As part of a national effort to raise awareness and offer expert insights, Denny's is kicking off a series of summits focused on how companies and individuals can better manage and improve their mental health and wellness.
The first summit is taking place on April 22 at the HPAC Theater in Spartanburg, S.C. The summit will be free to the public and attendees can participate in-person or virtually.
"Denny's has always been committed to feeding people's bodies, minds, and souls, and this summit series perfectly aligns with our holistic approach to wellness," said Kelli Valade, CEO of Denny's. "The COVID-19 pandemic has placed the topics of mental health and personal well-being front and center. Now is the time to think about how we can bring our whole selves to all facets of our lives, including the workplace."
The summit keynote speaker is Dr. Daniel E. Dawes, Senior Vice President for Global Health and Executive Director of the Institute of Global Health Equity at Meharry Medical College. Dawes will discuss the importance of addressing mental health equity and the path forward to achieving a healthier society. Other nationally recognized panelists include:
Dr. Shaneeta Johnson, a surgeon, clinician, educator, and researcher at Morehouse School of Medicine and Senior Fellow in Global Health Equity at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute
Dr. Monique May, a board-certified and licensed family physician best known as the "Physician in the Kitchen"
Dr. Bennie L. Harris, Chancellor of the University of South Carolina Upstate
Sharon Lykins, Denny's Vice President of Product Innovation
"Mental health and wellness significantly impact the quality of life of individuals, families, and communities across the Upstate region and beyond," said USC Upstate Chancellor, Bennie L. Harris, Ph.D. "We are thrilled to join forces with a global leader like Denny's to address one of the most critical public health issues of our time."
Journalist Roland S. Martin will moderate two panels, "Mindful Eating," which will address the connection between food and wellness, and "Wellness at the Workplace," which focuses on mental health at work.
A second mental health summit will be offered on October 10 in Nashville, Tennessee.
QSR Automations Recognized for Excellence in Customer Service
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.
R.F. Technologies Partners with Solink to Offer Video-Based Business Intelligence to its Full Line of Restaurant Solutions
R.F. Technologies announces a partnership with Solink, adding video-based business intelligence to its full line of restaurant solutions. Video analytics is available through R.F. Technologies' Big Dog brand. "Solink becomes a complement to our Big Dog Difference video solutions, along with Big Dog Voice, Design Services, Video System Monitoring, and the coming artificial intelligence," states CEO Bob Noorian.
Solink is a leader in video security and data analytics, offering purpose-built video security and business intelligence. These cloud-based solutions provide management visibility at a glance. Through customizable dashboards, restaurant management can remotely monitor operations. The video analytics system automatically creates video clips tied to transactions, where management can quickly see anomalies, watching only relevant parts of a recording instead of sifting through hours of coverage. This business intelligence is valuable not only for loss prevention, but for staff training and business improvement as well.
Big Dog cameras work seamlessly with video analytics, providing restaurant operators the data needed to succeed. Noorian adds, "With the current evolution of restaurant management increasingly occurring remotely at the Operator level, HD camera systems professionally designed, installed, and fully operational are a requirement for the QSR business. Further, Operators need scalable solutions not only for advanced solutions like analytics, but for the coming wave of artificial intelligence."
R.F. Technologies is the complete solutions provider to the restaurant industry, including drive-thru systems, digital menu boards, and surveillance systems. Video Analytics solutions are available through R.F. Technologies' Big Dog brand at www.rfdrivethru.com and (800) 598-2370.
With this announcement, RFT begins providing the full line of Solink capabilities. RFT President Joe Gierut explains, "The benefits from using video analytics seem endless. Whether for loss prevention, security, operations, or business improvement, customers can expect to be highly satisfied with their investment."
Vispero to Demonstrate Screen Reader Software for Accessible Point of Sale Systems at National Restaurant Association Conference
Vispero™ and TPGi® are pleased to announce that the most popular screen reader worldwide, JAWS®, is now available in kiosks and other self-service devices. This software will allow all enterprises, including restaurants, to increase their revenue by capturing the overlooked, underserved market of customers with visual impairments. It empowers users who are blind or have low vision to enjoy increased independence when performing tasks such as ordering at a quick-service restaurant or café.
JAWS for Kiosk software is an enterprise-supported screen reader which provides a text-to-speech audio output on self-service kiosks. It can be used with both Microsoft Windows and Android® operating systems. JAWS for Kiosk provides customizable, context-specific instructional messaging to assist users with disabilities and is available in more than 40 languages with a variety of voice options.
This innovative accessibility breakthrough has already been selected by some of the largest companies in the world and is highly scalable. The software has won three industry awards, including a Living the Values Award from one of the largest Quick-Service Restaurant (QSR) companies in the world as a Global Technology Provider that puts customers first and creates an inclusive environment.
"We are committed to making the world a more accessible place, and this innovation is an important part of our strategy to do just that," said Bob Ciminera, CEO of Vispero.
TPGi will demonstrate JAWS for Kiosk at the National Restaurant Association, Booth 6966, on May 20-23, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.
Introducing Toast Tables: Integrated Reservation and Waitlist Management for Restaurants
Toast, a technology platform built for restaurants, announced the launch of Toast Tables, a reservation and waitlist management solution that integrates with the company’s robust restaurant technology platform. Toast Tables gives restaurants an affordable option to manage seating and turn first-time guests into regulars, including features like real-time table updates, automatically synced server rosters, and personalized guest profiles to power Toast Marketing and Loyalty integrations. The new suite is available to Toast customers for a flat monthly price, no fees per cover, and package options for different seating policies.
As part of the new solution, Toast also expands its collaboration with Google to tap into millions of guests searching for restaurants and enable them to book a reservation through Toast Tables, directly on a restaurant’s Google Business Profile. According to Toast’s Voice of the Restaurant Guest survey1, when it comes to finding full service restaurants, guests use Google Maps more than any other restaurant discoverability channel except for personal recommendations. The extension of this collaboration helps restaurants to save money on costly third-party reservation platforms—which account for only three percent of guests’ restaurant discovery2.
“Reservation and waitlist management capabilities have moved from ‘nice to have’ to ‘must have’ for many restaurants in recent years,” said Aman Narang, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of Toast. “Toast Tables empowers restaurants to provide more personalized and efficient hospitality before, during, and between guest visits. We’re pleased to see our collaboration with Google come to life again in this launch and benefit the restaurant community.”
Toast Tables allows restaurants to:
Benefit from a fully integrated reservation and waitlist solution: Toast Tables is easy to use and integrates with the broader Toast platform. Toast Tables syncs seamlessly with products like Toast Point of Sale (POS) and Kitchen Display Systems (KDS), so restaurants can spend less time updating systems and more time with their guests. Restaurants can get started in minutes with a host app on select Android and iOS devices that automatically imports their floor plan and server roster while eliminating the need to manage a separate reservation and waitlist provider.
Manage capacity without the complexity: With real-time table status updated from the POS and KDS, the host can see what guests have ordered, when orders have been fulfilled, and when they have paid for their meals. Hosts can keep servers happy by seating based on built-in cover counts and “next up” server rotations. Restaurants can avoid no-shows thanks to estimated wait times, automated notifications, and two-way SMS messaging, which make it easy for guests to stay up-to-date and communicate if their plans change.
Personalize hospitality to turn first-time guests into regulars: Guests can easily find restaurants they love and reserve a table or join an online waitlist directly from Google Search and Maps. With personalized guest profiles, restaurants can anticipate preferences, recognize special occasions, reward regulars or VIPs, and grow their marketing list. Guests can view the menu to prepare for their visit and even opt into the restaurant’s loyalty program, so that owners and operators can prompt repeat visits by re-engaging guests with meaningful conversation and offers.
“Toast Tables has become one of my favorite parts about Toast,” said Franco DiCarlo, owner of PA House. “Turn times, check sizes, popular items, server efficiency - I can see it all right from my iPad. With online reservations through our website as well as through Reserve with Google, our guest list stays full, and with auto-confirmation texts, we're able to keep it that way.”
Looking to create a consistent brand experience across its growing portfolio of boutique hotels, 21c Museum Hotels has partnered with guest technology provider SONIFI to implement a dynamic interactive TV and streaming platform.
SONIFI’s guest room TV system, SORA, incorporates 21c’s art-filled hospitality branding, while also providing each location opportunities to promote their own exhibits, restaurants, amenities, and community attractions.
It’s a fresh, contemporary experience for guests that immerses them in the property’s thoughtfully curated ambience and services, while also making it easier for them to access the most-wanted entertainment and streaming.
“Whether it’s a guest’s first time staying with us or they’ve been coming for years, the new SONIFI system lets us reinforce the kind of experience guests can expect with us and want to tell their friends about,” said Andrew Carter, General Manager at the Lexington and Louisville hotels.
For example, beyond race coverage and entertainment, guests can use the TV to get recommendations on exploring the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, learn about the on-site restaurants and bars, and view 21c galleries on a dedicated art channel.
“It’s been fun to see how the 21c brand comes to life in such distinctly different settings,” said Clay Suter, SONIFI’s Director of Corporate Sales who drove implementations in 21c’s Louisville, Lexington, Cincinnati, and St. Louis hotels. “SONIFI’s technology delivers the services guests want alongside a personalized, engaging experience that showcases the unique attributes of each property. I’m excited to continue our 21c partnership with upcoming projects already in the works.”