During her more than 30 years in the restaurant technology industry – half of those at QSR Automations–Klein has amassed incomparable knowledge in understanding and troubleshooting kitchen display, front-of-house, and the associated hardware and networking platforms needed to run them.
But what truly sets Klein apart is her natural ability to nurture relationships and foster talent, which has made her an effective leader in QSR Automations’ Support Services Team. During her long tenure at QSR Automations, Klein has built one of the industry’s strongest and most effective support teams. In fact, under Klein’s guidance, the team has received a 99 percent satisfaction rate from customers in 2021, and last year handled more than 16,000 inbound and outbound calls, which earned them a bronze award for Excellence in Customer Service from the 2022 Stevie Awards.
This was the third bronze Stevie award for the team, as last fall, Klein accepted two additional bronze awards from the Stevie Women in Business Awards on behalf of QSR Automations–one for excellence in customer service, and the other for growth. QSR Automations was selected for these honors from more than 1,500 nominations from around the world.
“Just as our technology is the heart of a restaurant kitchen, our people are truly the heart of this business,” said Angela Leet, CEO of QSR Automations. “My colleagues are passionate about innovation both in and out of the office, and it’s immensely gratifying to see them recognized for these achievements.”
QSR Automations, headquartered in Louisville, Ky., with offices in the United Kingdom, is a global industry leader in kitchen automation and guest management services.
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.
Capriotti's Sandwich Shop, Wing Zone Hire New CTO, CRO
Meche comes from 30 years spent working with Papa Johns, where his most recent role was serving as their Head of Franchise Operations.
"I had no ambition of leaving the company I'd been with for decades," said Meche. "But the prospect of joining a brand as value and purpose-driven as Capriotti's and Wing Zone, whose current trajectory and market presence remind me of Papa Johns from 20-years ago, was a clear opportunity to have a hand in the success of a franchise that could benefit far more from my experience and input."
Wessel is a seasoned and very accomplished hospitality technology executive with more than 20 years' experience in providing direction for large technological, infrastructure, application, data, and digital environments. He was most recently a Senior Vice President / Chief Information Officer at MGM Resorts International.
"While well-positioned in the industry, the Capriotti's and Wing Zone brands are in the infancy of their technological advancement," said Wessel. "In this role, I'm hoping to create a roadmap from scratch that will guide the adoption of cutting-edge tech and practices capable of keeping the company at the forefront of the QSR sector."
Both Meche and Wessel are united in their goals for the immediate future. Their shared hope is to drive revenue and innovation, support the growing needs of the franchise system, develop an infrastructure capable of withstanding the widespread expansion of both brands, and help Capriotti's and Wing Zone to remain ahead of the competition in their automation, guest experience, and culinary creativity.
Founded in 1976, Capriotti's is most famous for its 40-year nightly tradition of slow-roasting whole, all-natural turkeys in-house and hand-shredding them each morning to feature in a variety of subs. Founded in 1993, Wing Zone is an international fast-casual restaurant franchise known for its cooked-to-order, flavor-fused chicken wings, and tenders.
Zaxby's Extends Zax Rewardz Incentive For New App Downloads
Zaxby's is rewarding its most loyal fans by extending its welcome offer—a free Big Zax Snak meal—for downloading and joining its Zax Rewardz program.
A Tasty Reward
"At a time when other loyalty programs are lowering the value of rewards, we're doubling down on rewarding our most loyal guests. We are extending an attractive sign-up offer that includes a free meal while making it easy to earn and redeem rewards," said Patrick Schwing, Zaxby's chief marketing and strategy officer. "The guest response has exceeded our expectations and it's clear they appreciate the value our program offers. Since launching the new app in September, we've more than doubled the number of active users and have earned a 4.7 rating in the app store."
Recent changes to loyalty programs across quick-service brands suggest customers will have to spend more to earn free perks. Zaxby's has simplified the process of redeeming points and continually rewards members through offers like Free Delivery Sundays, every Sunday through the end of May; and Free Delivery Week, April 24-30.
Zaxby's point-based catalog of rewards allows users to turn earned points into flavor-packed freebies. Every $1 earns 10 points, which accumulate into a choice of free menu items and select dollars-off rewards. To start earning points immediately for Zax Rewardz, customers can sign up online at zaxbys.com/rewards, or download the new app on Google Play or the App Store. Guests can also order ahead for pickup or delivery using the Zaxby's app.
Zaxby's new rewards program launched in 2022 and was recently recognized as one of America's Best Loyalty Programs in the Fast-Food Restaurant Chains Category on Newsweek's and Statista's list of America's Best Loyalty Programs in 2023, outranking its direct competition.
Samsung Mesmerizes Guests of Luxury Dubai Resort with The Wall and Smart Signage
Samsung Electronics announced that Atlantis The Royal, a new resort from Kerzner International on Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, has been outfitted with its industry-leading displays, including The Wall, as well as Samsung Smart Signage displays both indoors and outdoors. Following the 2023 grand opening of what has been dubbed one of the world’s top resorts, guests can now experience a new era of luxury complemented by Samsung’s latest technology.
“At Atlantis The Royal, every detail has been considered to truly elevate the guest experience and fully equip our colleagues. Samsung has been an instrumental technology partner from construction to opening,” said Anthony Lynsdale, Vice President Information Technology, Atlantis Dubai. “We are confident in both the quality and reliability of Samsung’s technology and team of experts to help us create and maintain an unparalleled hotel experience.”
Cutting-Edge Technology Lights Up Every Space for All-Around Luxury
Atlantis The Royal is the first hotel in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region to install Samsung’s innovative modular Micro LED display, The Wall, on its property. Measuring 146 inches with 4K (3,840 x 2,160) resolution, The Wall enhances the hotel’s most luxurious guest suite, the Royal Mansion, with a one-of-a-kind, personal viewing experience unmatched by other displays. The slim, sleek finish of The Wall’s Infinity Design blends in naturally with the suite’s refined elegance.
Throughout the property, various types of Samsung Smart Signage have been installed to entertain guests and provide unique customer experiences in each space.
In the hotel’s awe-inspiring lobby, Samsung Smart LED Signages have been installed on three large water tanks that draw visitors’ attention at first glance with the largest screen measuring 6m x 8.5m. Samsung installed the hanging-type signage between the tanks and the walls to project incredible scenes, including fish swimming in the sea.
The hotel’s spa and gym feature impressive displays with Samsung Smart LED Signage from the company’s IER series, which leverage LED HDR technology for crystal clear picture presentation. Built to accommodate various installation space requirements, these flexible signage displays allowed the team at Atlantis The Royal to provide an immersive viewing experience in the spa and gym areas.
By the outdoor infinity pool, the ceviche bar features Samsung Outdoor LED signage that displays information clearly, even under direct sunlight, to entertain and communicate effectively with guests. The outdoor IP65 validated design protects it from dust and water and ensures continuous operation in any conditions.
Samsung Smart Signage has also been installed in restaurants and meeting rooms to enhance guests’ comfort and communication while boosting staff efficiency. Guests of Atlantis The Royal will be treated like royalty thanks to the 957 Samsung hospitality displays that have been installed in the hotel’s 795 rooms to provide the ultimate personalized viewing experience.
“We are privileged to work with Atlantis The Royal and provide guests with a new level of luxury unlike anything they’ve experienced before,” said Doohee Lee, Vice President and Head of Samsung Gulf Electronics. “The combination of Samsung’s innovative display technology and Atlantis’ creativity and luxury expertise is leading the hospitality industry in exciting new directions.”
From The Wall’s awe-inspiring picture quality in the Royal Mansion to the smart signage installed throughout the property, Samsung’s displays work within the resort’s unique environment to empower staff and transform the guest experience. Through its collaboration with Atlantis The Royal, Samsung Electronics is helping to define the future of hospitality technology.
Thynk Raises $13 Million of Series A Funding to Drive Innovation in Verticalized CRM for the Hospitality Industry
Thynk, a global provider of advanced technology solutions for data-driven hotel sales and operations management, announced details on its latest successful round of investment, resulting in $13 million received in Series A funding. The injection of capital combined with Thynk’s impressive revenue growth will further fuel the company’s accelerated R&D efforts as well as its ongoing global expansion, with teams and customers already present in European, American and Middle East hospitality markets.
Led by Singular, the $13 million equity investment also featured contributions from a New-York based fund managed by Itai Tsiddon, and Belgian investment firm CNP (Groupe Frère). With Thynk continuing to experience rapid growth and success in meeting hotel industry operational needs, returning investors such as Fly Ventures also took part in the latest funding round.
The increased access to capital is further bolstered by Thynk’s revenue performance. Key to Thynk’s successful performance is the adoption of its process automation, data-driven, and customer centric verticalized platform by major hotel companies/groups, including Postillion (Netherlands), Rotana (UAE), Groupe Lucien Barrière (France), Design Hotels (Germany), and Mint House (USA).
“Our rapid success lies in our ability to empower the hospitality industry with a core solution that triggers business agility and performance, by streamlining sales, operations, and finance processes both on property and at an enterprise level,” said Pascal Petit, CEO of Thynk. “Everything we invest in serves our ultimate mission of enabling hoteliers to do more with less, to adapt faster to market changes, and to focus on what leads to higher profit margins. Using this newest source of funding, our global team is determined to accelerate our ambitious strategies which include further enriching our data-driven and customer-centric revenue operating solution, solidifying our international presence and empowering more hotel brands, operators, and asset managers around the world with tools proven to boost both efficiency and revenue.”
Nils Scheers, COO and co-founder, added, “The hospitality industry is now almost back to pre-pandemic performance levels across all segments. The fluctuating market has been accompanied by an increase in competition, resulting in more hospitality providers embracing technology to keep pace with the optimization of operations on property, in centralized sales teams and the corporate/enterprise level. Customers who have partnered with Thynk are discovering a more robust, adaptive and profitable business model focused on leveraging relationships and data across hotel locations. With centralized access to real-time revenue and guest analytics, hoteliers finally have an effective and fully automated means of tapping into high-value data that can enhance the performance of group, event, corporate and agency-based business and much more. Thynk can achieve all this while preserving a hotel’s unique tone of voice and the type of guest experience they seek to offer.”
Raffi Kamber, Founder and General Partner at Singular commented, “Since its launch, Thynk has proven to be a powerful asset for industry professionals as well as a disruptive force that focuses its R&D efforts on technologies that the hotel industry crucially needs but was previously lacking. As a verticalized CRM solution in tune with the desire of hoteliers to eliminate operational silos standing in the way of addressing higher guest expectations, Thynk is undoubtedly leading the way to hotel operations that are more agile and capable of making informed decisions that maximize guest satisfaction rates, despite changing market conditions.”
“Investor confidence in Thynk clearly demonstrates the tremendous potential that the company possesses while validating the impressive results that Thynk has already achieved for businesses across the global hospitality industry,” said Itai Tsiddon, a New York based founder who’s previously led financing rounds in five software businesses to have crossed $100m in yearly revenue. “With hoteliers yearning to modernize their operations and get back to driving increased demand for their various service offerings, Thynk with its comprehensive abilities and flexible vertical solution is sure to be a critical platform that will provide industry professionals with the competitive edge they seek.”