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News Briefs

  • 7/2/2024

    ICYMI: Long John Silvers Leans on Tech to Transform Customer Engagement

    Long John Silvers tech partners

    Long John Silver’s (LJS) has joined forces with four leading tech innovators – Attentive, Bikky, Plein Air, and Sparkfly – to transform its customer engagement strategy through implementing a 360-degree, next-generation digital and in-store experience across more than 300 corporate stores and participating franchisees.

    A Tightly Integrated Ecosystem

    The tightly integrated ecosystem will leverage a suite of best-in-class platforms including Attentive’s CRM and SMS Messaging; Bikky’s Customer Data Platform; Plein Air’s Web and Mobile App; and Sparkfly’s Offer Management, Loyalty, Digital Wallet, and POS Middleware Platform to create more meaningful messages, offers, and digital experiences for LJS guests.

    “At Long John Silver's, we're dedicated to delivering treasured moments for our customers,” said Jason Antony, Director of Digital Marketing for Long John Silver’s. “By incorporating this cutting-edge technology into one 360° engagement ecosystem, we're excited to seamlessly blend the online and in-store experience and cater to today’s modern, digital-first consumer.”

     

    With decades of combined experience supporting growth and innovation in the quick-service restaurant (QSR) industry, Long John Silver’s team of technology partners offers the flexibility, simple functionality, and deep integrations necessary to revolutionize how customers interact with the brand, driving engagement, loyalty, and sustainable growth.

    “By harnessing the power of Attentive SMS and Email, we are excited to help Long John Silver’s create personalized interactions with their customers. Our collaboration aims to bridge the gap between in-person dining and digital interactions, providing a seamless experience that enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty,” said Angelique Kamara, VP of Partnerships at Attentive.

    “Long John Silver’s is an iconic brand that changed the QSR industry when they first opened their doors over 50 years ago,” said Abhinav Kapur, co-founder and CEO of Bikky. “We are proud to play a role in helping them once again reinvent the industry with a top-tier digital and marketing stack that covers ordering, messaging, analytics, and above all, incredible hospitality.”

    By streamlining the ordering process and personalizing rewards, LJS’s new engagement ecosystem creates a seamless and tailored experience for each guest, fostering deeper connections and enhancing overall satisfaction to keep them coming back. This approach will not only drive customer loyalty but also unlock valuable insights to continuously refine and optimize the brand's offerings, ensuring long-term success and growth.

    “From the beginning of our partnership, our objective was clear: to enhance the guest experience, drive traffic, and grow sales. When the goals and teams align, it’s a great environment to build a best-in-class solution,” said The Plein Air Group Co-CEO Jason Abelkop. “We’re incredibly excited about the possibilities ahead.”

    “We are thrilled to bring LJS’s vision to life alongside the best and brightest in the industry,” said Catherine Tabor, founder and CEO at Sparkfly. “Together, we're paving the way for a new era of customer engagement that prioritizes convenience, personalization, and a seamless experience."

    The initial phase of the digital transformation went live in April 2024.

  • 7/2/2024

    Mews Sponsors Hotelschool The Hague’s Sustainable Hospitality Challenge for Greener Travel

    Mews Logo and Hotelschool The Hague’s Sustainable Hospitality Challenge logo

    Mews, a hospitality cloud, is an official sponsor for Hotelschool The Hague’s Sustainable Hospitality Challenge, an initiative that aims to champion the evolution of eco-friendly hospitality.

    The Sustainable Hospitality Challenge (SHC) is in its 10th year and has evolved into a global knowledge-based initiative. Targeted at future-thinking students around the world, it aims to stimulate and create investment in innovative, sustainable solutions that will have a tangible impact on the industry.

    “It’s a real privilege to support an event that has such an important message, and it’s heartening to see such passionate and brilliant engagement from the future generation of hospitality professionals,” said Matt Welle, CEO at Mews. “I can’t wait to see the ideas the challenge generates.”

    SHC is the biggest student challenge within hospitality. Students from over 75 of the world’s top universities present products and solutions to a ‘Shark Tank’ of industry leaders, including support from the likes of UN Tourism, Accor, Hilton and Marriott.

    “We are incredibly excited to have Mews on board as a sponsor of the Sustainable Hospitality Challenge,” said Paul Griep, Director of Alumni & Industry Relations at Hotelschool The Hague and founder of SHC. “Mews brings a fresh and innovative perspective to the challenge with their expertise in hospitality technology. Their commitment to sustainability will inspire our students to think outside the box and explore new dimensions of hospitality innovation. Their involvement not only elevates the prestige of the challenge but also broadens the horizons of what sustainable solutions can be in our industry.”

    Hotelschool The Hague, is the proud founder of the Sustainable Hospitality Challenge, provides high-quality education and cutting-edge research in the field of international hospitality management, with an emphasis on the transformation of sustainability and digitalization. Ultimately, developing students into sought-after hospitality graduates who excel in leadership roles worldwide.

    The sponsorship is the latest in a long series of actions by Mews that advocate for more eco-conscious travel. A unique partnership and integration with Hotels for Trees has seen over 40,000 trees planted in place of housekeeping turnovers, saving 20,000 hours of housekeeping services. Mews has also published many materials to encourage hoteliers to act more sustainably – including a guide to the Green Hotel of the Future – and a dedicated internal committee on climate action.

  • 7/2/2024

    Redberry Restaurants' New Vice President of Marketing

    Chelsea Kellock

    Redberry Restaurants, a leading operator of quick-service restaurants in Canada, announces the appointment of Chelsea Kellock as the new Vice President of Marketing, effective immediately.

    Plans for Expansion

    Redberry has ambitious plans to open over 600 new Burger King, Taco Bell and Jersey Mike's locations across Canada in the next decade. To support this unprecedented expansion the company has created an executive role dedicated to overseeing its marketing initiatives. This strategic move aligns with Redberry's vision to become the largest and fastest-growing quick-service restaurant (QSR) franchisee in the country.

    Kellock joins Redberry with extensive experience in leading business strategy and executing cross-functional initiatives within the Canadian restaurant industry. She brings a wealth of knowledge and a proven track record of success in senior-level marketing and operational leadership roles, particularly within well-established Canadian QSR and casual dining brands.

    "Our brand partners increasingly look to Team Redberry for long-term brand strategy and activation," said Chris Racine, Chief Operations Officer. "Chelsea's appointment is a testament to our commitment to evolving from tactical marketing to strategic brand leadership at the executive level. Her expertise and leadership will be pivotal as we continue to grow and achieve new milestones."

    Founded in 2005, Redberry is one of Canada's largest QSR restaurant Franchisees. Redberry owns and operates 190-plus restaurants across the country operating under the BURGER KING®, Taco Bell and Jersey Mike's Subs brands.

  • 7/2/2024

    SpotOn Joins US Foods CHECK Business Tools Program

    spoton logo

    SpotOn has been added to the U.S. Foods CHECK Business Tools program. This program provides foodservice operators with a growing suite of technology solutions designed to drive traffic, simplify staffing, and modernize operations. The collaboration between U.S. Foods and SpotOn will empower US Foods customers with the point-of-sale, labor management, and other technology they need to succeed.

    With a shared commitment to best-in-class support and a personal touch, SpotOn will bring its fully integrated restaurant operating system to US Food’s customers nationwide. Known for flexible, cloud-based technology complemented by personalized support, SpotOn offers solutions that enable restaurants to process payments, streamline operations, and create exceptional employee and guest experiences.

    “This collaboration with US Foods is a significant step for SpotOn in reaching hundreds of thousands of restaurant operators nationwide,” said Mark Brodahl, Chief Revenue Officer of SpotOn. “US Foods’s commitment to the restaurant industry aligns with SpotOn’s mission to help restaurant operators everywhere thrive with great technology and best-in-class service and support with a human touch. Together, we will help restaurants run smarter, more efficient, and more profitable operations with the right tech and the right partners.”

    SpotOn's restaurant operating system combines point-of-sale (POS) systems, commission-free and fee-free online ordering and reservations, labor management software, and more. SpotOn technology helps restaurants streamline daily operations, reduce overhead costs, and enable their team to focus on what matters most–providing exceptional guest experiences. In addition to its technology suite, SpotOn offers a range of customer engagement and automated marketing tools to help restaurants increase customer loyalty and drive repeat business. From digital loyalty programs and targeted email campaigns to online ordering and gift cards, SpotOn provides the tools and expertise to help restaurants adapt and thrive in today's digital-first world.

    "We are pleased to announce SpotOn as our newest addition to the CHECK Business Tools program," said Adam Stinn, Director, Business Solutions, US Foods. “We are enthusiastic about our collaboration and its potential to empower US Foods customers with the necessary tools to modernize their operations."

    SpotOn and US Foods share a commitment to supporting restaurant operators with the same hospitality and support restaurants bring to their own communities nationwide. Together, they aim to empower restaurants with the resources, expertise, and technology solutions necessary to thrive in an ever-changing market.

    Trusted by restaurants and venues across the United States, SpotOn invests in programming and activations to inspire restaurant owners and operators to run their businesses on their own terms with flexible technology, actionable data, and personalized service. Together with US Foods, SpotOn is paving the way for restaurant operators to leverage technology to address their most significant challenges, including workforce management, rising costs, and changing guest expectations.

  • 7/1/2024

    OTA Ranking Booster Otamiser Secures $3M in Funding

    otamiser logo
    Otamiser, the world’s first online travel agency (OTA) ranking management platform, has successfully raised $3 million USD in its first funding round. 
     
    The raise was led by Pitchdrive VC, under the expertise and leadership of Wim Derkinderen, Boris Bogaert, and Koen Christiaens. Pitchdrive is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in technology start-ups in a wide variety of sectors, including hospitality technology. 
     
    The new capital will support Otamiser’s plans to expand to 1,000 hotels and 100,000 short-term rentals worldwide, through expansion of its commercial team. More than 76 hoteliers and a roster of PMCs with over 10,000 units between them in nine countries currently use the platform.  
     
    Otamiser helps hoteliers and property managers increase their revenue through higher OTA rankings and an innovative approach to revenue management. Since its inception in 2022, the company has demonstrated impressive growth, reaching an Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) of €1.8 million ($1.9 million USD1) and expanding to a team of 32 employees worldwide, all without external capital. 
     
    Its solution connects revenue management with OTA ranking optimization, ensuring that properties secure top positions on OTAs while meticulously managing prices to unlock the full potential of every room. As a result, Otamiser customers see their occupancy rates increase by an average of 11% and their overall profits rise significantly by an average of 24%.
     
    Otamiser’s core team consists of five young, driven, and ambitious entrepreneurs. CEO Bart-Jan Leyt’s leadership is aided by Korneel Defauw, Co-Founder & CRO, and a strong management team including Lucas Ballyn (CTO), Nils Casteur (CCO), and Jarne Vancompernolle (COO). 
     
    Bart-Jan Leyts, CEO and Founder of Otamiser, said: “This raise is a testament to our innovative approach and the market’s need for our platform. While direct booking websites remain important, the reality is that nearly 75% of bookings now come through platforms like Booking.com, Expedia and Airbnb, and positioning on these platforms is crucial. There is a huge demand from hoteliers and property managers to rank higher on OTAs. 
     
    “With this new capital, we’re going to enhance our existing Otamiser data-driven tools, and launch a new AI-driven product for Airbnb operators. We will also expand our commercial team to capture market share quickly. We’re determined to transform the way the hospitality industry leverages online booking platforms. With Pitchdrive VC as our partner, we’re in the perfect position to ramp up our international expansion.”
     
    Joining Pitchdrive VC are an impressive array of investors including Stijn Christiaens, co-founder of Collibra; Jacob Quartier, formerly of Showpad; Peter van Praet, founder of Bavet; Viktor De Maertelaere of Hospitality House hotel chain; Lorenz Bogaert, serial entrepreneur behind Netlog and StarApps; and the dynamic duo behind startup wonder Henchman, Jorn Vanysacker and Gilles Mattelin
     
    Wim Derkinderen, Co-Founder of Pitchdrive VC, added: “From the first contact with Otamiser, we realised how much potential this team has. Their relentless drive, vision and execution power (almost $2 million ARR accomplished fully bootstrapped) combined with their dedication is very uncommon and extremely promising. They operate in the enormous market of hospitality with very big upwards potential.
     
    “Pitchdrive is not only leading the first funding round of Otamiser but we’re also excited to support them into the next phase of growth.”
     
    Korneel Defauw, Co-Founder & CRO of Otamiser, explains: "Just having a website used to be enough in hospitality but now, if you don’t rank high, you can be dooming yourself to weak occupancy and rates forever. On OTAs, around three-quarters of bookings can be claimed by the top 15 listings, so good positioning is, without question, one of the most important things an operator or property manager must achieve. 
     
    “By securing those coveted top spots, we significantly increase our customers’ chances of attracting more bookings and maximizing revenue. This strategic advantage has become a key priority for everyone because the market today is so competitive.” 
  • 6/30/2024

    SpotOn is the Newest Addition to the US Foods CHECK Business Tools Program, Bringing Restaurants Technology with a Personal Touch

    spoton logo
    SpotOn,a software and payments partner for restaurants, announced that it has been added to the U.S. Foods CHECK Business Tools program. This program provides foodservice operators with a growing suite of technology solutions designed to drive traffic, simplify staffing, and modernize operations. The collaboration between U.S. Foods and SpotOn will empower US Foods customers with the point-of-sale, labor management, and other technology they need to succeed on their own terms. 
     
    With a shared commitment to best-in-class support and a personal touch, SpotOn will bring its fully integrated restaurant operating system to US Food’s customers nationwide. Known for flexible, cloud-based technology complemented by personalized support, SpotOn offers solutions that enable restaurants to process payments, streamline operations, and create exceptional employee and guest experiences. 
     
    “This collaboration with US Foods is a significant step for SpotOn in reaching hundreds of thousands of restaurant operators nationwide,” said Mark Brodahl, Chief Revenue Officer of SpotOn. “US Foods’s commitment to the restaurant industry aligns with SpotOn’s mission to help restaurant operators everywhere thrive with great technology and best-in-class service and support with a human touch. Together, we will help restaurants run smarter, more efficient, and more profitable operations with the right tech and the right partners.” 
     
    SpotOn's restaurant operating system combines point-of-sale (POS) systems, commission-free and fee-free online ordering and reservations, labor management software, and more. SpotOn technology helps restaurants streamline daily operations, reduce overhead costs, and enable their team to focus on what matters most–providing exceptional guest experiences. In addition to its technology suite, SpotOn offers a range of customer engagement and automated marketing tools to help restaurants increase customer loyalty and drive repeat business. From digital loyalty programs and targeted email campaigns to online ordering and gift cards, SpotOn provides the tools and expertise to help restaurants adapt and thrive in today's digital-first world.
     
    "We are pleased to announce SpotOn as our newest addition to the CHECK Business Tools program," said Adam Stinn, Director, Business Solutions, US Foods. “We are enthusiastic about our collaboration and its potential to empower US Foods customers with the necessary tools to modernize their operations."
     
    SpotOn and US Foods share a commitment to supporting restaurant operators with the same hospitality and support restaurants bring to their own communities nationwide. Together, they aim to empower restaurants with the resources, expertise, and technology solutions necessary to thrive in an ever-changing market. 
     
    Trusted by restaurants and venues across the United States, SpotOn invests in programming and activations to inspire restaurant owners and operators to run their businesses on their own terms with flexible technology, actionable data, and personalized service. Together with US Foods, SpotOn is paving the way for restaurant operators to leverage technology to address their most significant challenges, including workforce management, rising costs, and changing guest expectations.
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