News Briefs


Restaurant Operators Expect to Automate Up to 51% of Store Tasks by 2025

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The recent 2023 Connected Restaurant Experience Study by Incisiv, conducted in collaboration with Verizon Business and Cisco, shows that customers' rapid adoption of digital technologies is increasing the complexity of managing restaurant operations.

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly accelerated the adoption of digital ordering, and the change in customer behavior persists. Customers value the convenience and control digital ordering gives them. According to the study, 83% of customers plan to use mobile order-ahead when dining at a quick-service restaurant in 2023.

72% of restaurant operators believe it is becoming harder to meet customer expectations because of the increase in digital ordering. Only 52% of quick-service restaurants and 41% of full-service restaurants are satisfied with their restaurant’s digital experience. Brands recognize that they need to increase their technology investment to support the new normal.

Improving restaurant efficiency will be the primary driver of technology investments in 2023 and beyond. The top three areas where operators will invest are:

  • Supporting the fulfillment of digital orders
  • Improving kitchen operational efficiency
  • Improving checkout speed

"Restaurants need to prioritize digital execution to remain competitive," said Gaurav Pant, Chief Insights Officer of Incisiv. "Customers value the convenience and control provided by digital ordering, and the industry needs to invest in technologies to improve the end-to-end digital experience."

The move towards efficiency will also accelerate the adoption of automation. Automation of routine tasks is also imminent in the restaurant industry as quick-service restaurants expect 51% of tasks will be automated by 2025 and full-service restaurants expect to automate 27% of tasks. 

“As restaurants continue to expand their automation efforts, they need faster and more reliable connectivity, which can be achieved through the use of 5G, LTE, and fixed wireless access (FWA),” said Scott Lawrence, Senior Vice President Global Solutions, Verizon Business. “These types of networks are beneficial for restaurants as they eliminate the need for cables and manage their peak traffic more efficiently.”


Banyan Tree Management Relaunches as Aperture Hotels

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Officials of the former Banyan Tree Management today announced that the company has relaunched as Aperture Hotels. The new company will continue to provide hotel management services but with an eye on expanding its third-party management portfolio and possible management company M&A.

“Historically, we have been seen almost exclusively as an extension of Banyan Investment Group, providing services only for their portfolio,” said Charles Oswald, president and CEO, Aperture Hotels. “The truth of the matter, however, is that we actively and eagerly provide third-party operating services for all hotel owners, and we feel relaunching as a stand-alone entity helps clarify that. We’ve assembled a senior team that has collective experience operating over 400 hotels in every chain scale, from select-service to premium lifestyle, and we look forward to deploying that experience to help more owners achieve superior guest experience, team member engagement and improved bottom lines.”

Aperture currently operates more than 2,000 rooms across 15 hotels and resorts. The company’s diverse portfolio is comprised of branded and independent properties in urban, suburban and leisure destination markets throughout the United States. With 500-plus employees across its portfolio, Aperture has experience operating all the major brands, including Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, Choice and Wyndham.

“Aperture is a one-stop solution for owners seeking services for the entire ownership cycle, from pre-opening through eventual sale,” Oswald added. “Our veteran team has provided these services through multiple economic cycles, from industry highs to industry lows. We have a proven record of value enhancement through portfolio-wide gains in market share, outperforming Gross Operating Profit margins, quick property turnarounds and engaged team members, producing outsized returns for our partners and investors. With a bright outlook for hotels ahead, we look forward to growing with the industry.”


Banyan Investment Group Rebrands as Satori Collective

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Officials of the former Banyan Investment Group announced that the firm is rebranding as Satori Collective, an investment management firm focusing primarily on hotel property investment. Additionally, the company has spun off its property management platform to become Aperture Hotels, an independent, third-party hotel management company. Moving forward, Satori and Aperture will work independently of one another.

“Satori is a Buddhist term meaning ‘awakening and deep understanding,’ which is how our team approaches commercial real estate investment,” said Andy Chopra, co-founder and managing partner, Satori. “With more than 140 years of combined investment experience in virtually all markets and segments, our team has an unparalleled understanding of both the environment and the marketplace. We realized that our true, core business is real estate investment, so we have renewed and doubled our focus on raising and deploying capital in pursuit of consistent, risk adjusted returns while allowing our former management platform to stand on its own and pursue additional third-party management business opportunities.”

Satori focuses on investment into select-service, upper select-service extended-stay and lifestyle hotel properties. The company concentrates on investment in growth corridors located in top MSAs across the United States which have established hotel demand generators such as tourism, corporate group travel, state capitals, Power Five conference universities, healthcare, heavy manufacturing and military.

“We have a rigorous underwriting process and employ conservative leverage structures to ensure a higher probability of investment success,” Chopra added. “Over the past decade, we’ve evolved into an institutional quality firm. Our investment edge is our resilience and the depth of our operational expertise combined with a sophisticated understanding of asset management, deal structuring, capital markets and economic cycles. We’ve assembled a best-in-class team focused on driving investment returns without compromising our core values of transparency, integrity, humility and resiliency.”

“Since our original founding 14 years ago, we have made 24 hotel investments utilizing four investment vehicles totaling $477 million in assets under management, and we look forward to improving upon our successful track record in the coming years,” said Rakesh Chauhan, co-founder and managing partner, Satori. “Our investments feature the standard hallmarks of being in growing submarkets with substantial drivers of commercial real estate demand. We view investments through the lens of risk adjusted returns and focus on properties which offer value add potential while still providing current cash flow with room for growth.”


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

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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

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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.