News Briefs


Toast Integrates Bluefin’s PCI-Validated P2PE

man conjuring data integration

Toast has selected Bluefin to provide select Toast enterprise customers with an additional encryption option via PCI-validated point-to-point encryption (P2PE) for point-of-sale payments. Toast and Bluefin will work together to develop and commercialize the solution later this year.

Toast provides a single platform of software as a service (SaaS) products and financial technology solutions that give restaurants everything they need to run their business across point of sale, operations, digital ordering and delivery, marketing and loyalty, and team management. Toast will white-label Bluefin’s Decryptx solution, which is designed to deliver PCI-validated point-to-point encryption (P2PE) as a service. This technology immediately encrypts sensitive payment data at the point of sale and renders it useless in the event of breach.

According to IBM’s 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report, the average cost of a breach has risen to $4.35 million, a 12.7% increase from 2020. At the same time, the report finds that extensive use of encryption is one of the most effective means of data security and is the fourth largest factor in decreasing the cost of a breach.

Through this relationship, Toast has established its own PCI sub-listing for point-to-point encryption. Learn more about Bluefin’s PCI-validated P2PE-as-a-service here.


R.F. Technologies Partners with Solink to Offer Video-Based Business Intelligence to its Full Line of Restaurant Solutions

RF technologies

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 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 logo

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

tablet and monitor displaying toast tables software program

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.”

Learn more about Toast Tables.


21c’s Unique Hotels Bring Guests a New Brand Experience with SONIFI Technology

21c Museum Hotel and Sonifi Logo

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.

Right now, it’s the busiest time of year for the 21c Kentucky properties in Lexington and Louisville, each hosting horse racing fans traveling to watch the Spring Meet at Keeneland and Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

“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.”


Hoteliers Are Leveraging 3D Maps from UrVenue to Advance Hospitality Commerce

Encore Beach Club at Wynn Resort

UrVenue, pioneer of hospitality’s first property experience management system (PXMS), has developed a 3D mapping feature to enable discriminating guests to visualize unique experiences before they book. UrVenue’s 3D Maps help venue operators showcase bookable locations (unspecified locations, by section, or by individual inventory such as a cabana or chaise lounge) in virtual detail to drive additional bookings across multiple experiences and layer them into a cross-booking itinerary builder. This gives guests more choice in how they experience the hotel or resort, plus it drives sales through higher-value bookings and ultimately improves guest satisfaction.

Here are six locations where Interactive 3D Maps are changing the game for experiential property outlets and independent venues around the world:

  1. Pools — Pools are one of the most common on-property experiences that hotel operators are eager to showcase and provide their guests with an elevated experience (especially at properties with multiple pools, pools with multiple experiences, or pools with multiple sections). Most guests prefer the freedom of choice in finding a spot that works best for them, whether by the water, under a large umbrella, or in a spacious cabana with a big group. Interactive 3D Maps make it easier for guests to navigate these nuanced booking choices and avoid throwing their towel on a chair to “reserve” their seat at 8:00 a.m. 3D maps also help guests better understand what add-ons and packages are available, from sunscreen and extra towels to picnic baskets and champagne.
  2. Nightclubs, Dayclubs, & Lounges — Location is everything in nightclubs, dayclubs, and lounges, which means that some sections are inherently more valuable than others.  Clubs and lounges are leveraging 3D maps to upsell guests on sections that are within arm’s reach of the DJ/entertainment or that accommodate large groups in more private areas.  Giving guests a clear visual helps them book with a much higher degree of confidence, as these types of bookings often require large deposits and/or F&B minimums.
  3. Restaurants — High-value seating areas in restaurants, including private dining rooms, chef’s tables, and premium table locations, are some of the most underutilized assets in the hospitality industry.  They are the most exclusive, impeccably designed assets, but guests often go through a cumbersome process to book them. 3D maps provide guests with a clearer and more visually engaging way to understand the restaurant’s options, by showcasing the design and ambiance of each space and allowing guests to get a feel for the atmosphere. Eliminating time-consuming phone calls or email exchanges enables guests to book their desired space with just a few clicks.
  4. Mixed-Use Food & Beverage Environments — Mixed use food-and-beverage environments are not new, but being able to book multiple experiences in a singular shopping cart that leverages a 3D map is new – from restaurant reservations to pool table rentals and beyond.  Because these mixed-use environments can be larger than traditional restaurants, 3D maps give customers the lay of the land and help them understand what experiences are available and where they can be found. Outside of a full restaurant, mixed-use food & beverage environments may include a karaoke room, golf suites, a parlor room with its own bowling alley, and a hidden speakeasy lounge.
  5. Sportsbooks — Interactive 3D Maps are a game-changer for sportsbook operators looking to showcase their unique seating options and VIP experience packages. Strategically connecting 3D maps can also unlock additional sales and operational benefits, such as including experiences from multiple outlets for a game-day package. From bleacher seats to owner's boxes, locations can be displayed in both static and engaging 360-degree views that allow guests to preview their seating area and overall distance to the big screen.
  6. Theaters and Concert Venues — 2D maps with dots for seats is the industry standard, but not every seat should be minimized that way. Opera boxes, VIP sections, cabaret-style tables, and other unique seating options are showcased in all their glory, helping to upsell the uniqueness of the experience and value of the upgrade.

What about other types of spaces?

UrVenue’s Interactive 3D Maps can be fully customized to fit the unique needs of any property, venue, or outlet, providing on-demand information and booking capabilities across all digital channels, and displaying beautifully on any mobile device, computer, TV, tablet, or kiosk. Request a demo today to see how we can help your guests learn, explore, and book more with our Interactive 3D Maps.