Up and coming QSR Salad and Go is expanding in Texas with three new locations opening in February in the Houston markets of Katy, Richmond and League City.
The Katy store locatedopened February 1, the Richmond location at is set to open February 17, and the League City store plans to open its doors on February 22. These new locations will mark the start of rapid brand expansion across the Greater Houston area.
These suburbs were strategically selected as ideal markets for Salad and Go as some of the fastest growing communities in the region. Conveniently located in some of Houston's most popular suburbs, the new locations will provide fresh, high-quality meals with quick and easy convenience at an affordable price.
As Salad and Go continues growing its national presence with a strong focus on Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, and Nevada, the brand's expansive growth has it on a positive trajectory to provide fresh and affordable food to communities in more than 125 locations by the end of 2023. Houston is the next step in the brand's expansion across Texas with plans to open additional stores in the market throughout the new year.
Salad and Go's chef-curated menu provides guests with food for any time of the day by offering a variety of delicious and healthy items including salads, wraps, breakfast burritos and soup as well as beverages including hand-crafted lemonades, teas and cold brew coffees.
Salad and Go ensures each meal contains fresh, quality ingredients while keeping prices low by vertically integrating operations and distribution, and sourcing ingredients directly from high-quality local farmers and suppliers whenever possible. The brand's mission to make fresh, nutritious food convenient and affordable for ALL extends beyond its stores and is demonstrated in the work the brand does to donate 4,000 meals every week to those in need, as well as in partnerships with nonprofits to support and fundraise for various worthy causes.
Focus Brands says dual branding is the future of QSR, and the parent company of Auntie Anne’s®, Carvel, Cinnabon, Jamba, McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Schlotzsky’s, is leading the charge. Today, the Focus Brands portfolio boasts 175-plus open dual branded units with at least 65 more in various stages of development across the country.
The Focus Brands portfolio brands have signed agreements to open more than 50 dual and tri-brand locations in the coming year, many of which include drive-thrus for added convenience as interest in dual branded franchise opportunities continues to surge.
Flexible Store Formats
Focus Brands is among the brands introducing new store formats, including Krystal, Jack-in-the-Box and Panera Bread, which opened its Panera To Go, solely offering Rapid Pick-Up and Delivery shelves where guests and delivery drivers can easily pick up orders.
Focus Brands has long pioneered the concept of dual branding, predominately in malls and non-traditional locations with Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabon. Now, the company’s portfolio brands have found new opportunities with streetside dual branded units, which is paving the way for immense franchise growth.
“Dual branding is the future of our brands, especially on the specialty side of the business,” said Brian Krause, Chief Development Officer at Focus Brands. “There will always be a place in malls, but there is an immense amount of growth opportunity in streetside venues, and, by dual branding, there is more opportunity for enhanced revenue.”
The company invested heavily in consumer research to identify how to create combinations of its iconic brands to resonate with consumers and meet them where they want to be met.
Focus Brands has identified four dual-brand concepts:
Cinnabon/Carvel – Cinnabon Swirl.
While key consumer benefits vary by dual-brand combination, one consistent benefit has been convenience. Having these brands together in one location makes them far more accessible than they are individually. This convenience also creates opportunity for franchisees, as co-branding leads to an expansive menu that drives enhanced unit-level volume.
The Little Nell Launches INTELITY’s Platform to Elevate Guest Experience
INTELITY®, a guest experience and staff management platform, announced The Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado, has implemented the INTELITY platform, via smart-room tablets, which provide the property’s guests with a more digital, upscale experience, as well as GEMS®, INTELITY’s collection of staff-facing tools.
Located at the base of Aspen Mountain, The Little Nell is Aspen's only five-star, five-diamond, ski-in/ski-out hotel. The property boasts luxurious amenities, personalized service, beautiful mountain views, renowned restaurants, and spacious accommodations, including 92 guest rooms and suites.
Each of the rooms and suites now features INTELITY’s robust guest experience platform delivered on a Bluetooth-enabled smart-room tablet that acts as a digital compendium to provide guests with detailed information regarding all aspects of the property, including, services, amenities, menus for on-site restaurants, a list of events, and more. With a tap of a finger, guests can request services and amenities, while staff can easily track and manage these requests via the INTELITY back-end platform and its integration with the property’s internal communications system, ALICE. The Little Nell's team can manage all content of the smart-room tablets from the INTELITY platform’s backend, including real-time updates to their digital compendiums, food and beverage menus, and digital storefront items. Additionally, the INTELITY-powered smart-room tablets provide guests with access to news and media sites, as well as allow them to check their flight status.
“The INTELITY platform provides us with endless application options to best inform our guests and offer conveniences for them, and the digital aspect of delivery over tablets supports our environmental and sustainability efforts by reducing the amount of paper collateral needed in a guest room, which has long been one of our objectives,” said Henning Rahm, The Little Nell’s General Manager. “We are excited to have partnered with INTELITY on this initiative.”
Additional benefits for The Little Nell are the advertising capabilities that INTELITY’s platform provides by allowing the property to promote its activities, adventures, and on-site events directly to guests. From the menu item tabs to the ad banner, guests can easily navigate through the list of free and for-purchase events and activities to enhance their stay in Aspen. The home screen configuration acts as a smart display with features, such as reservation details, date, time, and weather, plus the ability to set up alarm clocks. Guests can also check on and keep track of their requests and any accrued charges to their room during their stay.
Thanks to the INTELITY platform’s integration capabilities, the smart-room tablets are also integrated with The Little Nell’s internal service request system, which allows guests the convenience of submitting a variety of requests — from fresh towels to ice buckets to dog bowls.
“We are delighted to have added The Little Nell to the INTELITY family of properties,” said Robert Stevenson, INTELITY’s CEO. “INTELITY’s platform will create a more seamless and memorable journey for guests at one of the best ski destinations on the planet while easing the back-of-house operations for The Little Nell's staff."
ShiftPixy Announces the Successful Beta Implementation of Its AI-Powered Recruitment System
ShiftPixy, Inc., a Miami-based national staffing enterprise which designs, manages, and sells access to a disruptive, revolutionary platform that facilitates employment in the rapidly growing Gig Economy, announced the successful beta implementation of its AI-powered recruitment system, leveraging ChatGPT’s open API, designed to address the growing gap in opportunity matching and recruitment efficiency.
For an overview of ShiftPixy’s AI recruiting engagement, please view this video.
Current statistics reveal a significant gap in the recruitment industry, with recruiters receiving an average of 250 resumes for each open position, but only 12% of applicants meeting job requirements. With more than 27 million workers seeking opportunities in the US alone according to Harvard Business School, the need for a more efficient recruitment process is paramount.
ShiftPixy's AI recruiting system tackles this challenge head-on by meeting workers where they are, capturing and aligning the best candidates for each opportunity, and actively guiding workers through the hiring process to start their gig. The platform's sophisticated automation effectively streamlines capturing, qualifying, screening, and deployment in the recruitment process. By continuously tracking and analyzing activity and data, ShiftPixy's AI-driven recruiting platform is constantly learning and adapting to improve its effectiveness, leading to a more dynamic and efficient recruitment process for both job seekers and employers.
“There’s plenty of talk about how AI might do for business. We are focused on what we can do today with a high value application for AI in our business flow and it is only getting better” said Scott Absher, Co-Founder and CEO of ShiftPixy. “Our R&D has been to apply AI to human friction points in our human capital workflows. Where people lack speed or attention to the detail, our machine process is highly personal, results focused and always reliable.”
Watch Scott Absher’s recent interview with Market Scale about how AI technology can boost efficiency in recruitment here.
Uniguest Releases Feature Rich Cloud-Based Interactive Hotel TV Solution
Uniguest, a provider of digital engagement technology to multiple end markets, announced enhancements to its Hotel TV guest room entertainment offering with the launch of a new SaaS cloud solution.
The release leverages cutting-edge guest room entertainment technology from Otrum, a hospitality platform acquired by Uniguest in 2022 with a proven track record in providing engagement technology having deployed to over two hundred thousand rooms.
The integration of Otrum technology into the Uniguest Hotel TV offering means that all aspects of creating and managing in-room entertainment is cloud-based. The solution is accessed via an intuitive browser-based portal enabling hotels and brands to access, manage and monitor guest room entertainment services from anywhere.
Enhancing the Uniguest Digital Engagement Platform with fully-cloud Hotel TV, backed up by the solution’s proven track record, ensure that best in class uptime and redundancy can be offered, with the additional scalability and benefits that a SaaS deployment brings.
Uniguest’s new Hotel TV platform also provides hotels and brands with:
Intuitive drag and drop content editor
Flexible customization tools
Casting support for guest devices using apps such as Netflix or Hulu
System on chip support removing the requirement for additional set top box hardware.
Integrations with other platforms, including leading property management systems.
Price Barnes, Uniguest VP of Product Management, said, "We are pleased to bring Otrum's powerful cloud-based guest room entertainment solution to the US market as part of the Uniguest platform. This solution solidifies our company's aim to deliver cutting-edge, flexible, and easy to use technology. We see these enhancements as the first step in revolutionising our Digital Engagement Platform, which is already well established within many hotels and hospitality brands.
“As we drive towards our goal of connected content, deployed everywhere, creating engaged audiences this is a huge next step.”
WTTC Unveils Global Travel & Tourism Water Footprint Data
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Saudi-based Sustainable Tourism Global Center have unveiled groundbreaking new data detailing the total water usage of the global Travel & Tourism sector.
In one of the largest research projects of its kind, WTTC can for the first time ever, accurately report and track the impact the sector has on the environment.
The findings were launched today at the United Nations in New York at the UN 2023 Water Conference.
Direct Water Use
Speaking at the UN Headquarters, Chris Imbsen, Director of Sustainability at WTTC, revealed that Travel & Tourism’s entire water footprint is just 0.6% of the global water use according to the latest figures (2021).
In 2019, when the sector was at its peak, the sector’s total water footprint was only 50% higher, but still less than 1% of the global total at 0.9%.
Travel & Tourism’s direct water use is significantly lower – in 2019 it was 0.2% of the global total and has fallen by half to just 0.1% of the global total.
Much of the sector’s water use is indirect, through its supply chain, with agriculture and food production accounting for two-thirds of Travel & Tourism’s entire water footprint.
Between 2010 and 2019, the Travel & Tourism sector in Europe and Africa reduced direct water use. In Europe, direct water use fell by 8% and in Africa direct water use by the sector fell by 6%.
Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “This ground-breaking new data reveals our sector’s water consumption for the first time ever, revealing that Travel & Tourism uses less than 1% of the water used around the world, with the overwhelming majority of that usage coming from the sector’s supply chain.
“The data also shows that whilst the sector has grown economically around the world, its direct-use water intensity has decreased.
“The data is the most in depth study of the sector’s water use, and like the world-first cli-mate footprint data we released at our Global Summit in Riyadh last year, we can also re-veal individual countries Travel & Tourism sector’s water footprints. This will enable gov-ernments to work with the sector to further reduce water usage.”
The water intensity of Travel & Tourism per unit of GDP has also fallen since 2010, across both direct and indirect use.
In 2010, the sector used 0.57m³ of water for every $1 USD contributed to the global economy.
In 2019 this fell by 19% to reach 0.46m³ of water for every $1 USD contributed to the global economy.
In a world-first, this comprehensive research covers 185 countries across all regions and will be updated each year with revised figures.
This research was made possible thanks to the partnership between WTTC and the Saudi-based Sustainable Tourism Global Center. Under the Saudi green Initiative, more than 60 initiatives have been launched in the past year, representing more than $186BN USD of in-vestment in the green economy.