News Briefs


RCD Hotels Partners with Hudini for Digital Transformation

RCD hotel exterior

RCD Hotels, a luxury hotel company with a multi-brand portfolio that includes all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotels, Unico 20º87º Hotel Riviera Maya and other luxury brands in Mexico, the Caribbean and the United States, has selected smart hospitality solutions provider, Hudini, to provide its guests with a multi-channel, contactless guest engagement experience across their hotels, resorts, and casinos.

In selecting Hudini, RCD Hotels will be able to provide its guests with a connected guest journey from pre-arrival to post departure and allow for faster, seamless, contactless and hyper personalized service delivery. Hudini, thanks to its powerful middleware and data management layer, comes preconfigured with a wide selection of APIs that seamlessly connect to more than one hundred different hospitality systems. This seamless integration enables each property, and its guests, to manage every step of their journey from online booking and mobile check-in and digital room keys to in-room services, communication, check-out and payments, using a wide range of personal, wearable, and mobile devices.

Guests will be able to digitally interact with the hotel from the comfort and security of their personal devices. In addition, guests can access their rooms with a mobile digital key and book, reserve and pay for spa treatments, personal training and F&B with the mobile app.

“Our platform is ideally suited for organizations like RCD Hotels, that value the power of digitization.  Through our proprietary middleware we integrate with 100+ best-in-breed technology solutions, and seamlessly connect with hotels’ existing tech stacks. We are honored to have been chosen by RCD Hotels and to support the team on their digital transformation journey,” said Prince Thampi, CEO and founder of Hudini. “Once deployed, hotels can analyze and predict their guests’ needs to deliver a hyper-personalized experience, influence purchasing behavior to generate more revenue, and save valuable time by making services more seamless.”

“RCD Hotels has always prided itself in giving its guests an unforgettable experience. The shift to digital services is in keeping with our goal of being a guest-centric brand. Knowing our guests better will only help us serve them better. We have many loyal guests and the digital engagement platform we are building will go a long way to making our loyal guests more satisfied with our products and services.”, said Jose Orlando Cruz of RCD Hotels.

Witnessing an unprecedented demand from the hospitality industry, Hudini has doubled its growth in the past 12 months. The global pandemic has not just accelerated the demand for contactless technology to provide a safe and seamless guest experience, but more importantly, has caused a significant shift in mindset when it comes to digital transformation in hospitality.

 As a brand, RCD Hotels has been a pioneer in the industry since its inception. The company introduced the all-inclusive concept to Mexico nearly three decades ago and has since kept its position as an industry trailblazer with strong traditional roots. RCD Hotels’ previously established success in the luxury market has left a standard of excellence that will become even stronger with this digital transformation.


HotelKey and OTA Insight Join Forces to Empower Hotels to Automate Effective Pricing Decisions

logo, company name

HotelKey, a cloud-based hospitality platform, announced a partnership with OTA Insight, a provider of cloud-based hospitality business intelligence, to give hotels access to high-quality rate data and actionable insights to make more effective pricing decisions. By combining automation and essential data, the partnership empowers hotel leaders and commercial decision-makers to optimize their strategies efficiently and effectively, bringing critical data, all in one place.

The strategic partnership introduces powerful new API capabilities, including OTA Insight’s data API, drawing on a daily stream of 2 billion rate data points. The collaboration also offers hotels Parity, Demand, Search, Review, and Ranking APIs, with OTB and Benchmark APIs launching soon.

HotelKey CEO and Co-Founder, Fareed Ahmad, said, “We are happy to partner with OTA Insight to bring uniquely powerful competitive pricing and strategic planning capabilities to our partner hotels. OTA Insight is a leading provider of competitive pricing data in the hospitality industry, and together we are excited to help hoteliers set more effective rates, to create efficiencies and drive revenue.”

Dave Collier, Chief Revenue Officer at OTA Insight, said, “HotelKey’s innovative suite of products solve the most complex and evolving challenges in the hospitality industry. Our new collaboration equips operators with powerful tools tailored to meet their needs.  We are excited to further expand the partnership in the future.”

OTA Insight and HotelKey will continue to build on their existing capabilities as new APIs are rolled out in the future. APIs being considered include a feed to provide a real time On-The-Books (OTB) view within Rate Insight, as well as API's to share Market Demand Data and Benchmark data with the HotelKey. Additional detail on these capabilities–and more–will be announced in the future.


AutoCamp Selects IDeaS G3 RMS to Increase Efficiency and Scalability Through the Power of Automation

airstream parked outdoors

IDeaS, a SAS company, the world’s leading provider of hospitality revenue management software and services, announced today that Santa Barbara-based outdoor boutique lodging company AutoCamp will use G3 Revenue Management System (RMS) across all properties in its two-brand portfolio, which includes AutoCamp and Field Station, to generate automated pricing decisions and provide actionable insights.  

Looking to remove tedious, manual steps from the revenue management process, AutoCamp turned to an automated RMS because it is unhindered by the restrictions of a rules-based revenue management tool. The group will leverage automated RMS to ensure its long-term growth and streamline efficiency.

  • Centralized revenue management — Before onboarding IDeaS, the AutoCamp sales team relied on several tools to approach group business opportunities with reliable prices. IDeaS consolidates on-the-books business, forecasted business, current BAR rates, and other critical data into one centralized location.
  • Scalability for a fast-growing company — Given its ambitious plans for growth, AutoCamp selected G3 RMS to help scale operations and automate yield decisions. .” Autocamp agreed that deploying forecast-based pricing decisions AND minimum length of stay controls would help them stop leaving money on the table. The implementation will increase the capability of each department to manage data effectively as it adds new properties to its portfolio.
  • Greater efficiency and ease of use — By removing manual processes and consolidating crucial information so it could be easily accessed across departments, G3 RMS helped AutoCamp team members quickly attend to revenue management tasks, freeing up bandwidth to focus on other high-priority responsibilities.

Vinny Cuneo, vice president of sales and revenue strategy, AutoCamp and Field Station, said: “The onboarding process with IDeaS is fantastic. A key element in our selection process was IDeaS’ world-class customer success and implementation teams. We know we can reach out to the company should any issue arise and be assured the response will be managed quickly and efficiently. Its overall client success team is a big part of why we switched to IDeaS.”

Garth Peterson, area vice president of sales, IDeaS, said: “Our proven revenue management system supports greater efficiency to help hospitality leaders increase their competitive edge and scale their businesses efficiently. Our team looks forward to working with AutoCamp and helping it attain top-level product yield based on unique local market conditions.” 


Freddy's Frozen Custard Debuts New Store Design

Freddys exterior of new protoype

Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers announced the debut of a new restaurant design at one of its corporate-owned restaurants in Belleville, Illinois. Now available to prospective franchisees, the format features a standard drive-thru and an enhanced mobile pick-up window to meet the increased consumer demand for off-premise dining. Standing at either 2,800 square feet or 2,400 square feet, the design includes an enhanced kitchen layout to enable each order channel to maintain high efficiency across the operation.

Adapting the Brick-and-Mortar Format

Freddy's is among the brands rolling out new store prototype designs, including Chipotle's new sustainable design; Bad Ass Coffee Co.;  Tropical Smoothie Cafe opened its first double-drive thru.  Krystal opened a prototype designed with off prem in mind.  And international chicken brand Jollibee opened its first drive-thru with two lanes.

The opening in the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area comes on the heels of Freddy's recent announcement to open a location within the region's professional baseball arena, Busch Stadium.


Soothe Launches Hospitality Wellness Platform to Help Hotels Increase Revenue and Enhance the Guest Experience

soothe logo

Soothe, an on-demand wellness marketplace, announced the launch of its new business-to-business (B2B) partner platform, designed for the hospitality industry. The platform makes it possible for spa or non-spa hotels, clubs, and premium residential properties to easily provide high quality on-demand spa services such as massages, facials, nails and lash applications.

For 10 years, Soothe has provided on-demand spa services directly to homes across the globe by connecting its community of licensed professional providers with customers seeking wellness services whenever, wherever needed. Soothe is now extending this convenience and flexibility to hotels, spas, clubs, and residential properties, enabling them to fulfill guests' increasing demand for wellness services.

"Overnight, hotels, spas, clubs, and residential properties can enhance their wellness services offering with no additional overhead or fixed staffing costs — and they can do so in a way that is true to their brand," said John Ellis, CEO of Soothe. "For boutique hotels, it's an easy way to offer a premium guest experience and for big hotels it maximizes periods of high demand. It's a win win."

"Health and wellness is more important than ever, and we are thrilled to help the hospitality industry meet growing demand for wellness-centric offerings," added James Murphy, Chief Sales Officer at Soothe. "In 2022, we were proud to fill 92% of requested shifts from our spa partners, ultimately helping non-spa and spa properties alike to unlock new revenue streams and improve the guest experience."

The Soothe partner platform has been successfully adopted by over 100 properties across the top luxury hotel brands through its inaugural beta program. The platform integrates seamlessly into a partner's existing website, appearing as a customized, branded concierge booking tool for customers. On the back end, partners have access to a pool of thousands of qualified, vetted, and licensed providers who can provide the desired service on-demand. Should the property already offer wellness services through on-site staff, spa managers can make shifts available through Soothe's platform, allowing partners to increase availability to better serve their guests and capture potentially lost revenue. These shifts are equally valuable to many wellness providers who want flexible, part-time work in a spa environment.

"We are thrilled to partner with Soothe to bring our guests the very best in massage bespoke services and in-room offerings. The pilot program has exceeded our expectations, and we are excited to offer our guests a unique and personalized experience that they won't find anywhere else," said Lucy Martin, General Manager, Mayfair House Hotel and Garden in Miami, Florida. "We look forward to a continued partnership with Soothe to provide unparalleled luxury services to our guests."

"We have been working with Soothe for almost a year now and have had nothing but positive experiences," said Benjamin Donat, Director of Spa at the Fairmont Austin. "The Account manager works closely with you, so you get the staff that you need and your expectations are met. Soothe has helped us source wonderful therapists, who are very professional and all integrate seamlessly into our workplace, even though they are technically new." 

With a growing focus and demand on wellness, more and more consumers are looking for ways to incorporate wellbeing into their daily routines - especially during hotel stays. A recent McKinsey study revealed "50 percent of US consumers now report wellness as a top priority in their day-to-day lives, a significant rise from 42 percent in 2020." Soothe's new wellbeing platform offers hotels an accessible, seamless way to tap into this growing marketplace. 

"As one of the worlds fastest growing hospitality brands built for Millennial and Gen Z travelers, Selina (NASDAQ: SLNA) is proud to partner with Soothe to provide our customers easy, seamless and fast technology for finding suitable wellness services," said Cory Rosenberg, Sr. Regional Commercial Director for Selina Hotels. "Understanding our customers' needs, we love Soothe for its ability to help connect our guests with reliable and talented therapists in our key urban destinations. The platform is cashless and instantaneous, and allows services to be brought right to the comfort of your own hotel room. It is perfect for digital nomads and our customers who are always on-the-go." 


Chipotle's New Sustainable Restaurant Design

Chipotle jacksonville

Chipotle Mexican Grill announced a new all electric restaurant design that works to maximize energy efficiency in its equipment and systems and utilizes 100% renewable energy from wind power and solar through the purchase of certified renewable energy credits. The company recently opened restaurants with the new features in Gloucester, Virginia, and Jacksonville, Florida, with a third location opening later this summer in Castle Rock, Colorado.

With an aggressive development goal of eventually growing to 7,000 locations in North America, Chipotle will leverage its new restaurant openings to scale the company's overall impact. Chipotle plans to have more than 100 of its new locations in 2024 utilize all-electric equipment and at least some additional elements from its new design. The company will continue to innovate and iterate on the new design as it gains operational feedback and insights.

Sustainability Matters

Sustainability matters to today's consumers and restaurant operators. Two out of three (66%) consumers surveyed feel it’s important that restaurants are open about their practices to limit food waste. According to the National Restaurant Association’s annual What’s Hot Culinary Forecast, sustainability will continue to influence menus and how restaurants make decisions.

To help meet its goal of reducing direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions company-wide 50% by 2030 compared to a 2019 baseline, Chipotle is instituting various additional initiatives, including:

  • Standardizing the installation of energy management systems at every restaurant to manage heating and cooling, refrigeration temperatures, and other equipment.
  • Exploring greater use of low carbon fuels and adoption of renewable resources in logistics.
  • Investing in projects to drive emission reductions in beef and dairy production.
  • Exploring and developing strategies to support greater adoption of regenerative agriculture practices among supply chain partners.
  • Developing plans for offering additional vegetarian and vegan menu items.
  • Increasing the amount of local produce2 purchased in 2023 to a planned total of at least 36.4 million pounds.

Chipotle's Responsible Restaurant

Key features of Chipotle's responsible restaurant design concept include:

  • Rooftop solar panels, where feasible
  • All-electric equipment and systems to replace gas power
  • Heat pump water heaters
  • Smaller electric cookline and improved exhaust hoods compared to other Chipotle kitchens
  • Energy management systems (which have already been deployed in most existing restaurant locations)
  • Electric vehicle charging stations at select locations

"With our aggressive development goal in North America, we hold ourselves accountable to reduce the environmental impact of our restaurants," said Laurie Schalow, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Chipotle. "We are aiming to incorporate some elements of our responsible restaurant design into many of our new restaurant openings going forward."

2022 Sustainability Report

Together with the launch of its new restaurant design and the "Human Nature" film, Chipotle published its 2022 Sustainability Report, which showcases its efforts in three categories: People, Food and Animals, and the Environment.