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  • 5/14/2024

    Restaurant Show: Cantaloupe to Showcase Self-Service, Mobile-First Solutions

    Cantaloupe smartcafe in a lobby

    Cantaloupe Inc., a provider of end-to-end technology solutions for self-service commerce, is making its debut at the upcoming National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago. Cantaloupe will be showcasing its self-service and mobile-first applications for stadiums, entertainment venues and hotels.

    Cantaloupe is a global technology leader with more than 30 years of experience in powering self-service commerce. Cantaloupe’s mission is to revolutionize the way businesses engage with consumers by offering a comprehensive suite of solutions, including innovative kiosk and POS systems, as well as enterprise cloud software designed for a wide range of industries. With Cantaloupe’s end-to-end platform, businesses can drive engagement, increase sales revenue, and optimize operations, delivering exceptional experiences for both businesses and consumers.

    “Cantaloupe’s solutions are specifically designed to cater to the growing demand for self-service and mobile-first experiences,” said Elyssa Steiner, chief marketing officer of Cantaloupe, Inc. “Our emphasis on convenience, efficiency and enhanced customer experiences really set Cantaloupe apart from traditional solutions and elevates guest and fan experiences into seamless journeys for shopping, ordering and paying.”

    Attendees of the National Restaurant Association Show are invited to visit Cantaloupe's booth 6672 in the North Building of McCormick Place to experience Cantaloupe’s  technologies, including AI powered smart camera technology, which enables seamless and secure transactions. Cantaloupe's solutions eliminate the need for traditional checkout lines, providing customers with a hassle-free retail, food and beverage experience that includes convenience, speed, and flexibility in their transactions.

    Some of the products Cantaloupe will be showcasing include its CHEQ point-of-sale (POS) platform, a mobile-first payment solution. CHEQ’s full end-to-end payment platform features mobile ordering (right from seats), mobile pick-up points (“CHEQ Points”) and innovative express kiosks (“CHEQ Zones”) to increase ordering efficiencies and decrease line wait times. CHEQ also offers its unique social gifting marketplace functionality, allowing guests, friends and family to send food and beverages to those attending a game or concert in real time, from anywhere in the world.

    Cantaloupe’s booth at the National Restaurant Association Show will be highlighting:

    • CHEQ POS Kiosks: available in attended or self-checkout mode, making ordering seamless across multiple revenue centers and empowering fans to self-service for reduced wait times.
    • CHEQ Handheld: providing in-stadium vendors or those with on-the-go payment needs at festivals and events, the ability to accept payments anywhere, perfect for selling merchandise, food and beverages.
    • CHEQ Mobile App: enables fans or event-goers the ability to order food and beverages from anywhere in the venue, with flexible pick-up or in-seat delivery options.
    • Cantaloupe Smart Café: (Pictured) a fully locked cooler that enables true grab and go self-service with AI powered smart camera technology to charge the consumers card for the exact items they take out of the smart fridge.
    • Cantaloupe Micro Markets for Hotel Pantries: a one-stop shop for cabinetry, coolers and self-checkout kiosks with the Cantaloupe Go MiniX cashless acceptance kiosk, that simply leverages existing pantry space and converts it into a self-service mini-market in hotel lobbies, creating less burden on employees to manage checking in guests and ringing up pantry products and instead, creates a fully grab-and-go experience.

    To learn more about Cantaloupe, visit cantaloupe.com

  • 5/14/2024

    Stayntouch Partners With Woby to Empower Hotels with Seamless In-Stay Dining

    stayntouch and woby logos

    Stayntouch, a provider of cloud hotel property management systems (PMS) and guest-centric technology, announced a new partnership with Woby, a self-order and pay web app that simultaneously connects with existing POS and PMS platforms. Stayntouch now integrates with Woby’s customizable web app, allowing for real-time POS and PMS synchronization.

    With Stayntouch PMS, hotels can streamline operations, automate tasks, and provide a seamless digital guest welcome experience with mobile check-in. Woby complements this by offering a self-order and pay platform that seamlessly connects with both the hotel PMS and POS, streamlining the in-stay dining experience from ordering to payments to room service and delivery. By connecting Stayntouch PMS with Woby, hotels will benefit from: 

    • A flexible and full-featured cloud PMS, that can deliver a frictionless mobile welcome and departure experience for guests, while integrating with best-of-breed mobile POS platforms.
    • Real-time synchronization between the PMS, POS, and accounting software, allowing guests to connect to a single QR code to order what they want, pay how they want, and have room charges validated automatically.
    • A fully customizable look and workflow to fit seamlessly with any hotel branding design or operational needs. 
    • A dedicated integration connector that sets up integrations in minutes instead of months, and streamlines third-party connections. 

    Ruud Hontelé, the managing partner of Woby, said: "Woby stands out as the pioneering self-order and pay app that seamlessly integrates Stayntouch with your POS system. Say goodbye to the hassles and pain points associated with digital menus, ordering, payments and logistics processes. Enhance the guest experience significantly while also reducing costs for your business."

    Priya Rajamani, the vice president of implementation and support for Stayntouch, said: “We are excited to partner with Woby, a platform that empowers hotels to provide guests with a completely mobile-first dining experience. By seamlessly integrating our cloud PMS with Woby's self-ordering and payment platform, hotels can deliver a more personalized and fully mobile guest check-in and dining experience, enhancing the on-property experience. This collaboration ensures real-time synchronization, enhanced operational efficiency and elevated guest satisfaction.”

  • 5/14/2024

    Restaurant365 Announces $175M Funding Round

    raising capital money bags

    Restaurant365 announced a $175 million funding round led by long-term partner ICONIQ Growth with participation from current investors, including KKR and L Catterton. The funding comes on the heels of 12 consecutive quarters exceeding sales targets, which drives confidence in future growth potential. 

    “Restaurant365’s growth is a testament to their ability to create powerful solutions that bolster operations, improve margins and empower the workforce at restaurant companies of all sizes,” said Will Griffith, Founding Partner of ICONIQ Growth. “We’re honored to participate in this incredible opportunity to help the restaurant industry succeed in a way that once seemed impossible.”

    Proceeds from the round will be invested in expanding enterprise features and growing the workforce and payroll product suite to continue supporting the world’s largest, most notable hospitality brands. Funds will also strengthen the company’s balance sheet to facilitate future acquisitions and support continued organic growth.

    “We’re grateful our investors continue to value the business and its upward trajectory as demonstrated by this most recent vote of confidence,” said Restaurant365 CEO and Co-founder Tony Smith. “We take that trust from them seriously as well as the trust placed in us by our customers and the industry at large. We will continue our relentless pursuit of developing products that add value in new ways to this great industry.”

    This latest round follows Restaurant365’s acquisition of ExpandShare, an AI-powered learning management system built to deliver and track impactful restaurant training content.

    In addition to adding employee training to its offerings, Restaurant365 expanded its all-in-one platform over the past year with tip automation, task management, restaurant intelligence dashboards, and Capture AI, which brings the power of machine learning to invoice management.

  • 5/14/2024

    Carnival Corporation Rolls Out SpaceX’s Innovative Starlink Across Entire Global Fleet, Rivaling the Best Wi-Fi Experiences Available On Land

    woman using internet on smartphone while on cruise, in ocean

    Carnival Corporation & plc, the world's largest cruise company, today announced that 100% of its ships across the global fleet are equipped with Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency global internet connectivity. 

    The completed installation further enhances Carnival Corporation’s onboard experience for its guests and crew to provide even faster service, greater capacity, and more reliable Wi-Fi on its fleet of 90-plus ships across its portfolio of world-class cruise brands. The roll-out of Starlink is the latest in a series of innovations and investments from Carnival Corporation that have collectively quadrupled its fleetwide bandwidth since 2019 through its industry-leading connectivity strategy.

    The upgrade rivals on-land connectivity experiences, enabling guests and crew to stay connected anywhere in the world, including sharing pictures and videos, scrolling on social media, streaming live content, and working remotely. The added bandwidth also boosts each ship’s operational and communications capabilities with more continuous onboard equipment monitoring and real-time connectivity and data sharing between ship and shore teams, along with the enhanced versatility to more quickly roll out new guest services and features, even while at sea.

    “Starlink has been a game-changer for the onboard connectivity experience our cruise lines deliver to their guests, and we’ve already seen a surge in guest satisfaction and positive feedback from the super-fast and reliable Wi-Fi service we provide onboard,” said Josh Weinstein, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “We see this technology as a win-win-win – it provides our guests with more flexibility to stay as connected as they’d like on vacation, it allows our crew to stay in touch with friends and loved ones, and it enhances our onboard operational systems.” 

    Carnival Corporation began its fleetwide roll-out of Starlink in December 2022 with Carnival Cruise Line and AIDA Cruises ships, before expanding to the company's other world-class cruise brands, which include Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, P&O Cruises (Australia), Costa Cruises, P&O Cruises (UK) and Cunard.

    The Starlink expansion further advances the company’s multi-provider strategy to deliver the same reliable, high-speed Wi-Fi service available on land while on board its global fleet of 90+ ships visiting more than 800 ports worldwide. Designed to support a variety of constantly moving vessels that sail all over the world, the company’s system leverages technologies from a diverse range of suppliers and is capable of dynamically routing internet traffic and optimizing network speeds to provide a consistent experience to guests across every brand and itinerary.

  • 5/14/2024

    Virdee Builds Executive Team, Adds CEO and New VPs, to Capitalize on Market Momentum

    Virdee Logo

    Virdee, a provider of guest experience technology and check-in automation, today announced the appointment of Paul Pellman as the company’s first CEO. Pellman joins the Virdee executive team following a 35-year career in the technology industry and will lead Virdee through its next phase of growth, building on the strength of the company’s highly regarded hotel guest experience technology and reputation for innovative solutions. Virdee Co-Founders Branigan Mulcahy and Nadav Cornberg will add titles of Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer, respectively. 

    This appointment marks Paul’s third time as CEO of an Austin-based technology company. Previously, Pellman was CEO of Adometry, a market leader in multi-touch attribution to clarify the consumer purchase journey. Adometry was acquired by Google under Pellman’s leadership. Most recently, Pellman was CEO of Kazoo, a Vista Equity Partners portfolio company  in the employee experience software industry.

    This hire comes six months after Virdee announced its $12.4 million Series A financing led by Moneta Ventures and coincides with two additional key hires. Former Vice President of Product at Narvar, Kelli Lin, has been appointed Virdee’s new Vice President of Product, and Royi Haddad, prior engineering leader at Hippo Insurance, has been appointed Vice President of Engineering.

    “We are thrilled to bring Paul Pellman to Virdee to lead the company as it evolves into its next phase,” said Branigan Mulcahy, Co-Founder and COO of Virdee. “Since its founding in 2020, Virdee’s corporate growth and the market adoption of our technology has always been ahead of expectations. Paul’s experience and leadership will ensure we maintain that momentum. It’s an exciting time at Virdee and Co-Founder Nadav Cornberg and I wholeheartedly welcome Paul, Kelli and Royi to the company.”

    "I am honored to be the CEO of Virdee and ready to get to work as Virdee becomes more than a company name but also the word that is synonymous with guest experience technology,” said Paul Pellman, CEO of Virdee. “Virdee’s leadership is talented and visionary as evidenced by the company’s incredible traction with enterprise clients. I look forward to working with Branigan and Nadav in taking the company to the next level, realizing their vision of digitally connecting guests and hotels while seamlessly automating all front desk transactions and amenities. Together, we will continue to deliver exceptional value, make hotel stays more elevated than ever before while we grow our roster of leading hotel and resort clients."

    Virdee was formed in 2020 by Branigan Mulcahy and Nadav Cornberg to bring a contactless hotel check-in experience that would work anywhere and with any system while supporting 100% of guest check-ins to owners and operators of hotels. For more about Virdee and its solutions, visit www.virdee.io.

     

  • 5/14/2024

    SWIPEBY Launches AI-Driven Social Media Content Creator

    Swipeby's social media dashboard

    For brick and mortar businesses and restaurants seeking to stay ahead in today’s competitive market, SWIPEBY offers a comprehensive suite of AI-driven features designed to drive success. Building on its track record of innovation, SWIPEBY is proud to announce an AI-driven social media content creation tool that uses the power of AI to deliver engaging relevant content to customers.

    “With each new feature we develop, we think about how we can ease the time consuming and expensive tasks a business owner has to deal with,” explained SWIPEBY Founder and CEO Carl Turner. “By making social media content creation easy, they are freed up to focus on things that only they can do.”  

    According to Turner, SWIPEBY’s new social media content creator takes business information like opening hours, best sellers and consumer behavior into consideration to develop relevant posts. It continually creates new content that is planned two weeks in advance so the business owner can review, request edits and approve for posting. Any post that hasn’t been approved will be texted to the owner 48 hours in advance for review.

    This is the second functionality developed by SWIPEBY to help business owners and restaurant operators with their social media accounts. Earlier this year, they launched a tool that uses AI to quickly answer questions and comments that are sent to their Facebook and Instagram direct message accounts. The SWIPEBY Direct Message Manager can convert reservation requests into reservations, drive delivery orders, quickly handle a bad experience and answer common questions like location and hours.

    “This new Content Creation feature is perfect for the small to medium sized brick and mortar retailer or restaurant that simply hasn’t had time to think about social media but knows it’s important for their brand and for customer engagement,” Turner said. “Coupling it with the Direct Message Manager allows the restaurant to focus on their business and not worry about keeping up with the demands of social media that come 24/7.”

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