Over the past decade, BRIX Holdings LLC has established itself as a premier company in the franchise development space. As BRIX continues their focus on growth by specializing in chains that offer superior products, the Dallas-based company is staying ahead of the curb and is excited to announce Luke Mandola Jr. as its new Vice President of Franchise Sales & Development, strengthening its already savvy executive team.
Having joined BRIX in late June, Mandola has hit the ground running by focusing on elevating the company’s already solid efforts in brand expansion. His first big project will be stepping into the early stages of BRIX’s efforts to create and build its new Friendly’s 2.0 prototype store, with the goal of putting the popular brand back on a strong growth plan, which includes new locations and franchise partners in the coming months.
With more than 20 years of restaurant experience, Mandola joins BRIX after a stint at Shipley’s Do-Nuts where he was responsible for current franchisee growth, new franchise prospects, real estate development.
“We have obviously placed growth as one of our key strategic priorities going forward, so bringing on Luke to spearhead that makes this feel like a homerun hire,” said BRIX Holdings CEO Sherif Mityas. “With his experience and track record of success, we’re excited to see him help lead our new franchise sales growth and the development of new locations as we look to achieve our lofty targets in what is sure to be a bright future.”
Thus far in 2023, BRIX has already signed six new franchise agreements, overseen the new brand launch of Pizza Jukebox, the upcoming Smoothie Factory + Kitchen flagship site in North Richland Hills, as well as new Orange Leaf and Red Mango openings with existing franchisees.
Jurny, a vertically integrated artificial intelligence (AI)-powered property management solution, has recently opened a community investment round on Wefunder. Backed by venture capital and serving thousands of customers worldwide, Jurny has taken the unique step of inviting retail investors – who typically gain access only after an IPO – to participate for a limited time. The investment round has already experienced tremendous interest, garnering over $2 million within its first week open to the public.
The emergence of AI has brought new opportunities to the hospitality industry, streamlining operations and enhancing customer experiences. Jurny positions itself at the forefront of this evolution, harnessing AI's potential to overhaul outdated operational practices and drive substantial cost savings for hotels and short-term rental hosts. With Jurny's solution, property managers can forego multiple integrations, extensive onboarding sessions, and high costs associated with each product. Instead, Jurny offers a centralized dashboard providing crucial data for precise decision-making and training.
"We take pride in the fact that many of our investors are also Jurny customers. This community, coupled with institutional investment, has propelled us to our current position," stated Luca Zambello, co-founder and CEO of Jurny. "By extending this opportunity to retail investors, we're democratizing access to AI prospects that traditionally only accredited investors and institutional funds enjoy."
A world-class team of seasoned founders and executives powers Jurny's mission, steering the company toward near profitability. With fivefold customer growth in the last nine months, $2.2 million in contracted ARR, and 100% user growth in the past month, Jurny has garnered support from prominent venture capitalists, including Mucker Capital, Okapi Venture Capital, VITALIZE Venture Capital, Singularity Capital, and SaaS Venture Capital. Prestigious publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, and Forbes have also featured Jurny's accomplishments.
With breakthrough AI and deep infrastructure already in place, Jurny is poised to save hotel operators, short-term rental property managers, and Airbnb hosts from wasting billions of dollars on operational inefficiencies annually.
Pacific Pearl Hotels Modernizes its Financial Management Solution Systemwide
When Pacific Pearl Hotels began investigating new accounting software for its growing portfolio of independent hotels, it conducted a deep dive into the leading accounting and financial management programs on the market. Enterprise accounting solution PVNG by Aptech won hands down for its wide scope of features, transparency, and ease-of-use.
“Our staff is delighted with the results PVNG is providing, as well as with the support we’re receiving from Aptech; they are there whenever we need them,” said Mario Leon, VP of Finance and Accounting for Pacific Pearl Hotels. “Our owners/investors want access to financial reports on the fly; therefore, we needed an accounting program capable of producing financial statements at a moment’s notice. If we need a report that is not already customized for us, we call Aptech, and like pulling a rabbit out of a hat, the data and reporting tools we need appear. PVNG also provides access to the general ledger and special trend reports, which has been invaluable.”
PVNG elevates hoteliers’ ability to monitor their success. The tool features Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, General Ledger, Statistics, Financials, and Bank Reconciliation modules and seamless web browser navigation allowing hotels to upload their accounting data remotely. PVNG can be deployed as a hosted service and also offers OCR invoice processing, a myriad of payment options, drill-down capabilities in financial statements and reports, and the ability to handle single or multi-property accounting.
Leon said Pacific Pearl Hotels is planning on adding PVNG at new properties as they enter the system to make it better for everyone. At present there are nine hotels in the system, with more deals in the pipeline.
“Our people are extremely happy with PVNG,” Leon said. “Integrating the solution with peripheral property systems has been challenging – not on the Aptech side, but due to third-party issues. In each instance, Aptech goes above and beyond what is required of them to help our other suppliers make the integration process work. It’s because of Aptech’s spectacular customer service, solution flexibility, and dedication to our success that we are adding Aptech’s Execuvue business intelligence solution next. The information that Execuvue delivers is cutting edge and we don’t want to operate without it.”
Jill Wilder, Aptech Vice President, said the company is thrilled to expand on its long-term relationship with Pacific Pearl.
“As Pacific Pearl Hotels grows, we are honored to grow alongside them and equip them with accurate, reliable, and flexible financial management tools,” Wilder said. “Aptech’s financial management solutions are helping hotel companies of all sizes compete on the global stage, all while reacting to new challenges as they emerge.”
Smyth Tribeca Adopts High-speed Guest WiFi by Hotel Internet Services
Hotel Internet Services (HIS), a full-service provider of internet services and solutions for the hospitality industry, has today announced the installation of a high-performance WiFi network upgrade by Smyth Tribeca in New York City. A modern and high-end property situated on the corner of West Broadway and Chambers Street, Smyth Tribeca together with the technology and expertise of HIS can now ensure that guest expectations for fast, reliable and secure internet access are always fully met.
With a goal to provide its guests with the best possible hotel stay experience, Smyth Tribeca features a wide range of luxurious amenities, including oversized marble bathrooms for each of its 100 rooms as well as an onsite creative cocktail bar. Nestled in the heart of the neighborhood, the hotel is the ultimate place for travelers and locals alike to be surrounded by epicurean treasures and cultural riches, with iconic museums and accessible transportation just steps away. Yet despite also featuring unbeatable views of the New York City Skyline, Smyth Tribeca ultimately recognized a vital need to keep up with evolving guest standards when it comes to WiFi connectivity and service quality.
Opting to partner with HIS as an established and trusted network solutions provider for hotels, Smyth Tribeca was able to leverage both the latest technology and industry expertise to design a cost-effective network capable of high quality performance. To guarantee anticipated results, HIS technicians utilized state-of-the-art network hardware technology, with solutions such as Ruckus access points installed within strategic locations in order to maximize WiFi signal coverage and performance while keeping upgrade expenses down. Since completing the upgrade, Smyth Tribeca has credited HIS and the new network with eliminating virtually all online related guest complaints.
“A hotel’s WiFi service is just as important, if not sometimes more so, than any physical amenity that a property may offer its guests,” said Dale Saferstein, Community Curator at Smyth Tribeca. “As a location aiming to provide the best possible stay experience, making sure that our WiFi service could meet the highest expectations was a top priority that HIS fully delivered on. From the initial planning stages all the way to project completion, HIS made sure that the installation process was quick and seamless, and we have only heard good things from our guests since making the switch to a more modern network infrastructure.”
To ensure that service quality remains consistently high, Smyth Tribeca is also backed by 24/7 HIS network monitoring and support services. This ensures that any performance or troubleshooting issue is always swiftly identified and corrected before any dips in guest satisfaction are experienced.
RoomRaccoon Releases Group Booking Solution to Help Independent Hotels Increase Revenue
RoomRaccoon, a hotel management system for independent hotels, released a globally available Room Allotment solution to help accommodation businesses simplify the process of selling and managing group bookings.
The Room Allotment functionality is set to unlock a lucrative opportunity for users, making it easier to work with travel agents, corporate groups, and event planners by efficiently managing group bookings. What’s more, the intuitive interface allows for quick updates on room allocations, which eliminates the risk of double bookings.
“Manually issuing room allotments to individual bookers, travel agents, and corporate clients is costly, time-consuming, and subject to error,” says Nadja Buckenberger, the CPO and Founder of RoomRaccoon. “Our new Room Allotment feature automates the process for you, driving increased revenue and operational efficiency.”
The Room Allotment feature includes a custom booking engine window that can be shared with guests before they travel. Here, guests can assign themselves rooms from the allotted reservation and benefit from the system’s automated upsell feature. This generates more ancillary revenue for hoteliers while creating a more personalized and luxurious stay for guests.
“This is a great new feature! It saves us so much processing time and makes it convenient for our wedding couples to book in their wedding party,” says Sam Betz of Molenvliet Estate.
In addition to the new Room Allotment feature, RoomRaccoon recently released enhancements to its booking engine. These include Raccoon Price Checker, a comparative guest-facing tool to increase direct bookings; and a Multi-Property Booking Engine where guests can view availability across multiple properties from a single screen.
Wendy's Next Gen Location Includes New Kitchen Innovation
The Wendy's Company opened the first of its Global Next Gen restaurants, while also finalizing a new Global Next Gen High-Capacity Kitchen design option. Both digital-first designs were created to enhance customer, crew and franchisee experiences, accelerating growth across Wendy'sglobal restaurant footprint.
The new Wendy’s restaurant operated by Meritage Hospitality Group is now open in Edmond, Okla.
The new design includes self-order kiosks, passthrough order pick-up shelving, and dedicated parking for mobile order pick-up. The new Wendy’s restaurant operated by Wenspok Companies is now open in Great Bend, Kan.
The Wendy's Company has finalized the Global Next Gen High-Capacity Kitchen design standard for high-volume restaurants, featuring a new dual-sided kitchen layout and increased equipment capacity for greater order throughput. It is estimated to deliver nearly a 50% increase in kitchen output capacity compared to the Global Next Gen standard.
Wendy's Global Next Gen restaurants feature a sleek and modern design with an optimized layout and next-generation technology to deliver more Wendy's to more people with an emphasis on convenience, speed and accuracy across drive-thru, dine-in and digital order pick-up.
"The Global Next Gen future-forward design unlocks 400 times the capacity for digital orders, accelerating the System's digital growth," said Wendy's President, International & Chief Development Officer Abigail Pringle. "By bringing Global Next Gen from cutting-edge blueprints to successful openings in less than one year, Wendy's global structure is enabling System-wide expansion optimized to the digital age."
The Global Next GenHigh-Capacity Kitchen design standard incorporates Global Next Gen restaurant innovations to meet shifting customer preferences, including increasing digital order capacity. A dedicated delivery pick-up window and parking spaces improve restaurant traffic flow and overall convenience for delivery partners.
To learn more about the latest Global Next Gen advancements, head to The Square Deal for a Q&A with Abigail Pringle, Wendy's President, International & Chief Development Officer.