News Briefs


Canary Technologies and Maestro Partner To Bring Digital Guest Management Solutions to Hoteliers

front desk agent and person checking in on phone

Canary Technologies, a guest-management system, is integrating with Maestro PMS to provide hoteliers the tools they need to meet evolving guest needs and operational challenges.

This joint effort provides a 2-way integration between systems and puts the power of Canary’s Guest Management solutions like Check-In, Checkout, Upselling, Guest Messaging, Digital Tipping, and Digital Authorizations directly into the hands of Maestro’s property-management system customers. Thanks to this new partnership, hoteliers that rely on Maestro PMS can now boost revenue, improve the guest experience and increase staff efficiency with Canary.

“Digitizing the guest journey requires new and innovative approaches, and we’re proud to join Maestro PMS in an effort to support hotel operations and help hoteliers provide better guest experiences,” said Harman Singh Narula, Co-Founder of Canary Technologies. “Efficiency and adaptability are important advantages in today’s business environment for hotels, and this partnership will provide new ways for hoteliers to advance their competitiveness in the resurging post-pandemic travel era.”

“Maestro PMS is proud to name Canary Technologies our newest integration partner,” said Warren Dehan, Maestro president. “In today’s new normal, it’s critical that technologists find new ways to work together and help hoteliers deliver frictionless and memorable experiences that keep guests coming back. That starts by making hospitality jobs attractive once again to employees, and giving staff the digital tools they need to communicate more effectively with management, guests and each other. Together with Canary Technologies, Maestro is creating a more enjoyable and productive work environment while making hotel operations more streamlined, efficient, and fun.”


Agilysys Debuts Spa Software at the 2023 ISPA Conference

logo agilysys dec 2022

With demand for spa services outpacing resources available to deliver them, it is increasingly vital for spa operators to optimize how they align staff and service reservations to optimize revenue and profit per time booked.

Agilysys Spa, a next-era cloud-native spa solution debuting from Agilysys (Nasdaq: AGYS) at the 2023 ISPA Conference at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas May 9 – 11, features capabilities that equip spa operators to continuously optimize how they accept and manage reservations based on financial outcomes as well as guest and staff satisfaction.

“Agilysys Spa is the result of close collaboration between the former ResortSuite team and the spa team at Agilysys,” said Frank Pitsikalis, founder and former Chief Executive Officer for ResortSuite, which Agilysys acquired in 2022. Pitsikalis now serves on Agilysys’ leadership team as vice president, product strategy, hotels.

Pitsikalis continued, “At last year’s ISPA we helped customers and prospects understand what ResortSuite’s recent acquisition by Agilysys would bring to the industry. This year, we are demonstrating in Agilysys Spa the tangible advantages of our teams becoming one. The 2022 ISPA U.S. Spa Industry Study, which is the most current published research, estimates more than 45,000 spa-related job vacancies across the United States, making it essential to leverage smart technology to optimize decisions regarding which services to offer at which times based on historical trends, near-real-time demand and capacity constraints. Adding intelligence on hotel occupancy patterns by guest volume and by guest persona further strengthens decision intelligence. That is a key advantage we deliver in Agilysys Spa.”

In Booth #816 Agilysys representatives will showcase Agilysys Spa capabilities, including: 

  • Intelligent Spa Management that uses data to help spa operators grow revenue based on yield-management insights that include real-time availability, optimized pricing and maximized therapist and treatment room utilization. The system equips operators to easily adjust appointments and minimize gaps across all booking channels.
  • Minimum Gap Allowance Protection to optimize capacity utilization and revenue when spas allow patrons to book reservations online. Smart resource management within Agilysys Spa ensures that reservation times, service types and skill profiles of available staff are intelligently coordinated to prevent gaps of unused time and unused staff service delivery capabilities. For online bookers, Agilysys Spa presents reservation choices only for ‘best use’ services and times based on historical and predictive intelligence that continuously aligns demand with capacity to optimize revenue across available time.
  • Multi-Experience Booking, which enables guests to book spa reservations as they book hotel reservations, from a common screen view in the same session without switching systems.
  • Mobile Convenience, empowering guests to check-in and check-out from spa services at their convenience using their mobile devices, as well as adjust appointments, complete intake information and purchase spa products.
  • Retail Revenue Optimization, which enables spa employees to easily add retail sales to the guest’s spa experience to extend treatment benefits and heighten positive customer experiences.
  • Seamless Guest Data through integration with property management system (PMS) solutions, including Agilysys PMS. Sharing guest information with PMS systems gives staff a more comprehensive view of each guest and their interactions across the property and over time so that offers and experiences can be personalized based on a deeper knowledge of guest preferences.

Pitsikalis, who also serves as ISPA Board Chairman, will share insights on optimizing spa earning potential as a speaker on the Pricing Strategies to Maximize Revenue panel from 8-9 a.m. PDT Wednesday, May 10. This learning opportunity will include insights into best practices and new strategies to maximize revenue and profit potential.

“Understanding  the entire guest experience is vital to understanding how optimal spa operations can heighten Return on Experience for each guest personally,” said Pitsikalis. “Agilysys Spa delivers best-in-class performance for spa operations and delivers even deeper insights when connected seamlessly with other applications in the Agilysys end-to-end hospitality ecosystem or with solutions from other providers.”

Agilysys is proud to support ISPA and has a multi-year commitment to donate money toward the ISPA Foundation Mary Tabacchi Scholarship, awarded annually to a college or university student enrolled in spa management.


HITEC 2023 NEWS: HFTP Announces Participating Startups for Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) at HITEC Toronto

HITEC 2023 Toronto logo

 Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), producers of Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®), has announced the seven exceptional startups participating in Entrepreneur 20X (E20X) Toronto held on June 28, 2023 at HITEC Toronto.

As the premier hospitality technology pitch competition for nearly a decade, Entrepreneur 20X is a unique opportunity for startups to gain visibility and credibility in the industry and network with fellow solution providers and influential industry professionals. Participants will have four minutes each to present their innovative products or services to a panel of judges with backgrounds in entrepreneurship and a live audience of HITEC attendees. Each pitch will be followed by another four minutes for Q&A between the judges and presenters.

The winning startup will receive a grand prize of $5,000 as the Judges’ Choice Award selection while the People’s Choice Award winner will also be recognized as voted on by their peers in real time during the presentation and deliberation periods. All startups will receive exposure to potential investors, customers, and partners in the hospitality technology industry through their participation in the competition.

Beyond the stage, E20X participants receive a complimentary space to exhibit alongside over 300 of their peers in the HITEC Toronto exhibit hall at the E20X Pavilion. Pitchers will also have access to a team of industry mentors before the competition to inspire and educate the startups by lending them the insights, expertise and guidance they need to succeed for both the competition and their fledgling companies.

“E20X is yet another way that HFTP delivers on our goal of supporting the next generation of hospitality technology professionals,” said Frank Wolfe, CAE, CEO of HFTP. “I am excited to see the latest group of startups to take the HITEC stage by storm.”

The participating 2023 E20X Toronto startups are:

  1. Aphy
  2. Buk Technology
  3. eTip
  4. Laasie
  5. PassiveBolt
  7. WrkSpot

HFTP is also set to hold an E20X competition at HITEC Dubai 2023 on May 23 at the Dubai World Trade Center, co-located with The Hotel Show Dubai. Applications to participate in E20X Dubai 2023 close May 12.

HITEC is the world’s largest and longest-running hospitality technology conference. It attracts thousands of attendees and hundreds of industry solution providers and brings together the brightest minds and hottest technologies from across the globe to one place. Attendees gain access to essential education, top hospitality industry experts and the resources to find cost-effective ways to improve company bottom lines. HITEC Toronto will be held June 26-29, 2023 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario CAN. Learn more at


Remington Hotels Taps Knowland to Capture Multi-Day Event Business

logo, company name

Knowland, a provider of data-as-a-service insights on meetings and events for hospitality, announced that Remington Hotels, a dynamic and growing hotel management company, selected Knowland to execute its sales strategy and increase profitability more precisely.

Founded in 1968, Remington Hotels has grown into a strong, industry-leading hospitality service provider. Today it manages 121 hotels in 30 states across 26 brands, including 18 independent and boutique properties. Because of the scale of its portfolio, the management company turned to Knowland to ensure its properties are meeting their goals using actionable data.

  • Helps teams identify multi-day event bookings – Knowland is the only source that enables hotel sales teams to understand better what multi-day events are booking in their local market. This is an advantage over competitors and provides details about events to ensure sales teams are focusing on the leads that will deliver higher win rates and grow revenue faster.
  • The recovery of group business is strong but different – Knowing which group business to focus on and driving results are crucial elements of a successful salesperson. Data intelligence that helps Remington properties focus on the right group, regardless of size, is essential to success. Smaller groups are taking the lead as group business grows, so having the data to understand these new meeting trends is critical to a hotel’s bottom line.
  • Gaining a market-specific focus – Some Remington Hotels properties are in markets that are not yet fully recovered, such as Chicago and New Orleans in convention-dependent or urban markets. Knowland provides the insight to help hotels in these affected markets identify smaller meetings to build their bookings base.

Loretta Macke, senior vice president of sales, Remington Hotels, said: “Having access to Knowland’s meetings and events data gives our sales teams an advantage and has streamlined their workflow by ensuring they focus on accounts that deliver multi-day events with guest room and catering revenue. With the return of group business, regardless of event size, our focus is clear—increase sales using the latest technological advances available to us and do so efficiently.”

Patricia Shea, vice president sales and customer success, Knowland, said:Knowland helps Remington Hotel teams increase sales, but also do so by identifying the right business for each property. We look forward to helping its property-level teams leverage our data insights to enhance sales operations and drive efficiency and growth across all its markets.”


CardFree Adds Wallet Offering

cardfree wallet

CardFree is launching CardFree Checkout – an end-to-end payment interface that allows for a platform-agnostic, frictionless checkout. CardFree Checkout can also leverage CardFree’s Universal Payment Layer, providing a single API to streamline Delivery, Order Ahead, In-Store Ordering, Text-to-Pay and [email protected] while giving restaurants holistic analytics of individual customer behavior across channels.

Checkout is decoupled from CardFree’s core solutions and can be embedded in any third party’s native app or web solution with the ability to accept a variety of digital wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Venmo, and more. That means that restaurants can use Checkout as a standalone product for streamlined payments, regardless of their digital ordering provider, POS, or payment processor. CardFree Checkout offers built-in protection to identify fraudulent activity pre-transaction as well as 3D-Secure authentication to shift chargeback liability to the issuing bank.

With the rise of digital solutions in hospitality, there has been an increase in both vendor and payment fatigue – driving most brands to multiple reporting venues, and worse, the consumer to muddle through 3-5 different checkout experiences. CardFree Checkout creates a unified payment experience regardless of the medium, meaning customers will engage with the same exact payment process on any ordering platform a restaurant offers – web app, native app, Text-To-Pay for phone orders, in-store kiosk, [email protected], etc. That ease of use and familiarity from guests effectively reduces cart abandonment while a unified source of analytics simplifies data-driven marketing.

CardFree Checkout is a comprehensive suite of payment options that cut across credit, debit, digital wallets, and gift cards, all wrapped with industry-leading fraud tools to minimize the touch points for merchants to go live. Checkout can be paired with any on-premise ([email protected], [email protected], Drive-Thru, Loyalty) and off-premise (Order Ahead, Text-to-Pay) tools to further ease deployment and vendor management.


sweetgreen Debuts Automation at New Store

sweetgreen robotic kitchen

sweetgreen is opening first restaurant powered by automation. The pilot store, located in Naperville, Ill., debuts  technology called the sweetgreen Infinite Kitchen, designed to enhance the customer experience and food quality, with a focus on fresh ingredients, fast service, and friendly hospitality.


This is the brand's first automated kitchen since sweetgreen acquired the  robotic kitchen concept  Spyce back in 2021. Four MIT grads, who were seeking healthy and affordable fast-casual food, introduced Spyce’s original automated concept in May 2018 in Boston.

sweetgreen has spent the last year and a half fine tuning and adapting its technology to test alongside customers and team members, with the goal of designing a frictionless experience that connects more people to real food.

The new format allows for quicker pace, precise portioning and increased accuracy—while creating efficiencies that allow the team to focus on fresh prep and intimate hospitality. Guests can watch the technology at work, from dispensing greens and dressing bowls and plates, to evenly dispersing ingredients and mixing salads. Team members add the final touches at the finishing station, with a sprinkle of herbs or a scoop of avocado.

"We believe that automation will enable us to elevate the quality and integrity of our food while also providing a faster and more convenient experience for our customers and a better, more dynamic job for our team members," said Jonathan Neman, CEO and Co-Founder of sweetgreen. “With the integration of the sweetgreen Infinite Kitchen in our restaurants, we can unlock efficiencies that will enable us to grow more quickly as we scale.”

During a May 4 earnings call with analysts, Neman said a second Infinite Kitchen is expected to open later this year. It will be a retrofitting at an existing restaurant, "so that we can learn how best to integrate the Infinite Kitchen in an existing site,” he said.

When visiting the Naperville sweetgreen restaurant, customers are greeted by the new “host” position which provides a more personalized connection between team members and guests. To order, customers can utilize self-service kiosks, place an order through the mobile app, or order directly from the restaurant’s host. The new restaurant format also brings in a new Tasting Counter, brand-storytelling digital screens and a revamped merchandising strategy for an authentic sweetgreen experience at every touchpoint. Customers visiting the store will be able to shop exclusive merch with designs inspired by the new store joining the Naperville community.