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  • 6/23/2024

    American Express to Buy 2 Restaurant Tech Companies

    American Expresss being used at a restaurant

    American Express announced an agreement to acquire Tock, a reservation, table, and event management technology provider, from Squarespace. The company also announced an agreement to acquire Rooam, a technology company that powers mobile payments, ordering and integrations with point of sale, marketing and loyalty systems used by restaurants and entertainment venues. 

    The acquisitions build on American Express’ previous investments in dining, travel, and entertainment, expanding the company’s suite of digital tools for restaurants and merchants to better serve their customers, the number of restaurants offered through American Express channels, and the ways Card Members access experiences. 

    Members' Top Spending Categories

    “Restaurants are one of our largest Card Member spending categories within Travel and Entertainment, with $100 billion in volume in 2023,” said Howard Grosfield, President, U.S. Consumer Services, American Express. “We’ve been offering unique dining benefits, exclusive access, and special experiences to our Card Members for years through Resy and Global Dining Access by Resy. Now, we can connect even more premium customers with the most exciting restaurants, while providing merchants and restaurants more technology to help their businesses thrive. We will be able to offer restaurants the tools to deliver more personalized hospitality, facilitate pre-paid experiences like tasting menus, and provide more convenient ways for customers to pay the bill.”

    “From our acquisition of Resy in July 2019 through year-end 2023, we’ve increased the number of engaged diners by 3x, increased the number of restaurants by 5.4x and driven solid growth in diners seated1. Restaurants value access to our premium, high-spending customer base and to Resy’s technology to help run their businesses,” said Pablo Rivero, Vice President, American Express Global Dining, CEO Resy. “These acquisitions will enhance our dining platform and help us continue to support the industry’s growth.”

    Tock, launched in Chicago in 2014 and acquired by Squarespace in 2021, provides reservation, table management and event ticketing tools to approximately 7,000 restaurants, wineries, and other bookable venues. Adding Tock’s network of restaurants and innovative suite of products will enhance American Express’ dining platform, delivering even more unforgettable experiences for diners and access to highly sought-after reservations in one destination. As part of the deal, Squarespace and American Express will also partner to deliver additional value for small businesses that use American Express Cards through the Amex Offers program (digital card-linked offers) and Card Member benefits.

     

    Committed to Hospitality 

    “American Express has demonstrated its commitment to the hospitality industry, and we believe that as part of American Express, Tock will deliver enhanced value to our customers through access to a broad network of diners,” said Matthew Tucker, Head of Tock. “We appreciate American Express’ recognition of Tock’s exceptional products, experienced team, and our first-rate customer base. We look forward to working together to broaden American Express’ world class dining program and are excited by the tremendous opportunity to continue to innovate on behalf of our customers as part of American Express. We are also deeply appreciative of Squarespace’s support of Tock’s vision and its commitment to the business over the past three years.”

    “Since adding Tock as a Squarespace company in 2021, we have been honored to partner together to serve the hospitality industry,” said Anthony Casalena, Founder and CEO of Squarespace. “We are thankful for Matt’s leadership and the team’s emphasis on innovative products and world class customer care. Our shared commitment to help small businesses grow has been core to our partnership and we believe the Tock business will continue to thrive in its exciting next chapter with American Express.”

    Rooam, founded in 2015, has become a key technology partner for customers ranging from restaurants and bars to stadiums and arenas. The company’s integrations will add new capabilities to the Resy dashboard that help restaurants personalize marketing, drive loyalty, and turn tables faster. Adding Rooam’s proprietary products – Rooam Pay, Rooam Tab, and Rooam Order – will enhance Amex’s mobile ordering and payment capabilities as American Express continues to deepen its sports, music, and entertainment partnerships.

    “We built Rooam to make it easy for restaurants and entertainment venues to use major point of sale providers with other key technology systems crucial to hospitality operations. Combining our capabilities with American Express and Resy will power payments, marketing, and loyalty programs for hospitality providers, bringing together the digital tools they need in one platform,” said Junaid Shams, co-founder and CEO of Rooam.

    The transactions are subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval for the Tock acquisition. American Express will acquire Tock for $400M in cash, subject to customary adjustments. Financial details of the Rooam acquisition are not being disclosed.

  • 6/23/2024

    Duetto, SHR Partner to Transform Casino Loyalty Pricing

    digital handshake

    Duetto, a global leader in revenue management solutions, and SHR (an Access company), a leading provider of innovative and intelligent technology solutions for hotels and resorts, today announced a strategic partnership designed to revolutionize the casino resort industry. Using Duetto’s Dynamic Rate Engine (DRE), SHR Group will enable its casino customers to deliver real-time personalized pricing online to maximize revenue, as well as increase occupancy and guest satisfaction.

    The newly certified SHR<>DRE API connection returns real-time rates and restrictions on the customer level, offering loyalty program members special rates and comp rooms based on their lifetime value. This collaboration enhances the experience for players and streamlines operations for casino resorts.

    “Duetto’s dynamic pricing model delivers real-time, value-driven promotions that evolve based on player activity and worth. Now, thanks to our integration with SHR, these players can be rewarded instantly and can book their discounted or comp rooms easily online, encouraging them to stay more often,” said John Lingos-Webb, Senior Director of Global Partnerships, Duetto.

    “SHR’s award-winning booking engine now integrates real-time RMS lookups via Duetto’s Rate Engine API. This collaboration with Duetto expands SHR’s existing casino functionality and provides our customers with a wider range of tools to offer personalized rates and comp rooms to their loyalty guests,” said Dan Edmonds, VP Casino Strategy & Solutions, SHR Group.

    With Duetto's Open Pricing and dynamic discounting based on customers’ total worth, casinos can strategically determine which guests get a comped room or a discounted cash rate during high-demand versus low-demand periods, without the risk of over-investing and eroding the bottom line.

    At HITEC,  visit the Duetto booth #1751 at HITEC or SHR at booth #447.

     

  • 6/23/2024

    HITEC 2024: Zaplox Launches Mobile Keys in Google Wallet

    payment on phone with woman's hands

    Zaplox, a provider of digital guest solutions, enables Strawberry’s Clarion Hotel Post to offer NFC mobile keys in Google Wallet. With this feature added to their digital guest journey, they are now the first, and only hotel in the world to offer mobile keys in both Google Wallet and Apple Wallet, using this technology.

    “We are honored to announce the launch of mobile keys in Google Wallet. This launch demonstrates our vision of delivering next-generation technology and proves that when visionary minds unite and work together with the latest technology, we can truly leave a mark on the industry,” said Kim Lood, CTO at Zaplox.

    In 2023, Zaplox entered a close collaboration with Google to develop a proof of concept for mobile keys in Google Wallet, at Google's Bay View Suites in Mountain View, California, using the existing BLE technology. This was the first step in a partnership that has prompted the launch of mobile keys at Clarion Hotel Post, now leveraging NFC. This launch is a result of Zaplox’s close collaboration with Google, Vingcard, an ASSA ABLOY company and leading provider of security access solutions and other advanced technologies, and NXP Semiconductors, a renowned manufacturer of integrated circuits.

    Using a mobile key in Google Wallet provides enhanced convenience to Clarion Hotel Post guests. With a simple setup process, guests can effortlessly add their room key to Google Wallet and access their digital key to unlock the room, as well as other facilities throughout the property, whenever needed.

    "Becoming the first hotel in the world to offer mobile keys in both Google Wallet and Apple Wallet is a testament to our commitment to enhancing the guest experience at every touchpoint and underscores the importance of collaborating with industry-leading technology partners. Our guests are always at the heart of everything we do, and we strive to continually improve the guest journey with innovative solutions that meet the expectations of the modern traveler. Behind every innovation lies a catalyst, an enabler of transformation, which is why we have chosen to work closely with Zaplox,” said Christian Lundén, Vice President Strategic Growth, at Strawberry.

    “At Zaplox we believe in empowering our customers and unlocking the possibilities of what technology enables. Working hand in hand with a forward thinking and innovative customer like Strawberry is truly an exciting journey where we get to witness technology and its potential on efficiency and guest satisfaction first hand. Today we are extra proud to enable Strawberry and the Clarion Hotel Post to be the first hotel in the world to offer this to their guests,” said Tess Mattisson, President and CEO at Zaplox.

    Google Wallet room keys are compatible with Vingcard door locks and Vostio Access Management by Vingcard.

    “Mobile key solutions continue evolving to address guest demands for greater flexibility over how they choose to interact with the service. We are honored to work alongside Zaplox in deploying Google Wallet compatibility for Mobile Access at Clarion Hotel Post, providing its guests with an opportunity to take room access convenience a step further. As a company that shares our goal of bringing more innovation into the modern guest journey, we look forward to expanding our relationship with Zaplox as an option for more properties that are seeking the benefits of digital wallet-compatible Mobile Access,” said Richard Eastburn, Senior Director and Head of Product Management at Vingcard. 

  • 6/23/2024

    HITEC 2024: Sabre Unveils the Next Evolution of Hospitality Retailing: SynXis Retailing

    logo

    Sabre Hospitality, a division of Sabre Corp. announced the next evolution of its retailing solution: SynXis Retailing. With the addition of standalone offers, not bound to a room reservation, and automated fulfillment powered by Nuvola, SynXis Retailing is the most comprehensive retailing solution in the market.

    In addition to selling ancillaries with room bookings, the platform now enables the sale of standalone offers beyond the room, allowing hoteliers to set up virtual storefronts, broaden their catalog, and reach a wider audience. 

    “Launching standalone offers represents a significant leap forward in our commitment to innovation in the hospitality industry,” said Scott Wilson, President, Sabre Hospitality. “Our evolved solution empowers hoteliers to unlock additional revenue by selling experiences, services, goods, and more without a room reservation. Enhancing traveler experiences through personalized and relevant offers, ultimately driving higher satisfaction and revenue. We are excited to see how SynXis Retailing will enable our customers to stay ahead in a competitive market.”

    Furthermore, Sabre Hospitality announced the upcoming integration of automated fulfillment powered by Nuvola, their task management solution. The integration between SynXis Retailing and Nuvola’s ticketing functionality enables hoteliers to automate the fulfillment of ancillary offers. This integration provides automated ticket creation, scheduling, and notifications to facilitate the fulfillment of orders. By eliminating the need for manual management, it reduces the risk of errors and ensures guest satisfaction.

    “With retailing transforming the hospitality industry, Sabre continues to amplify our Retail Studio portfolio with SynXis Retailing.” said Mykola Sheludko, product vice president, Sabre Hospitality. “Coming later this summer, our customers can tap into our integration of Nuvola features to optimize fulfillment. Looking ahead to 2025, we will continue to expand the retailing tools for our customers by enabling a marketplace for reselling third-party offers.”

    The platform’s capabilities are designed to help hoteliers implement a successful merchandising strategy, resulting in a competitive advantage and aligning with the expectations of today's travelers and the next generation.

    The SynXis Retailing Recommendation Engine leverages predictive analytics powered by machine learning to suggest targeted offers, increasing conversions through tailored recommendations. By offering more relevant ancillaries, hoteliers can achieve higher booking conversions, resulting in greater guest satisfaction, increased revenue, and strategic differentiation from competitors.

    SynXis Retailing enables customers to achieve greater success, driving significant ancillary revenue and enhancing guest experience. With proven results, Sabre’s customers have experienced an average order value of $300 per ancillary booking, in addition to the room value. Moreover, customers that have upgraded to SynXis Retailing have witnessed up to a threefold year-over-year increase in average ancillary revenue.

    Sabre is showcasing SynXis Retailing at HITEC in Charlotte, N.C., USA, between June 25-27, 2024, at booth 829. 

  • 6/23/2024

    HITEC 2024: Silverware Introduces Handheld Device

    Silverware payment

    At HITEC, Silverware will showcase its commitment to innovation with the debut of Silverware Pay, an embedded payment-processing solution that’s deeply integrated into the company’s point-of-sale ecosystem. Silverware Pay enables food-and-beverage staff to manage the entire guest experience from a single handheld device regardless of on-property location or chip-reader type.

    Silverware Pay will be on display June 25 to 27 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center in Booth 626.

    “Hoteliers have been asking us for an embedded payment solution for some time, and we cannot wait to reveal what we have developed,” said Michael Thalassinos, Silverware Senior Vice President of Enterprise Sales. “With Silverware Pay, operators can choose from multiple Android devices and support functionality – such as mobile ordering, pay-at-table, incremental authorization, and more – all with industry-leading store-and-forward technology for off-line safekeeping.”

    Silverware Pay provides an ideal solution for hospitality businesses ranging from stand-alone restaurants (whether full-service or counter service) to properties featuring multiple dining and retail concepts all with unique chip readers within a larger environment. Scalability allows the application to grow with client enterprises.

    “From poolside to terraces, golf courses, and other environments where mobility is a priority, F&B staff can leverage our handheld devices to place orders, print checks, accept payment, post to rooms, and manage the entire guest experience from that single handheld device,” Thalassinos said. “Similarly, accepting credit-card payments directly within our POS expedites check-in and checkout, boosting guest satisfaction and loyalty.”

    Unlike systems with separate ordering tablets and credit-card readers, Silverware Pay fuels productivity, efficiency, and cost savings. Consolidating payment processing within the POS reduces the need for manual reconciliation and administration. Real-time transaction data and reports support informed decision-making with insights into revenue streams and financial performance as they’re happening.

    “From a security perspective,” Thalassinos said, “you’re not managing two devices. Instead, you’re able to handle everything from one device rather than having to go back and forth between devices.” Moreover, Silverware Pay uses state-of-the-art encryption and tokenization technologies to protect payment data and guard against fraud.

    Silverware’s end-to-end solution replaces older POS equipment seamlessly. “And there’s not much change or training needed for an operator to deploy the technology,” he said. “Once live, onboarding new seasonal staff, for example, will take half the time that it has traditionally taken with other point-of-sale solutions.”

    Enterprise-wide, Silverware continues to prioritize its connection with clients. “We truly share the same common goal, which is to elevate the guest experience,” said Thalassinos. “Together we are invested in the success of the operation, and our primary focus is the guest. That means we are very hands-on with how we implement, deploy, train, and support.”

    Silverware offers 24-7 support worldwide. “We do not close,” he said. “Clients call us directly, and we answer the phone live, even after hours. Clients are not asked to open a ticket, fill out a form, or chat with a bot first. They’re getting directly to our support team.” In fact, the company answers more than 92% of inbound calls immediately. In the rare instances where clients must wait, it’s only for two minutes on average.

    Just as Silverware Pay resides within the Silverware ecosystem, the company considers itself an integral element of clients’ operations. “We are actually in the hospitality industry,” Thalassinos said. “So, we’re much more than a tech company – we’re a partner in providing a guest experience using the Silverware ecosystem.”

    Additional innovations on display at the Silverware booth include:

    • Admin Center – This revamped restaurant management tool enables users to manage menu offerings, dynamic pricing, and more. Cloud-based and mobile-friendly, Admin Center supports full system audits and robust permission sets.

    • Order Notification – SMS integration with Twilio allows guests to place orders with a staff member or through their own mobile devices and receive text messages when orders are ready.

    • Announcer Kitchen Management System – Full-service restaurant-focused kitchen display technology helps operators manage individual seat preferences, dietary restrictions, and allergies, with visibility of all courses ordered by each guest.

    For more information about Silverware Pay and Silverware POS, please visit www.silverwarepos.com or stop by Booth 626 at HITEC Charlotte.

  • 6/23/2024

    Landmark Hospitality Partners With Salt Labs to Motivate Frontline Workers

    Salt Labs, creator of the first employee rewards and incentives platform  offering an ownership asset to frontline employees, is pleased to announce its partnership with Landmark Hospitality. Landmark owns and operates an extensive portfolio of distinctive venues, boutique hotels and renowned restaurants throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

    Despite the broader challenges of the restaurant and hospitality industry, such as high turnover and absenteeism, Landmark has always prioritized employee experience as a key strategy behind its exceptional guest experience. According to Landmark's SVP of Service & Training, Thomas McAteer, Landmark partnered with Salt to continue to be an employer of choice, allowing its employees to earn an asset of lasting value and providing additional motivation for its workforce ahead of Landmark’s busy summer season.

    Landmark refers to their frontline workers as “Memorymakers,” and as McAteer shared, there was immediate alignment between how Salt allows employees to build something of value for their future and set goals to realize future memories from their work today. 

    “Our Memorymakers are the heart and soul of our business. They’re the cooks, hostesses, bartenders, and waitstaff in the trenches, creating memorable experiences for our guests,” McAteer said. “We believe that Salt will be a powerful tool to help our team stay motivated, especially during our busy periods. We anticipate that 1 in 3 employees will pick up an extra shift during the busy season because they can earn Salt, in addition to their paycheck. This allows them to work toward their own memories.

    Landmark employees earn one Salt for each hour they work. Over time, employees accumulate a balance and set goals to save for items they choose, such as a college savings fund or stocks they've always wanted to own. They can also exchange their Salt for an unforgettable experience like a family trip. This autonomous experience enables employees to save for the future, stay motivated, become future-focused and connect their day-to-day work with personal and positive outcomes.

    "We are thrilled to partner with Landmark, an innovator in the restaurant and hospitality space,” said Jason Lee, founder and CEO of Salt Labs. “Landmark understands the importance of prioritizing the employee experience to drive a memorable guest experience. By allowing employees to earn Salt, Landmark truly empowers them to enjoy the long-term benefits of their work efforts today.”

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