson Hotel Group.

    During its inaugural year, Hotel Sustainability Basics also gained endorsements from destinations worldwide, including the Caribbean, Mauritius, Colombia, UAE, Azerbaijan, Mexico, and Ecuador.

    Other major Travel & Tourism brands joining the initiative include adventure travel specialist Intrepid, British Airways Holidays, HBX Group, WebBeds and Abercrombie & Kent.

    This independent global sustainability verification programme, overseen by internationally recognised verifiers Green Key and SGS, empowers hotels of all sizes to follow a 12-step programme aimed at reducing carbon emissions, promoting nature conservation, and ensuring local communities benefit from the hotel's operations.

    Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Our goal is to have a globally recognised trademark that shows customers at a glance, that a hotel is supporting the planet by saving energy, cutting plastics, protecting nature, and supporting their local community. It is a win win.

    ‘We launched the scheme only a year ago and the uptake has been incredible. 70 countries have signed up with over 1700 properties verified with a long waiting list. It will bring lasting change.

    ‘I would like to thank Glen Mandziuk at the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, Randy Durband at GDST, along with our partners at the Azerbaijan Tourism Board for providing the intellectual rigour and drive to make this happen’ 

    WTTC is committed to leading the charge in sustainable Travel & Tourism, following the demand of the industry, to further advance their work on globally aligned sustainability indicators, hand in hand with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

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