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  • 5/5/2024

    SONIFI's Sora Named Guest Engagement Solution of the Year

    Sonifi Travel Tech awards

    SORA, the interactive television platform from hospitality technology provider SONIFI, has been selected as the Guest Engagement Solution of the Year in the annual TravelTech Breakthrough Awards program.

    The awards are conducted by TravelTech Breakthrough, an independent market intelligence organization that evaluates and recognizes standout travel and hospitality technology companies, products and services around the world.

    Personalized Guest Room Experiences

    SONIFI's interactive platform uses in-room TVs to create personalized, engaging experiences that improve guest satisfaction and brand loyalty, while also driving revenue and efficiencies for hotels.

    With PMS and other integrations, SORA automates the personalization of guest experiences such as turning on the TV at check-in with a personal and time-aware greeting, displaying in a guest's preferred language, sending custom messages, and elevating the last-viewed channel and in-progress movie.

    When it comes to entertainment, SORA has easy access to everything guests want most, including their favorite streaming content, live TV programming and a premier video-on-demand library.

    SORA's branding and customization options are where hotels can promote their amenities and revenue centers, while providing contactless self-service options so guests can choose how and when they want to interact throughout their stay, with no burden on hotel staff.

    Custom videos, eye-catching imagery, a digital directory and QR codes give guests quick access to learn about everything the hotel has to offer, and a simple way for them to take action at their leisure from their room—such as booking a reservation, joining the loyalty program, texting the concierge and much more.

    Properties also use SORA to surprise and delight guests with enticing specials and events, tutorials and tips, in-room fitness and mindfulness classes, and a simple checkout process guests can complete from the TV or their phone.

    "Some hoteliers underestimate the potential of the in-room TV, but with SORA, SONIFI is showcasing its power to transform the largest screen in the room into an intuitive amenity for guests and a strategic tool for hoteliers to enhance their brand and foster guest loyalty," said Ahmad Ouri, Chief Executive Officer of SONIFI. "SORA is designed to deliver the digital experiences guests crave, tailored to each property's unique brand identity. By increasing guest satisfaction and revenue generation, SORA represents a new standard in hospitality technology. We're honored that TravelTech Breakthrough recognizes SORA's value and its capacity to enrich the guest journey while meeting the diverse needs of hoteliers."

    The mission of the annual TravelTech Breakthrough Awards program is to conduct the industry's most comprehensive analysis and evaluation of the top technology companies, solutions and products in the travel and hospitality technology industry today. This year's program attracted thousands of nominations from 12 countries.

    "We're proud to award SORA 'Guest Engagement Solution of the Year' as the technology continually engages guests in their stay with a property automatically without intervention from hotel staff. Every touchpoint throughout a property is designed to deliver memorable guest experiences that today's guests expect. When your in-room technology is personalized, it can have a memorable impact," said Bryan Vaughn, Managing Director of TravelTech Breakthrough Awards. "Though technology can't replace the human connection and feeling of being cared for by staff, with SORA, hotels can deliver a more efficient, convenient, personalized and modern experience to guests who will be more than eager to return."

  • 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. 

  • 5/5/2024

    Pressed Juicery Selects New POS

    generic juice bar

    Pressed Juicery has signed on with Aloha Cloud by NCR Voyix to enhance guest experience through innovative technology. By adopting the premier platform-based Point of Sale (POS) solution, Pressed Juicery is set to redefine convenience, speed, and personalization in guest service.

    Aloha Cloud by NCR Voyix is a comprehensive solution that integrates an easy-to-use interface with robust consumer loyalty and marketing tools, all-in-one reporting, and next-day payment processing, streamlining operations and elevating the guest experience.

    Janet Puliafico, senior director retail operations at Pressed Juicery, emphasizes the strategic impact of this partnership, “The suite of cloud solutions from NCR Voyix is a game-changer for us, blending physical and digital interactions seamlessly. This move not only modernizes our tech infrastructure but also equips us to meet our guests’ evolving needs with efficiency and ease.”

    NCR Voyix empowers Pressed Juicery with a versatile platform, unifying its brick-and-mortar outlets with its e-commerce channels. This integrated approach ensures comprehensive insights across the business, enhancing decision-making capabilities and minimizing discrepancies in loyalty engagement, consumer interactions and inventory management.

    Benny Tadele, executive vice president and president of Restaurants at NCR Voyix, outlines the critical focus of this solution, “As Pressed Juicery scales, it’s crucial to have a technology partner that grows with them. Our unified commerce platform ensures that Pressed Juicery stays ahead of market trends, offering the smart technology and operational efficiency required to adapt to the rapidly changing dining landscape.”

    Centralized Data

    The partnership enables Pressed Juicery to centralize data for a panoramic view of sales, guest preferences and operational metrics. This consolidation facilitates a tailored guest journey, enhancing the brand’s ability to offer unique, memorable experiences that resonate on a personal level.

    Puliafico reflects on the strategic value to their business, “Our loyal and VIP guests are our bedrock. Enhancing their experience and ensuring consistent, error-free interactions across all channels isn’t just a goal—it’s our promise. Thanks to NCR Voyix, we’re delivering on that promise, every day.” 

    Pressed operates over 110 Pressed Juicery retail stores in nine states, and is available in nearly 4,000 locations through its wholesale partners.

  • 5/5/2024

    Epson to Showcase Latest Technology at National Restaurant Association Show 2024

    NRA 2024 logo

    Epson plans to showcase its latest purpose-built hospitality technology solutions at the National Restaurant Association Show. Designed to optimize, modernize and exceed the demands of the busiest restaurants, Epson point of sale (POS) and labeling solutions can help simplify processes, eliminate user errors and enhance customer experiences. Epson’s solutions and demonstrations will be on display from May 18-21 at the McCormick Place in Chicago in booth 8017.

    “Customer expectations have intensified and although many restaurants have made changes to accommodate these demands, many don’t have an effective way to manage the new ways they operate,” said Ian Livesay, product manager, Business Systems Division, Epson America, Inc. “More than ever, restaurants are looking for new opportunities to streamline operations and increase order speed and accuracy. Show attendees will have an opportunity to explore how Epson’s latest POS and labeling solutions help restaurants run more efficiently, addressing a variety of situations, including line busting, self-ordering, curbside delivery, online ordering, and more.”

    Epson invites National Restaurant Association Show attendees to experience the following innovative solutions at its booth:

    -        Order fulfillment with Kitchen Display System (KDS) – Ideal for quick-service restaurant (QSR) and small-restaurant environments, the True Order KDS kitchen display system digitizes kitchen operations to enhance productivity and streamline workflow, from food prep to pickup/delivery. Attendees can experience first-hand how a KDS integrated with a REDYREF interactive kiosk (embedded with an Epson receipt printer) and MicroTouch All-in-One Touch solutions can optimize restaurant operations and the ordering fulfillment process.

    -        Fast receipt printing – Offering lightning-fast print speeds and flexible connectivity between multiple devices, Epson POS receipt printers help restaurants deliver the best customer experience in high-volume environments.

    -        Mobile solutions – Engineered for versatile connectivity, performance and reliability for hospitality environments, the OmniLink  mSeries offers a modern compact design, ideal for restaurants with tight spaces.

    -        Wearable printers – Offering a sleek, modern enclosure, rugged design and enhanced wireless connectivity, Mobilink portable receipt printers enable restaurants to easily untether operators from a POS terminal, even taking them beyond the four walls if necessary.

    -        Liner-free labeling – The OmniLink liner-free thermal label printers offers broad media support to help restaurants streamline processes and improve efficiency in the way they serve customers and meet demands for online orders and delivery.

    -        On-demand color labeling – The ColorWorks   color label printers offer restaurants an easy solution for adding high-quality color to labeling to improve branding of in-house produced items, print color coupons and reduce delivery errors with color coding.


  • 5/5/2024

    REPORT: Hotels Add 1,200 Jobs in April

    Hotel maid looking at shampoo bottle

    U.S. hotels added 1,200 jobs to their payrolls in April, according to the latest government data that shows employment in the industry is still far from pre-pandemic levels.

    Total hotel employment stands at about 1.92 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s 193,600 fewer workers in the industry than in February 2020, just before the pandemic hit.

    “Hotels are doing all they can to attract and retain workers, but the nationwide workforce shortage is preventing our industry from reaching its full potential,” said AHLA Interim President & CEO Kevin Carey. “AHLA members need help filling open jobs so they can maintain and expand operations. The Department of Homeland Security can provide vital assistance by making available nearly 65,000 additional H-2B visas. Meanwhile, we are urging Congress to pass three important bills to help grow our nation’s workforce: the Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act, the H-2 Improvements to Relieve Employers (HIRE) Act, and the Closing the Workforce Gap Act.”

    Hotel Workforce Overview

    Hotels continue to offer increased wages, benefits, and workplace flexibility to attract and retain workers in the face of a nationwide workforce shortage:

    Nationwide workforce overview

    AHLA workforce policy priorities

    AHLA is calling on the Department of Homeland Security to expand the workforce by making available nearly 65,000 additional H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas as soon as possible, under authority Congress gave it as part of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act.

    AHLA also urges Congress to pass the following bills to help expand the workforce so hoteliers can maintain and expand their operations:

    • The Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act (S.255/H.R.1325) would allow people seeking asylum at ports of entry to be eligible for work authorizations starting 30 days after they apply for asylum, provided their applications are not frivolous; they are not detained; their identities have been verified; and their names are run through the federal government’s terrorist watch lists. This change would help hotels address critical staffing needs by allowing certain asylum seekers to work as soon as 30 days after applying for asylum. Current law prevents them from legally working for at least six months, forcing them to rely on assistance from local governments and communities.
    • The H-2 Improvements to Relieve Employers (HIRE) Act (H.R. 4708) would expand the H-2A/H-2B labor certification period to three years and permanently authorize the waiver of in-person interviews for returning workers. The HIRE Act would make it easier for qualified workers to secure jobs in fields that are struggling to recruit and retain enough employees to meet demand. By growing the pool of seasonal workers, the bill would give seasonal small business hotels critical staffing relief and facilitate the hotel industry’s continued recovery.
    • The Closing the Workforce Gap Act of 2024 (H.R. 7574) would replace the arbitrary annual cap of 66,000 H-2B guestworker visas with a new, needs-based system for allocating visas.
  • 5/5/2024

    Checkmate Rebrands, Showcases Expanded Restaurant Ordering Solutions

    Checkmate screens for enterprise ordering solutions
    Checkmate, a B2B SaaS company that specializes in digital ordering and delivery solutions for restaurants, is now expanding its horizons with a wider range of technology and services.
    While Checkmate has traditionally offered third-party integration and order aggregation services, it has scaled its operations to offer a comprehensive ordering solutions platform, including first-party, third-party, kiosks, loyalty, catering, data analytics, voice AI, and more. As an extension of the repositioning and to reflect our direction in the marketplace, the rebrand is accompanied by a new logo, visual identity, and website.
    “With our revamped website and branding, restaurant operators will be able to see exactly how our technology has evolved, creating the ideal mix of best-in-class solutions and hands-on support tailored to every brand's unique needs," said Checkmate’s VP of Marketing, Kevin Jaskolka. “We hope to serve as industry trailblazers as we continue to provide customers with a more customizable and flexible set of results-driven digital solutions.”
    The Checkmate rebrand supports a host of restaurant ordering solutions that brands can leverage to streamline operations, grow their business, and improve the guest experience. So far, these digital solutions have helped over 27,000 locations increase sales. This rebrand elevates the Checkmate platform, making it easier for enterprise brands to find the ideal technology and service needed to achieve their goals in a digital-first environment.
    "In an industry saturated with tech-centric brands, we've forged a different path – one where technology seamlessly intertwines with the human touch - symbolized in our new logo, which resembles an interconnected heart or handshake,” said Founder & CEO, Vishal Agarwal. “This rebrand underscores our commitment to not just provide software solutions, but to empower restaurants to scale their digital businesses on their own terms.”
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