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Industry News - October 4th 2014



Par Springer-Miller Awarded for Innovations in Guest Experience Management

PAR Springer-Miller, a subsidiary of PAR Technology Corporation has announced that they received two Bronze Stevie® Awards for their ATRIO® Guest Experience Management Software in two separate categories: the Most Innovative Tech Company of the Year - Up to 2,500 Employees and Tech Innovation of the Year - At Organizations With Up to 1,000 Employees at The 11th Annual American Business Awards held on September 16th in San Francisco.
The American Business Awards represent the nation’s premier business awards program. All organizations operating in the U.S.A. may submit nominations – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small. 
Nicknamed the Stevies for the Greek word for “crowned,” winners received the trophies during a gala banquet on Monday, September 16th at the Julia Morgan Ballroom in San Francisco.  More than 250 nominees and their guests attended the event. 
More than 3,200 nominations from organizations of all sizes and from  virtually every industry submitted nominations this year for consideration in a wide range of categories, including Most Innovative Company of the Year, Management Team of the Year, Best New Product or Service of the Year, Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year, and Executive of the Year, among others. 
PAR Springer-Miller and ATRIO received nominations for Moving Hospitality to the Cloud in both the Most Innovative Tech Company of the Year - Up to 2,500 Employees category and Tech Innovation of the Year - At Organizations With Up to 1,000 Employees category.
Stevie Award winners were selected by more than 320 executives nationwide who participated in the judging process.
Details about The American Business Awards and the lists of Stevie Award winners who were announced on September 16th are available at www.StevieAwards.com/ABA

Guest Dashboard Provides Comprehensive Snap Shot of Guest Sentiment

What do guests think about the cleanliness of your hotel bathrooms, the atmosphere in your restaurant or the friendliness of your staff? A new Guest Dashboard from ZDirect will let hoteliers know exactly how they measure up, and the data is presented in a visual format that is fresh and engaging.
ZDirect's patent-pending guest sentiment analysis engine helps hoteliers make sense of the massive amount of guest feedback and data that is available on the Internet today. Utilizing data mining, text analytics and data visualization, the new Guest Dashboard brings the trending issues in a hotel to the surface so managers and marketers can take immediate action. It's a prime example of Big Data to the rescue!

ZDirect's analytical Guest Dashboard makes managing the customer relationship and delivering heightened service a snap. The Guest Dashboard pulls positive and negative keyword phrases and displays them by highlighting importance. If the majority of guests really like the hotel's bathrooms, the word 'bathroom' will dominate the 'Top Positive Keywords' word cloud. On the flip side, if there are multiple complaints about in-room coffee or there are problems with breakfast service, 'coffee' or 'breakfast' will be prominently displayed in the 'Top Negative Keywords' word cloud. At a glance, managers and owners can see exactly what is helping and what is hurting their service scores or online reputations.
Queries can also be built into the Guest Dashboard to provide hoteliers with critical information on the fly. How do guests rank the hotel's concierge service? Was check in efficient? Is the staff polite? Why aren't guests using the fitness center? Was the guests' maintenance issue resolved and in an acceptable time frame?  A quick peek at the Guest Dashboard will provide the answer.
ZDirect's Guest Dashboard also enables hoteliers to hone in on top sentiment phrases and words used most often by guests to uncover exactly what customers are saying. For example, a hotel puts out a query about its guestroom bathrooms. Sixty-eight percent of guests provide positive feedback, so management feels comfortable that the guest bathrooms do not need attention. However, if managers ask specifically about the showers in guest bathrooms, they may learn that 100 percent of guests have serious issues, and all of the negative reviews they may give the hotel all stem from cold showers

Study Reveals Average Restaurant Wait Times

Restaurants have wait lists an average of 6.6 hours per week, with parties waiting nearly half an hour on average for a table, according to data from a new study. The survey of 267 restaurant owners and managers was released today by Long Range Systems, LLC (LRS), a supplier of technology that enhances the guest experience. The results indicate that nearly 93 percent of restaurants have at least some wait-time periods, and a third of restaurants report that waits are getting longer.
And yet, most restaurants have not yet found ways to effectively engage customers during the valuable time spent waiting in their establishments.
Long Range Systems is offering restaurateurs options to engage guests during these wait times. With new technology, restaurants can take advantage guest idle time and their existing Wi-Fi network by deploying mobile-based guest engagement offered through tablet-friendly wait applications, such as iQueue from Long Range Systems.
About 80 percent of restaurants have Wi-Fi, but tablet usage remains in the early stage of adoption for the majority of those restaurants. Less than 10 percent of respondents said they use tablets in any way to run their establishments.
Tablets can be used for all kinds of guest engagement and for staff, tablet-based applications make managing wait times easier. Guests can order drinks and appetizers – or even peruse the menu and order their meal – via tablets.  And mobile apps can provide a depth of information on ingredients and nutritional information that old-fashioned menus can’t touch. The possible uses extend to allowing guests to pay for their meals and leave feedback.
Restaurants certainly have plenty of time to engage their customers. According to the study, the average wait per party is 23 minutes, but nearly a third of all parties are waiting more than 30 minutes. Eight percent wait longer than 40 minutes.

Payment Platform Turns Data Behind Payments into Actionable Insights

Swipely, the simple way for local merchants to accept payments, understand customers and grow revenue, announced it is now managing over $1 billion in annual sales for merchants across 29 states, just one year since entering the payments space.
Swipely has doubled sales under management in the last four months, and expanded its platform support to more than 100 point-of-sale systems that merchants use every day, including market-leading Micros, Aloha and POSitouch. Swipely’s business over the last four quarters has averaged an astounding 100% compound quarterly growth rate. Merchant customers are concentrated in several industries, including restaurants, liquor stores, salons and other independent retailers.
Swipely turns the big data behind payments into actionable insights that local merchants value to understand customers and increase sales, without any new costs. Local merchants juggle many tools to manage their in-store operations, payments and online marketing. The typical Swipely merchantaccepts more than one million dollars in annual credit card sales and wants to streamline the technology that owners, managers and staff use while getting better data to make smart decisions.
With Swipely, merchants have one place to:
-Make more money by understanding trends across nearly 4 million customers to provide better service and offers
-Optimize marketing spend by measuring how marketing campaigns impact on offline sales and repeat business
-Save time each week by managing their online reputation across Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yelp, OpenTable and other social sites
-Increase repeat business and revenue by offering consumers turn-key, branded loyalty rewards programs
Swipely is launching the Swipely Partner Network to accelerate growth and partner with these experts to help local merchants succeed. The Swipely Partner Network is a channel partner program that enables companies serving business owners to differentiate technology offerings, increase revenue, reduce churn and take advantage of the latest marketing and sales tools. More than 50 companies have already joined the Swipely Partner Network, including value-added resellers, independent software vendors, marketing consultants, and professional service providers, among others.

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