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  • 5/13/2024

    InterContinental Introduces Timeshifter To Its Guests Worldwide

    timeshifter app by InterContinental

    InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is putting pioneering circadian technology into the palms of guests to enable them to be at their best as they explore the world. The partnership forms part of the transformative evolution of InterContinental Hotels & Resorts being rolled out globally. With a deep understanding of the diverse lives of modern travelers, InterContinental is introducing a range of ‘Intentional Flexibility’ initiatives, designed to support guests with seamlessly navigating their day to day lives.  

    Rooted in NASA science, the Timeshifter app devises personalized jetlag mitigation plans to overcome travel fatigue. Plans are based on guests’ chronotype, sleep pattern, itinerary, and personal preferences, and harness the body’s natural circadian rhythm. 

    Timeshifter is part of the reimagined InterContinental guest experience. Access to the app is complemented by a new restorative guest rooms concept, designed in partnership with neuroscience-based designer Isabelle Sjövall, and a menu of nutritionally rich dishes to counter the body’s natural response to travel, which aims to tackle travel fatigue holistically. These new initiatives are being introduced to ensure guests are replenished, restored and reenergized when staying at one of over 220 InterContinental properties worldwide.  

    Tom Rowntree, Vice President of Luxury & Lifestyle Brands, IHG Hotels & Resorts said: "Our partnership with Timeshifter is about putting the right technology in the hands of our guests so they can seamlessly shift through their day-to-day. By harnessing the power of cutting-edge solutions like Timeshifter, we’re not only addressing the common challenges faced by travelers but also redefining the entire guest experience. The technology embodies InterContinental’s relentless commitment to delivering unparalleled service by adjusting to the evolving needs of luxury travellers.” 

    A range of scientifically backed nutritionally rich dishes designed to combat energy slumps and boost vitality are also being introduced to all day dining menus at properties around the world. These dishes are meticulously designed to feature ingredients with properties to counter the body’s natural fatigue response to travel, whilst also giving a flavour of local culture. For example, eggs are rich in vitamin B12 which suppresses melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone, to help induce wakefulness or magnesium rich green leafy vegetables to help balance fluctuations in mineral levels in the body caused by travelling. 

    InterContinental is elevating room spaces to be more versatile, working in collaboration with neuroscience-based designer, Isabelle Sjövall. This design direction recognizes elements that influence the way we respond to our environment, such as tones, textures and lighting as well as our connection to nature and biophilia. The goal is to help guests find restoration and rest within rooms, plus also rejuvenation and focus. 

    InterContinental guests will receive complimentary access to Timeshifter for use on their inbound and outbound journey. Developed in collaboration with world-renowned scientists, Timeshifter is based on the latest research in sleep and circadian neuroscience and crafts tailored recommendations to overcome jetlag based on the body’s natural circadian rhythm, ensuring guests arrive refreshed and ready to explore their destination. 

    InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is the world’s first and largest luxury hotel brand, founded by Pan American Airways Founder, Juan Trippe in 1946. Last year, InterContinental announced how it is reimagining the luxury travel experience with the modern luxury traveller at its heart. It is focused on satisfying guests’ yearning for knowledge and culturally rich experiences, building on its heritage as a beacon of approachable luxury travel. 

    InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is one of six brands within IHG’s ever-growing Luxury & Lifestyle portfolio. Strategic acquisitions and new brand launches has seen IHG double its luxury & lifestyle portfolio over the past five years to become a significant player in the segment. Today, IHG’s Luxury & Lifestyle portfolio is among the top two in the world by number of rooms and hotels with 534 properties and 114,570 rooms globally. 

  • 5/13/2024

    Pudu Robotics Unveils Enhanced PUDU SH1 Smart Upright Scrubber Dryer

    PUDU SH1 Smart Upright Scrubber Dryer

    Pudu Robotics, a global leader in service robotics, today announced the official debut of the upgraded PUDU SH1 Smart Upright Scrubber Dryer at Interclean 2024. The latest version of PUDU SH1 features extensive enhancements to deliver an altogether new product, boasting substantial design and cleaning capabilities improvements.

    The PUDU SH1 is a testament to innovation, capable of multidimensional cleaning that extends beyond floors to tabletops, vertical glass surfaces, and challenging areas like corners and spaces beneath low furniture. Innovative design features of the PUDU SH1 allow for easy and efficient separation of air, liquid and debris waste, ensuring a convenient disposal process that prevents drain blockages and damage to the vacuum motor. With a 27kg down pressure, a 350rpm brush and 20KPa suction power, the SH1 excels at removing stubborn stains such as oil spills, dust deposits, and air-dried dirt, ensuring pristine conditions in diverse environments.

    In response to the urgent need for sustainable and efficient cleaning solutions, PUDU SH1 sets a new standard for environmental responsibility. The SH1's advanced lithium battery technology and energy-efficient brushless motors significantly reduce the machine's ecological footprint, adhering to strict ROHS standards. By optimizing resource utilization, the SH1 saves up to 80% on water and cleaning agents compared to traditional mopping methods, and cuts cleaning time by a remarkable 70%. These features not only support eco-friendly practices but also translate into operational savings for businesses.

    "Pudu Robotics is dedicated to empowering businesses to refine their services and heighten operational efficiency with our products designed to collaborate with human teams," said Felix Zhang, founder and CEO of Pudu Robotics. "This innovative product not only enhances cleaning performance but also embodies our commitment to sustainable product design and smart technology integration in cleaning workflows."

    The SH1 boasts removable parts, which can be easily replaced and repaired to extend the use of the machine. Further product features include:

    • Multidimensional Cleaning Capabilities: PUDU SH1 is equipped with a suite of accessories for cleaning floors, tabletops, vertical glass, corners, and under low furniture.
    • Enhanced Cleaning Performance: The machine has high-efficiency cleaning with high pressure, rotational speed and suction power, as well as an innovative wastewater tank designed for effective air-liquid-debris waste separation.
    • Touch Screen Interface: A user-friendly touch screen allows for easy management, including the selection of cleaning modes, displays of battery and water levels, and the generation of intelligent reports.
    • Exceptional Stubborn Stain Removal: The machine is able to clean varied stains, including oil spills, dust deposits, and air-dried dirt, ensuring pristine conditions in various environments.
    • Intelligent Detection for Safety: With intelligent diagnostics of core components, the PUDU SH1 ensures safe operation and simplifies maintenance.
    • Air-Liquid-Debris Separation: PUDU SH1's wastewater tank features a layered design that facilitates the efficient separation of air, liquid and debris for easy disposal.
  • 5/13/2024

    Hi Auto Launches Voice AI Marketer Toolkit

    voice ai soundwaves

    Hi Auto, a provider of drive-thru voice AI technology, released the Voice AI Marketer Toolkit, a comprehensive set of tools for quick service restaurants (QSRs) looking to capitalize on customer conversations to increase engagement and loyalty. These marketing tools include menu optimization, A/B or multivariate testing, and customized natural voices to help brands unlock the superpower of direct conversation with their customers.

    Traditional marketing campaigns are limited to one-way communications across multiple platforms, such as digital advertising, social media, events, and visual promotions at brick-and-mortar locations. Due to the high staff turnover rate at QSRs, employees often work under intense pressure, making it difficult to promote the brand's values consistently. As a result, millions of drive-thru customers interact with random employees and experience inconsistent levels of service. This can be true for both regular and first-time customers.

    Recognizing that voice AI automation can shift the current paradigm; Hi Auto developed a new marketing channel that allows restaurants to design and optimize customer conversations while highlighting brand value, promotions, events, special menu offerings, and more. The toolkit drives marketing and sales goals while building brand affinity and creating an elevated, consistent customer experience.

    Key features of Hi Auto's “Voice AI Marketer Toolkit” include:

    Dynamic Upsell Customization: Hi Auto's platform customizes product suggestions considering multiple factors influencing customer experiences, such as time, location, weather, script, language, and voice.

    Multivariate Experimentation: The toolkit allows marketers to test a small control group of stores with similar performance by changing the conversation parameters, such as the number of upsells during a specific daypart. Based on the results, marketing teams can adjust the script to be deployed across all chains.

    Natural and Cloned Voices: Hi Auto's voice AI enables QSRs to incorporate natural and even customized voice options into their drive-thru experience, providing customers with a more personalized and differentiated ordering experience. This ultimately enhances customer engagement and helps build brand affinity.

    "Hi Auto's voice AI allows us to humanize the customer experience by customizing the drive-thru voice with our dialect and incorporating common phrases and slang that our customers can appreciate," said Leann Smith, Head of Marketing at Burger King New Zealand. "This collaboration enhanced labor efficiency and significantly improved order consistency and upselling conversions."

    "While the operational benefits of voice AI justify the system's adoption, there is so much more value to unlock for sales and marketing teams," said Roy Baharav, CEO of Hi Auto. "That's why we are investing in the “Voice AI Marketer Toolkit” to provide organizations with the tools they need to realize the full potential of their drive-thru sales channel. Being the only company to date deploying drive-thru voice AI at scale allows us to identify the opportunities and develop the right capabilities for our customers to maximize their ROI.”

    These capabilities are currently deployed in hundreds of drive-thru locations globally. For more information about Hi Auto and its drive-thru tailored voice AI platform, please visit Hi Auto.

  • 5/12/2024

    FutureLog Debuts Digital Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) Management Solution for Precise, Transparent Financial Planning

    FutureLog software program

    FutureLog, the leading provider of innovative cloud-based procure-to-pay solutions for the hospitality industry, unveiled its latest innovation last month: a trailblazing smart Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) Management solution. The intuitive platform streamlines the process of managing, tracking, approving, and analysing CAPEX investments across hospitality enterprises.

    "We are very proud of this latest addition to FutureLog’s market-leading suite of procure-to-pay solutions," says Frank Dierberger, FutureLog CEO. “Efficiently managing CAPEX is the backbone of any thriving hospitality organisation. It's more than budget allocation or tracking investments; it's a continuous process that requires informed consideration of many factors, including guest expectations, brand standards, industry trends, and competitive market pressures. With our latest solution, companies can easily optimise their processes, improve financial stability, and drive growth."

    FutureLog's CAPEX solution is built to aid precise planning for any project size or scope by offering holistic visibility, real-time collaboration, and improved operational excellence. It allows for quickly creating detailed proposals, centralised document storage, and managing multiple currencies. It also provides a complete budget status overview and supports vendor selection by managing team feedback and supplier quotations for each project.  

    One key benefit of the product is its transparency. The system leverages advanced technologies to accurately check expected and actual spend based on assigned invoices and specifies planned (budgeted) or spontaneous (unbudgeted) expenses for the organisation. The tool also enhances communication needed for smooth approval workflows through an integrated messaging function, keeping all decision-makers informed throughout the project. Time-stamped activity logs and comprehensive overviews ensure everyone is updated on the latest actions.  

    To make resource management more efficient, projects can be flexibly searched and sorted by status, name, supplier, or approval stage. This simplifies project overviews and enables managers to set spending limits, assign invoices, and see all supplier contracts at a glance. 

    The flexible cloud-based solution is customisable to fit each organisation's unique needs, regardless of size. It seamlessly integrates with existing financial systems and provides a modern interface that simplifies the capex management process. With this solution, companies can confidently allocate resources, mitigate risks, and achieve their financial goals.

    To learn more about FutureLog's smart CAPEX Management Solution and how it can benefit your hospitality business, please visit futurelog.com/en/our-solutions/capex-management.

  • 5/12/2024

    Square Unveils Square Kiosk

    square logo teaser

    Square unveils Square Kiosk, a fully integrated software, hardware, and payments solution that enables self-serve ordering for quick-service restaurants. Designed with fast-moving and fast-growing restaurants in mind, Square Kiosk empowers guests to customize and place orders through its sleek and intuitive design, an easy-to-use interface, and embedded contactless and chip payment technology. It also untethers restaurant staff from the counter, freeing them to focus on other tasks. Square Kiosk is the latest technology from Square as it continues to invest in its hardware and software portfolio and expand its food and beverage offerings.

    Square Kiosk works seamlessly with Square for Restaurants and Square’s broader ecosystem of banking, customer engagement, and business insights tools. It’s easy for restaurants to set up, saves precious counter space, and can be placed anywhere – from the wall to flat on the counter to mounted on a stand or swing-arm. Square Kiosk tracks sales data and instantly syncs menu updates, ensuring that customers have real-time visibility into what’s currently available – and nothing that’s been 86’ed. Through this fully integrated solution, and like all Square products, all payments on Square Kiosk are instantly accessible via Square Checking,1 offering greater liquidity and convenience for restaurateurs in an industry where cash flow is often tight.

    For diners, using Square Kiosk is a sleek and simple experience that lets them bypass lines and easily customize their orders. According to the 2024 Future of Commerce report, 78% of customers prefer to place orders through self-serve kiosks or online, and Square Kiosk’s intuitive UI and built-in payments lets diners quickly and easily order their food. Guests are able to select exactly what they want, with customization options being sent directly to the kitchen, and restaurants can grow their check sizes by offering upgrades and add-ons on every order without any awkward exchanges.

    Finally, amid growing labor costs, Square Kiosk gives operators the ability to staff up other areas of their businesses while still taking orders. By deploying self-serve kiosks, restaurants can bust lines and cut down on wait time for customers while freeing up their staff to focus on other tasks.

    “Before, we were using QR code ordering and wanted to reduce the time it took to place an order. People struggle to type credit card numbers on their phones and prefer tap-to-pay; today, it’s a lot easier for guests to order with Square Kiosk,” said Erik Göranson, CEO of Recess, a multi-location quick-service restaurant in Atlanta, GA. “Our guests can modify multiple items and complete their checkout in under 60 seconds. We plan to add more Square Kiosks in 2024.”

    Beyond Square Kiosk, today Square introduced a number of additional new features that will further help restaurants streamline and grow their businesses.

    • With a redesigned Square Restaurants POS, restaurants can spend less time inputting orders and more time interacting with guests. Navigation is faster and menu grids and layouts are now fully customizable, allowing for quick ordering and checkout.
    • Guests can now pay for their meals more quickly with Scan to Pay – by scanning a QR code on their receipt, customers can settle up on their phones and businesses can turn over more tables.
    • With an updated Orders tab, dine-in, to go, and delivery orders all live in a single dashboard, regardless of whether they’re placed in-person or online, with clear organization. Servers can easily understand the current state of orders with just a quick glance, allowing restaurants to keep better track of orders – and keep customers happy – amid the daily bustle.
    • Release Manager allows operators to choose when to enable software updates, with enterprise-level functionality that gives more flexibility and time to train up staff on any POS changes.

    “Two of the biggest challenges for restaurants right now are maximizing orders while also balancing increasingly expensive labor costs,” said Ming-Tai Huh, Head of Food and Beverage at Square. “With razor-thin margins, restaurants need to find efficiencies through technology like kiosks – and at Square, we’re laser-focused on bringing restaurateurs the tools they need to succeed.”

    Square Kiosk will be available to all Square for Restaurants sellers this summer. To try Square Kiosk in-person and learn how Square can power your food and beverage business, visit our booth (#5821) at the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago from May 18 to May 22, 2024.

    1Square Checking is provided by Sutton Bank, Member FDIC. Square Debit Card is issued by Sutton Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Mastercard. Square Debit Card may be used wherever Mastercard is accepted. Accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

    Funds generated through Square’s payment processing services are generally available in the Square checking account balance immediately after a payment is processed. Fund availability times may vary due to technical issues.

  • 5/12/2024

    RMS North America & Solonis Release Product Enhancements

    solonis teaser logo

    RMS North America and Solonis, providers of cloud-based reservation and property management systems to the hospitality industry, announced this week their latest product enhancements designed to boost the guest experience and streamline day-to-day operations for property partners.

    “At RMS North America and Solonis, we're always listening to our clients so we can create the enhancements they need,” said Frederic Dominioni, Chief Revenue Officer, RMS North America and Solonis. “Our latest updates were designed to set up our property partners to thrive in 2024 by providing their guests with an exceptional experience while creating more controls and automation in their RMS and Solonis databases.”

    RMS and Solonis’ recent improvements include more guest experience options and smarter tools to simplify daily tasks. Below are just some of the latest enhancements from this release.

    A New Guest Loyalty Option

    With the new Loyalty by Nights module, guests earn rewards for each night they stay at a property. This adds another way for a property to offer rewards along with the successful Loyalty by Points module that offers features like sign-up credits, expiration rules, and birthday rewards.

    Smarter Room Assignments

    Properties can streamline their reservation allocation strategy with enhanced controls, including bulk room-number assignments, prioritization capabilities, and the exclusion of room numbers and categories from auto-assignments.

    Guest Management in the Guest Portal

    Guests can conveniently add another person to an existing reservation independently in the Guest Portal, still enforcing a property’s maximum guest rule, recalculating the balance if additional charges are required, and notifying of changes in the Message Center.

    Cancellation Policies with Fees

    Properties can now create fees in their cancellation policies with detailed rules, including what percentage fee is charged based on days’ notice given, or if a flat cancellation fee applies.

    RMS North America and Solonis continue to dedicate themselves to helping their users reach new business milestones with smart business solutions.

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