News Briefs

08/14/2023

Steak n Shake Adds New Way to Pay

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Steak n Shake exterior in Indy

Steak n Shake will offer PopID Check In and PopPay on its self-ordering kiosks in select locations in the Orlando market, with plans to expand to more than 300 corporate locations. PopID Check In is an opt-in service that enables consumers to scan their face to automatically sign into their loyalty reward account and see their past orders, making the ordering process as convenient as possible. When a guest checks in with PopID, they also have the option to use PopPay to automatically complete their payment.

“Our partnership with PopID is a key part of our effort to provide guests with a fast and seamless ordering experience," said Keith Correia, Chief Information Officer. "When using PopID Check In, a guest does not need to use their phone or take out their wallet as part of the ordering process. They will automatically be checked in for loyalty rewards, and they can choose to make an automated payment with PopPay. A guest can even see their past orders and quickly reorder their favorite menu items. Ordering at Steak n Shake has never been easier or more convenient.”

In addition to enhancing the guest experience and improving order throughput, PopPay helps to reduce fraud and offers lower payment processing fees.

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08/07/2023

Toast Launches Catering & Events Platform

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lunch food options

Toast introduces Toast Catering & Events, a new product fully integrated with the Toast point of sale  to help restaurants seamlessly manage large catering orders and event planning. Toast Catering & Events supports customizable banquet event orders (BEO), fulfillment tools, and lead management functionality. Toast Catering & Events pairs with Toast Invoicing — a digital invoicing tool that Toast launched in October 2022. 

According to HT’s 2023 Restaurant Technology Study, 71% of restaurants offer catering, 8% plan to add it this year

Restaurant owners, operators, catering and event managers, and staff can now seamlessly manage the multi-week process of planning and executing events and catering orders.

"Toast Catering & Events has integrated our events into our POS seamlessly and even prints the prep tickets at a scheduled time so it is very hands-off,” said Emily Sands, Private Event Sales Director at Elicit Brewing. “My favorite piece of the system so far is the integration with my calendar. It makes it easy to keep my staff in the loop on what's going on and what's coming soon."

Additionally, the Toast Catering & Events platform allows restaurants to:

  • Customize: Whether solving for dietary restrictions, designating whether an order is pick-up or delivery, or flagging special pricing, Toast Catering & Events offers the tools and the ability to create digital contracts, quotes, and estimates efficiently. 
  • Manage everything in one place:  Through integration with Toast POS, restaurants can see updates and reporting for event orders and all their lines of service on a single platform. 71% say the ability to integrate with other systems is driving their POS purchase decisions, according to HT’s2 2023 POS Software Trends Report.  The digital experience includes menu integration, customer lists, a calendar view, and integrated sales reporting to create a seamless all-in-one platform experience.
  • Easily access transparent pricing and estimates.

Learn more about Toast Catering & Events.

08/07/2023

Wendy's Takes Finance, HR to the Cloud

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Wendy’s  has implemented Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications Suite and moved business-critical workloads to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) to increase productivity, expand business insights and improve the customer experience. 

Moving to the Cloud

As its operations expanded globally, Wendy’s found that its business systems, which were heavily reliant on manual processes, were taking time away from the ability of its employees and restaurant managers to provide an exceptional customer experience. To help increase efficiency and enable employees to focus on delivering quality food and service, Wendy’s decided to move its Finance and HR processes to the cloud with Oracle Fusion Applications Suite. 

“Our vision is to create fast, frictionless, and fun user experiences for our employees, franchisees and front-line workers to help drive consistent, quick, and convenient customer experiences,” said Stephanie Shaw, vice president of enterprise technology, Wendy’s. “Aligning Finance and HR on Oracle Fusion Applications Suite has allowed us to simplify and automate business processes to help build a culture of innovation and inclusivity and enable employees to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time thinking about and engaging with our customers.”

With Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Wendy’s has consolidated 11 different financial applications on a single cloud ERP suite with embedded analytics to help increase productivity and improve controls. This will enable Wendy’s to expand insights into its business, enhance planning, and increase the speed and accuracy of its financial reporting. In addition, in concert with Oracle, Wendy’s developed a new billing management system to automate unique franchisee requirements around billing and payments. Wendy’s used Oracle Applications Platform leveraging OCI’s Visual Builder and Integration Cloud Service to ensure seamless connectivity with the rest of the Oracle Fusion Applications Suite. The custom application leverages Oracle Exadata Database Service and Oracle Autonomous Database running on Oracle Exadata delivering the right scale, performance, and availability.   

Wendy’s is currently moving its global HR system to Oracle Fusion Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM). With Oracle Cloud HCM, Wendy’s will be able to standardize onboarding processes, enhance HR self-service capabilities, provide real-time visibility into goals and performance metrics, and give employees more control over their career development. 

Oracle Fusion Applications Suite enables organizations to take advantage of the cloud to break down organizational silos, standardize processes, and manage finance, HR, supply chain, and customer experience data on a single integrated cloud platform. With quarterly update cycles, customers gain access to continuous innovation as new features are added every 90 days, without downtime or business disruption.

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08/03/2023

Philips MediaSuite Makes Its Mark on the Mexican Market as PPDS Extends Its Local for Local Manufacturing Commitment in Latin America

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woman watching TV in hotel room

PPDS, the exclusive global provider of Philips professional displays and solutions, is excited to announce the latest phase of its local-for-local manufacturing approach, with an expansion from 30,000 displays in 2023 to 100,000 pieces to be produced in its Mexico facility in 2024.

The factory, in Tijuana, was established to support the launch of PPDS’ highly acclaimed range of advanced, Chromecast built-in™ Philips MediaSuite hospitality TVs in Mexico.

Fuelled by sustained interest and requests from industry partners and hoteliers, the extension of PPDS’ hospitality business is part of a continued strategy to provide the sustainable accessibility of its full suite of total solutions to partners and customers around the world. These include digital signage, dvLED, interactive displays, professional TVs, and dedicated software solutions, supporting all key market verticals.

Available through PPDS’ system integration partners in Mexico, Philips MediaSuite is hailed as the most complete hotel TV on the market, created for cutting-edge hotel room experiences, and designed to evolve with the needs and requirements of guests into the future.

The industry’s brand of choice

Since debuting in Europe in 2019, and in North America in 2021, Philips MediaSuite has quickly become the brand of choice for some of the world’s leading hotel groups, with projects and partnerships with Accor, Wyndham Hotel Group, Louvre Hotels, and most recently, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), all of which are prominent key players in Latin America.

The availability of Philips MediaSuite TVs in Mexico – a $7.55bn1market accounting for more than 22,560 properties and approximately 808,000 rooms2 – brings incredible new and potentially lucrative opportunities for hoteliers looking to enhance and advance the guest room experience, while creating significant cost savings, thanks to its remote capabilities.

Carlos Miranda, General Manager Latin America North at PPDS, explained “Mexico is one of the world’s leading holiday destinations, with close to 40 million3   international tourists forecast to arrive in 2023, rising to almost 55 million by 20274. Competition is increasing and it is essential hoteliers provide their guests with the very best, personalised experience, the results of which will encourage repeat business and generate positive reviews.”

Jeroen Verhaeghe, Global Business Development Director Hospitality at PPDS, continued: “Today, more than ever, the TV plays a crucial role in achieving a positive experience in hotels. No two guests are the same, and that’s why we created Philips MediaSuite to offer the guest’s choice of TV experience, via our commitment to providing Chromecast built-in, Netflix securely and professionally embedded onto the TV itself, and our Android SoC delivering access to the Google Play store, and more. We’re delighted to have extended this availability for Mexico.”

Stream big with Chromecast

Running on PPDS’ exclusive Android SoC, and available in 43”-75” size variants, Philips MediaSuite TVs combine best-in-class 4K picture quality, with extensive and unrivalled levels of entertainment choice, customisation and back-end control, for the ultimate personalised home-from-home experience.

Setting itself apart from its competitors, Philips MediaSuite also includes a number of unique features, including Chromecast built-in™ technology. Creating a secure, ‘all in one’ solution – removing the need for additional and costly subscription accounts, set-top boxes and unsightly wires – Chromecast built-in™ provides guests with the freedom to wirelessly and effortlessly cast their streaming content from their favourite apps, straight onto the big screen, from their own smart devices, whatever their mobile operating system.

A recent hospitality study showed 70 percent5 of guests surveyed rated Smart TVs/Content Streaming inside the guest room as a high factor in selecting a property, while forecasts in February revealed for the first time, US adults will spend more time watching digital video (3hrs 11m) compared to traditional linear TV (hrs 55m) TV6.  

Part of a long-term commitment to featuring Chromecast built-in, extensive security protocols have also been integrated, with all guest data automatically deleted upon a guest successfully checking out of their room. This, combined with hoteliers being able to manage guest room TVs entirely remotely (including troubleshooting, updates, marketing and messaging) and eliminated risk of theft, brings significant advantages.

Users have secure access to thousands of popular apps on Google Play, including popular services such as local news, sports, and games, as well as content streaming from providers such as Disney+, HBO, Hulu, HBO, Paramount, Spotify™, and many more. 

Mikael Da Fonseca, Global Director IKAM – Hospitality at PPDS, added: “The way we access and consume digital content has changed dramatically in recent years and it is vital hoteliers adapt to ensure the experiences they are used to at home can be achieved effortlessly in their hotel room. At PPDS we understand that importance, and with Philips MediaSuite we provide all the tools to let guests take control of their own experience, watching what they want, when they want, and how they want.”

Franck Racape, VP Global Commercial at PPDS, concluded: “With our expanding commitment to manufacturing in Mexico, coupled with forecasts for significant growth in tourism here, PPDS is in a prime position to support the needs of the market today and into the future.”

 

NOTES:

  1. $7.5 billion hotel value: https://www.statista.com/outlook/mmo/travel-tourism/hotels/mexico
  2. Properties and room numbers in Mexico: https://www.nexusglobalventures.com/industry-hospitality
  3. 40 million visitors in 2023: https://mexiconewsdaily.com/travel/mexico-expects-to-receive-up-to-40-million-tourists-in-2023/
  4. 55 million forecast by 2027: https://www.strategymagazines.com/mexico-from-plazas-to-playas-tourists-find-a-warm-welcome-in-mexico/
  5. Streaming and choosing your hotel: https://hospitalitytech.com/customer-engagement-study-2022?from=gate
  6. Survey on streaming usage (US): https://www.insiderintelligence.com/press-releases/digital-video-time-to-surpass-tv-time-in-2023/
08/03/2023

Drury Hotels Selects Canary Technologies to Provide Secure Digital Authorization Solution to Over 150 Hotels

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Canary Technologies logo

Canary Technologies , a Guest Management System, has been selected by Drury Hotels Company, LLC to implement Canary’s Digital Authorization technology for Drury’s more than 150 hotels in 26 states. 

As the hospitality industry prepares to adopt the new PCI v4.0 payment standards, Drury will use Canary’s Digital Authorization solution to upgrade compliance and security to keep customer data safe and protect their properties from credit card fraud. Canary Digital Authorizations is a PCI Level-1 compliant solution that replaces paper and PDF credit card authorization forms to help hotels reduce chargebacks and fraud. In addition, the solution helps make the guest experience more seamless and reduces the workload on hotel staff. 

Canary is the #1 rated Digital Authorization solution — as rated by hoteliers on HotelTechReport. Canary has also recently been named as the only hotel technology company to the 2023 Fast Company Most Innovative Companies Award and received the TravelTech Breakthrough Award. 

“We are committed to protecting our guests’ data and improving hotel operations,” said Ryan Schlimpert, Senior VP and Chief Information Officer at Drury Hotels. “We’re pleased to partner with Canary to provide Digital Authorizations to our guests and team members as we continue to provide an excellent experience and service. We find great value in partnering with Canary to help our hotels work more efficiently.”

“We are proud to partner with Drury Hotels to bring their guests and team a secure and modern method of collecting credit card information,” said DJ Singh, VP of Sales at Canary. “As hoteliers struggle with chargebacks from credit card fraud, Canary is constantly elevating its products to ensure that all our clients can protect sensitive guest information.”

08/02/2023

QSR Achieves Dramatic Cost, Speed Efficiencies

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drive thru gal

eegee’s, an Arizona-based  QSR, has fully deployed Qu’s unified commerce platform and is experiencing economic impact wins across the board — from hard cost savings and labor efficiencies to improved speed needed to handle a high volume of drive-thru orders.

Within the first few months of going live on Qu’s unified ordering  and kitchen suite for its 33 locations, eegee’s was able to drastically reduce ordering failures and process transactions faster. The increased ordering fluidity is translating to improved guest experiences with in-store team members spending less time on support calls and more time delivering food.

“During our most recent new restaurant opening, we processed nearly 25,000 checks and $68,000 in weekly sales, with 70% coming from the drive-thru. We could only handle this kind of volume by using Qu’s unified platform and tablets in the drive-thru,” said Brian Yahn, Vice President of IT for eegee’s.

eegee’s heavy drive-thru volume attracted them to Qu’s modern and integrated drive-thru solution, complete with car details, names, and other identifying information on the tickets; plus line-busting tablets—all contributing to a better customer experience.

“We wanted a partner who had alignment and focus within our space. Qu’s ability to handle drive-thru so well meant that other providers were quickly eliminated,” Yahn noted.

Qu’s connected ordering and fulfillment engine—with a fully integrated kitchen display system —has not only increased through-put for the brand, but a future-ready restaurant tech stack is now within reach for eegee’s. Qu’s unique application programming interface (API) structure allows for quick integrations, which has improved data integrity, consistency, and efficiency as the brand looks to tie back and front of house systems closer together.

“Having a single point of entry for the data is an incredible time savings for us. It makes onboarding and extracting payroll data easier and will make rolling out our new back of house products much smoother,” said Yahn.

Additional benefits eegee’s experienced include nearly complete elimination of failed online orders, 70% reduction in point of sale (POS) training hours, increased loyalty engagement, and easier menu management.

“With Qu’s solution we saw immediate savings of nearly $100,000 per year, while gaining access to an API-first integration model that’s much faster and easier to use than our previous system,” said Yahn, who was part of the founding group at Denver-based Noodles & Company.

“At every turn, Qu does the right thing and takes responsibility. They are there when we need them to be there and fix things quickly,” he added. “Qu is an example of a true partner in the restaurant technology industry.”