News Briefs

03/23/2023

RobotLAB Proudly Announces Robot Collaboration With LG Business Solutions USA

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LG Cloi Servebot

RobotLAB, an award-winning robotics integrator that delivers impactful business innovations and solutions for brands across many industries, has been tapped by B2B technology leader LG Business Solutions USA to support the expanded integration of LG’s state-of-the-art robots in commercial venues across the United States. RobotLAB will support two key robot models in LG’s portfolio: the LG CLOi ServeBot, which provides front-of-house food service assistance and table bussing capabilities, and the LG CLOi GuideBot, which offers robotic solutions for guest guidance at large hotels, casinos, airports, hospitals, museums and more.

“Working with an iconic and well-respected brand like LG is an immensely exciting opportunity for RobotLAB, especially since so many businesses and consumers put their trust in LG,” said RobotLAB Founder and CEO Elad Inbar. “This collaboration is an honor we do not take lightly, and we couldn’t be more eager to deploy our years of robotics experience and integration expertise to help LG bring its advanced robots to more restaurants, hotels, hospitals and airports across the country.”

RobotLAB’s 13-year track record of successfully managing the commercial deployment of more than 7,500 robots was an important consideration for LG as it sought to identify key robot collaborators in the United States. With a team dedicated solely to LG projects and products, RobotLAB will leverage its longstanding expertise and keen sector insights to help LG manage various aspects of robot deployment, including sales, marketing, integration and service.

“We hope to accelerate the growth of our robot business by working with professional robotics companies like RobotLAB that have a firm grasp on the integration of robots in commercial environments,” said Tom Carroll, Director of Business Development, LG Business Solutions USA. “This is a pivotal moment for both companies, and we look forward to collaborating with RobotLAB, whose complementary ability, experience and expertise will help us achieve our vision.”

Since its founding in 2007, RobotLAB has provided turnkey robotics solutions to companies of all sizes in industries including foodservice, hospitality, banking, education, assisted-living, education, cleaning, delivery and hospitals. The company’s talented team of roboticists has effectively deployed thousands of robots that have provided an impressive array of businesses with a clear path to the successful and highly specialized integration of robotics solutions. As labor becomes increasingly expensive and scarce, RobotLAB helps businesses harness the power of robotics to improve bottom-line and employee retention by reallocating routine tasks to automated technologies. RobotLAB oversees all aspects of the robotics integration process – from sales, tailored programming, on-site integration and repairs – to ensure businesses can access and understand solutions that will dramatically improve their performance.

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03/22/2023

Hooters Prioritizes U.S. Development

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Hooters exterior

As Hooters celebrates 40 years, the brand is signaling the next era of growth and innovation. Entering its third year of same-store-sales growth, company leadership is honing in on U.S. development with territories available across the country. Store model flexibility will play a key role in adapting to various market-dependent real estate options. Hooters is giving away 40 weeks of free royalties for any new franchisee that signs on for a Hooters franchise in 2023.

New Hire

Driving this next era of growth is recently appointed Chief Development Officer, Michael Arrowsmith, who oversees the expansion of corporate and franchise locations, both global and domestic.

International development took center stage in 2022 and continues to accelerate as Hooters opened four stores – two in Mexico, one in Canada, and one in the U.K. resulting in the opening of the world’s largest Hooters in Q4 2022. Hooters now boasts 70 international locations in 17 countries, and there continues to be an increasing amount of interest in key international growth markets.

“With flexible store models, including multiple innovative conversion plans for second generation space, simpler kitchen operations compared to other concepts, and a lower overall investment level, our franchise opportunity is perfect for multi-unit, multi-brand operators...,” said Arrowsmith. 

Hooters provides a full development support system, including site selection and construction assistance, marketing, operation, and access to existing supply chain systems.

03/22/2023

Panera to Use Amazon One's Palm Recognition for Loyalty Identification, Payment

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Panera Amazon guy

Panera Bread plans to rollout of Amazon One as a loyalty identification for MyPanera, its loyalty program with 52+ million members, and a contactless payment method.

The technology is deployed at select bakery-cafes in Panera’s hometown of St. Louis with plans to expand to additional locations in the coming months. Panera is the first national restaurant company to use Amazon One as both a way for guests to pay and access their loyalty account with their palm.

Panera guests who link their MyPanera account to Amazon One will enjoy the convenience of fast payments, as well as tailored meal recommendations from Panera associates based on their preferences and previous orders. After a simple scan of the palm, Panera associates will be able to greet guests by name, communicate their available rewards, reorder their favorite menu items, or take another order of their choice, extending the guest experience into a true and meaningful relationship. When they are done ordering, guests can simply scan their palm again to pay.

One and Done

First-time Amazon One users can pre-enroll online or sign up when placing their Panera order in the bakery-cafe. It takes a minute for a Panera guest to link their credit card and MyPanera account to their Amazon One ID. If a Panera guest has previously enrolled in Amazon One at Amazon Go, Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, or other locations such as airports and stadiums, they will not need to re-enroll at Panera – they can simply link their MyPanera account to their Amazon One ID online or in store. Enrollment in Amazon One is voluntary and includes opt-in consent, and guests can choose to use Amazon One for loyalty linking, payment or both.

“Collaborating with Amazon Web Services to bring this service into our bakery-cafes is a natural extension of the tech-forward, guest-centric digital thinking that Panera is known for,” said Niren Chaudhary, CEO of Panera Bread and Panera Brands. “Our philosophy has been centered around leveraging best-in-class technology to create a better Panera experience and using that to deepen our relationship with our loyal guests. Introducing Amazon One, as a frictionless, personalized, and convenient service, is another way we’re redefining the loyalty experience.”

Panera Bread is committed to providing innovative tech-driven solutions for its guests. Guest participation is opt-in only and Panera does not store personal palm data.

Any private and personal data shared via  Amazon One is securely stored and protected by multiple security controls, and palm images are never stored on the Amazon One device. All images are encrypted and sent to a highly secure area custom-built for Amazon One in the cloud where palm signatures are created. Amazon One is an optional service. 

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03/22/2023

New Survey by HID Reveals Five Pressing Themes Reshaping the Security Industry

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HID global teaser

HID, a worldwide leader in trusted identity and physical security solutions, today announced its inaugural State of the Security Industry Report, which gathered responses from 2,700 partners, end users, and security and IT personnel across a range of titles and organization sizes representing over 11 industries.

By looking at what’s driving the next innovations and the technology that supports them, the security industry is empowered to create more value for its organizations and its people. Conducted in the Fall of 2022, the survey reveals five common threads, as follows:

  1. Nearly 90% of respondents acknowledge sustainability as an important issue

End users are increasingly demanding that suppliers provide footprint transparency in terms of their operations, product sourcing and research and development practices, with 87% of respondents stating that sustainability ranks as “important to extremely important.” Mirroring this trend, 76% said they have seen the importance of sustainability increasing for their customers.

To support this growing demand, security teams are leveraging the cloud and the Internet of Things, even more, to optimize processes and reduce resources. Additionally, new products and solutions are being strategically developed to address sensible energy usage, waste reduction and resource optimization.

  1. Most organizations still need to fully embrace identity “as-a-service” (IDaaS) to support hybrid work

The majority of survey respondents—81% of them—stated they are offering a hybrid work model. As an example, 67% of respondents state that multifactor authentication and passwordless authentication are most important to adapting to hybrid and remote work, while 48% point to the importance of mobile and digital IDs.

Interestingly, the survey also reveals almost half of the organizations aren't quite ready to implement a comprehensive IDaas strategy.

  1. Digital IDs and mobile authentication to propel many more mobile access deployments

Identification and authentication are more commonly completed via mobile devices, including smartphones and wearables. The growing popularity of digital wallets from major players such as Google, Apple and Amazon is a key driver of this trend. And expanded capabilities allow smartphone users, for example, to add keys, IDs and digital documents directly in the wallet app. These include, but are not limited to, drivers’ licenses in eight states, verifiable COVID-19 vaccination information, employee badges, student IDs and hotel room keys.

Commercial real estate companies (40%) are outpacing other verticals as large commercial real estate firms are leveraging mobile access as part of their larger tenant experience apps, according to the HID survey.

  1. Nealy 60% of respondents see the benefit of contactless biometrics

Biometric technologies represent a major break from more conventional means of access control. Using biometrics as an additional authenticating factor (e.g., biometric scans to verify an individual’s physical identity) can help organizations eliminate unauthorized access and fraud. The importance of this trend is exemplified in the survey data, which shows that 59% of respondents are currently using, planning to implement, or at least testing biometric technologies in the near future.

  1. Supply chain issues continue to be a concerning factor, but optimism begin to emerge

According to the survey, 74% of respondents say they were impacted by supply chain issues in 2022, although 50% are optimistic that conditions will improve in 2023. Most affected are commercial real estate companies, with 78% citing supply chain problems as their main concern.

More than two-thirds of organizations with fewer than 1,000 employees indicate that they were highly impacted by supply chain issues in 2022, but they are also the most optimistic that these issues will resolve in 2023.

By better understanding the aforementioned topics, security professionals will be better prepared to adapt faster, deliver exceptional digital plus physical experiences, and capitalize on breakthrough innovations in solutions and services. Read the survey in its entirety here.

03/22/2023

Le Bristol Paris to Launch Exclusive Web3 Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Presence

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 Le Bristol Paris Exterior

Le Bristol Paris announced its exclusive entry into the Web3 ecosystem. As the first hotel of its standing to expose itself to blockchain and cryptocurrencies, Oetker Collection’s Masterpiece Hotel in the heart of Paris seeks to embrace its legacy as a house of distinction as it disrupts traditional codes to meet demand for increased connectivity and experiential community.

By taking this pioneering step forward into the digital future of luxury hotels, Le Bristol Paris’ objective is to create experiences that expand the hotel’s influence and offer new ways to interact with its extraordinary art de vivre.

The multi-phase project to welcome Web3 audiences to Le Bristol Paris will begin with a very limited drop of 11 NFTs, ‘Le Bristol Unlocked’, created in collaboration with the start-up Metav.rs. Each NFT owner is granted membership to Le Bristol’s L’H3ritage Club.

Privileges such as anytime access to dedicated and secret menus at the hotel’s restaurants and weekly access to its fabled rooftop swimming pool (normally open to guests only) will be proposed among other perks. In addition, each NFT unlock doors to one of 11 rewards encompassing ‘money-can’t-buy’ experiences never offered before by Le Bristol.

In this first foray into Web3, Le Bristol Paris is becoming the first Palace hotel to create a blockchain community, erecting the bridge between timeless excellence and disruptive new technology.

Le Bristol Paris’ 11 limited-edition ‘Le Bristol Unlocked’ NFTs will be available for purchase in cryptocurrency exclusively on April 14, 2023 via https://www.oetkercollection.com/hotels/le-bristol-paris/lh3ritage/

03/22/2023

Hapi Connects SevenRooms and Salesforce to Drive Guest Insights and Personalization at Crystalbrook Collection

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picture of a bar at Crystalbrook Kingsley

Crystalbrook Collection Hotels & Resorts, a group of eight luxury properties along the east coast of Australia, has turned to Hapi to connect several guest data sources and help develop 360-degree insights and personalized guest experiences in Salesforce.

Through a new integration with SevenRooms, a global guest experience and retention platform for the hospitality industry,Hapi is combining and normalizing insightful Food and Beverage data from 16 restaurants and bars across Crystalbrook’s portfolio, alongside guest data from their accommodation PMS platform. This information is delivered to Salesforce through a single data stream, unlocking the ability for Crystalbrook to create personalized F&B offers, targeted messages and enhance their holistic guest experiences.

“We wanted to understand how our customers are dining in our restaurants and bars, and merge that information with their accommodation profiles, so we know our customer from a 360-degree point of view,” said Joe Dwyer, Group IT Director at Crystalbrook. “This data helps us fully understand a guest’s lifetime value, and opens the door for Crystalbrook to provide personalized offers and experiences designed to drive loyalty.”

Through the new Hapi-SevenRooms integration, hoteliers now have the ability to transform their guest experiences by building single guest profiles with data from across their properties, and implementing personalized customer journeys that connect with, and retain, customers. 

By tightly integrating the F&B program with the hotel, operators will see greater efficiencies, increased revenue, and a better guest experience. In the Marketing department, combining profiles and preferences from the dining outlets and the hotel systems provides much more guest data to create true personalized offers. 

Now, guest data from the restaurants can be shared with Salesforce Marketing Cloud to power automated marketing campaigns. For example, hotels can automatically target return guests with personalized offers based on their past dining history, stay history, or timely events, such as an anniversary or birthday. 

“By adding their restaurant data into Salesforce alongside their hotel data, hotels now know more about their guests than ever before and can provide personalized touches across the entire guest journey,” said Luis Segredo, Hapi CEO

"We're excited to partner with Hapi to provide hoteliers with the deep customer insights they need in order to continue enhancing the guest experience for consumers," said Brent-Stig Kraus, CRO at SevenRooms. "The ability to own and leverage guest data will not only help hoteliers increase profitability, but also support them in building direct guest relationships, driving repeat business, and delivering exceptional experiences."