POS Software Point of Sale Software Hardware GPS Security Camera
Bar Code

Industry News - September 10th 2010



Casino Royale's Networked LED Displays Deliver Visual Alerts for Progressive Jackpots

Located in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, the Casino Royale has been named by the Travel Channel as the "#1 World's Best Place to Strike It Rich" and, for those who do, the newTrans-Lux TL Infovision LED Digital Displays above the slot machines vividly display slot payoffs to the winners and other casino guests. The new LED digital displays configured in a three-sided message center are also used by Casino Royale to promote progressive jackpots and engage patrons to play.

The TL Infovision LED Digital Displays installed in the slot area of Casino Royale deliver engaging content and information to help increase player traffic, interest and participation. The new TL Infovision LED displays deliver high resolution, full color animations and graphics making them ideal for multiple promotional, information and messaging applications. Areas of each individual display can be partitioned and modified independently so that static elements, continuous live data streams and updated information can be combined on a single display. Multiple and individual displays can also be easily updated via network connection or locally via PC.


HEI Hospitality Discloses Security Breach

HEI Hospitality, owner and operator of a number of Marriott-branded and Starwood Hotels & Resorts properties, has informed the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office and its customers of a compromise to its IT systems that occurred from March 25 - April 17. The breach may have compromised customer data.According to DataBreaches.net, the firm informed customers that they believed that the point of sale system used in a number of its hotels' restaurants, bars, and gift shops, as well as the information management system used at check-in, were illegally accessed and transactions were intercepted.

Read full article


Hospitality Tests Geo-Location Waters

Facebook and Twitter may be the hottest social networking applications today, but geo-networking tools are beginning to gain some ground. Within the past few months, a number of companies have started testing the location-based waters in an effort to connect with guests and drive foot traffic.

"Through past experience, we've learned that our customers are spending a considerable amount of time using social media and mobile tools, increasingly incorporating them into their daily lives," says Brian Niccol, Pizza Hut's (www.pizzahut.com) chief marketing officer. In August, Pizza Hut launched a national promotion that rewards Foursquare "Mayors," those who visit and check into a location the most within a 60 day period, with a free single order of breadsticks with the purchase of a large pizza. The promotion is currently planned to run throughout the end of the year.

In late July, Chili's Grill & Bar (www.chilis.com) announced a limited-time offering that rewards Foursquare check-ins with a free order of chips and salsa at participating locations, which are demarcated on Foursquare with a "special offer" flag whenever a guest is within 200 yards of the restaurant. "With more than two million users and counting, Foursquare has given us a simple way to engage our tech-savvy brand fans," says Nicole Cochran, marketing director for Chili's Grill & Bar. "As social media trends continue to change the landscape of how we interact, Foursquare gives us an opportunity to connect with our guests while offering them this appetizer on the house."

Like its foodservice counterparts, the lodging industry is also getting in on the act. A partnership between InterContinental Hotels Group (www.ihg.com) and Topguest (www.topguest.com) will reward Priority Club members who opt into the platform with 50 loyalty points for each check-in at any one of the brands 4,400 global properties. Topguest is a platform that rewards travelers with loyalty points for check-ins on all of the major location-based service applications, such as Foursquare, Twitter, Gowalla, and more.

"Partnering with Topguest allows us to reward our members with Priority Club points each time they virtually check-in at an IHG hotel, whether it's for a good night's sleep, or for a coffee in the hotel's restaurant," says Lincoln Barrett, vice president, guest marketing and alliances, IHG. "We think it has the potential to further enhance loyalty with current and future guests."
"We see this promotion with Foursquare as a win-win situation; loyal, digital-savvy customers will be able to take advantage of a fun promo, while we hope to see a bump in repeat traffic from Mayors looking to take advantage of this offer," says Niccol..


Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is Just an iTouch Away

Available globally in Apple's iTunes Store and the iPhone App Store, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts new iPhone app will provide guests with access to booking, reservations, hotel information, packages, destination recommendations and more."As more people rely on their mobile devices for every day functions, we are committed to providing products that suit their needs. By creating this new way to interact with our properties, we hope to make their stay easier than ever," says Brian Richardson, vice president brand marketing & communication, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. "Our guests are busier than ever, and this new App provides a quick resource for individual profiles of each of our hotels, complete with room descriptions and restaurant details, which will make booking a stay on the go quick and simple for our guests."

For guests who want to book a room, the new application provides a wealth of information to help users decide exactly where they want to stay. Property slideshows not only pull from Fairmont.com, but also show user-generated photos from EveryonesAnOriginal.com, Fairmont's online community of guests, colleagues, and fans. In addition to having the ability to book, modify and cancel reservations at any time, users can search for packages by theme, with categories such as Celebration, Culture, Discovery, Family, Food & Wine and Golf.
Once guests have booked their stay, the Fairmont App offers everything from weather to "10 best" destination guides, which direct guests to the best food, activities and shopping the area has to offer. The App will even let users add posts and photos to EveryonesAnOriginal.com in real time. Members of Fairmont President's Club, the brand's complimentary guest recognition program, will have full access to their account, including stay history, future reservations, and the option of updating their personal profile. Non-members who wish to join the program can enroll for free.


Buffalo Wild Wings Franchisee Reduces Waste, Theft with Beer Monitoring Technology

JK&T Wings, Inc., a Michigan-based franchisee of Buffalo Wild Wings Inc., is using a patented technology that helps them monitor every drop of draft beer poured at their restaurant locations. The technology helps restaurant managers curb losses that arise from employee theft, faulty equipment, or simply bartenders who pour beer incorrectly.Losses due to wastage have been common in the restaurant industry across food and beverage categories alike. The added complexity of pouring draft beer out of 2,000-ounce kegs can make the situation get out of hand quickly. The lack of visibility and the inability to measure the beer poured makes draft beer a category susceptible to high losses. US Beverage Net's patented system automatically compares exact ounces of beer poured with the number of "rings" on the restaurant cash register in real-time to determine any losses. The system uses flow-meters installed in each beer line to count the ounces of beer flowing through. The data is collected by the company's proprietary "bevBOX" that sends the data to the company's secure servers via the internet. Restaurant operators can access this real-time information on US Beverage Net's website from any remote location.

JK&T Wings tested US Beverage Net's patented system at six of their restaurant locations before deciding to implement the technology companywide. Since the average Buffalo Wild Wings store serves as many as 30 different beers at each location and derives 30 percent of its revenues from alcohol sales, the decision was made easy by the significant results and clear benefits realized.

"US Beverage Net provides a tool that allows our organization to achieve draft yields of 97%, on a consistent basis," says Brian J. Carmody, COO of JK&T Wings. The automatic data-collection and computation, as well as the real-time and web-based reporting capabilities of US Beverage Net's system allowed managers to access timely and accurate information to address problems "on the spot." Additionally, the monthly subscription fee model (which includes all equipment, maintenance, and service) allowed operators to focus on reducing losses and fixing problems rather than maintaining and servicing equipment.

Company-wide implementation plans
With losses reduced to below 3%, company management is looking forward to the company-wide implementation of the technology. "With company-wide implementation of US Beverage Net, our general managers will have the ability to easily and accurately control their draft costs, while our regional managers will have the data to track their general managers, and I will have the ability to oversee draft costs, in all of our stores," says Carmody.

The group, which owns more than 30 Buffalo Wild Wings locations in Michigan, Illinois, and Louisiana, and will be opening its first location in Massachusetts in November this year, has signed a four-year contract to implement the system at all its locations. The company also plans to integrate the system into basic employee training at each of its regional training facilities.

During most of 2009 and 2010, restaurants typically struggled as diners mostly stayed home to save money. However, Buffalo Wild Wings, the sports bar franchise known for its chicken wings and beer offerings, saw its second-quarter 2010 profit rise 31% and sales increase 12%. The company also ended the quarter with 681 restaurants, up 14% from a year ago.

In addition to providing inventory control features to restaurant and concessions operators, US Beverage Net uses the data it collects to provide real-time insights to beer manufacturers and distributors to help them make informed marketing decisions. While marketing information has been available in the form of scanner data from off-premise retailers such as convenience stores, grocery stores, and mass merchants, such information has been thus far unavailable for restaurants and bars.


Papa Murphy's International Lends Voice to CFO Perspectives Panel

Janet Pirus, CFO for Papa Murphy's International, will offer insights for value-engineering and controlling costs at the 2010 Restaurant Executive Summit, this September 29 – October 1 at The Grand Del Mar Resort in San Diego, Calif.In the session, "CFO Perspective: Managing the Cost of Change," Pirus will join a panel of CFOs from leading restaurant companies who will share their ideas for managing costs and preserving value in today's volatile market. The panel will provide real-world tactics that attendees can leverage in their own organizations and will dive into the major contributors to volatility: the state of the banking industry; debt and brand growth; new marketing avenues; legislative initiatives; and more.

Since April 2000, Pirus has been CFO of Papa Murphy's International, a rapidly growing, predominantly franchised chain of almost 1,200 take-and-bake pizza stores, operating in 35 states and Canada. During her tenure, the company's store counts have more than doubled and chain sales topped $630 million in 2009. 

Through the attainment of a $35 million line of credit on favorable terms, she was instrumental in the recapitalization effort to position the organization for expansive company store growth. She oversees financial planning and analysis, business technology and accounting, is one of four officers of the company and sits on the Franchise Advisory Board. Pirus is a member of Financial Executives International and held the office of president for the association's Orange County Chapter from 1999-2000.

About the Restaurant Executive Summit
Now entering its sixth year, Hospitality Technology's Restaurant Executive Summit presents a full program of solutions-focused educational sessions offering insights from across the restaurant environment, including technology, operations, finance and marketing. Key decision-makers will be able to share strategies and exchange ideas outside of departmental silos, with the collective goal of staying in front of industry trends, preserving financial health, and positioning their companies for growth. Peer-to-peer collaboration and networking with the hospitality industry's leading technology solution providers provide additional value to attendees.

This year's focus is "Priority Initiatives and Growth Opportunities in the New Hospitality Dynamic." Over the past 18 months, a number of societal, technological and economic factors have converged, resulting in a very different landscape for foodservice operations - in effect, a "new hospitality dynamic." Key sessions include:

  • Your Brand is Your Business: Align for Growth in the New Hospitality Dynamic
  • A New Design Model for Business Innovation
  • Technology Super Session: Technology that Drives Top-Line Growth
  • Rebuilding Your Workforce
  • Ubertrends: Socially Engaging the New Era Guest
  • CFO Perspectives: Managing the Cost of Change
  • Impact of National Policy: Unprecedented Change
  • Roundtable Workshops: Technology Initiatives / Real Estate Boot Camp

More Technology News


News Archives

[ [ Home ] . [ POS Hardware ] . [ POS Software ]. [ Security & ID]. . [ News ]. [ About Us ] . [ Clients ] . ]