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  • 3/5/2024

    IHG Hotels & Resorts Selects TipBrightly as Approved Cashless Tipping Vendor for North America

    TipBrightly logo

    TipBrightly, a pioneer in digital cashless tipping, has been selected by IHG Hotels & Resorts as an approved vendor.

    This agreement brings TipBrightly digital tipping to potentially thousands of properties in North America. As the hotel industry faces the unintended impact of a cashless society on staff – like getting no tips from customers who prefer phones or credit cards – IHG is making positive changes with their workers and hotel guests in mind. Workers like housekeepers and valets depend on tips to help pay their bills. Guests often feel guilty when they leave no tip.

    Inspired by her mother, a housekeeper, Founder and CEO, Elle Rustique, PhD, grew up knowing how much tips mattered, especially for women. Her mother would take her and her siblings to McDonald’s whenever she earned a big tip. "I wanted to help women like my mother who spent her hard-earned tips on her children,” Rustique explained.

    The female-run startup designed TipBrightly to solve not only the problem of guests not carrying cash but also to increase employee earnings and morale during COVID. With no app download needed, a hotel guest can use their mobile phone to scan a QR code placed in the room.

    Research has established that consumers will tip more digitally, than with cash. TipBrightly’s Rustique explains, “It's no longer surprising to see $50, $100, $200 tips. The average tip is up to five times greater since TipBrightly launched. Our customers have reported employees earning $1 more per hour,” said Elle Rustique.

    One of the challenges with digital tipping is making guests aware that there is now an alternative way. While digital tipping in hotels makes tipping easier, the overall landscape has been confusing with tipping options being suggested through P.O.S. systems, often inappropriately. In 2023, TipBrightly collaborated with IHG’s Kimpton’s Design Studio to make master branded signage for each of Kimpton’s unique properties.

    “The future is indeed brighter for hotel workers,” said CEO Rustique, adding that TipBrightly is on track to reach $1 million dollars with 100,000 tips and a presence in every U.S. state by the end of the year.


    Testimonials

    “TipBrightly has been a great platform for our housekeeping team. We saw a drastic reduction in cash tipping during the pandemic and that trend seems to be keeping hold. The TipBrightly team made it incredibly easy to begin collecting gratuities in a new way. We collected around $7,000 in additional gratuities for our team members last year!” Libby Busick, Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland, ME.

    "TipBrightly was very convenient. I often do not have cash to tip and feel bad. This makes it easier and also helps me not forget,” explained L. Collins, a guest who stayed at the Kimpton Hotel Marlowe in Boston.

    “A lot of our housekeepers have been with us since the beginning and since we’ve implemented TipBrightly, more tips have definitely gone into their pockets,” described by Tiffannie Sims, General Manager, Hotel Peter & Paul, New Orleans, LA.

    “We have not had to hire a single housekeeper for over a year,” explained David McCartney, General Manager of Hotel Arras in Asheville, NC.

  • 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. 

  • 3/5/2024

    AHLA Announces Leadership Transition

    The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) announced today that William “Chip” Rogers resigned from his position as AHLA president & CEO last Friday to pursue other professional interests. The AHLA Board of Directors is in the process of forming a committee to identify and evaluate potential replacement candidates and will be retaining an executive search firm.

    Effective immediately, AHLA Senior Executive Vice President & COO Kevin Carey will also serve as AHLA’s interim president & CEO. He will report directly to the Board until a permanent president & CEO is selected and onboarded.

    “We have been able to build one of America’s most effective associations over the last five years. As I move on to my next chapter, I am truly thankful for the opportunity I had to lead this incredible team and work alongside the industry's best leaders,” said Rogers.

    AHLA Board Chair Kevin Jacobs stated, “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Chip for his service to AHLA. We now begin a search for a new CEO to lead AHLA during this exciting time for both our industry and our association. The board and I look forward to working with the next CEO to advance our mission well into the future.”

    More information regarding AHLA’s open president & CEO position will be available on the AHLA website in the coming weeks.

  • 3/5/2024

    Grazzy Selected as an IHG Hotels & Resorts Approved Digital Tipping Partner

    Grazzy logo and tip screen

    Grazzy is now an approved partner for the IHG Hotels & Resorts properties. Grazzy’s ability to quickly and securely scale across large multi-brand portfolios has earned the company status as the go-to platform for cashless payments for hotel and service operators.

    Because the major brands determined that Grazzy meets stringent software security and brand experience standards, large operators like Hotel Equities, Crestline Hotels, Dimension Hospitality, and many others have in turn tapped Grazzy to support rapidly-scaling digital tipping programs. Grazzy’s ability to fully launch digital tipping programs in about 30 days, then optimize program performance down to the level of individual locations, makes the company a valuable partner as operators expand digital payment options for guests.

    The digital tipping platform provides hotel guests a simple way to tip without cash and without requiring an app download or account setup. Available payment methods range from credit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, or even charge-to-room options. Guests also have the option to provide real-time feedback that can be connected to User Generated Content travel review websites.

    “The stage is set for digital tipping to become commonplace in 2024. Hotels and many other types of service-focused businesses recognize the importance of tips as a competitive tool in a tight labor market,” said Russ Lemmer, Grazzy CEO. “But these businesses also need simple tools to help allocate earnings, automate tax preparation and manage the success of digital tipping solutions within their businesses. Grazzy has approached the hospitality market as a collaborative disruptor, maximizing the value that Grazzy provides to hourly team members, operators, and the guest.” 

    By making cashless tips simple for guests, Grazzy helps guest-facing employees earn as much as $1-2 more per hour. They can then access their earnings instantly with Grazzy Direct, a same-day payout option that allows employees to move money and begin spending the very same day.

    In the back office, Grazzy provides IRS tip income-compliant reporting that is kept continually up-to-date, simplifying payroll processes for complex businesses. The platform also provides detailed program performance metrics to help hotel brands, operators and individual locations maximize the value their guests and employees get from digital tipping.

  • 3/5/2024

    Tripleseat Introduces the Next Evolution of Tickets with Tripleseat Tickets

    logo, company name

    Tripleseat, the leading innovator in cloud-based sales and event management software for the hospitality industry, proudly unveils Tripleseat Tickets today, delivering a powerful event registration and ticketing solution designed specifically for restaurants, hotels, and unique venues. This exciting new product empowers restaurants and hotels to create and promote their events and experiences with a cohesive platform, that will drive revenue.

    “With Tripleseat Tickets, we address the unique needs of venues that do events like live music, wine tastings, chef tables, and reservations. We developed a robust all-in-one ticketing solution that is a total game changer," comments Jonathan Morse, CEO of Tripleseat. "Restaurants, unique venues, and hotels can now easily sell tickets and promote their events with elevated branded landing pages and email marketing, resulting in increased sales and revenue.”

    Tripleseat Tickets also seamlessly integrates directly with the Tripleseat Sales and Event Management platform for added functionality. As a Tripleseat user, creating a ticketed event and reporting on ticket sales, marketing data, and payments will all be in one application. Say goodbye to disjointed and siloed ticket events data.

  • 3/5/2024

    Guestcentric Debutes RezLock to Boost Ancillary Revenue for Hotels

    giant ice cube with frozen price inside

    In a significant move to empower hotels with more agile and autonomous business management tools, Guestcentric has announced the debut of RezLock and several other innovative features within its HyperCommerce suite. Building on the suite’s successful launch in 2023, these enhancements are designed to streamline the reservation process and simplify the guest journey, showcasing Guestcentric’s commitment to evolving hotelier needs.

    A standout addition, RezLock, promises to transform how hotels manage bookings and engage with potential guests. This feature allows guests to secure a locked-in rate for future stays for a nominal fee, mirroring the flexibility often seen in airline reservations. This not only provides guests with the assurance of a guaranteed price but also opens a new revenue stream for hotels. In cases where a booking does not materialize, the hotel retains the fee, adding a layer of financial security to the reservation process.

    With rising prices and high website abandonment rates at the booking stage, RezLock emerges as a critical solution. This innovative feature addresses the common hesitation guests face, offering them increased flexibility should they feel uncertain about finalizing a booking on the spot. For hoteliers, RezLock is designed for effortless set up and management with just a few clicks. Hotels can customize the fee for locking rates, specify the timeframe for which the locked rate is valid before booking, and set the duration for which the offer stands. This not only assures guests of their booking decisions but also significantly improves direct booking conversions by providing a tangible solution to the indecision that leads to booking abandonment.

    RezLock, as well as the other features deployed within HyperCommerce have been meticulously crafted to empower hotels with simplified business management solutions, placing both the hotel and its guests at the heart of this innovation. These new features are built to ensure hoteliers can quickly respond to guest needs with minimal technical intervention, making it easier than ever for hotels to learn, use, and master the platform. This approach not only enhances operational efficiency but also significantly enriches the guest experience by providing swift, seamless service.

    Sérgio Serra, CTO at Guestcentric, highlighted the technical ingenuity behind RezLock and other developments, saying: “Rezlock is the latest component in the transformation that HyperCommerce brings to the direct channel. This functionality is inspired by the aviation companies, but at the same time is somehow disruptive as this is not the kind of thing we are used to see in hotel reservations. The hotelier only has to define which are the conditions where this should be offered to the potential guests and the technology does the rest: payments, reservation confirmation or revocation. It’s a simplified tool to capture reservations and also an ancillary source of revenue.”

    Pedro Colaco, CEO of Guestcentric, emphasized the broader vision: “Our continuous innovation, exemplified by RezLock and the new HyperCommerce features, reaffirms our dedication to elevating hotel businesses. By providing tools that simplify operations and enrich the guest experience, we’re helping hoteliers not just to survive but thrive in a rapidly evolving industry.”

    As Guestcentric looks to the future, the latest HyperCommerce enhancements, including RezLock, are set to redefine how hotels manage their operations and interact with guests. These developments promise a more streamlined, flexible, and profitable path forward for the hospitality sector.

    Hoteliers interested in exploring the full range of HyperCommerce’s new features and how they can transform their business can learn more about the new features here.

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