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  • 6/11/2024

    Stripe Becomes Accor’s Primary Global Payments Partner

    accor and stripe logos

    Stripe, a financial infrastructure platform for businesses, announced that it will become the primary payments partner globally for Accor—one of the world’s largest hospitality companies comprising more than 40 hotel brands in 5,600 locations across more than 110 countries.

    Accor has a strong ambition to establish a comprehensive ecommerce platform offering a variety of services beyond rooms including spa services, restaurants, and even unique experiences. It wanted to consolidate payments to simplify the booking process, and from an internal perspective, it needed to redistribute funds depending on the products and services selected by the guest.

    Previously, Accor used multiple payment gateways with different providers. With Stripe, Accor is implementing a single centralized system across all its hospitality properties for online bookings. Accor has already benefited from a significant net conversion rate gain at the checkout step for prepaid bookings on its ecommerce channels compared to previous systems. This has resulted in noticeable topline gains at the hotel level.

    “This partnership transforms the payment experience for hotels and guests alike, enabling the deployment of new payment methods at scale,” said Jean Noël Lau Keng Lun, Accor’s senior vice president of product management. “This improves conversion rates and also unlocks new business opportunities.”

    “Anyone who’s booked a hotel room knows the frustration when the payment doesn’t work as it should,” said Eileen O’Mara, chief revenue officer at Stripe. “Accor is putting guests at the heart of its payments experience. And we’re thrilled to play a part in its strategy which benefits both the hotels and their customers.”

  • 6/11/2024

    Boxxtech Iaunches Alcohol Vending Machine

    Boxxtech alcohol vending

    Boxxtech announces the launch of their second alcohol vending machine at Progressive Field, the home stadium of Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Guardians. Ballgame attendees can skip long lines and purchase beer and pre-packaged cocktails from the refrigerated The Boxx machine.

    “We are excited to be among the first companies to make unattended alcohol sales safe and effective by embedding ID authentication directly into the machine,” said Boxxtech CEO, Lauren Smee. “For busy environments like stadiums and festivals, The Boxx is an ideal way to keep lines down for pre-packaged products, and reduce staffing costs while still serving the same amount of product.” Boxxtech first demo’d the technology at SuperBowl LVIII, where more than 1,000 beverages were dispensed before and during the game, generating more than $68 every minute it was operational. 

    Unattended retail has previously been challenged to sell 21+ products due to ID verification. Boxxtech integrates Age Restricted Vending package, which includes best-in-class ID authentication, capable of rapidly confirming customer age, and detecting up to 95% of fake IDs. The tech also includes face matching, ensuring that the customer in front of the machine matches the photo on a valid ID or drivers license. This technology replaces visual ID checks that would normally be performed by bartenders or event staff.

    “ ID verification technology was the clear winner among the three services we tested for integration into The Boxx. Not only does it successfully catch all fake IDs, keeping minors from accessing products inside the machine, but it was easy to set up without complicated business logic, providing us a clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on every verification,” said BoxxTech CTO Chris Davis.

    Boxxtech machines have served more than 27,000 customers since launch in April 2024. Two The Boxx machines are currently operational, with an additional 50 planned for rollout by the end of 2024, including at least one in a major league sports stadium, and a fleet for placement in a major hotel chain that is looking to sell beer in their lobbies without adding additional staff. The Phoenix-based company has already won several major awards, including the AZ Fire Inno Award by the Phoenix Business Journal, and the 2024 Female Founder Venture Madness Award. Additionally, Boxxtech has been awarded with the coveted Innovation Award for NFL Legends, and counts former Oakland Raider Lamarr Houston as its President. They are a Techstars portfolio company, with additional backing from the founder of RetailMeNot. 

  • 6/11/2024

    Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken Donates 150,000 Meals Through GiftAMeal

    Lee's Famous Recipe packaging

    GiftAMeal, the innovative cause-marketing program that turns customer photos into meals for local families in need, announces a significant milestone in donated meals with restaurant partner Lee’s Famous Recipe  Chicken.  As of June, Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken has donated 150,000 meals to families in need through GiftAMeal’s charitable partnership. In 2023, GiftAMeal was named one of HT’s Industry Heroes  for its solution.

    Customers of Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken will soon notice something special about their orders – packaging – from drink cups to side boxes – will feature its involvement in GiftAMeal, along with information on how guests can participate in making a difference in their community. This creative initiative not only serves as a platform to raise awareness for the cause but also invites customers to join in supporting food banks across the country. The co-branded packaging will be available at locations nationwide, ensuring that every customer has the chance to fight local hunger. 

    The new packaging will complement a digital effort announced earlier this year in which Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken revamped its mobile application and added a GiftAMeal button on the home page that allows customers to engage directly and effortlessly with the GiftAMeal program. By simply clicking the button and uploading a photo of their dining experience, customers trigger a restaurant-funded donation to a local food bank to help provide a meal to a family in need.

    "By integrating GiftAMeal directly onto their packaging and mobile app, Lee’s has transformed each dining experience into a catalyst for change. Our partnership showcases how technology and collaboration can unite us in a shared mission to nourish those in need, and we are thrilled to continue this journey together," says Andrew Glantz, CEO and Founder of GiftAMeal.

    With 130 restaurant locations participating in GiftAMeal, Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken is one of GiftAMeal's larger partners.

    "The integration of GiftAMeal on our brand-wide packaging reflects our deep-rooted commitment to community engagement and enhances the impact we can make, all with no extra effort for our franchisees,” says Dan Sokolik, VP of Marketing at Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken. “Reaching 150,000 meals highlights the tangible difference we and our guests are making in the lives of local families in need.”

    As GiftAMeal continues to expand its network of restaurant partners, the potential to combat food insecurity grows exponentially. Each new partnership amplifies the collective impact, enabling more families to receive the nourishment they need.

    To learn more about GiftAMeal, visit Restaurants interested in joining can visit to schedule a free demo today.

  • 6/10/2024

    Brix Rolls Out Revel Cloud POS to Additional Brands

    Friendly's exterior

    Revel Systems announced BRIX Holdings will implement Revel at all locations for the following brands: Red Mango  Yogurt & Smoothie Café, Smoothie Factory  Juice Bar + Kitchen, Pizza Jukebox , Souper Salad , and Orange Leaf  Frozen Yogurt. Revel has already been successfully deployed at over 120 Friendly's  Restaurants locations, which is also owned by BRIX Holdings. Revel worked with BRIX to develop a custom plan that optimized the hardware and software configuration for each additional brand's unique requirements.

    "We chose Revel because we wanted a solution that was going to be easy to implement, easy to train on, and could meet the needs of our diverse portfolio of brands," said Sherif Mityas, Chief Executive Officer, BRIX Holdings. "The ability to deploy a custom technology strategy has been game-changing for Friendly's as we've been able to deliver a better guest experience, delight our employees by giving them the cutting edge tech that makes their jobs easier, while also becoming more efficient. We look forward to realizing the same results once the next set of our brands are live on Revel."

    Revel provides a cloud point of sale (POS) platform that enables the flexibility large restaurant chains need to maximize profits, improve operations, and easily innovate. The Revel open API enables the BRIX Holdings team to easily integrate best-of-breed solutions to the Revel platform in order to deliver a custom solution that aligns with their unique requirements.

    Added Mityas, "Given Revel's flexibility and proven performance, it was a great opportunity for our broad set of franchisees to upgrade to Revel's modern cloud platform and the substantial benefits it provides."

    "BRIX Holdings has been a tremendous partner throughout the implementation process, which is a key reason the rollout has been so successful and delivered meaningful results for Friendly's," said Greg Dukat, Chief Executive Officer, Revel Systems. "We are thrilled BRIX is committed to rolling out Revel at hundreds of new locations and we look forward to continuing our work with their highly-skilled team."

  • 6/11/2024

    Hospitality America Promotes Justin Deyo to Corporate Director of Operations

    Justin Deyo

    Hospitality America has promoted Justin Deyo to Corporate Director of Operations under the leadership of Vice President of Operations Frank Cook. Deyo’s addition to the Hospitality America leadership team aims to put a focus on mentoring and developing hotel leaders, driving the organization’s performance standards, and providing strategic support for renovations and new hotel openings. 

    With a hospitality career spanning 20 years, Deyo joined Hospitality America in 2013, demonstrating a penchant for developing talent through exemplary leadership and operational expertise. He recently served as area General Manager in Columbia, S.C., overseeing two key assets in the Hilton Columbia Center and Hampton Columbia Historic District. Additionally, Deyo served as the inaugural Chair of Hospitality America’s Leadership Council which consists of property leaders across the portfolio tasked with vetting and deploying new processes and procedures. 

    “I’m humbled to join an already impressive leadership team and looking forward to elevating our property leaders to another level of excellence,” Deyo said. In addition to serving as Chair of Hospitality America’s Leadership Council, Deyo is an active community leader, serving on the board for Friends of Fisher House, Tax A Committee of Columbia, and a member of the Columbia Vista Guild. 

    “Under Justin’s exceptional leadership, two of our top-performing assets have not only thrived through three multimillion-dollar renovations over the past five years but have consistently remained at the pinnacle of their competitive sets,” said Leigh Holloway, Chief Strategy Officer. “His contagious passion and dedication will prove invaluable to Hospitality America’s vision. We’re thrilled to welcome him to our leadership team.”

  • 6/11/2024

    SiteMinder and Cloudbeds Announce Partnership

    siteminder cloudbeds logos

    SiteMinder, the name behind the only software platform that unlocks the full revenue potential of hotels, and Cloudbeds, the platform redefining the concept of PMS for the hospitality industry, have established a strategic partnership to expand connectivity between platforms and create new revenue capabilities for more than 60,000 hoteliers globally.

    This collaboration will provide Cloudbeds customers with direct access to SiteMinder’s powerful revenue platform, while SiteMinder customers can explore the industry-leading PMS platform offered by Cloudbeds. As a result, this partnership means expanded distribution capabilities and deep actionable insights for hoteliers, enabling them to make better commercial decisions.

    This partnership aims to set a new benchmark in platform connectivity, delivering an improved onboarding experience and exceptional operational accuracy for mutual hotel users.

    “In late 2023, we announced our mission of making sophisticated revenue management accessible to every hotel in the world. We are excited to partner with an industry leader like Cloudbeds to propel this mission, by removing the friction that comes with having critical data hidden away in isolated systems,” says Sankar Narayan, CEO and Managing Director at SiteMinder. “This partnership is a testament to the US$50 billion hotel revenue that is processed by SiteMinder’s platform each year as well as the unique position that we hold to completely transform revenue management for the global hotel industry. It continues SiteMinder’s long history of breaking down silos in a highly-fragmented industry.”

    Adam Harris, CEO at Cloudbeds, explains: “Our partnership with SiteMinder is about two of the hotel industry’s biggest names coming together with a mutual commitment to drive forward deeper connectivity between hotel platforms and create new standards that benefit hoteliers everywhere. This partnership empowers hoteliers worldwide by providing unified visibility and control across our platforms. This is just the beginning. We are excited to deliver incremental revenue opportunities for hoteliers while optimizing and streamlining the operational aspects of hotel connectivity.”

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