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News Briefs

  • 5/21/2024

    Guestline Unlocks New Revenue Streams with Fully Integrated Distribution Hub

    mobile app

    Guestline - one of the world’s leading hospitality technology companies, and part of The Access Group - has unveiled its fully integrated Distribution Hub designed to unlock new revenue streams for hoteliers.

    Available with over 400 channel connections, Guestline’s Distribution Hub enables hoteliers to optimise the distribution mix of travel booking websites, third party sales partners, and direct business.  With automation, hotels can take advantage of both traditional channels and alternative partners including Metasearch, Airbnb and rental platforms.

    Fully integrated into Guestline’s product suite including market-leading PMS, hotels can maximise operational efficiencies and reduce errors with real-time updates ensuring accurate availability across all channels at all times to avoid overbooking and lost revenue. By utilising the valuable insights from integrated data, hotels have the ability to optimise distribution strategies in order to maximise revenue from the most valuable channels.

    “Hotel staff need more time for value-based tasks. Our Distribution Hub reduces manual updates allowing hotel teams to focus on strategic distribution to improve the cost of sale, while potentially attracting higher-value guests with lower acquisition costs. Guests are increasingly researching and booking hotels across various channels including metasearch sites like Trivago and Google, therefore hotels need to take an omnichannel approach to distribution. By diversifying their channel matrix, hotels can create competitive offerings in their third-party commission structures,” said Katharina Lunenburg, Senior Product Manager, Guestline.

    Through the single user-friendly platform, hotels can manage all online sales channels with the ability to switch them on and off when required. The seamless connectivity delivers incoming reservations directory and securely into the PMS with PCI compliant payment handling and tokenisation, eliminating data silos. With greater control over distribution, hotels can geographically target markets, improve visibility in front of niche audiences or engage with channels offering lower commissions.

    Guestline Distribution Hub offers a scalable, robust, reliable, and secure platform with full customer support, along with reporting and analytics capabilities to support revenue management strategies. It gives hoteliers the ability to customise distribution including MinLOS, closed channel functionality, and integrated niche channels in a user-friendly and intuitive interface.

    The Guestline Distribution Hub supports the development of new revenue streams, enhanced pricing strategies, and operational and resource efficiencies, and is suitable for properties with 30 or more rooms.

  • 5/21/2024

    Knowland Announces Sub-market Data Enhancement to Market Snapshot Report

    knowland submarket software image

    Knowland, a provider of data-as-a-service insights on meetings and events for hospitality, announced an advanced data enhancement, Sub-Market Filter, to its popular Market Snapshot Report. The new filter was added to Knowland search and dashboard functions, including Market Snapshot and New-to-Market capabilities, enabling filtering down to the sub-market level within larger markets, saving time and effort by pinpointing localized opportunities.

    As markets normalize and accounts continue to evolve in the meeting and events space, hotel sales teams need detailed data analytics to help them more easily source new business. This enhancement provides critical metrics on top geographical neighborhoods in a simple, easily accessible way, delivering essential insights sales teams need for an account-based approach to selling.

    • Market Snapshot Updates—Knowland’s popular Market Snapshot feature can now be customized to help sales teams discover trends in meeting and event performance within a specific sub-market. It showcases sub-market level trends and analytics including key metrics, market segments, top industries, and average meeting size, providing valuable insights for informed decision-making. Click here for a quick preview.
    • New-to-Market Capabilities—The sub-market enhancement to Knowland’s New-to-Market feature provides insights on accounts meeting in specific sub-markets for the first time, identifying new opportunities down to the local level. Sales leaders can choose to receive weekly, monthly, or quarterly updates via email, keeping them in the loop and providing insight to conduct account-based selling before competitors do. Click here for a quick preview.

    Jeff Bzdawka, CEO, Knowland, said: “To stay agile in this competitive industry, hotel sellers must be savvy about community activity. With this localized market view, they see opportunities in their immediate area rather than sifting through broad datasetsWe continue to innovate our platform with new features and functionalities to help sales teams excel in account-based selling and automate the sales process for better outcomes.”

  • 5/21/2024

    Costa Coffee Partners with Delaware North to Offer Autonomous Coffee Experience in Austin

    Costa Coffee autonomous concept robotic

    Costa Coffee, in partnership with Delaware North, will launch its  autonomous coffee technology, Costa Coffee Creations, at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in August.

    Located at Gates 11 and 16, Costa Coffee Creations is a fully robotic system that delivers barista-quality espresso drinks without the need for any human assistance for up to seven days. The equipment, capable of serving both hot and cold beverages, utilizes 100% freshly ground whole beans, milk and alternative milk options. 

    Delaware North, an early adopter of Costa Coffee Creations, recognizes the transformative potential of autonomous coffee solutions. Costa's current coffee robot in the Austin Airport and a precursor to Costa Coffee Creations, has demonstrated remarkable success, achieving double the revenue per square foot compared to other offerings in the airport, which saw 22 million passengers fly in and out in 2023 alone. 

    Coffee Drinks 24/7

    With a compact footprint of 24 square feet and round-the-clock availability, Costa Coffee Creations offers unparalleled convenience for travelers seeking coffee during non-traditional hours. Now, travelers will be able to get fresh, expertly crafted coffee drinks during those midnight hours or any other time they desire premium espresso beverages. 

    “Amid persistent labor shortages and growing consumer demand for convenience and personalization, Costa Coffee Creations emerges as the perfect solution,” said Nick Rex, Senior Director at Costa Coffee. “With the ability to concoct an infinite array of coffee options in minutes and facilitating seamless mobile ordering, all without the need for human intervention, the machine embodies a win-win scenario for operators and guests alike.” 

    "The tech-forward city of Austin is the perfect first location for Costa Coffee Creations,” said Terry Mahlum, a director of operations for Delaware North’s travel division. "Our partnership with Costa emphasizes our commitment to continuous innovation and delivering superior guest experiences."  

    By partnering with Delaware North at the Austin airport, Costa Coffee Creations continues to lead the coffee market evolution through innovation, disrupting traditional coffee retail experiences and setting new standards for excellence in the industry. 

  • 5/21/2024

    Andrew Arthurs Joins Actabl as President and COO

    actabl logo

    Actabl, a hospitality software company dedicated to empowering hotels with actionable insights to drive profit, announces Andrew Arthurs will be joining as President and Chief Operating Officer. This strategic hire underscores Actabl’s unwavering commitment to the hospitality sector and its aim to enhance the capabilities of hoteliers worldwide.

    Andrew Arthurs joins Actabl with a deep background in hospitality technology and management. In his previous position as Chief Information Officer at Aimbridge Hospitality, he led technology initiatives across more than 1,500 properties in 50 states and 23 countries. With over two decades of experience, including leadership roles at Two Roads Hospitality and Vail Resorts, Arthurs brings a wealth of knowledge and a rich understanding of the hospitality industry’s unique challenges and needs.

    In his new role with Actabl, Arthurs will lead several pivotal departments within Customer Experience and Operations. 

    Steven Moore, CEO of Actabl, expressed his enthusiasm for Arthurs’ appointment: "I am thrilled to welcome Andrew to the Actabl team. Andrew's extensive experience and deep commitment to hospitality come at a pivotal moment for us as we renew our commitment to empowering the people who power hospitality. Andrew is an exceptionally talented executive and someone who will help us maintain close-knit and responsive relationships with our customers as we continue to bring four industry-leading products into a single platform. I could not be more excited for our team, our customers, and our vision."

    “Joining Actabl is a tremendous opportunity to make a real impact in an industry I’ve dedicated over two decades to,” says Arthurs. “The Actabl team has worked tirelessly over the past 18 months to bring together four companies in a way that delivers an optimal experience for their customers. As a former customer, I know first-hand what value the platform brings, and I’m eager to drive further enhancements in our customer engagement and operational strategies, which will elevate our service offerings and benefit our clients globally.”

    Arthurs will officially join Actabl in early June and will accompany the team to HITEC in Charlotte, NC June 24-26, 2024. 

  • 5/21/2024

    Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality Transitions All Restaurants, Catering, and Entertainment Venues Across Canada to Silverware POS

    mobile app at Oliver & Bonacini

    With an immediate need to update and standardize its point-of-sale systems across 30 restaurants plus event venues and other partners, and enable corporate to self-manage and maintain all systems, Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality (O&B) has transitioned to Silverware POS.

    Trusted by the most notable brands around the globe, Silverware develops enterprise point-of-sale solutions for large venue operations and deploys systems to meet the needs of multi-revenue operations with restaurants, bars, lounges, roomservice, banquet, and retail facilities. O&B is recognized as one of Canada’s leading restaurant and event groups with locations in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and beyond. The company credits its success to developing a strong corporate culture where food quality and service are valued above all else and leave lasting, positive impressions on every guest through our intelligent, enthusiastic and emotional service.

    “The demands of today’s diners are changing,” said Charlotte Newbury, Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality associate director of business operations. “At high-end restaurants, people expect personalized service with a great view and a one-of-a-kind culinary adventure. At more casual places, diners may prefer to be more interactive or self-serving with their experiences. Time is precious, and therefore they do not want to wait on service associates to pay their bills; a scan, pay and leave scenario more aptly fits their lifestyles. To support this mix – dictated by the market and the concept – we needed a point-of-sale solution that did it all. It needed to be user friendly and give us access to the back end so we could manage and maintain it on our own. Silverware has the flexibility to do all that and much more.”

    A key criteria for O&B was finding a POS platform that drives efficiency. The goal of the new system was to get food out faster and send orders to the kitchen in clear, concise ways without lag time. The company also wanted a solution that its employees would be eager to engage with since most of the wait staff are young and comfortable adopting new technology. Silverware was purpose built to drive efficiency, improve profitability, and enhance every aspect of the dining experience.

    “When onboarding new employees or bringing a restaurant online with Silverware, everyone is amazed at the user friendliness of the system,” Newbury said. “Most servers think ‘you’ve seen one POS, you’ve seen them all,’ but that is not the case. Our staff consistently tell us they can’t believe how intuitive Silverware is. Anything and everything you can possibly think of is already built in. Our people say they especially like the fact that pricing levels change automatically; when lunch is over and Happy Hour begins, price changes don’t have to be input manually. Whenever Silverware asks if we would like to pilot new features, we jump at the chance to provide insight.”

    Users can be trained on Silverware in about 45 minutes, Newbury said. Immediately following training, O&B’s associates are comfortable using it. That means the company doesn’t have to spend a lot of time or money on training and retraining. And because all back-end programming is done internally, their team can step in and troubleshoot if needed. In fact, 16 employees oversee, manage, and provide back-end programming to Silverware across the vast foodservice enterprise. Newbury said her department was created specifically to do most of the heavy lifting for all point-of-sale systems companywide.

    “The bottom line is Silverware simplifies our operations, and their support is outstanding,” Newbury said. “Should we need additional assistance with something that we can’t handle internally, we can always reach someone at the Help Desk 24/7. Silverware’s account managers are extremely accessible and receptive. More importantly, they’re honest; they will let us know if they can or cannot do something. There is never a delay in response. It’s great knowing that if we need them, Silverware is standing by to assist.”

    One of the newer features of Silverware being leveraged by O&B is GuestX for online ordering. The GuestX platform enables diners to seamlessly place orders and pay through their mobile phone by credit card, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. It’s fully customizable to match each restaurants’ branding and ensure a consistent experience for diners whether they eat in or order out. For a company with multiple platforms such as O&B, maintaining consistency is vital.

    “O&B is committed to quality, growth, and technology,” Newbury said. “We are always looking for efficiencies while staying cutting edge. If we can do that, it will extend to the guest experience and make it the best it can be.

    “The future is bright,” she added. “We have about six new restaurants coming online in 2024, plus a large food hall project this Spring with 16 food stalls. Silverware will be by our side every step of the way and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

  • 5/21/2024

    Kempinski Hotels Appoints Barbara Muckermann as Group Chief Executive Officer

    Barbara Muckermann CEO Kempinski Hotels

    Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group Kempinski Hotels announces today the appointment of Barbara Muckermann as Chief Executive Officer. Muckermann previously was responsible for leading Silversea Cruises (part of Royal Caribbean Group), the world’s largest ultra-luxury and expedition cruise line. She joins the iconic global luxury hospitality brand with 82 hotels in 36 countries at an exciting time, as Kempinski prepares for impressive growth in new regions worldwide and more spectacular properties on the horizon.

    Kempinski is proud of its 127-year tradition and the associated high standard of quality which the group has introduced into new upwardly-mobile markets. The group intends to add another 34 hotels and residences to its portfolio in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa in the coming years and to further secure Kempinski’s legendary global position and standing.

    “I could not be more thrilled to be joining Kempinski Hotels as CEO during such a pivotal time for the brand”, says Muckermann on her appointment. “I am delighted to play an integral role in this incredibly iconic brand’s next chapter while honouring its rich history, and very much look forward to working in tandem with amazing colleagues globally to continue to make the Kempinski name synonymous with individual luxury.”

    “Barbara has always been at the forefront of luxury, and her proven ability to elevate the guest experience while simultaneously maximising profitability for leading travel brands made her the ideal choice to lead Kempinski Hotels,” said René Nijhof, Chairman of the Board of Directors Kempinski Hotels S.A. “Her dynamic, forward-thinking approach will be vital as we continue to usher in a new era of luxury for our brand. As Barbara takes the helm, she will be the first woman in the company’s 127 years of history to lead this iconic brand.”

    During her more than 25 years of hospitality experience, she has successfully expanded sales and profitability as well as significantly upgraded the guest and customer experience for leading global brands in luxury and travel including Loro Piana, MSC Cruises and NCL.

    A German native, having lived in Italy, France and the USA, Muckermann is fluent in five languages and is a Doctor in Political Sciences and Economics and holds a joint MBA from Columbia and London Business School.

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