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News Briefs

  • 7/17/2024

    Freddy’s Leverages Analytics, Insights

    Freddys exterior of new protoype

    Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers is leveraging Domo’s Data Science Suite to gain further insights into the restaurant’s data, giving franchisees the ability to optimize pricing and model menu mix.

    Founded in 2002 with a single restaurant in Wichita, Kansas, and franchised in 2004, Freddy’s has more than 500 locations in 36 states. 

    Freddy's Data Science Journey

    When the restaurant chain first began its data science journey, it not only struggled with a lack of technology but also a lack of perspective. The path of incorporating Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the business wasn’t well conceived, so its first pilot engagement with another platform did not successfully extract value or return on investment.

    After evaluating their experience with the pilot engagement, the restaurant chain knew it would need a different partner and approach to sell the initiative to the leadership team. As a long-time Domo customer, Freddy’s turned to Domo for the restaurant’s next attempt at data science. Freddy’s started working with Domo’s experienced data science consultants and set out to better understand its restaurant quality data so it could become more easily consumable.

    “Before selecting Domo for our Data Science needs, we were too focused on accomplishing a goal and not on the quality of the journey. When we took a step back, we realized that the solution was right there in front of us: Domo has delivered great value for Freddy’s, and our C-suite trusted Domo with our data and business, so the Domo Data Science Suite was an easy choice,” said Sean Thompson, Vice President of IT at Freddy’s. “Our major takeaway from this experience is our invaluable, lasting partnership with Domo. When making these kinds of business decisions, we have to make sure we’re working with someone that not only has the data science chops but is willing to go along the journey with us and understands the importance of education and sharing.”

    With Domo, Freddy’s quickly achieved several immediate wins and launched and optimized a new guest loyalty program to effectively incentivize its most high-value guests. In addition, the restaurant chain gained the ability to accurately score locations so it could conduct A/B testing initiatives like price optimization and menu mix modeling.

    “Freddy’s saw the value of Domo when they first became a customer in 2015, but when they came to us for more data science needs, we were excited to support and give the talented team the confidence they needed to power data science insights,” said Mark Maughan, chief analytics officer and SVP of customer success at Domo. “With the number of guests Freddy’s serves daily, it’s important that they have the training and solutions they need to understand and leverage data at every Freddy’s location, and we are proud that they are using Domo as a critical part of that solution.”

    To learn more about how innovative organizations like Freddy’s are using Domo to put data to work for everyone, visit www.domo.com/customers.

  • 7/17/2024

    Olo Launches Loyalty for 'Borderless' Accounts

    Olo Inc. logo blue

    Olo Inc. announced Loyalty for Borderless Accounts, a new feature that allows guests to earn, redeem, and use rewards from a brand’s existing loyalty program through Olo’s seamless, passwordless guest checkout solution. Additional product capabilities are now available across all three solution suites: Order, Pay and Engage. 

    Simplifying the Checkout Process 

    Olo customers leveraging Borderless functionality can now make the checkout process even more enjoyable for guests with new capabilities that allow guests to create and link new or existing loyalty accounts directly to a new or existing Borderless account. Borderless simplifies the checkout process for guests by eliminating the need to remember a password or manually enter credit card information at every purchase across any participating Olo brand, helping restaurants meaningfully increase basket conversion, guest retention, and visit frequency while gaining valuable guest data.

    “At Olo, we innovate to both anticipate and meet the needs of our restaurant customers, with the goal to help them drive sales and make every guest feel like a regular,” said Jo Lambert, Chief Operating Officer at Olo. “Loyalty for Borderless accounts allows our customers and their guests to take advantage of our exceptionally convenient checkout process while unifying rewards from their loyalty provider that keep them coming back for more. This feature and the 18 other cutting-edge capabilities launched this quarter further enhance Olo’s three solution suites designed to seamlessly work together as part of a larger flywheel to accelerate hospitality and business growth.”

    More Product Enhancements 

    Additional product enhancements introduced this quarter include Marketing A/B Testing for Email Campaigns, Catering+ Order Management, Order with Google Enhanced Redirect, and POS Menu Builder for brands using Toast.

    • Olo Engage customers leveraging its Marketing solution can develop Marketing A/B Testing for Email Campaigns to seamlessly trial variations in subject lines or body content and ensure the best-converting messaging is deployed for guest engagement initiatives.
    • Designed to retain high-value guests, Catering+ Enhanced Order Management empowers select customers using its intuitive phone order management tool, Switchboard, to apply a subtotal discount to catering orders in an effort to surprise and delight valuable guests and grow long-term loyalty. In addition, this functionality streamlines the payment process for delivery orders by allowing guests to pay using their personal device rather than verbally over the phone.
    • Following Google transitioning its embedded ordering experience to redirected third-party providers, Olo created Order with Google Enhanced Redirect. This integration provides Google real-time location and menu updates, conversion tokens, and action links to help brands drive more direct orders, generate higher revenue, improve guest experiences, and gather more actionable, first-party guest data.
    • Available to brands using Toast, Olo’s POS Menu Builder imports digital menus into the Olo platform in less than a day, accelerating the onboarding process for new customers while reducing the pain points that often come with switching online ordering platforms. It also allows existing customers to quickly launch new menu items across multiple owned and third-party ordering platforms.

     

    To learn more about the features announced during Olo’s Summer Release event visit: https://www.olo.com/quarterly-release/summer-2024 and request a demo here: https://www.olo.com/contact/sales.

  • 7/17/2024

    Starbucks Expands EV Charging Network

    Starbucks EV Charger partnership

    Starbucks is adding Mercedes-Benz High-Power Charging to electrify more than 100 Starbucks stores across the country.  

    Washington to California 

    During the first phase of the program, high-power electric vehicle (EV) chargers will be installed at Starbucks stores along Interstate 5 on the West Coast. 

    Chargers will be placed in core urban areas and charging deserts, and more locations will eventually be identified, including markets on the East Coast.  

    “At Starbucks, we have a long history of bringing renewable and clean energy projects to connect communities that lack the infrastructure,” said Michael Kobori, Starbucks chief sustainability officer. “Partnering with Mercedes is the next step in expanding our EV charging network so our customers can refuel sustainably while they enjoy Starbucks.”  

    Driving Sustainability 

    EV charging is one of Starbucks key strategies supporting its environmental promise to give more to the planet than we take. In the U.S. today, Starbucks customers can enjoy their favorite beverage while charging at more than 1,000 licensed and company-operated stores that have nearby access to nearby EV charging.  

    In partnership with Mercedes-Benz, Starbucks continues to expand its own EV charging network to 100 more stores with the goal of bringing renewable energy and clean technology to more communities.  

    Starbucks locations on the I-5 route will feature the Alpitronic Hypercharger 400, which are equipped with NACS cables and have the capability to support vehicles with a wide voltage range. 

    “The collaboration between two leading brands like Mercedes-Benz and Starbucks will uplift the charging experience for all EV drivers,” said Andrew Cornelia, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz High-Power Charging. “We envision a future where charging your vehicle is as easy as enjoying your favorite Starbucks.”  

     One of the goals of the collaboration is to seamlessly integrate the charging experience with the familiar and easy routine of grabbing a coffee, and make it available to drivers of all EV brands.  

  • 7/16/2024

    HRS Tech Enables AI-Powered Upgrades for Amadeus Cytric

    logo, company hrs

    In a recent Amadeus study, Travel Technology Investment Trends 2024, corporate travel managers agreed that improving travel and expense processes are a focus for investment, and the majority of decision-makers are planning to invest more in travel and expense management technology in the next 12 months.

    Today’s announcement highlighting the extension of Amadeus’ longstanding partnership with global travel technology company HRS, reflects these findings. The multi-year agreement features an innovative combination of HRS’ AI-driven technologies available for corporations and business travelers using , Amadeus’ end-to-end corporate travel and expense solution. Cytric, Amadeus’ end-to-end corporate travel and expense solution.

    With this agreement and more widespread deployment of HRS technologies in Cytric, companies and business travelers are benefitting today from end-to-end AI functionality. These features are seamless for travelers, making it easy for them to search for and book the right hotel at the right rate, while travel program leaders and finance executives gain from time-saving automation that improves accuracy and speeds up reconciliation and real-time analysis.

    Highlights include: 

    • Optimized property shopping and accurate rate loading
      HRS provides machine learning technology to its customers in the background that continuously monitors rates, availability, and amenities at customer’s preferred properties, including net rates for properties that may not be listed in a GDS. Automation continuously validates that the correct rates and amenities are displayed to travelers in Cytric, including net rates from properties. By ensuring optimal use of top suppliers via these technologies, companies can maximize hotel program savings.   
    • Automated hotel rebooking to take advantage of lower rates
      HRS rebooking technology in Cytric helps companies take advantage of price fluctuations in room rates. Following a Cytric reservation, HRS will automatically rebook a HRS hotel stay if the room price drops – often saving significantly on the cost of the room. This applies to all flexible rates with the same room category that have been booked at least 24 hours before the arrival date. The traveler automatically receives an email about the booking change and sees the confirmation in Cytric with the message ‘rebooked.’
    • Tangible steps to drive use of more sustainable hotels
      Cytric and HRS customers will now benefit from the HRS’ Green Stay Initiative, which provides corporations and business travelers with a label highlighting properties that feature more sustainable operations. Aligned to regulatory requirements, the Green Stay Initiative also allows each corporate program to use a customizable scorecard to prioritize their preferred ‘green hotels’ in booking displays. Beyond this corporations can access unmatched granular data related to the sustainability of each property.
    • Automated payment and invoice collection saves time
      The integration of Cytric and HRS PAY can offer, by means of this extended agreement, a leading payment solution – with payment acceptance, invoice collection and invoice accuracy all recording 98.5 percent and above performance.* This covers not only centralized payment to suppliers, but also leverages machine learning to digitize all invoices and accurately capture all spend categories tied to each booking. The depth of data analysis and transparency from this process is unmatched in the industry.

    Amadeus and HRS will feature their travel management technologies and services at next week’s Global Business Travel Association conference in Atlanta. See Amadeus at booth # 4333; HRS at booth # 2335.

    Tobias Ragge, Chief Executive Officer, HRS, says: “We are delighted to reinforce our long-term relationship with our travel technology partners at Amadeus. This collaboration brings immense value to our mutual customers. Our drive to continue innovating, leading with technology and APIs that seamlessly integrate into the travel ecosystem, aligns with Amadeus’ goals. By unlocking new data-infused avenues to optimize program performance, maximize savings and enhance sustainable travel operations, we’re working together to make business life better for corporations and their travelers.” 

    Santiago Franco, Chief Technology Officer, Amadeus Cytric, says: “At Amadeus we put the traveler at the heart of everything we do – and the functionality offered through our partnership with HRS is set to bring tangible benefits. Through automating the hotel payments process, cutting costs on accommodation programs and offering fresh insight into sustainability metrics, Cytric can make a real difference to the corporate traveler experience.”  

    * This tabulated average represents the achieved KPIs across HRS’s client base that utilizes the entirety of their platform on a global basis.

  • 7/16/2024

    Staypineapple Chooses Mews to Surprise and Delight Guests Across the US

    mews logo

    Mews, a hospitality cloud that has more than tripled its customer base in the United States over the last year, has now been chosen by Staypineapple to power its growing portfolio of hotels.

    Staypineapple, a boutique hotel brand, currently operates 10 properties in major cities throughout the US, including New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Portland and San Diego. The brand champions thoughtful, distinctive hospitality, with an emphasis on delivering moments of joy for guests.

    "Here at Staypineapple, we have always prided ourselves as being an industry-leading company within the tech space of the hospitality industry," says Dina Belon, President at Staypineapple Hotels.

    "From our in-depth revenue management automation to our robust CRM tools, Staypineapple has consistently been ahead of the curve within the industry's technology systems and integrations. It was with this in mind that we made the decision to transition from a legacy PMS software that has had a stronghold on the industry for decades, to Mews' cloud-based and user-friendly platform. The ability to utilize the Mews Marketplace for applicable tech stack integrations will provide us the opportunity to reduce technical expenditures and fees, while streamlining our team members' bandwidth and ultimately improving the Staypineapple guest experience."

    Deployment with Mews began in March at Staypineapple's properties in Seattle, and with seven of its hotels now transitioned to Mews, the brand looks to have its entire portfolio running on the award-winning PMS by next month. Mews guided the Staypineapple team during initial high-touch implementations so that the hotel brand could move towards a lower cost self-onboarding model for the rest of the rollout.

    Migrating to a cloud-native PMS was vital for Staypineapple’s modern take on hospitality. Mews Marketplace provides fast and easy access to over 1,000 integrations, allowing Staypineapple to create a custom tech stack without limitations or inhibitive connection fees. Key integrations for the brand include a direct connection with Expedia, which will increase their customer reach while drastically reducing operating costs.

    “We’ve seen phenomenal growth in the United States over the last year and I am delighted that forward-thinking brands like Staypineapple are utilizing Mews to enhance their operations,” said Richard Valtr, Mews Founder. “Staypineapple’s vision of hospitality is so well aligned with Mews – particularly their focus on the entire guest experience, rather than just overnight rooms – and I’m really excited to see Mews empower them to create even more personalized experiences.”

    A big part of this is helping guest-facing staff to move away from repetitive, manual tasks so they can pay attention to guests rather than computer screens. Online check-in prior to arrival, automatic room assignments and other time-saving automation are all powerful tools in this regard.

    Mews and Staypineapple will continue to work closely together in the coming years to promote their shared vision of guest-centricity, as well as with all future property expansion.

  • 7/16/2024

    Aptech Teams with BirchStreet Systems to Bring Procure-to-Pay Processing to Twenty Four Seven Hotels

    aptech logo

    Aptech has teamed with Birchstreet Systems to deliver efficiency and automation where it is most needed – the procure-to-pay (P2P) process. Based on customer demand, this collaboration brings together the best in cloud-based enterprise accounting and P2P software to deliver better control over purchase orders, invoicing, budgeting, order delivery, flexible payment options, invoice imaging, and financial review efficiency with drill down from P&L to invoice image.

    “With hospitality facing critical staffing and supply management issues, it is imperative for best in class technology providers to work together to streamline processes and deliver efficiencies,” said Valerie Layman, BirchStreet Chief Product Officer. “We are delighted to work with Aptech to bring industry leading   integrated P2P and accounting solutions to all hoteliers.”

    Twenty Four Seven Hotels is an avid Aptech and BirchStreet user. The Southern California-based hotel management company is always improving and innovating for the good of its guests and associates, and collaborating with business partners to build lasting relationships that drive efficiency and effectiveness for its operation. When Twenty Four Seven Hotels transitioned from Aptech’s legacy accounting solution to PVNG for enterprise accounting, they requested that integration to the BirchStreet P2P solution be added as part of the process to eliminate manual entry of purchase orders and invoices.

    “Integration between Aptech and BirchStreet has been instrumental to our performance,” said Khanh Tran, Twenty Four Seven Vice President Finance & Accounting. “Our vendor relationships have greatly improved now that the accounts payable process and check runs are fluid. Vendors are being paid on time and our hotels never run out of the merchandise that our guests demand.

    “Eliminating redundancy – like re-keying invoices – saves a lot of time and it also stops input errors and mishaps with missing statements,” Tran continued. “Everything moves automatically from BirchStreet into PVNG, and all data is easily accessible via hyperlink. While invoices still need to be reviewed by the GM’s, tying the two systems together takes the tediousness of researching and inputting data out of the equation. Both companies are extremely responsive and worthy of a 10/10 ranking for customer service. We could not ask for anything better as a hotel client.”

    Together Aptech and BirchStreet are enabling hoteliers to:

    1.     Report spend currently on un-invoiced purchase orders

    2.     Control PO’s before they go to the suppliers (cost control through approvals and bid management)

    3.     Control orders sent to compliant vendors and products to reduce rogue spending

    4.     Consolidate suppliers and buyers on the same ordering platform with visibility to the same products

    5.     Manage budget and checkbook in real time

    6.     Enhance the receiving process to better manage goods received

    7.     Access automatic accruals based on goods received but not yet invoiced

    8.     Automate the entry of invoice data to Accounts Payable

    9.     Leverage approval workflow for invoice payment process

    10.  Utilize digital storage of invoice images with easy search capabilities

    11.  Increase P&L review efficiency with drill down from Summary Income Statement to invoice image

    PVNG has become a game-changer in the world of hotel accounting,” said Jill Wilder, Aptech President. “It features Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, General Ledger modules and more that when combined with BirchStreet’s P2P functionality simplifies payment processes across the board. Finding technology partners that you can trust is not as easy as one may think today. Aptech and BirchStreet have the tools and hospitality longevity our customers expect to ensure frictionless financial management.”

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