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News Briefs

  • 4/4/2024

    ANALYSIS: 91% of Diners Rely on Reviews, Ratings

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    Reviews and ratings are decisive factors for 91% of diners, with a preference for recent reviews. Almost two-thirds(64%) of diners focus on reviews less than  one month old, according to research by RightResponse AI.

    The provider of AI-powered review management solutions, announced the release of a report titled We Digested Over 100,000 Restaurant Reviews, And This Is What We Learned. This analysis offers  insights into customer sentiment and behavior, showcasing the company's advanced sentiment analysis capabilities.

    Through a deep examination of over 257,000 phrases from these reviews, RightResponse AI uncovered trends affecting the restaurant industry. Among the findings:

    • Reviews are getting longer across all star ratings, and response rates are soaring, but only at chain restaurants, where they are near 60%.
    • For any given star rating, chain restaurants have a lower percentage of positive mentions compared to single location restaurants, posing a notable difference in customer satisfaction.
    • Diners are least tolerant of bad service quality and most tolerant of negative perceptions of value.

    Complementing this research, RightResponse AI surveyed restaurant diners in 2024 Restaurant Diner Survey Insights, examining their online search behaviors, review habits, and expectations regarding review responses. Insights from this survey:

    • 78% of potential patrons consider responses to reviews as influential in their dining decisions, but only if they are personalized and informative, spotlighting the importance of tailored communications.

    George Swetlitz, co-founder of RightResponse AI, emphasizes the importance of these findings, "Our comprehensive analysis, powered by advanced AI, sheds light on trends and diner preferences that can significantly influence restaurant success. For establishments of all sizes, understanding and engaging with customer feedback in a personalized and informative way has never been more crucial. RightResponse AI is at the forefront of democratizing access to these kinds of advanced AI tools, enabling businesses to enhance customer satisfaction, improve Google Map rankings, and attract new customers."

    Additionally, the company has recently introduced a Free AI Review Response Generator, a tool that surpasses existing free solutions by offering users the ability to easily add informative content to the AI generated review response. Those that want to scale their review response capabilities can have the option to upgrade to RightResponse AI's Intelligent Review Responder.

  • 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. 

  • 4/4/2024

    Rebel Hotel Company Launches Rebel Hotels West Coast

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    Rebel Hotel Company, the leading independent hospitality management company, is excited to announce the launch of Rebel Hotels West Coast, marking a significant step in its strategic growth plan to establish a strong presence on the dynamic West Coast hospitality market. To spearhead this expansion, the company proudly introduces Mark LeBlanc, a distinguished industry veteran, as Managing Director of West Coast Operations.

    "We are very proud to announce the launch of Rebel Hotels West Coast and to welcome Mark LeBlanc to our team as Managing Director of West Coast Operations.,” said, Brian Sparacino, President, and CEO of Rebel Hotel Company. “Mark's unparalleled experience and industry insights make him the perfect leader to spearhead our expansion into the dynamic West Coast hospitality market. His proven track record and deep connections within the industry will undoubtedly elevate Rebel Hotels West Coast to new  levels of success. We are confident that under Mark's leadership, Rebel Hotels will  continue to flourish through a core commitment - to place owners’ interests first. 

    With over four decades of diverse experience in various operational capacities within the hospitality sector, Mark LeBlanc brings a wealth of knowledge, extensive industry connections, and exceptional leadership skills to his new role. His journey in hospitality began as a bellman in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and progressed through roles including General Manager, Vice President of Operations, and Executive Vice President of Development at Rim Hospitality, a journey that culminated in Rim becoming California's largest management company.

    Commenting on the move, Mr. LeBlanc said: "I am thrilled to spearhead Rebel Hotel Company’s expansion into the vibrant West Coast market. This venture represents a remarkable opportunity to harness Rebel's pioneering approach and unparalleled standards to redefine hospitality across this dynamic region. Recognizing the importance of understanding local intricacies is paramount – from identifying unique demand catalysts to navigating the complexities of the regional economy, labor dynamics, and prevailing political landscape affecting our industry. With our profound grasp of the region's nuances and an unwavering dedication to delivering bespoke experiences, I am confident that Rebel Hotels West Coast will not merely meet but exceed expectations.”

    Reflecting on his career trajectory, Mark LeBlanc shared, "I didn’t seek out the hospitality business; I started in high school and soon realized it never seemed like work, so I decided to see if I make a career out of it and things worked out." His expertise has been acknowledged through keynote addresses and panel participation at prestigious hospitality conferences such as ALIS, NYU, Phoenix Lodging Conference, AHOA, among others.

    Throughout his illustrious career, Mark LeBlanc has been recognized for his contributions to the industry, serving on the California Hotel and Lodging board for the past two decades. Beyond his professional endeavors, Mark enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, and supporting his beloved Green Bay Packers.

    Rebel Hotel Company is thrilled to embark on this new chapter with Mark LeBlanc at the helm, using his expertise to drive growth and excellence in hospitality across the West Coast.

  • 4/4/2024

    Instawork Expands to Include Long-Term Staffing

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    Instawork, a platform for connecting businesses with skilled hourly workers, announced the availability of long-term staffing. This new offering allows businesses across North America to increase productivity and save money by reducing the amount of costly training that occurs when onboarding new temporary workers.

    This announcement comes at a critical time when businesses are looking for a way to handle fluctuations in consumer demand. Traditional staffing agencies have shown poor retention rates for hourly workers beyond 30 days, putting additional pressure on businesses looking for long-term dependability.

    Instawork’s survey of its network of hourly workers (Pros) found that 70% can commit long term to businesses (at least five shifts per week). This data reinforces that workers are eager for longer-term work schedules but need to be successfully matched with businesses also looking for their skills, experience, and commitment.  

    To ensure business and worker success, Instawork’s AI-powered technology vets a business’ position requirements against the skills and experience of more than six million workers, helping businesses quickly connect with workers who are best-matched for the business’ long-term needs. For example, the intelligent technology considers commute details, taking into consideration a Pro’s proximity to the business location and transportation preferences. Adding these features to Instawork’s existing platform, which includes standard background checks, is resulting in double the rate of Pro retention after 30 days due to improved quality and reliability. 

    “With Instawork’s skilled long-term workers staying at least one month with the same business, they become familiar with how the business works and are more productive than workers who only stay for a few days,” said Kira Caban, Instawork's Head of Strategic Communications. “This frees up permanent staff to do their regular work instead of spending much of their time training new workers, increasing productivity and helping the business hit its goals. This is especially critical during economic uncertainty.”

    Instawork’s long-term staffing offering is a direct result of the Series D fundraise announced last year. Additionally in 2023, Instawork was ranked in the top 10% of the country’s fastest-growing private companies by Inc. 5000 and featured on Forbes’ Next Billion-Dollar Startup list. Instawork was also named the 2022 ACE Award recipient for “Best Innovation” and one of the “Best Business Apps” by Business Insider. 

  • 4/4/2024

    Actabl and M3 Announce Alliance

    M3 and actabl logos

    Actabl, the leading hospitality software company dedicated to empowering hotels with actionable insights to drive profit, announced an optimized alliance with M3, the pioneer and leading provider of financial and operational management solutions for the hospitality industry. The relationship is poised to enhance hotel operations with API connectivity, delivering added value for hoteliers seeking seamless data integration and analysis. 

    "This strategic alliance empowers mutual customers with access to industry-leading financial and operational functionality across both Actabl and M3 platforms. Together, we provide a comprehensive and streamlined approach to hotel management," affirms Actabl CRO, Jason Luo. "By accessing robust data sources and leveraging modern technology, hoteliers can confidently make informed business decisions about their properties and portfolio."

    At its core, this collaboration aims to equip hospitality businesses with accurate data and analysis through the most advanced interface. To achieve this, it addresses the industry-wide labor shortage by significantly reducing manual data entry and exports between systems, catering to the evolving needs of leading hospitality businesses. This automation allows staff to focus on crucial revenue-generating decisions and activities.

    "We are thrilled to embark on this strategic alliance with Actabl, a step that signifies our joint dedication to empowering hoteliers," states Casi Johnson, president of M3. "The combined M3 + Actabl solutions, driven by new API connectivity, deliver precise data and analysis through the best interface and revolutionize the industry by drastically reducing manual processes. M3 and Actabl are dedicated to meeting the evolving needs of leading hospitality businesses."

    For more details about the M3 and Actabl strategic alliance, or to register for M3's upcoming User Conference/Partners Meeting, contact Shane Middleton, manager of strategic partnerships at M3, at [email protected] or Marianne Nichols, Director of Partnerships & Strategic Alliances at Actabl, at [email protected]. At this year's event, you can hear from Actabl's Justin Call, chief legal officer and senior vice president of partnerships, and Paul Bennie, vice president of strategic accounts, and enjoy more than three days of exciting and educational content. Pack your derby hats and head to Louisville, Kentucky, April 28-May 1 to learn more.

  • 4/3/2024

    Jersey Shore Hotel Group Optimizes Guest Experiences with Enhanced Connectivity and Technology from Comcast Business

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    Comcast Business announced that it is providing Seaport Stays – a collection of boutique hotels and long-term rental properties owned by BG Capital in North Wildwood, New Jersey – with several technology solutions, including Ethernet Dedicated Internet, plus Comcast Business Internet and X1 for Hospitality. These solutions, paired with managed WiFi services, support Seaport Stays’ efforts to create memorable, outstanding guest experiences and streamline internal operations. Seaport Stays aims to shift Wildwood’s seasonal tourism pattern to a year-round destination and believes that technology-enabled amenities in their properties will be critical to that success.

    Nestled near the coastline of Wildwood, Seaport Stays provides comfortable, high-quality spaces and experiences for customers through three unique properties that offer a high level of luxury for visitors –Seaport Inn, Seaport Suites and Oasis by Seaport. The company’s owners, real estate investment and management firm BG Capital, chose Comcast Business to equip the Oasis by Seaport’s leasing office and pool area with Business Internet, along with the Seaport Inn and Seaport Suites properties with technology solutions that enable the high-quality experiences and comfort that guests need to feel at home.

    “Technology is fundamental to crafting outstanding hospitality experiences, and Seaport Stays’ technology solutions from Comcast Business not only help us delight our guests but also significantly streamline our staff's operations, making their tasks more manageable and efficient. This dual benefit is crucial for ensuring our guests return to our properties,” said Lauren MacDonald, Director of Sales & Operations for Seaport Stays. “Our collaboration with Comcast Business has been a game-changer, offering us reliable Internet speeds and connectivity, plus exceptional support, which collectively help to enhance the entire scope of our hotel operations and guest services.”

    At Seaport Inn and Seaport Suites, redundant solutions from Comcast Business enable fast, reliable connectivity in guest rooms and at the pool, restaurant, and bar areas, helping visitors to stay connected across the properties’ locations. X1 for Hospitality delivers video viewing experiences to guests, supported with the Voice Remote, while also helping staff streamline the management of their video devices, including TVs in guest rooms and bars. In addition, managed WiFi offers the hotel brand connectivity capabilities for onsite WiFi solutions and 24/7 support, helping to increase staff efficiencies, manage operating costs and reinforce guests’ positive views of hotel amenities.

    “As a leading provider of business technology solutions, Comcast Business recognizes the critical role that hospitality organizations like Seaport Stays play in attracting tourists and energizing communities,” said Michael Louden, Regional Vice President of Comcast’s Freedom Region. “In an era where tech-enabled experiences are increasingly prioritized to support the new demands of guests, we are proud to support Seaport Stays with the technology backbone designed to meet and exceed their expectations.”

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