News Briefs


Harris Rosen Announces Major Leadership Changes within Organization

rosen hotels and resorts logo

Harris Rosen, Founder, President and COO of Rosen Hotels & Resorts, announced a new leadership structure as the company positions itself for decades to come. For close to 50 years, Mr. Rosen has built, guided and expanded his “little company” through amazing growth, becoming the Southeast’s largest independent hotelier with seven convention and leisure properties, more than 6,000 guest rooms and suites and close to 4,000 associates. Mr. Rosen is proud to announce that Joshua Rosen now serves in the role of Associate Vice President, while remaining in his current position as National Sales Manager. Mr. Rosen is also proud to announce that Shayna Rosen now serves as Secretary of Rosen Hotels & Resorts. Both officers will serve alongside Mr. Rosen and others on the Board of Directors.

In addition, Mr. Rosen has created an advisory committee, which consists of Vice President and CFO Frank Santos, Treasurer and Director of Finance Jim Bina, Project Manager and Owner’s Representative Glenn Rosen, Director of Human Resources Dorea Mays, Director of Guest Contact Jennifer Rice-Palmer, Director of Standards Susan Caronia, Director of Operations Fernando Ching and Rosen Shingle Creek General Manager Dan Giordano. Collectively this advisory committee has more than 200 years of service and dedication to Mr. Rosen and Rosen Hotels & Resorts.

“Good leadership is more than just leading,” said Harris Rosen. “It is also about leading others to realize their fullest potential by providing opportunities for growth and development. I have the utmost confidence this team will collectively operate as an extension of me and make decisions driven by both brains and hearts, keeping it simple and always doing the right thing,” he added.


HFTP Announces HITEC 2023 International Perspectives Headliner Panelists to Explore Tech Trends for Today’s Global Traveler

logo, HITEC

Coming up later this month is the 2023 Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®) with a packed schedule of industry expertise. Topping the program is the Tuesday morning Headliner, “International Perspectives – Tech Future Proofing: Planning for The Global Traveler.” The Headliner stage that day will feature six executive hoteliers who have seen it all from localities that span the globe.

“HITEC is the one time of the year where you can hear directly from the individual experts who are in the midst of planning strategy for the most significant hotel companies from across the world,” said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE who will moderate the session. “Our panel represents a cross-section of property types and regions; and will present an excellent picture of how to plan for today’s guests.” 

This interactive panel will feature a dynamic and live discussion format to proactively tackle the questions and challenges of today’s complex technology landscape and how to prepare for the global traveler coming to your property. The audience will get to know these seasoned executives and how their professional experiences have shaped their ability to facilitate business and plan for “better than ever” success.

Panelists include:

  • Sanovnik Destang — Owner of Bay Gardens Resorts; First Vice President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association; Chairman of the CHTA Technology Task Force; and 2022 Caribbean Hotelier of the Year • Regional Experience: the Caribbean
  • Michael Levie, CHTP — Adviser to NEOM Hospitality Development and Tourism; Founding Partner of citizenM; HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame inductee • Regional Experience: Europe and Saudi Arabia
  • Bharat Patel — Owner, Gulf Coast Hospitality Solutions; 2023–2024 Chairman of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) • Regional Experience: Americas
  • Amandeep Singh Sarna — CIO for ITC Limited, Hotels Division • Regional Experience: India
  • Tariq Valani — Global SVP Technology for Accor Hotels, Canada, Middle East; Global SVP of Technology, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts • Regional Experience: Canada and Middle East
  • Todd Wood — Vice President, Global Applications and Transformation for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group • Regional Experience: Americas, plus application development for Global use
  • Moderator Sherry Marek — Principal/Owner of Aiken Street Consulting; Co-founder of Datavision Technologies; HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame inductee
  • Moderator Frank Wolfe, CAE — CEO of HFTP; HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame inductee

The stage will also feature the Opening Headliner, “Strategy in a World of Disruption” presented by Shawn Kanungo on Monday, June 26 at 4:00 p.m., sponsored by Hospitality Network/Blueprint RF. Kanungo will explore how we can take unexpected approaches to innovation to remain competitive and relevant.

Then on Wednesday, June 28 from 8:15 to 10:00 a.m., is HFTP’s hospitality technology start-up pitch competition: Entrepreneur 20X (E20X), sponsored by PROVision Partners. E20X 2023 will feature seven ambitious entrepreneurs presenting breakthrough business concepts to a room full of HITEC attendees and panel of expert judges. The start-ups are competing for the top Judges’ Choice award including a $5,000 USD cash prize, plus the honorary People’s Choice award selected by the audience.

Access to the Headliner sessions is open to all registered HITEC attendees.

Produced by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), HITEC North America will take place on June 26–29 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ont. Canada. HITEC is the world's largest and longest-running hospitality technology exposition and conference. It offers a unique combination of top-notch hospitality technology education, led by industry peers and experts, and an unparalleled trade show showcasing the latest hospitality technology products and services. The 2023 event is expecting 6,000+ attendees and 320+ exhibiting companies. Registration for HITEC Toronto is now open.


Mews Announces Successful Completion of SOC 2 Type 2 Examination, Proving Its Commitment to Data Security

mews logo

Mews, the hospitality technology leader and innovator, completed its SOC 2® Type 2 examination to help meet its users’ security needs and get an objective evaluation of the effectiveness of controls.

The SOC 2® Type 2 Examination is a detailed examination of design suitability and operating effectiveness for the controls implemented around the information and system security. The examination reflects the third-party testing results of Mews’ security controls against the Trust Services Criteria published by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

“In the world of hospitality, data security is critically important. We designed Mews to have the highest degree of safety and confidentiality, and we’re deeply proud to be among the few PMS providers to have passed this rigorous test  ”, said Richard Valtr, Founder of Mews. “Our technology empowers properties to securely handle guest data and process real-time payments, all while minimizing potential threats.” 

The successful completion of the SOC 2® Type 2 examination further strengthens the growth strategy for Mews in North America, more specifically the enterprise segment in the US market.

"With this, Mews is entering a new stage of maturity. We're unlocking new possibilities in North America and delivering industry-leading technology to modern hoteliers and their guests,” said Michael Wesner, Chief Commercial Officer at Mews. “The data security of our customers is a point of trust that Mews will continue to protect as we grow our platform and client base.”

It comes at the same time as Mews tripled their North American business with the acquisition of Hotello.


Mews Open API Enables Hoteliers to Build and Connect 1,000 Bespoke Solutions to Transform Hotel Operations

a person looking out a window

Mews, the industry-leading hospitality cloud, is transforming the way hotels operate thanks to its open APIs, which have enabled customers to build and connect more than 1,000 of their custom applications to the hospitality management platform. 

Mews, as the pioneer of open APIs in the hospitality industry, has seen a remarkable surge in the adoption of interconnected and tailored integrations over the past year. With over 20,000 installations of these applications across Mews-powered properties, the daily volume of messages exchanged through Mews APIs has exceeded 10 million. 

“We have dedicated teams working on Mews Open API, which means we develop it in parallel to the rest of Mews Hospitality Cloud,” said Jirka Helmich, CPO at Mews. “This allows us to release new APIs immediately alongside new products and features, giving our users and partners total flexibility when it comes to connecting with Mews.” 

As unique, personalized experiences become a growing priority for guests, hoteliers are increasingly turning to technology to help enable them. Often, this requires bespoke solutions that need to seamlessly integrate with their established hotel tech stack.   

For instance, Cabiner, a unique Dutch wilderness brand, has a custom integration that connects food package orders to their supplier via Mews Open API. “Because the API is open, we’re able to build a whole custom front end that exactly fits our needs, but still runs on Mews,” said Sander Ejlenberg, Co-Founder of Cabiner. “Mews is the glue in the middle that connects everything – it fits our open mindset where everything is a network.” 

Other common API use cases include connecting bespoke booking engines and kiosk solutions. Mews is also introducing new multi-property functionality that will improve performance and development speed for multi-property products, both custom-built and public integrations. 

“Having access to open APIs is vital for our own software development and for any tech-enabled operator that wants to build our own solutions,” said Rami Zeidan, Founder and CEO of Life House, the innovative US hotel brand. “Mews’ connectivity is what sets it apart from other hotel software systems, especially the legacy systems, both in terms of their APIs and their marketplace of integrations.” 

In addition to APIs, Mews Marketplace provides a pool of over 750 integrations to hospitality’s best tech solutions. Many of these purpose-built connections are plug-and-play, making it fast and easy for hotels to build their ideal tech stack. 


Carl Bachmann Joins BurgerFi as CEO

Carl Bachmann BurgerFi

BurgerFi International, Inc., owner of leading fast-casual brand BurgerFi and the casual dining pizza brand Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza & Wings, recently attracted industry veteran Carl J. Bachmann as CEO for their organization. Bachmann, who will start with the company on July 10, is a career restaurant professional with extensive experience in both the burger and pizza spaces. He has served in various leadership roles and has an established record of growing brands and helping them remain competitive.

"Carl brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in the restaurant space that will be valuable for our enterprise. His successful leadership of restaurants combined with his innovative experiences, particularly within the burger and pizza spaces, give him a unique and deep understanding of our brands - particularly how to help drive us toward growth," said Ophir Sternberg, Executive Chairman of BurgerFi and Founder & CEO of Lionheart Capital.

Prior to joining BurgerFi, Bachmann served as President for Smashburger, the Denver-based chain that specializes in custom burgers. In this role he launched a 5-point business plan designed to accelerate growth, which he aimed to achieve by retooling the entire organization including rebuilding the leadership team, bringing back high-quality food products, redefining the real estate portfolio, launching new food safety, service and cleanliness and restaurant condition initiatives, and relaunching the brand with a new marketing team and direction.

Under his leadership, Smashburger experienced double digit systemwide same store sales growth along with double digit expansion of both the corporate and franchise footprint. During his leadership, Smashburger also migrated to new e-commerce platform, resulting in a large increase in owned channel digital revenues and improved customer experience. Bachmann initially joined Smashburger in 2017 as Chief Operating Officer before taking on the role of President.

Bachmann's executive roles also include Senior Vice President of Operations for Bertucci's, the Boston-based brick oven Italian concept, which he joined in 2014. Under his guidance, the company experienced substantial EBITDA improvements and, in 2015, the company recognized him as Executive of the Year.

Before Bertucci's, for nearly 18 years, Bachmann dedicated his talents and expertise to Ruby Tuesday, the casual dining chain.

"My passion for the restaurant and hospitality industry started at an early age and I've been fortunate to have been able to build my career on something I truly enjoy," said Carl Bachmann. "BurgerFi and Anthony's are two amazing brands that are committed to offering guests the best quality products and service. I'm honored to take on this leadership role and help guide the organization into an exciting future."


User-Generated Social Mapping Platform Raises $18M

gps mobile phone app

Atly, the user-generated social mapping platform purpose-built for discovering places to go and things to do, today announced its official launch with $18 million in funding from Target GlobalTal Ventures, and FKA Brands to offer users seamless, effective, and trustworthy location-based content. In its open beta to date, Atly witnessed thousands of user-created community-based maps, with hundreds of new maps generated organically each month across verticals like food and restaurants, travel, nature and the outdoors, parenting, and more.

Digital search is currently undergoing a massive transformation as people turn to an ever-growing list of resources beyond traditional search engines to decide their next moves. Often, they rely on social media over Google Search and Google Maps for destination, activity, and purchase recommendations that feel authentic, up-to-date, and personally curated for them. But platforms like TikTok and Facebook weren't purpose-built for location-based discovery. Social media users are forced to dig through never-ending streams of stories and posts, whose usefulness counterintuitively dissipates the more information is shared, and are faced with limited location-based search, filtering, and bookmarking capabilities. Meanwhile, creators and businesses suffer limited monetization among an audience not necessarily intent on immediately visiting the places they discover while scrolling aimlessly. As a result, people pay the price of wasted time and effort as well as inferior real-life experiences, and creators and businesses suffer lower ROI.

Atly leverages social media-like user-generated knowledge with mapping and location discovery tools to help people find their new favorite places. In the Atly app, users create and join map-based communities centered around the things they love. Atly creates a go-to source for previously unmapped content and surfaces gems of information from like-minded people that allow users to trust in the authenticity, integrity, and specificity of every recommendation they uncover. In doing so, Atly gives people intent on discovery the confidence that they're sure to enjoy the places they visit, and creators and businesses are met with higher conversion. The funding will allow Atly to invest in state-of-the-art algorithms and overall performance, to release much anticipated product features and updates, and to collaborate with additional creators. The app is available in the App Store or Google Play Store.