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.
Limelight Hotel Snowmass Introduces Innovative, On-Demand Guest Dining Experience Powered by GoTab
GoTab, a restaurant commerce platform, announced its partnership with the esteemed Little Nell Hotel Group to introduce an innovative, on-demand guest dining experience at the Limelight Hotel Snowmass at the base of the slopes in Snowmass, Colo. Offering elevated contactless ordering that allows guests to quickly and seamlessly place their food & beverage orders from the ski slopes, lobby or guestroom, GoTab is helping the inventive hotel brand deliver modern convenience to guests, while driving increased sales and operational efficiencies for the brand as a whole. In addition, distinguishing a commitment to impeccable service, GoTab has named Limelight Hotel Snowmass employee Reid Tincher winner of GoTab’s final Hospitality First Service Award for 2022.
Recognizing growing guest preference for contactless ordering, Limelight Hotel Snowmass partnered with GoTab to provide an enhanced on-demand dining experience on par with the brand’s reputation for exceptional guest service. Guests are now able to begin a tab from their room or the property’s restaurant by scanning a QR code, texting a link to friends or family members on the ski slopes to add in their orders, then meeting up together at the patio or lodge to enjoy their meal and après-ski festivities without interruption. Streamlining tasks like inputting orders and processing payments eliminates friction for hotel staff and allows them to focus on delivering renowned guest service for a memorable experience. Since partnering with GoTab, Limelight Hotel Snowmass has consistently seen higher check averages and sales.
“We’re laser-focused on providing exceptional guest service, from our rooms to our restaurant to the ski slopes,” said Nick Giglio, Manager of Hotel IT Operations, The Little Nell Hotel Group. “With GoTab, we’re able to deliver an elevated guest experience built on speed and convenience while easing operations for our staff and increasing sales. Previously, guests would call down to the restaurant to begin an order from their room or while they were out enjoying the ski slopes. Using GoTab, guests can now place orders from anywhere on the resort, giving them the on-demand service they want without interrupting their day. GoTab empowers us to give control to the guest, reducing touchpoints and streamlining overall restaurant operations, making Limelight Hotel the resort of choice for Snowmass.”
Understanding GoTab’s benefits for both guests and his colleagues, Limelight Hotel Snowmass employee Reid Tincher is well-versed when it comes to monitoring the Kitchen Management System (KMS), including 86’ing items when necessary. Notably, with the help of GoTab, he provides unparalleled service and is always focused on delivering a seamless dining experience for his guests. As recognition for his extraordinary hospitality service at a GoTab-operated venue, Reid will receive a $2,000 cash prize along with recognition on the GoTab website, a certificate and premium swag kit.
“We’re proud to support continued growth at Limelight Hotel, a brand that cares so deeply about the guest experience,” said GoTab Co-Founder & CEO, Tim McLaughlin. “Through innovative uses of on-demand ordering, payment, and charging to tabs as well as using technology to streamline back-of-house operations, hotels like Limelight Hotel Snowmass are achieving higher sales, lower operating costs and freeing servers from routine tasks to deliver a better, more personalized guest experience. We look forward to helping more companies achieve enhanced hospitality as we continue to expand our presence in the hotel sector.”
Working hand in hand to empower elevated hospitality for Limelight Hotel Snowmass, GoTab has also integrated with cloud-based platform, Infor. Together, GoTab and Infor are providing dynamic solutions to support central, efficient service across hotel amenities and deliver exceptional guest experiences.
Runtriz, a leading provider of mobile hospitality technology solutions and a Radius Networks company, announces an integration with WhatsApp, the highly popular messaging platform known for its ease of use and versatility amongst international travelers. With the Flybuy platform already integrated into WhatsApp, this latest announcement represents an extension of Radius Networks’ messaging capabilities and further enhances their reach. As a ubiquitous and convenient technology with excellent privacy features, WhatsApp is a familiar technology for app users, especially international travelers, eliminating any barriers of communication and providing peace of mind for both guests and hotels that prioritize privacy.
With WhatsApp messaging capabilities, guests can easily and securely communicate with hotel staff before, during, and after their stay. From requesting room service to making restaurant reservations to seeking recommendations on local attractions, guests can stay connected with the hotel. Guests can also receive real-time updates on their reservation status and any changes to their booking via a messaging platform that they trust.
"Adding WhatsApp messaging capabilities to our platform is transformative, especially for hotels that cater to tech-savvy international guests and the growing populations of digital natives," says Alonso Vargas, Runtriz SVP of Product Development. "It's easy to use, free, and incredibly popular, with over two billion users worldwide. By leveraging this communication channel, hotels can provide their guests with an unparalleled level of convenience and personalization, enhancing their overall experience."
The new WhatsApp messaging capabilities are integrated into Runtriz's existing platform, which already features a suite of solutions for hotels, including mobile check-in, food and beverage ordering, in-room controls, and virtual concierge services. With this addition, Runtriz now offers one of the most comprehensive hospitality technology platforms on the market.
Bangkok CHI Art Series Hotels Uses Tech to Amplify the Brand’s Unique Experience
CHI Art Series Hotel is one of the most unique hotels in Bangkok, Thailand. Located in the heart of Bangkok’s Sukhumvit area, the colorful, artfully-painted exterior captures the attention of anyone traveling through the area. Upon entering the lobby and being greeted by electronic disco music, visitors check in at the ice cream lounge rather than a traditional reception and realize the House of CHI is different by design. It’s playful and eclectic.
Opened in November 2022, the 68-room hotel is designed to celebrate art and life, meant for free spirits, artists, friends, lovers, and pets. From the paint color and distinct creative designs to the whimsical furniture, fixture, and accessory, each detail is thoughtfully considered to create a memorable experience. The hotel management ensured sounds and music are an essential layer of the experience and help to create the ambience for this extraordinary property. They chose the award-winning AtlasIED Atmosphere Audio Processing and Control System to help complete its playful playground.
After enjoying a scoop of ice cream, guests check into their rooms and then visit one of the many quirky spaces on the property, including the ayurvedic wellness spa, the pottery studio and immersive soul cycling room, or they can grab a bite at Mr. Quinn’s restaurant or a drink at the Tip Toe - Sundance Rooftop Lounge. Throughout the day, the hotel staff, or “CHI Ambassadors,” play a variety of curated background music in these areas. To control it all, they use Atmosphere and multiple AtlasIED loudspeaker models and accessories.
One of the most important criteria for their audio system was ease of use. They chose Atmosphere for its intuitive user interface and simplicity. The property installed the AtlasIED Atmosphere AZM8 8-zone commercial audio processor in the main office near the reception, although management can control the system using a tablet or mobile device from anywhere on the property. The AZM8 also provides built-in messaging that allows hotel staff to deliver live or pre-recorded audio messages to all or select zones in the property, such as dinner reservation announcements or severe weather-related information to guests.
“When visiting the CHI Art Series Hotel, we want our guests to experience a new kind of energy - an elevation of all the senses, a rush of escapism, and a getaway from the ordinary,” said Chalisa Teinpothong, Managing Director. “With our focus on art and inclusivity, we celebrate every individual’s uniqueness. We aim to create and transport our guests to a fantasy museum, the CHI ‘Exhibition of Staying Over.’ The guest experience and creating memories are everything to us. We deliver this through all our senses via service, food, and entertainment, including our choice of curated music, to provide positive, heartfelt moments and memories for House of CHI friends.”
The Hotel coupled the AZM8 with two Atmosphere AZA804 four-channel amplifiers provide additional power to loudspeakers throughout the property.
The hotel installed several AtlasIED FAP43T in-ceiling, low-profile loudspeakers to provide sound in the common areas. Because of multi-level ceiling heights in the reception area, they also installed multiple AtlasIED SM52T surface-mount loudspeakers to provide quality sound reproduction in larger spaces. These durable, 5.25-inch 2-way loudspeakers are an installer’s dream and can be easily positioned to direct the sound while offering weather-resistant construction (IP33) for indoor or outdoor use.
At one of the busiest spaces in the property, Mr. Quinn’s, hotel management wanted to provide the ability to change the volume of the rhythm and blues music in the restaurant as well as provide complete system control of all zones in the hotel. As the largest space in the hotel, they installed multiple SM52T speakers to provide sound to the space and added a Atmosphere C-ZSV wall controller to give restaurant managers access. The C-ZSV is password protected and provides control over any zone, source selection, and volume levels throughout the property. Additionally, the restaurant installed an A-XLR audio input in the space to provide direct input to the AZM8, which allows musical performers to plug into the system and play music in a specific area or throughout the property.
In the second-floor wellness center and spa, the hotel plays chakra balancing and reiki healing frequency music at a lower volume to help create a tranquil, safe and inclusive environment. The hotel installed multiple FAP43T in-ceiling loudspeakers to account for the lower ceiling height and added multiple attenuator wall volume controllers to allow staff to adjust music for certain treatments based on guests’ needs.
Tip Toe-Sundance Lounge is one of the hotel’s most prominent and popular spaces. The lounge offers striking views of central Bangkok and guests can enjoy drinks while viewing one of the most unique sunset view scenes in the City. To provide tropical-style lounge music in the area, management installed multiple all-weather loudspeakers to accommodate the humid temperatures and wet climate. The hotel added a second C-ZSV controller behind the bar area and installed an A-XLR input to support live outdoor musical performances. The lounge features a range of loudspeakers, including FAP63TC shallow-mount in-ceiling loudspeakers, two 6.5-inch, 2-way all-weather SM63T loudspeakers, and four GSS-G all-weather surface-mount outdoor landscape loudspeakers. The GSS-G is designed to blend into environments such as gardens or architecturally landscaped areas.
“Bangkok is alive with activities and movements and our rooftop lounge has quickly become a favorite spot for our guests to hang out,” said Teinpothong. “Incorporating music throughout the facility is vital to enhance and uplift our guests’ senses while adding emotion to our spaces. We added the appropriate audio equipment to support future private events with live music performances like DJs and bands. It allows them to easily plug into the system to play music in the lounge. It’s another important milestone that we hope will give guests even more reasons to return in the future.”
Yuvod Showcases Platform-As-A-Service Streaming Solutions for Hospitality Services At NAB 2023
Yuvod, the affordable, 100% cloud-based, end-to-end OTT and IPTV solutions provider, will showcase its newest technology, innovations and cutting-edge streaming platform for video service providers, sports rights holders and hospitality services at NAB 2023 in Las Vegas, April 15 – 19.
Located in the new West Hall at booth #W1676, Yuvod will demonstrate the company’s robust portfolio of new and enhanced solutions, including its bespoke Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) customizable offering, which includes 24/7 support, STB integration, CRM and billing system, multi-DRM encryption, and much more.
“We are democratizing streaming,” said Ricardo Tárraga, co-founder and CEO at Yuvod. “Until now, advanced streaming technology has only been accessible to the biggest companies and required enormous budgets. Our PaaS is a game-changer, with a technology stack that makes self-service easy, affordable and immediate.”
Demonstrations and technology on display are ideal for a range of organizations and industries, including:
Hospitality Services: Yuvod offers a refreshingly affordable alternative to the larger companies that dominate the market. Hospitality centers no longer need a head-end and can significantly improve the quality of a guest’s experience with easy-to-access, personalized entertainment in every room. Yuvod’s platform integrates seamlessly with existing PMS systems to provide pertinent guest information and services at the click of a button – such as ordering room service, finding a local attraction, checking out, and more. Content can be ingested from any source, along with metadata from external applications (such as HBO, Netflix or Hulu) and EPG systems.
Video Service Providers: Discover live, linear and on-demand streaming with advanced functionality across multiple devices and applications. Entirely cloud-based, it can be quickly deployed in any location and centralizes all the operational and technical processes into the streamer’s hands with the following:
o Proprietary video platform
o Media server
o STB integrations
o Customizable dashboards
o Content delivery network (CDN)
o IP networking
o CRM and billing systems
o App Design
o 24/7 support and more
Sports Broadcasting: It’s never been easier to broadcast live sports and deliver an unparalleled viewing experience. Yuvod provides advanced tools and features to help monetize sports content – such as customizable subscription models and advanced analytics – and keep fans highly engaged with integrations for real-time stats from live or past events. In addition, Yuvod offers an unrestricted choice of CDNs to deliver fast and responsive live streams across every continent.