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Industry News - February 22nd 2014



InterContinental Hotels Group Selects Cloud-based POS for UK Properties

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has selected the cloud-based MICROS  Simphony Enterprise Solution as its next generation point-of-service solution for 61 UK hotels. Having worked with MICROS technologies for many years, IHG decided to upgrade to MICROS Simphony, a cloud-based enterprise point-of-service solution that offers full support to multi-property hotel chains.
The solution, hosted in MICROS’s data centers, allows IHG to eliminate the costs involved in buying and maintaining hotel-based server hardware, while also ensuring optimum performance at all times of the day or night in every hotel across its managed estate.
IHG will also benefit from centralized management tools. Prices can be updated instantly across every property at the touch of a button, while improved business intelligence capability will provide consolidated reporting for all of the hotels, ensuring that food and beverage sales can be tracked, monitored and analyzed. A single, centralized database provides support for customer relationship management and intelligent promotions and targeted marketing.

Max's Restaurant Launches Smartphone-Based Rewards Program

Max’s Restaurant Cuisine of the Philippines announced that it has selected Punchh to launch a new smart-phone based rewards program for its North American customers. Max’s Restaurant, a global Filipino brand, has gained a steady following in the United States, Canada and United Arab Emirates. One of the most enduring restaurants in the Philippines, Max’s Restaurant has created a global mark for its fried chicken dish which has been rated as the best fried chicken dish by various customer and media groups. 
Punchh’s patent-pending technology, through a mobile app customized for Max’s Restaurant, will power Max’s loyalty, word of mouth marketing and referral programs. By directly engaging customers on their mobile devices, Max’s will reward customers for their repeat visits and referring their friends.
With Punchh on their mobile devices, customers can now engage with the brand, spread the word of mouth through social media, and be rewarded for not only their loyalty, but also for referring their friends to visit Max’s Restaurant. The location-aware app will integrate seamlessly with the store’s Point of Sale (POS) system, allowing Max’s Restaurant to directly engage customers, acquire new customers, and bring them back more often. The secure, private and easy-to-use Punchh application will not only increase Max’s line speed by making it faster to redeem loyalty rewards but also make it convenient for customers to earn points and know when they earn a reward. 

Office Depot and OfficeMax Merge to Create $18B Company

OfficeMax Incorporated and Office Depot Inc. have entered a definitive merger agreement under which the companies will combine in an all-stock merger. The transaction was unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of both companies and will create a stronger, more efficient global provider better able to compete in the rapidly changing office solutions industry. Customers will benefit from enhanced offerings across multiple distribution channels and geographies.
The merger will combine companies with revenue of approximately $18 billion, compared with Staples' more than $24 billion in sales last year. The merger is a bid to revive a retailer that has been losing sales to online rivals and Staples, the largest U.S. office-supplies chain.
Under the agreement, OfficeMax stockholders will receive 2.69 Office Depot common shares for each share of OfficeMax common stock. The company's new board will include an equal number of directors designated by Office Depot and OfficeMax, the companies said. The board will conduct a search for a CEO, both incumbent CEOs, Neil Austrian of Office Depot and Ravi Saligram of OfficeMax will be considered.
Both chains have been closing locations and that trend will accelerate with the merger as about 50% of store territories overlap. The combined OfficeMax and Office Depot may close or sell as many as 600 locations, giving Staples an opportunity to increase sales in those areas.
Staples had 2,295 stores worldwide as of January 28, 2012, and is the second largest online retailer behind Amazon. In statements earlier this month, Office Depot reported 1,675 global locations and OfficeMax reported about 900 stores in the U.S. and Mexico.

POS Approved for 3,263 Carl's Jr. and Hardee's

CKE Restaurants, Inc. (CKE) has selected the new PAR EverServ®  7700 POS for its Carl’s Jr.® and Hardee’s®  restaurants. After a rigorous testing and certification process by CKE™, the EverServ 7700 terminal is now approved and certified for all Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s corporate owned and franchised locations.
The modular design of the EverServ 7700 will enable the restaurants to upgrade key components as needs change (CPU, memory, touch screen, disk drives and customer displays), which will maximize the life of the POS terminals and the return on technology investment. 
The totally redesigned PAR EverServ 7000 Series POS hardware is built with the same rugged durability PAR is known for and an innovative, sleek design that delivers the performance hospitality and retail operators demand. CKE selected the top of the line EverServ 7700 model with an Intel i5 processor and POSReady 7 operating system to deliver optimal performance today and extend the life span of the terminal by not limiting future applications. The EverServ 7700 was designed to be backward compatible with many previous models of printers and cash drawers, which will enable CKE to use its existing peripherals to reduce the total cost of ownership.
The POS rollout at CKE corporate locations commenced in mid December with 409 stores completed by January 31, 2014. The remaining locations are being installed and the rollout will be completed by the end of June 2014.  PAR will is staging, delivering, installing and disposing existing terminals for the CKE POS project and will continue to provide maintenance services for the CKE restaurants.



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