News Briefs


ItsaCheckmate Acquires Open Tender, a First-Party Ordering Platform For Restaurants

Itsacheckmate logo teaser

ItsaCheckmate, the center of a restaurant’s digital ordering business, announces the acquisition of Open Tender, a first-party digital ordering and guest engagement platform that provides highly customizable and engaging designs for branded websites, mobile apps, and kiosks.

Open Tender sets a new standard for branded private label digital ordering and guest loyalty, giving restaurants and chains unprecedented control over design and user experience, either with or without a developer. Open Tender is an open-source program built for the food service industry, supporting unique and highly customizable loyalty programs, while having the ability to go live in just a few days. This eliminates the need for restaurants to wait for weeks or months to onboard, deploy, or update inefficient and clunky solutions.

As a market disruptor, this acquisition finally brings a meaningful choice and alternative to legacy first-party vendors. ItsaCheckmate’s established third-party ordering and management, combined with Open Tender’s first-party ordering and loyalty, is a superior solution for operators ranging from the largest enterprise chains to mid market operators who are seeking a customizable and integrated tech stack that doesn’t require painful long term contracts.

“Since the beginning we have held that first-party and third-party channels are not an either-or conversation, but should work together to benefit restaurants,” said Vishal Agarwal, Founder and CEO of ItsaCheckmate. “With the acquisition of Open Tender, we have expanded our third-party ordering platform to include elegant, seamless and scalable first-party ordering and guest engagement products to help restaurant operators become truly proficient in omni-channel digital ordering. This solution now enables the customers to manage their first-party and third-party channels through a single login.”

“We are excited to be moving to Open Tender’s first-party digital ordering and guest engagement to unify and synergize our tech stack with ItsaCheckmate,” said Neil Hershman, CEO and owner of 16 Handles. “As a NYC-based frozen yogurt and dessert franchise with over 35 locations and plans to expand coast to coast, we prioritize digital ordering and measure success by our loyalty retention, check size, and overall guest satisfaction. We have already begun testing the combined solution of ItsaCheckmate and Open Tender and can’t wait to roll out the seamless user experience to all of our customers and catering clients soon!”

The combined Open Tender and ItsaCheckmate solution is immediately available to ItsaCheckmate’s 20,000+ existing customer locations. Additionally, new customers who are looking for alternatives to their existing digital solutions can apply to the program now. To learn more about Open Tender, visit


Study Finds Only 1 in 5 Restaurant Guests Return Within 12 Months


A recent analysis by DataDelivers of more than 50 million guests across multiple restaurant service formats showed only 1 in 5 customers return within one year. This finding further suggests that only 17% of first-time guests returned to that restaurant in the next 12 months.

“Many brands focus on customer acquisition, yet retention is the key to ongoing success. The cost of continually bringing in new customers is so much higher than retaining existing ones, and our analysis shows there is tremendous opportunity to achieve higher returns and higher sales through better engagement to retain these guests,” explains Pat Riley, VP of Business Development at DataDelivers, LLC, a premier provider of data-driven tools and analytic services for the restaurant industry.

DataDelivers’ team of data scientists analyzed information from credit card purchases and other key data points on millions of restaurant customers across the United States.

For one regional burger brand that DataDelivers studied, the analysis revealed that out of 300,000 first-time guests, only 44,000 returned during a year, for a 14.6% retention rate, and only 7% returned with regularity and became engaged with the restaurant brand. Over time, this low retention rate could negatively impact the brand’s growth and expansion goals.

Addressing the Retention Challenge

For many operators, a single view of their customer from multiple data points is the first step to increased retention. A customer management platform (CMP) can consolidate POS data, loyalty, e-club, online orders, and other sources into one solution that can be managed from customized dashboards.

Recently TGI Fridays™ implemented DataDelivers’ Customer Management Platform and this visibility of customer behaviors has given Fridays a detailed understanding of how best to target heavy and light users, new and lapsed guests, and other valuable customer segments.

Another method to combat low retention numbers is through one-to-one marketing. In its analysis of the 50 million guests, DataDelivers demonstrated that those brands who used Guest Connect one-to-one marketing campaigns targeting those new guests doubled their retention rates to nearly 35% return rates for first time guests.

The regional burger chain with an overall retention rate of 9.5% partnered with DataDelivers to leverage its proprietary Guest Connect program to create one-to-one campaigns. After 12 months, the brand’s retention increased to 24.6%.

DataDelivers’ Guest Connect solution can help a brand understand cross-channel behaviors and establish a customer segmentation for optimizing marketing efforts. This insight-driven customer identification sets the stage for personalized marketing, tracking behavior triggers and understanding where growth opportunities can be found.

“The numbers tell an undeniable story about diners and their behavior, and operators can use this information to better understand their restaurant, their customers and how to grow sales,” added Riley.


Schneider Electric to Equip Choice Hotels International Franchisees with AI-Assisted Technology to Help Reduce Environmental Footprint

choice hotels logo

Schneider Electric, the global leader in the digital transformation of energy management and sustainability, has been chosen by Choice Hotels International, one of the largest and most successful lodging franchisors in the world, to provide AI-assisted technology to help more than 6,000 franchisees in the United States autonomously track and manage energy consumption and sustainability data. 

Schneider Electric will equip the company with EcoStruxure Resource Advisor, Schneider Electric’s AI-assisted, cloud-based solution for managing enterprise-wide energy and sustainability data. The platform will deliver preconfigured dashboards that enable hotels to automatically track their energy and water consumption while calculating their emissions. The tool will allow hotel owners to better manage their utility usage, spot anomalies such as leaks, benchmark themselves against other properties, and help identify cost saving opportunities. The software will also assist hotel owners in preparing for numerous upcoming state and local regulations related to utility reporting and energy efficiency for commercial buildings. 

“To safeguard my investment in my hotel today and tomorrow, it’s imperative that I monitor and manage my utility usage,” said Alec Rogers, owner of Maine Evergreen Hotel, Ascend Hotel Collection. “Resource Advisor takes the guesswork out of allocating resources and managing energy costs so owners like me can spend more time focusing on what matters most: connecting with travelers and the communities in which we work and live.”   

“It’s exciting that Choice Hotels has chosen Schneider Electric to support nearly 6,000 hotels in their data collection efforts and to drive the company’s strategy for sustainability reporting,” said Steve Wilhite, President, Schneider Electric’s Sustainability Business. “Energy volatility and increasing compliance on emissions management and disclosure are impacting every industry, including hospitality. We are honored to work with Choice Hotels as they build the critical infrastructure necessary to support their sustainability initiatives for owners and guests alike.” 

This collaboration represents the latest example of Choice’s longstanding commitment to helping its franchisees streamline operating costs and drive profitability through leading technology. For more information on Choice Hotels sustainability and corporate social responsibility initiatives, visit For energy and sustainability industry news, and insights on trends and best practices from Schneider Electric, visit Perspectives and follow Schneider Electric Energy & Sustainability Services on LinkedIn.   


Pool Safe inc. Unveils New Name, Logo and Website for Loungenie, a Rebrand of its PoolSafe Product

Loungenie product on hotel pool dek

Pool Safe Inc. celebrates a new name, logo and website for its popular PoolSafe product. Originally launched in late 2012, the newly rebranded Loungenie by Pool Safe Inc. offers guests of hotels, resorts, cruise ships and waterparks a safe and convenient way to order, stash, charge and chill. Loungenie’s guest-friendly service options include:

  • A waterproof electronic safe to store guests’ valuables
  • Service call button that alerts service staff to a guest’s order
  • Storage compartment with an insulated ice bucket
  • USB charging port for charging small electronic devices
  • Three beverage holders and more

“Loungenie is a fantastic addition to any guest experience. It allows a hotel or waterpark to ensure their guests’ belongings are safely stowed while driving F&B sales and improving staff performance,” said David Berger, CEO, Pool Safe Inc.

Mr. Berger developed the pool safe concept in response to a need expressed by hotel and resort operators who were looking for a way to curb theft around the pool and beach area. Starting in late 2012, Mr. Berger spent two years designing and engineering a prototype that he then tested in a large pool setting at a well-known resort brand in Las Vegas.

Today, Loungenie’s are being used in a variety of venues throughout the U.S., the Caribbean and East Asia. The Company continues to innovate the Loungenie to ensure the product provides its users with an impactful and enriched experience.

“Since the original concept, we have continued to work with our clients to make Loungenie a more effective, user-friendly product,” said David Berger, CEO, Pool Safe Inc. “We’re excited to unveil our rebrand and to share improvements we’ve made to the product including increasing the size of the solar panel, increasing the voltage going to the USB port as well as upgrading our software to make the sales process more efficient.”

Pool Safe Inc. offers clients an option to participate in a revenue share program that allows facilities to introduce the Loungenie to their customers without any upfront costs.


HRI Hospitality Leverages Knowland’s Portfolio Capture to Gain a Unified View of Meetings and Events Performance Across its Portfolio

HRI Hospitality property exterior of building

Knowland, a provider of data-as-a-service insights on meetings and events for hospitality, announced that HRI Hospitality(HRIH), a fully integrated owner, operator, and developer of premium branded hotels in top national markets, has adopted Knowland’s Portfolio Capture, following a successful testing period. The product is a complement to the Knowland platform and was designed to provide a comprehensive, unified view of meetings and events business performance across an entire portfolio.

At a time of increased pressure on hospitality ROI, it’s essential for ownership and management groups to understand better how a property contributes to the portfolio’s overall performance. Portfolio Capture allows for roll-up reporting and benchmarking all in one place.

  • Comparing portfolio properties – This complement to the Knowland platform makes it easy for asset managers and ownership groups to benchmark properties in their portfolios against each other, make investment decisions, view competitive performance, and identify top sales opportunities.
  • Standardized KPIs for each portfolio property relative to its competitive set and market – Portfolio properties can be compared against defined competitive sets and operating markets, giving more context to current and past performance. By leveraging Portfolio Capture, HRIH gauges property results against standardized KPIs to measure a hotel’s market share compared to its direct competitors.

Chad Goodnough, senior vice president, sales and marketing, HRIH, said: “Using Portfolio Capture allows our team to see both individual and portfolio data for the meeting, group, and event market. Having access to the key performance indicators has increased efficiency and ensured the right selling strategies, resulting in a measurable positive impact on hotel revenues and market share.

Patricia Shea, VP sales and customer success, Knowland, said: “Portfolio managers need a simple, fast solution to understand their relative market performance and the actions needed to improve ROI. We are thrilled to have HRI Hospitality be one of the first management companies to experience this innovative solution while leveraging the power of data to gain insight into their portfolio.”


Bolay Kitchen Taps YOOBIC to Boost Communication, Heighten Compliance, and Empower and Engage Frontline Employees

restaurant worker using tablet

Fast-casual restaurant chain Bolay Kitchen announced exceptional results from its partnership with YOOBIC, a frontline employee experience platform for frontline teams in the retail and hospitality spaces. Utilized across Bolay’s rapidly expanding portfolio of restaurants in Florida, Georgia, and Virginia, YOOBIC’s all-in-one platform has dramatically improved employee engagement and communication, operational excellence, and store compliance.    

One of America’s fastest growing fast-casual eateries, Bolay Kitchen sets itself apart by focusing not only on fresh, delicious, and nutritious food, but also by providing staff members with unmatched employee experiences and growth opportunities. Bolay has harnessed YOOBIC to advance these goals, equipping associates with a workplace solution that empowers them to liaise with and learn from colleagues and company leaders, access immersive learning and development (L&D) content, and increase productivity by digitizing time-consuming analogue tasks.   

“YOOBIC has helped us solve a huge number of challenges by offering an all-in-one solution where we can communicate with our team, send out training, and have operational checklists to make sure we’re executing at our best,” said Sam Rubino, Bolay Kitchen’s Director of Operational Excellence. “After doing dozens and dozens of different demos with different LMS systems and different pieces of technology, when we met the YOOBIC team it was almost too good to be true”.

Taking the Pain out of Task Management 

Prior to adopting YOOBIC, Bolay’s frontline team was reliant on a disparate medley of third-party workplace apps, spreadsheets, and pen-and-paper documents. Equipped with YOOBIC’s unified virtual platform, the restaurant’s customer-facing staff can now automate and accelerate the completion of manual tasks — like opening checklists — allowing them to focus on higher-value work, such as building customer relationships. Thanks to YOOBIC’s automated dashboards, store leaders can track their team’s completion of duties, assign new tasks, and provide feedback in real-time. 

Bolay Leads on L&D Thanks to YOOBIC

Since rolling out YOOBIC, Bolay has significantly increased the speed of its staff onboarding process — a vital improvement as the business scales quickly with new locations and employees. Bolay is now onboarding workers 50% faster than before, leveraging YOOBIC’s sophisticated suite of educational courses to speedily integrate new recruits to frontline teams without the need for lengthy in-person training sessions. 

YOOBIC’s comprehensive L&D capabilities have also been revolutionary for Bolay’s commitment to continuous employee development. Restaurant leaders can now integrate training into team members’ workflows, delivering interactive courses on SOP, health and safety, and new recipes straight to their mobile devices in bite-sized chunks. This microlearning process is infused with data, so managers can gain detailed insights into their workers’ progress — and when specific knowledge gaps are detected by YOOBIC’s advanced AI, relevant training materials can be pushed out directly. 

Major Upgrade to Compliance and Communications 

Like most fast-scaling retail and hospitality businesses, Bolay Kitchen’s expansion has brought challenges around compliance. YOOBIC’s workplace solution is helping the company overcome these issues, allowing regional and district leaders to complete audit checklists digitally, assign action plans, send reports to store managers, and monitor progress via automated dashboards. This approach is far more efficient and precise than manually inputting compliance data, helping Bolay achieve better brand consistency and higher health scores across its restaurant network.

By adopting YOOBIC’s all-in-one frontline employee experience platform, Bolay Kitchen has also greatly improved communication throughout the company. With access to private messaging, video calls, and group chats, staff members can now interact with one-another more easily, helping build a strong sense of community. Social media-style newsfeeds enhance this, creating a space for members of the Bolay family to share announcements, swap success stories, and post other pieces of inspirational content. Frontline staff can also use the platform to communicate directly with store managers and company leaders to share their advice, concerns, and feedback — something that ensures all Bolay employees feel heard.  

“We are thrilled to have been chosen by a brand as innovative and exciting as Bolay Kitchen,” said Fabrice Haiat, CEO and co-founder of YOOBIC. “Companies like Bolay understand that scaling fast requires efficiency, attention to detail, and a commitment to delivering a compelling guest experience that keeps people coming back for more. At YOOBIC, we’re committed to providing retail and hospitality businesses the tools they need to succeed now and in the future.”