News Briefs


Waterville Valley Resort Partners With Thynk

Thynk and Waterville Valley Resort Team members

Waterville Valley Resort has selected Thynk.Cloud to help them elevate their historical brand experience, automate and simplify the work of their employees and deliver continued innovation by embracing true business agility. 

Waterville Valley Ski Resort, an independent resort nestled in the white mountains of New Hampshire, was established 57 years ago as one of the first resorts with a self-contained village designed as a four-season resort. This resort has continued to thrive as an early adopter of new technology by bringing innovation from all over the world to North America. Their 10-year development plan set in 2020 is just one of the ways they are committed to innovation and growth all focused on the guest experience and family vacation experience.

In December 2022, they installed a United States first with the fastest chairlift in New Hampshire, built by MND Group based in France, demonstrating Waterville’s investment to be first and a true leader in moving the industry forward. 

“We are excited to roll Thynk out to our first customer in the U.S. and help them create a seamless experience for their customers and achieve great efficiencies across their team,” said Thynk CXO Melissa Jurkoic. “Having visibility into customer data, consolidated communication and streamlined operations is something that every hospitality team needs in their arsenal to deliver the highest customer service and to remain competitive.”

“It was a long journey reviewing potential solutions and trying to find one that would align with our goals.”, said Abby Guinan, Director of Sales & Leasing, Waterville Valley. “I knew we made the right decision from the start with Thynk, everything from the task-oriented onboarding process to the support from the team has been incredible and far less overwhelming than expected with a new system rollout.  I have no doubt that Thynk is exactly what we need to succeed and grow!”

Thynk.Cloud helps the hospitality industry build stronger digital relationships with their customers, increase their focus on margins, optimize their cost of sales and operations, and uncover new sources of business.

“We’re only 3 years into our 10-year plan and we have made huge advancements and continued investments in transitioning to the next level. For us, it’s all about the next customer and developing a great progression scenario for them to grow as individuals. We’re known as New Hampshire’s family resort and we are always looking for ways to elevate the customer experience.”, Tim Smith President & General Manager, Waterville Valley. “We know that the right technology can enable us to reach those goals here at Waterville Valley Resort. Thynk’s hospitality sales & operations system represents the best technology in the market today and we are pleased to solidify our partnership with Thynk.Cloud.”

Melissa Jurkoic, CXO at Thynk.Cloud added “We are delighted to announce this first win in the US, which represents further evidence of the opportunity for us to grow outside of EMEA.”  


NRA 2023 NEWS: Kraft Heinz Unveils HEINZ REMIX, a Customizable Digital Sauce Dispenser

kraft heinz remix

The Kraft Heinz Company (“Kraft Heinz” or the “Company”) unveiled HEINZ REMIX™, the first customizable and IoT-enabled digital sauce dispenser to launch that allows consumers to personalize their own flavor creations. Developed in record speed – 6 months from initial brief to the physical product – with over 200 potential sauce combinations, HEINZ REMIX is the latest innovation from the Company’s foodservice or “Away From Home” (AFH) division, which is a key growth platform as outlined in the Company’s long-term strategy.

HEINZ® is no stranger to unique sauce combinations that satisfy fans’ cravings & needs (hello, MAYOCHUP®!). Now, HEINZ REMIX is taking personalized sauces to new heights, creating a first for the sauce and foodservice category. The free-standing machine is touchscreen operated, enabling consumers to first select from a range of “bases” – currently HEINZ Ketchup, Ranch, 57® Sauce, and BBQ Sauce – then personalize further with one or more “enhancers” – currently Jalapeño, Smoky Chipotle, Buffalo, and Mango – at their preferred intensity level (low, medium, high).

“As a company, we’re transforming through innovation by making bigger, more intentional bets to fuel our growth and create new experiences for consumers,” said Alan Kleinerman, Vice President of Disruption, Kraft Heinz. “HEINZ REMIX is a great example of this consumer-first approach to innovation. We’re changing the game for foodservice operators and sauce lovers - dipping will never be the same. With HEINZ REMIX, it’s more than a sauce dispenser; it’s an insights engine and business model enabler that will help Kraft Heinz understand and respond to consumer trends and flavor preferences in real-time. Who knows – maybe our next new sauce combination will come from a superfan using HEINZ REMIX!”

Kraft Heinz will debut HEINZ REMIX at the 2023 National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago (May 20-23, 2023), with plans to pilot the innovation with restaurant operators in late 2023 to early 2024.

“The launch of HEINZ REMIX is a first for the sauce category and foodservice industry,” said Peter Hall, President, U.S. Away from Home, Kraft Heinz. “It’s a great example of how we’re leveraging culinary insights and category knowledge to drive greater value for our customers and consumers. Our ambition is to be the leader for taste, flavor and experience anywhere you’re eating, and we’re delivering on that goal with category leading innovations like HEINZ REMIX.”

As Kraft Heinz continues on its journey to lead the future of food, the Company is focused on creative disruption across the entire organization, breaking down siloes to cultivate collaboration, reimagine product development, and utilize digital capabilities to accelerate the pace of innovation.


Elavon Partners with The Digital Line (TDL) to Launch New Range of Digital Services in Hospitality Industry

Elavon logo teaser

Global payments provider Elavon has partnered with The Digital Line (TDL) on a voice-activated solution for the hospitality industry. The solution – Audico – utilizes the Amazon Alexa device to deliver a variety of voice-driven services. Elavon is the exclusive payments provider for the Audico solution in hospitality, globally.

Hemlata Narasimhan, Elavon Merchant Services President in Europe, says, “Virtual assistant technology is the future of hospitality, and we’re thrilled to be powering the payments behind Audico. This is all about improving the customer experience, and a large part of this is seamless payments. We’re pleased to be partnering with Amazon’s approved partner The Digital Line to make this happen.”

Audico is unique in the UK market, and has already been implemented at the world-famous Ascot Racecourse in Southeast England, where premium customers can call for betting services, order food and drinks, and purchase merchandise from their private boxes all with a few simple words to Alexa. The audible command is then relayed to staff as a Card Not Present transaction, and payment is made using a pre-determined account preference such as a credit card.

Audico is also being explored as a room service solution in hotels, and in premium hospitality areas at other venues and stadiums, as well as providing a landmark series of services in the health care industry.

George Vaughan, The Digital Line’s CEO, says, “This partnership represents a unique opportunity for two recognized brands to collaborate on initiatives that will revolutionize multiple business verticals, including hospitality, venues and health care, delivering a level of digital transformation not seen before.”


Wendy's Partners with Pipedream to Pilot Industry-First Underground Delivery System for Mobile Orders

illustration of wendy's pipedream partnership

The Wendy's Company announced a new partnership with Pipedream, a hyperlogistics company, to pilot its underground autonomous robot system with the goal of delivering digital food orders from the kitchen to designated parking spots in seconds, for faster and more convenient pick-up experiences. As the first quick service restaurant (QSR) to pilot this cutting-edge technology, the partnership marks another bold step for Wendy's in driving industry innovation as it strives to serve digital-forward customers with greater ease, speed and accuracy.

"We know that serving orders quickly and accurately leads to increased customer satisfaction," said Deepak Ajmani, U.S. Chief Operations Officer, The Wendy's Company. "Pipedream's Instant Pickup system has the potential to unlock greater mobile order speed of service and accuracy, enabling us to consistently deliver hot and fresh Wendy's products to our fans."

Pipedream's technology is designed to make digital order pick-up fast, reliable and invisible. By connecting the Wendy's kitchen to an Instant Pickup portal positioned outside the restaurant, this first-of-its-kind delivery system is designed to provide digital customers with a fast and convenient pick-up option without having to leave their car and increase efficiencies for restaurant crew members by streamlining digital order pick-up points. The technology uses autonomous robots to transport meals underground and deliver at the car-side Instant Pickup portal.

"At Wendy's, we are consistently innovating to meet our customers however they choose to engage with us," said Matt Spessard, Senior Vice President and Global Chief Technology Officer, The Wendy's Company. "As mobile ordering preferences increase, we're thrilled to be the first quick service restaurant to partner with Pipedream, leveraging their unique delivery technology and system with the goal of reinventing digital pick-ups to bring more Wendy's to more people as quickly and efficiently as possible." 

"We're proud to partner with an iconic, innovative brand like Wendy's to bring the future of mobile order pick-up to the quick service industry," said Garrett McCurrach, CEO, Pipedream. "By solving order handoff, the final leg of the digital experience, our Instant Pickup technology allows Wendy's restaurant team members to focus on what matters: serving delicious, high-quality food and connecting with customers in this digital-first world."


Wow Bao Launches The Hot Buns Club and Creates Unique Digital CollectaBaos to Enhance its Points-Based, Bao Bucks Rewards Program

wow bao loyalty program logo

Wow Bao, a fast-casual Asian concept, announces the expansion of its web3 strategy, launching Digital CollectaBaos to enhance its points-based Bao Bucks loyalty program.  

“Wow Bao has always been a pioneer in enhancing the dining experience with technology, forging a path for today’s innovations to become mainstream, " said Geoff Alexander, President & CEO of Wow Bao. “By creating a digital collectible club, Wow Bao is leveling up the everyday loyalty program, and welcoming all diners to the future.” Alexander shared his brand's tips for creating lifetime loyalty at MURTEC Executive Summit.

In November, Wow Bao laid out its phased web3 strategy, which included this NFT-based extension of their Bao Bucks rewards program and the launch of metaverse vending machines. Their entry into this technology is a clear demonstration of the real-world utility of digital collectibles.  

Customers have an initial opportunity to purchase these lively digital CollectaBaos from a first course minting, gaining access to Wow Bao’s cheeky yet chic Hot Buns Club. Club benefits include 10% off orders, 10% off Wow Bao merchandise, double Bao Bucks points, and chances to win additional CollectaBaos, free meals, and more. Additional courses, or mintings, of future CollectaBaos will offer more benefits and perks. Details of how to become an exclusive member can be found at the new Hot Buns Club landing page

Wow Bao commissioned NFT artist, MANOVERMARS, aka MoM, to create the edgy, one-of-a-kind digital imprints. MoM is a full-time freelance artist who has worked with web2 brands like Macy’s, Visa, and Specialized, as well as web3 brands like 3Landers, Ben Mezrich, Froggy Friends, and many others.  

Wow Bao’s entrance into the digital collectible space cements its commitment to continually exploring leading innovative technology and finding unique ways to reach new diners. By engaging customers in new ways, the company continues to drive engagement and loyalty. It follows its early use of self-ordering kiosks in 2010, a fully automated front-of-house animated cubby experience in 2017, and, since 2020, the unprecedented growth of over 700 locations through their virtual dark kitchen program.   

While Wow Bao has chosen Devour as its web3 ordering partner, Wow Bao is also partnering with Flaunt to both mint its Digital CollectaBaos and to integrate the program with its existing Bao Bucks Rewards program that is powered by Paytronix


Withe Secures $1.1M USD in Pre-Seed Funding

withe logo

Today, Withe, the on-demand video interview and virtual hiring event platform that aims to solve volume hiring challenges for enterprise hospitality staffing and recruiting teams, announced the close of its $1.1M USD pre-seed round, led by San Francisco-based Focal. Withe’s SaaS platform is designed for enterprises that hire hundreds to thousands of people at the same time, such as staffing and recruiting teams in the tourism and hospitality industry. With the funds, the company is planning on further expanding its technical team and building its roadmap, alongside its first enterprise customer, Fortune 1000 industry leader, Trueblue, as a design partner.

“Today, it simply takes too long to get qualified candidates in front of great companies. What we’ve created in Withe is a platform that benefits both recruiters and candidates by providing them with an on-demand and seamless experience,” said Daniel Shalinsky, CEO and co-founder of Withe. “This funding will propel the next phase of Withe by enabling us to continue to hire the right people while we expand further into new markets,” said Shalinsky.

Withe reduces interview time by 82%, providing enterprise hiring teams with seamless scheduling and better utilization of their most valuable resource: time. Industry leaders who rely on Withe for virtual hiring fairs experience notable decreases in time-to-hire and improved efficiencies across the board.

It’s no secret that today’s market is competitive when it comes to hiring the best talent swiftly. With post-pandemic recovery efforts and the North American spring and summer tourism season upon us, hospitality brands are looking to fill hundreds, sometimes thousands, of positions at the same time—more rapidly than ever. Withe is confident that its platform will be turnkey for the industry’s volume hiring needs in 2023 and beyond.