Grubhuband Topanga.io, a reusable packaging management platform, have teamed up to introduce reusable carryout packaging on participating college campuses.
Diners who place a to-go order from on-campus dining locations via the Grubhub app will be able to select reusable packaging at checkout through Topanga.io's ReusePass program. Meals will be packaged in a reusable container using Topanga.io's track-and-trace technology, allowing campus diners to keep track of what containers they have and when they need to be returned. This program is currently available at The Ohio State University and Colorado State University, with plans to expand to more campuses throughout the year.
"Grubhub's campus partners have been vocal that sustainable solutions are a top priority, and we're looking forward to working with Topanga.io to support universities' sustainability efforts," said Adam Herbert, senior director of campus partnerships at Grubhub. "The campus dining world presents a large and scalable opportunity for sustainable solutions like this one, and we're excited to expand our suite of campus dining offerings to our partners."
"Grubhub is a leader in mobile ordering technology and has a great reputation among its campus partners, so we're thrilled to be working with them as we bring our mission to eliminate single-use packaging to campuses across the country," said Page Schult, CEO of Topanga.io. "We've been very intentional to build the best technology in the market, and it has been great to work with a leading provider like Grubhub to further bolster the strength of our campus offering," echoed Adam Bailey, CTO of Topanga.io.
"Sustainability is part of the culture for Student Life Dining Services at The Ohio State University," said Zia Ahmed, senior director of dining services at The Ohio State University. "We are pleased to work with our partners as we take key steps toward making progress in reducing waste and advancing our sustainability efforts."
"Colorado State University's residential dining services team has been eager to bring Topanga.io's ReusePass program to campus in partnership with Grubhub to expand on our sustainability initiatives," said Patrick St. Clair, assistant director, support services at Colorado State University. "It's efforts like this one that allows us to continue driving forward-thinking efforts and innovation within our residential dining program while leveraging and growing our program technologically. Today, we're excited to offer the Reusepass program to our students, faculty, and staff."
Grubhub partners with more than 270 college campuses across the United States to give students the ability to integrate meal plans directly into their Grubhub account and access restaurants both on- and off-campus for delivery and pickup. Topanga has helped QSRs, grocery delivery, and meal prep companies launch data-driven reusable packaging programs and is excited to bring their innovative technology to campuses nationwide. To date, they've helped their clients manage 1,200,000 reusable assets.
More Than Half of Restaurant Workers Considered Quitting in the Past Month
Hospitality Ventures Management Group (HVMG), an Atlanta-based, private hotel investment, ownership and management company, announced that Cory Chambers has been promoted to the newly created role of chief commercial officer and senior vice president, business intelligence. In his new position, Chambers will be responsible for leading the HVMG Revenue Excellence team in maximizing market share growth and bottom-line profitability. Central to the new role will be driving HVMG’s business intelligence strategic initiative of creating forward-looking, predictive analytics. Over the past eighteen months, comprehensive data warehousing and visualization platforms have been built to enhance real time decision making for company leaders and results for investors.
“Since joining HVMG nearly a decade ago, Cory has proven his ability to develop and deploy tools, processes and strategies that drive excellent revenue results,” said Robert S. Cole, president and chief executive officer, HVMG. “During his tenure, HVMG has experienced five consecutive years of same-store portfolio wide year over year market share growth, including a 7.6% increase in 2022, our best year yet. Cory has attracted and developed some of the best revenue talent in our industry, earned the trust and respect of our owners & brand partners, and has been a contributor, mentor and leader throughout our organization. I am incredibly appreciative of his can-do attitude, his tenacity and how he has made us a better company.”
A 20-plus year hospitality veteran, Chambers previously was vice president of revenue generation at White Lodging where he oversaw sales, revenue management, eCommerce and communications for the company’s full-service portfolio. His previous roles with White Lodging include corporate director of sales and marketing and pre-opening director of sales and marketing at the JW Marriott Indianapolis. Chambers began his career with Marriott International where he held several sales and marketing leadership positions throughout the United States at hotels ranging in size from 300 to 1,300 rooms. Chambers graduated from James Madison University and received his MBA from Babson College in Boston, Mass.
“I’m passionate about driving results, helping others use data to make great decisions and growing HVMG’s brand in the eye’s investors, brands and most importantly, our associates,” Chambers said. “This is my dream job, and I look forward to growing with HVMG as the company pursues its own expansion efforts.”
myDigitalOffice (MDO), a hotel data platform, has added InTouch Data (InTouch) to its suite of data and business intelligence solutions. Acquiring InTouch, an Australian-based decision intelligence solution, paves the way for stronger relationships with hotel operators and integration partners globally.
The acquisition of InTouch, an Australian company specializing in decision intelligence for hotels, enables MDO to:
● Strengthen its certified APIs, integrations, and relationships with key solutions providers, including Amadeus, Oracle, Infor, and several others.
● Grow its hospitality intelligence portfolio to include global luxury brands like Accor, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, and Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts.
● Accelerate expansion in the Middle East and Asia Pacific global markets.
InTouch, founded in 2001, has developed a user-friendly and accurate platform that captures all of a hotel's revenue streams in one place and helps owners and operators make profitable decisions. "Making business decisions has become much more efficient. And because we now have a greater breadth of data, we’re able to discover new insights and findings, plus look at our business more holistically. All of which help us to reinforce a culture of informed decision-making based on data and insights. Put another way, we now make decisions with confidence." Alex Lee Chief Commercial Officer with the Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts Group.
“Now more than ever, hotel owners and operators are laser-focused on insights that help them drive more to the bottom line,” says MDO CEO Ali Moloo. "Both MDO and InTouch share a common goal of empowering hoteliers with centralized, high-quality, accurate data to make more confident real-time business decisions.”
“InTouch has been connecting siloed data to thousands of hoteliers for more than 20 years,” says Ryan Smith, CEO at InTouch. “We live and breathe hotel data and decision intelligence, and we’re excited about this opportunity to scale by joining the industry’s fastest-growing hotel data platform.”
Focus on Integrated BI Platform
The acquisition of InTouch follows MDO's strategic investment from Cove Hill Partners in January 2022 and following that, the acquisitions of Focal Revenue, a hospitality revenue intelligence software company, and Datavision, a leader in hotel data analytics and business intelligence for luxury resorts. In the past 18 months, MDO has significantly scaled its team of employees worldwide and has made key leadership appointments with a strong emphasis on establishing itself as a trusted partner to hotel groups of all sizes. These successes were recognized when MDO was again named to Inc 5000’s Fastest Growing Private Companies in America, where they ranked #608 overall and #6 in the Travel & Hospitality vertical. In December, CEO Ali Moloo was named a 2022 LODGING Luminary by LODGING Magazine.
"We are proud of the progress we have made and are committed to continuing to evolve and improve our offerings to meet the changing needs of our customers," says Scott Ryan, President of MDO. "We look forward to serving our current and future customers by making data work for hospitality, not hospitality work for data."
Curator Hotel & Resort Collection Selects Shiji’s Concept to Power its Members’ Spa and Golf Management
Shiji announced that its product, Concept, has been selected to offer the spa, golf, and resort activities management platform as a preferred provider to its member properties.
Curator currently includes 97 independent boutique and lifestyle hotels and resorts across the U.S. After an extensive competitive process, Curator selected Shiji’s Concept as a preferred solution given its’ track record in the hospitality space. Some of the key benefits are the sophisticated back-end resource management platform, open-API environment, capability to be an all-in-one management platform across on-property activities, including spa and golf, and commitment to continuous improvement of the platform.
"Shiji is an ideal preferred partner because of their proven commitment to service quality and incredible reputation as a leading golf, spa, and activities technology provider in the upscale and luxury hotel market," said Austin Segal, Vice President at Curator Hotel & Resort Collection."Through this partnership, we are proud to offer Shiji’s Concept Spa and Golf to our member properties as a robust solution that, with its scalable and module-based solution, can drive both operational efficiencies and increased guest satisfaction for properties of every size."
With more than 20 years in the industry, Concept, a Shiji product, is an industry leading Golf, Spa and Leisure technology solution provider for hotels and resorts in over 70 countries around the world. The solution also boasts open API integration capability allowing hotels to choose from dozens of existing integrations or develop custom ones to connect guest fulfillment solutions across payments, inventory management, loyalty, and more. It is known as the most complete Spa, Golf and Activities solution for hospitality, with a world class local support infrastructure.
“We are excited to partner with Curator’s independent member hotels and offer Concept spa, golf and activities management solutions that empower them with innovative technology, to deliver an enhanced guest experience, and a measurable ROI. At Shiji we look forward to working with property managers to take their technology stack into the future and help manage guests and data efficiently, and reduce operational costs,”said Dan Bell, Senior Vice President of Shiji Americas.
Akia Raises $6 Million in Series A Funding to Scale Automation Technology
Akia, a customer experience automation platform, announced a $6 million Series A funding round. California-based venture capital firm Altos Ventures led the financing with additional participation from GSR Ventures, who led the previous seed round.
Since launching in 2019, Akia has consistently achieved 3x year-over-year growth, operating primarily in hospitality. The current market conditions, ongoing labor shortage, and post-pandemic impact have increased demand for Akia's automated customer engagement framework. Akia has helped thousands of businesses eliminate monotonous paperwork, automate processes and drive engagement to better serve consumers and increase efficiency.
In an app-fatigued world, where over 75% of app downloads are not used more than once, Akia’s Mini Apps are mobile experiences that don’t require download or login. From the business perspective, where native apps fall short - costs, maintenance, and engagement challenges - Mini Apps fill these gaps with better accessibility and usability. Companies using Akia’s platform produce more results by leveraging Mini Apps to automate and expedite day-to-day processes like identity verification, security deposit collection, or even contactless hotel check-in.
”Securing this new round of funding from Altos is really a validation of our vision,” said Evan Chen, CEO of Akia. “Consumers are tired of poorly made chatbots, waiting on hold for call centers, or downloading apps for single use. We are committed to developing innovative products and services that help businesses respond more effectively and quickly to the changing needs of their customers.”
The shift towards a contactless first approach and the ongoing staff shortages have created a prime opportunity for Akia to make a splash in the market. Akia is well-positioned to take advantage of these favorable conditions and will continue to expand its reach and impact.
"Akia is paving the path for the next generation of tech-enabled services,” said Jim Dai, Partner at Altos Ventures. “The hospitality sector has faced numerous challenges in recent years and will need a system like Akia to delight customers while improving efficiency. We are thrilled with Akia's momentum and have complete confidence in its leadership and long-term vision."