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News Briefs

  • 5/28/2024

    STUDY: 78% of Americans Say Higher Menu Prices Have Made Dining Out More Challenging

    diner paying in restaurant tableside

    Continued inflation is driving consumers to seek out more promotions, discounts and loyalty programs to manage costs associated with dining out, acccoing to the Givex 2024 Restaurant and Dining Trends Survey.

    The Givex 2024 Restaurant and Dining Trends Survey draws from responses of over 1,000 Americans, offering a detailed look into evolving consumer behaviors as the economic landscape shifts.

    According to the survey, 86% of Americans cite promotions as a major incentive to dine out, closely followed by coupons and discounts at 81%. Additionally, 65% of respondents find value in loyalty programs, and nearly half (47%) are attracted to Happy Hour deals. This shows a clear trend of consumers seeking ways to maximize value in response to rising menu prices and the ongoing impacts of inflation. 

    "The ongoing economic challenges have understandably altered the way people approach dining out," said Givex’s Chief Commercial Officer, Mo Chaar. "Our survey indicates that while price sensitivity has increased, so has the appreciation for value-added services like loyalty programs and promotional offers, which can help restaurants maintain customer engagement during these challenging times."

    Other key insights include:

    • Inflation Impact: A notable 78% of Americans agree that higher menu prices have made dining out more challenging over the past year.

    • Shifts in Dining and Delivery: Some 41% of respondents are dining out less frequently, while 45% have reduced their food delivery orders compared to last year. Meanwhile, 60% report cooking more at home.

    • Technology Adoption: There's a growing acceptance of AI — specifically conversational AI-driven product recommendation technology — in the restaurant industry, with 52% of Americans comfortable with its implementation. In Hospitality Technology's 2024 Restaurant Technology Study co-sponsored by Givex, 63% of restaurant operators surveyed said they are planning to use or add AI or automation/robotics into their operations. Both data sets underscore the growing demand for emerging technology to enhance the customer experience and restaurant operations.

    "As we navigate a period marked by economic adjustment, understanding consumer priorities is essential for businesses aiming to enhance customer experiences and drive sales," said Chaar. "The insights from our 2024 survey provide critical data that can help restaurant owners and operators make strategic decisions that align with customer preferences."

    For more information about the technology solutions offered by Givex, visit givex.com.

  • 5/29/2024

    New Survey Reveals Consumers Book Hotel Rooms Based on Presence of Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs, With Cleanliness Being a Top Concern

    vivoaquatics logo
    VivoAquatics, a water management solution company, announced the results of a recent independent survey, which revealed that pools and hot tubs are one of the most important amenities for people when booking travel accommodations. However, many guests have experienced unexpected closures of these amenities during their stays. Additionally, while people reported that they are concerned about water cleanliness, chlorine levels and bacteria, they almost never receive information from hotels and resorts on these matters.  
     
    According to the survey findings:  
     
    • Nearly 75% of respondents ranked pools and hot tubs as one of the top three most important amenities when booking a hotel or resort room  
    • Only ‘complimentary breakfast’ surpassed ‘pools/hot tubs’ as the most important amenity   
    • More than 95% of respondents expect that public pools and hot tubs are sanitary and clean 
    • Only 10.5% of respondents are not concerned at all about chlorine levels and bacteria in commercial pools and hot tubs  
    • More than 50% of respondents have had a pool or hot tub close during their stay at a hotel or resort  
    • More than 68% of respondents have never been provided with upfront information regarding water sanitation and safety measures when visiting a hotel or resort  
     
    "Based on these findings, it’s evident that travelers continue to prioritize water features when booking a stay and expect a high-level of safety and sanitation from the hospitality industry,” said Willan Johnson, CEO of VivoAquatics. "Yet, it is disappointing to hear that more than 50% of travelers have been met by closed pools and hot tubs. This underscores the need for hotels and resorts to proactively implement proper water management solutions before issues arise – especially ones that could lead to unwanted closures or, more importantly, health and safety risks. And it appears there is an opportunity for hotels and resort to differentiate their brand by better communicating a commitment to water safety and sanitation to guests.” 
     
    VivoAquatics provides hotels, resorts and other facilities with comprehensive water safety, conservation and compliance solutions. With its technology, users can access valuable data on water quality, temperature, chemical balance and more so that any deviation from safety parameters can be identified and addressed as quickly as possible. This significantly reduces the risk of waterborne illnesses and other issues that could lead to pool and hot tub closures.  
     
    VivoAquatics works with many of the world's leading hospitality, real estate, fitness and REIT brands including Hilton, MGM Resorts International, Omni Hotels, Westgate Resorts, In-Shape Fitness, Marriott International and more. For additional information on VivoAquatics, visit its website here
     
  • 5/28/2024

    Brink POS 2024 Spring Release Includes Pay-at-Table

    PAR tableside payment with a group of hipsters

    ParTech, Inc. (PAR), a global restaurant technology company providing unified commerce solutions for enterprise restaurants,  announces its PAR Brink POS  2024 Spring Release. Designed to empower restaurants in navigating the balance between operational efficiency and exceptional guest experiences, this update introduces a variety of features aimed at simplifying daily administration, enhancing table service, and strengthening the connection between businesses and their patrons.

    Enhanced Table Service

    At the heart of Brink’s Spring Release is a comprehensive suite of table service enhancements, reinforcing PAR's commitment to elevating the dining experience. The introduction of PAR Pay-At-Table allows guests to review and pay their checks directly at the table, streamlining transactions and eliminating unnecessary wait times. The Tip Share feature facilitates the inclusion of tip amounts for all staff involved, fostering workplace transparency and ensuring equitable distribution of gratuities among both back-of-house and front-of-house teams.

    Additionally, guests can now pre-authorize their credit cards upon arrival, allowing them to keep tabs open throughout their visit. This ensures a seamless and leisurely dining experience while also safeguarding restaurants and bars against the risk of unpaid walkouts.

    The release also includes reporting features exclusively tailored for full-service concepts. Brink's Checkout Report ensures precise register-side management, particularly in situations where servers need support to finalize table closures during tip-sharing scenarios. Other capabilities, such as automatic order splitting by seat and effortless one-click printing of individual checks, expedite table turnovers, which is particularly beneficial for larger groups.

    Solutions to Today's Challenges

    Restaurants navigate a tightrope in today's macro landscape – battling inflationary pressures, labor costs, and lower traffic while still crafting an unforgettable experience for guests with ever-rising expectations.

    Brink’s new release empowers operators to navigate the challenge on both sides with meaningful enhancements that include:

    • Gamification to encourage upsells and increase average check values.
    • Simplified ordering, streamlined pick-ups and automated lane and KDS re-sequencing for single, dual, and multi-lane drive-thrus. 
    • Multi-reward Redemption with Punchh , PAR’s  loyalty platform. 
    • Support for 24x7 restaurant operations on Register and KDS.
    • Seamless EBT Payments with PAR Pay, PAR’s payments platform.

    "This new release represents a significant milestone for PAR Brink POS," said Savneet Singh, CEO of PAR Technology Corporation. "It continues our commitment to constant innovation, capitalizing on strong investment and hard work of our team. Stasis is death for a product led software business that will never happen at PAR."

    Well-known restaurant brands such as Hooters of America trust PAR Brink’s table service capabilities

    For more information about PAR Technology and PAR Brink, please visit partech.com.  

  • 5/27/2024

    Harvey's Rolls Out AI-Powered, Automated Flame Grill

    gastronomous automated grill at Harveys

    Recipe  Unlimited, a Canadian full-service restaurant company, is embarking on a new venture by testing state-of-the-art automation of  Gastronomous Technologies "flame grill" at select Harvey's restaurants across Ontario. 

    Called the Chronogrill this innovative solution incorporates AI, advanced vision systems, and industrial-grade automation to grill the perfect burger in half the time while reducing energy consumption. "The goal of integrating this cutting-edge technology is to deliver an exceptional guest experience by serving top-quality flame-grilled burgers 100% of the time while simultaneously increasing our speed of service and lowering our environmental impact," says David Colebrook, President of Limited Service Dining for Recipe.

    Utilizing Internet-of-Things connectivity, the system provides detailed operational insights, 24/7 remote monitoring, and seamless service support.

    Kevork Sevadjian, CEO of Gastronomous Technologies, echoes David Colebrook's sentiments, emphasizing the success of the collaboration. "Recipe has been an exceptional partner throughout this journey," he remarks. "Recipe's forward-thinking leadership and their team's collaboration have been instrumental in realizing the potential of this partnership. This milestone not only marks a significant achievement for Recipe but also heralds a new era of innovation for the entire restaurant industry."

     

    Caption: Recipe Unlimited and Gastronomous Technologies partner to set new standards of excellence and productivity in the culinary landscape (CNW Group/Gastronomous Technologies Inc)

  • 5/28/2024

    RoomRaccoon Partners with Three New Guest Experience Systems

    roomracoon, Orana Stay, GuestTouch, and Woby logos

    RoomRaccoon, a hotel management system for independent hotels, is expanding its hotel guest management software offering through new partnerships with Orana Stay, GuestTouch, and Woby. 

    The partnerships will empower RoomRaccoon users with a comprehensive suite of guest-centric features, including personalized communication, digital concierge services, automated upselling, and advanced guest feedback management to elevate the guest experience and drive revenue at every point of the guest journey. 

    “Guest expectations are always evolving, particularly in terms of technology,” says Stevie Reffin, Head of Partnership at RoomRaccoon. “Guest experience tools are hugely beneficial for maximizing guest satisfaction, particularly when they are integrated with a Property Management System (PMS). We are thrilled to offer these expert resources through the RoomRaccoon Marketplace to bring even more value to our hoteliers."

    Orana Stay redefines hospitality by offering hoteliers an integrated messaging system with AI-driven translations in over 100 languages, digital guest guides with auto-recommendations for restaurants, attractions, and events, and the opportunity to promote property amenities and services throughout the guest journey. 

    GuestTouch is a popular guest messaging and reputation platform that allows hotels to connect with guests at every stage of the journey through their preferred communication channels, including SMS, WhatsApp, Email, Google Chat, and more to boost revenue and enhance the guest experience.

    Woby is a popular web application in the Netherlands that allows guests to place orders and pay for them online by connecting hotels’ POS and PMS systems. With Woby, guests can easily request housekeeping services, access concierge services and guides, order food and beverages and more, all from one app.

    These partnerships underscore RoomRaccoon's commitment to providing its users with comprehensive solutions that drive success in today's competitive hospitality landscape.

    RoomRaccoon users can easily activate these integrations through the system’s Integration Marketplace.

  • 5/28/2024

    Cendyn and Shiji Target Hotel Profitability with PMS-CRS Integration

    cendyn and shiji logo

    Cendyn, a global integrated hotel technology and services company, and Shiji, the global hospitality technology innovator, are empowering hoteliers to improve profitability with optimized rates and availability.

    The new system integration seamlessly synchronizes data between Cendyn CRS and Shiji Enterprise Platform PMS. Hoteliers, including independent hotels, brands, and chains, benefit from a streamlined process that minimizes the need for manual updates in the PMS, driving improved productivity and greater operational efficiencies.

    Through harnessing this powerful integration, hoteliers can centralize operations via Cendyn CRS, facilitating intelligent rates and availability management, ensuring a smooth data flow of reservation data into the Shiji PMS.

    “System integration is paramount today in enabling hoteliers to run smart, efficient and profitable hotel business operations. Through our partnership with Shiji, hoteliers can confidently and swiftly adjust rates and availability in the Cendyn CRS and have them reflected instantly in Shiji PMS. Group and portfolio brands can gain greater control and visibility of all their properties, ensuring each hotel performs to its best ability,” said Chris Egan, Chief Product Officer, Cendyn.

    “The Shiji and Cendyn partnership provides hoteliers with fully integrated systems that encourage enhanced efficiency and productivity in staff. With a constant support of real-time information, hotels can avoid data discrepancies while having the most up-to-date guest profiles to enhance the overall guest experience and execute highly targeted marketing strategies,” said Kevin King, CEO, Shiji International.

    By leveraging the Shiji PMS and Cendyn CRS integration, hoteliers can intelligently manage rates and availability for their hotel business, driving revenue, maximizing profitability, and creating deeper connections with guests.

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