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  • New Global Directors Join the 2018-2019 HFTP Board

    The HFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors was installed during the association's 2018 Annual Convention and introduces new directors Toni Bau, Carson Booth, CHTP and Mark Fancourt. These extensive director profiles give insight into the distinguished professions and personal goals of HFTP's newest association leaders.

  • Members Only: 2018 HFTP Compensation and Benefits Report

    By Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA. Results to the biannual survey conducted by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP). Information includes data on compensation and benefits trends for finance and technology professionals in the club and lodging industries.

  • Primary Club Metrics

    Survey results identify which metrics are most often used to determine performance. By Agnes DeFranco, Ed.D., CHAE; Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA; and Amanda Belarmino

  • Introducing 'Your HFTP': An Updated Online Interface for HFTP Members

    HFTP is excited to announce the newly updated “Your HFTP” online account portal. “Your HFTP” allows you to successfully manage your HFTP membership online. This refreshed online interface looks and feels just like the HFTP website and (better yet) is mobile-responsive.

Famous Dave's Launches New Rewards App

Hospitality Technology Magazine·15 February 2019
BBQ franchise Famous Dave’s rolled out a new rewards app via a partnership with Punchh. The app can be accessed via any smartphone or through the Famous Dave’s website and Guests will receive a free sandwich or burger when they initially download the app. Guests receive one bone for every $1 spent at Famous Dave’s. When a guest accumulates 100 bones, they unlock $5 in rewards, redeemable at any participating location. The app also will feature info about promotions and insider news.

Survey: Frequency Of Travel May Influence How Often Americans Eat Breakfast

Hyatt ·12 February 2019
As Americans gear up to travel in 2019, a new survey from the Hyatt Place brand found that the more people spend their time away from home, the more likely it is that they will eat the proverbial "most important meal of the day."The survey of 1,507 respondents, which was conducted by Toluna on behalf of the Hyatt Place brand, looked at a range of breakfast habits among those who travel at least six times or more per year (frequent travelers) versus those who travel five times per year or less (infrequent travelers). The findings are as follows:A majority 63 percent of respondents who identify themselves as frequent travelers indicate they eat breakfast at least three or more days per week45 percent of infrequent travelers indicate the sameNearly half (49 percent) of frequent travelers indicate they eat breakfast more often while traveling, while 40 percent of infrequent travelers indicate the sameFor those who indicated why they eat breakfast more often while traveling, frequent travelers were most likely to credit extra time as a key factor for "why," while infrequent travelers were most likely to credit someone else making it for them as their main reason "why"Eating breakfast tops the list of things frequent travelers would do with an extra 30 minutes in the morning, while infrequent travelers were more likely to choose sleepA majority (53 percent) of all Americans, and nearly two-thirds of frequent travelers (63 percent) have chosen a hotel because of its breakfast offeringNearly half (49 percent) of frequent travelers describe breakfast as being made up of their favorite foods, compared to 36 percent of infrequent travelersOne in three frequent travelers have met someone new while eating breakfast at a hotelEggs/omelets are the go-to breakfast choice for Americans overall (26 percent), followed by breakfast sandwiches (15 percent) and then pancakes (8 percent)Recently, the Hyatt Place brand unveiled a new elevated regional breakfast experience at Hyatt Place hotels across the U.S. Guests have the option to choose from a variety of high-quality breakfast offerings that draw from food culture from five regions across the country, including the Atlantic, South, Heartland, Southwest, and West Coast. In addition to the regional breakfast rotations, Hyatt Place hotels in the U.S. will offer cage-free scrambled eggs, cage-free hard-boiled eggs, all-natural bacon and sausage, Oikos Greek yogurt, fresh-cut fruit, steel cut oatmeal, rosemary-garlic potato medley, and artisanal breads, including banana yogurt bread and zucchini spice bread."Leisure and business travelers alike expect high quality and flexibility when it comes to their culinary experiences, and as this survey suggests, both components play a direct influence on their breakfast eating behavior on the road," said Brian Contreras, corporate director of culinary operations, Americas, Hyatt Place and Hyatt House. "The new Hyatt Place regional breakfast offerings directly address guests' needs and expectations by featuring fresh, regionally sourced ingredients that are sure to satisfy a myriad of food preferences."Hyatt Place hotels across the U.S. feature regional breakfast rotations, each giving guests a taste of the region they are visiting:AtlanticHyatt Place hotels in the Atlantic region will feature:Cinnamon French Toast with apple butterCorned Beef "Red Flannel" HashCrustless Spinach and Cheese QuicheRegional Bread: BagelsSouthHyatt Place hotels in the South region will feature:Sweet Potato and Roasted Corn Hash with Creole seasoningTurkey Sausage and Pimento Biscuit SandwichButtermilk Biscuits and Country Sausage GravyRegional Bread: CornbreadHeartlandHyatt Place hotels in the Heartland region will feature:Buttermilk Pancakes with roasted apples and granola crunchHeartland Scramble Bowl with diced shoulder baconGreen Chile Corned Beef HashRegional Bread: Marble ryeSouthwestHyatt Place hotels in the Southwest region will feature:Chocolate Churro Bread PuddingBreakfast tacos with pork carnitasChipotle Beef Barbacoa HashRegional Bread: CornbreadWest CoastHyatt Place hotels in the West Coast region will feature:Granola Crunch Belgian Waffles with mixed-berry compoteMediterranean Scramble with chicken sausageChilaquilesRegional Bread: English muffinsAccording to the study, respondents from the Northeast chose the "Atlantic" breakfast menu as their favorite, while respondens from the Midwest chose the "Heartland" menu and respondents living on Western half of the U.S. preferred the "West Coast" menu. Southerners were found more likely to try the different regional menus offered at Hyatt Place hotels.World of Hyatt members who book an Eligible Rate or a Points + Cash Rate or are on an award stay will enjoy this breakfast complimentary with their Hyatt Place stay. For all other guests, the breakfast will be available for purchase1. Guests can sign up for World of Hyatt at more information about Hyatt Place hotels, please visit term "Hyatt" is used in this release for convenience to refer to Hyatt Hotels Corporation and/or one or more of its affiliates.1 Eligibility for complimentary breakfast may vary at Hyatt Place hotels outside the United States. In Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and India, complimentary breakfast may not be available to all members. Please check with individual Hyatt Place hotels for benefits.About The SurveyThe Hyatt Place breakfast survey was conducted online by Toluna from January 3 - January 5, 2019. A total of 1,507 respondents completed the survey; data was weighted to be nationally-representative for age, gender and region. Based on the sample size, survey results have a margin of error of +-3% at a 95% confidence level.These online surveys are not based on a probability sample, and therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodologies, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Glennie Janssen at

Chipotle's Digitized Experience Nets Results

Hospitality Technology Magazine·12 February 2019
Chipotle Mexican Grill’s investments in the digital experience have been paying off with sales skyrocketing 66% year-over-year during Q4. Digital sales grew 18% over the previous quarter’s 48%, explained Brian Niccol, CEO, in a quarterly earnings call with analysts. Digital sales totaled $158.6 million during Q4 and represented 12.9% of sales.

Digital, Delivery Drives Growth at McDonald's

Hospitality Technology Magazine·11 February 2019
About 4,500 restaurants were converted to the fast food giant’s “Experience of the Future” concept that combines state-of-the-art technology including digital menu boards and self-ordering kiosks with an updated look and delivery. “That meant we reopened more than 10 new restaurants everyday throughout the year,” President and CEO Steve Easterbrook said during a recent earnings call with analysts. “…This is an aggressive pace with an ambitious agenda at a time when the U.S. market is experiencing intense competitive pressures.”

2019 Hospitality Trends to Watch: Four Hilton Leaders Take a Look Back, and Forward

Hilton · 6 February 2019
Welcome to 2019 in hospitality.Here, four Hilton officials who are experts in their respective fields of hospitality give a nod to what pleased them most last year and look ahead for 2019. And since travel and fantasy make a good pairing, these trend spotters even dream a bit about what they'd most like to see if the sky were the limit.Sit down at the (virtual) roundtable with our fitness guru Melissa Walker, who is Senior Director of Global Wellness at Hilton; culinary expert Jonathan Wilson, the Vice President, Customer Experience & Innovation, Food & Beverage, Wellness for Hilton; tech guru Josh Weiss, a Vice President of Brand and Guest Technology at Hilton; and meetings and events specialist Frank Passanante, the Senior Vice President for Hilton Worldwide Sales - Americas.Q: In your area of focus, what surprised or pleased you most about hospitality trends in 2018?Melissa Walker, wellness: I was most pleased to see that there's a recognition that well-being should be inclusive and that there should be authentic ways to share it in all settings. At Hilton, I think this was most apparent when our Five Feet to Fitness in-room wellness concept was installed at select hotels under various Hilton brands, such as Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites, Embassy Suites and DoubleTree properties.Jonathan Wilson, food and beverage: What pleased me most was the genuine and credible effort that chefs, restaurants, and hotels made in terms of responsibility -not only typical sustainability but also being much more conscious about supporting all things local, addressing waste and being creative about providing the kind of experiences guests care about.Josh Weiss, innovation and tech: I was pleased to see the continued evolution of us listening to the underlying needs of our guests and hotel owners, and then interpreting and applying that appropriately to hospitality to provide even better service. At Hilton, we're working hard to understand the underlying experience our guests want, and developing the in-room experience in ways that bring it to life in a scalable, secure, relevant way, such as through our evolving Connected Room technology.Frank Passanante, meetings and events: 2018 highlighted a growing desire to incorporate sustainability and social impact initiatives into meetings and events around the world. From our pledge to double our social impact projects and reduce our environmental impact by one third by 2030, to our elimination of all plastic straws from our hotels by summer 2019, attendees have requested and hotels have delivered. Meetings and events are no longer just a place to exchange business cards and do business deals; attendees are looking to develop a greater connection with other attendees and the communities that they affect.Q: What can we expect in 2019 for your respective areas of focus in the hospitality industry?Melissa Walker, wellness: In 2019, I expect that integrating end-to-end wellness for our guests will create a total 360-degree wellness travel experience that ensures they simply feel better on the road. This means that in addition to spas and fitness center space, we'll see more aspects of the travel experience focus increasingly on wellness, including meetings and events, food and beverage, sleep, family fitness, outdoor and digital fitness, mindfulness and relaxation, and even healthy design principles.Jonathan Wilson, food and beverage: As the popularity of pop-up concepts grows and gains presence more broadly, we may see very specialized, localized pop-up offerings that "spice up" room service. We'll also likely see a greater selection of incredibly stylized and authentic alcohol-free crafted beverages served in vibrant bar and lounge settings. In addition, as part of the hotel lobby experience, I expect to see Culinary Counters curated with special guest chefs creating live, sharable plated offerings in ways that show off and test new ideas, concepts and partners all at once.Josh Weiss, innovation and tech: At Hilton, we'll continue to see the thoughtful integration of outstanding technology and the best human service from our Team Members. This will include new types of tools and insights that help Team Members and hotel leaders take great care of guests, anticipate their needs, and drive guest loyalty.Frank Passanante, meetings and events: Long gone are the days where meetings and events attendees are satisfied with a one-size-fits-all meeting experience. Attendees crave unique, rewarding and impactful experiences. To this end, we foresee health & wellness, sustainability and space & design as the key trends that will shape the business in 2019.Q: Imagine the sky is the limit - what would your dream travel development be for 2019?Melissa Walker, wellness: To create an innovative, tech-driven wellness ecosystem on the Hilton Honors app that provides wellness opportunities and information to our guests on a property-by-property basis. Upon check-in, this wellness portal would highlight all the well-being options available to guests, such as property-specific spa appointment availability, walking/running routes, and in-room recreation.Jonathan Wilson, food and beverage: My dream would be to build such meaningful relationships with guests and visitors from our communities that our restaurant chefs would know their preferences and could create the perfect, individualized meal for each person - without the guest having to look at or be limited by a menu.Josh Weiss, innovation and tech: I'd love a hotel room that totally transforms based on what the guest wants to do at a particular time. Lighting, window coverings, sound and white noise, video displays and even scent and water temperature and intensity could change over the course of a day and night to help guests adjust their circadian rhythms, especially after they've crossed time zones.Q: What are you most excited for in 2019?Frank Passanante, meetings and events: As 2018 has ended, and we are now in 2019 -- Hilton's 100th year -- I am proud to see how far we have come and excited to see how far we go in the Meetings & Events space in the next 100 years, continuing to grow the more than 1 million meetings each year at Hilton.

EHL: The Berceau Des Sens Receives Its Michelin Star

EHL · 6 February 2019
LAUSANNE - Le Berceau des Sens has become the first educational restaurant in Switzerland to receive a Michelin star. The Michelin Guide has awarded a star to Berceau des Sens, the educational restaurant of Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne. Already holding the highest Gault & Millau rating for an educational restaurant, the establishment was awarded this Michelin star, the ultimate culinary distinction, while EHL Group is in a healthy growth phase.A new decor, a high-quality service offered by students under the watchful eye of instructors, as well as a refined and modern cuisine. The Berceau des Sens, which is open to the public and is booked out every noon and evening of the week, has never done better.Heading its kitchen since September 2017, Cedric Bourassin has given a new impetus with the help of an outstanding team of professionals who rely, among other things, on the talents of the best sommelier in Italy. "The star was not a goal we were trying to achieve, because the primary goal is to train our students, but it is a wonderful recognition of the product that we strive to offer our customers. I am proud of what we have accomplished and thank the Michelin Guide for this fine distinction," said the freshly starred chef at the end of the ceremony in Lucerne.Michel Rochat, CEO of the EHL Group, said he was "very happy to see the efforts of a passionate team rewarded and recognized on the international culinary scene".The Berceau des Sens offers a menu inspired by exceptional French cuisine, since Cedric Bourassin worked with Anne-Sophie Pic and the Bras family in Laguiole. But the menu is also in pursuit of umami, the fifth flavor that the passionate chef was able to explore during his long stay in Japan.

Mobile Apps Now Represent the Bulk of Restaurant Digital Orders

Hospitality Technology Magazine· 5 February 2019
Restaurant digital orders have grown at an average annual rate of 23% since 2013 and will triple in volume by the end of 2020, and the majority of digital orders, 6 out of 10, are by mobile apps, reports The NPD Group.

San Sebastian will host the 5th edition of the UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism

UNWTO ·29 January 2019
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Basque Culinary Center (BCC) have signed the Agreement for the holding of the 5th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism (San Sebastian, Spain 2-3 May 2019). The new edition of this global forum is supported by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism of Spain, the Basque Government, the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa and the City of San Sebastian.Job creation and the promotion of entrepreneurship will be this year's special focus, in line with the 2019 UNWTO Year of Education, Skills and Jobs, closely aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The forum will bring together Ministers of Tourism, representatives from National and Local Tourism Administrations, chefs, entrepreneurs, academia and related stakeholders from tourism and gastronomy to discuss latest trends and to share experience.The event will see the announcement of the winner of the First Gastronomy Tourism Start-up Competition. The competition, organized by UNWTO and the BCC, will bring five finalists to San Sebastian."Tourism is a huge source of employment and its multiplier effect has a knock-on effect on other sectors, such as gastronomy and its huge value chain involving several sectors", said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili."We are especially proud to be co-organizers of the 5th UNWTO World Forum of Gastronomy Tourism. An edition that returns to San Sebastian and that grows exponentially thanks to the support of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism of Spain, the Basque Government, the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa and the City of Donostia. Tourism today is a sector closely linked to gastronomy. At the Basque Culinary Center, we promote knowledge through training in both sectors and work to create an ecosystem that stimulates entrepreneurship and ensures quality employment", underlined Joxe Mari Aizega, Director, Basque Culinary Center.Policy framework for the development of gastronomy tourism and its capacity to create jobs and promote entrepreneurship, future skills, as well as ways to support SMEs and entrepreneurships in gastronomy tourism will be addressed as well during the forum. The panel presentations will be complemented by working sessions giving all participants the opportunity to actively immerse, interact and share ideas.The event will close with a Masterclass by the Basque Culinary Center on how to develop competitive and sustainable gastronomy tourism in destinations.The Forum has been held since 2015.The Basque Culinary Center hosts it every two years with the aim to promote the exchange the most relevant experiences between experts in tourism and gastronomy, to identify best practices and to promote gastronomy tourism as a contributor to sustainable development.More informationAbout the ForumLink to competition

Wynnchurch Capital Buys Papa Gino's, D'Angelo

Hospitality Technology Magazine·24 January 2019
PGHC Holdings Inc., the parent company of Papa Gino's Pizzeria and D'Angelo Grilled Sandwiches, received approval to sell its business to an affiliate of Wynnchurch Capital LLC.

Starbucks Expands Delivery in U.S.

Hospitality Technology Magazine·24 January 2019
Starbucks Coffee Co. is expanding its Starbucks Delivers pilot to an additional six cities across the United States. The expansion, in partnership with Uber Eats, is now available in San Francisco, the first of six new markets to offer the service to customers. In the coming weeks delivery will expand to select stores in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. In total, Starbucks Delivers will be available in seven U.S. cities this spring.

7shifts Raises $10M Series A Funding

Hospitality Technology Magazine·24 January 2019
7shifts, a labor management platform for the restaurant industry, closed a $10 million Series A funding round to accelerate growth and bring more automation and labor compliance to restaurant chains.

Hilton unearths its future culinary and bar superstars·24 January 2019
Hidden food and beverage passions and skills among Hilton’s Australasian team came into the spotlight this week as the company hosted its annual 2019 Food & Beverage Masters finals.

How Wireless Power Can Help Operators Increase Revenue

Hospitality Technology Magazine·16 January 2019
With data provided by wireless charging technology, hotels and restaurants can improve operations and customer dwell time in money making areas.

DTP Companies, Como to Bring POS-Integrated Data and Customer Loyalty Capabilities to Participating Restaurants, Bars, and Hotels.

Hospitality Technology Magazine·14 January 2019
Como announced its partnership with DTP Companies, the $350 million project to revitalize Downtown Las Vegas, to implement advanced data-based loyalty and engagement solutions for DTP‘s Las Vegas owned businesses. Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh founded DTP Companies in 2012 with an initial $350 million investment distributed in tech startups, restaurants, bars and other ventures in a 45-acre area of Downtown Las Vegas. After a competitive analysis, DTP has selected Como to help its portfolio of businesses take advantage of the latest in-store innovations in customer engagement and loyalty.

Michelin-starred Chef and Restaurateur, Fabio Trabocchi to Unveil Fiola at Dopolavoro Venezia, an Exclusive Epicurean Experience at JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa

Marriott · 9 January 2019
W Marriott, part of Marriott International, Inc., today announced that award-winning chef and restaurateur, Fabio Trabocchi will take over the operations of JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa's fine-dining restaurant. Set to open in April 2019, the hotel's existing fine-dining culinary concept will be reinvented as 'Fiola at Dopolavoro Venezia,' featuring a sophisticated yet luxurious ambiance coupled with striking architectural details that date back to the 1920s."We are delighted to welcome Fabio Trabocchi to JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa and are excited to lead our guests through a dynamic culinary journey with the unveiling of Fiola at Dopolavoro Venezia," said Mitzi Gaskins, Vice President & Global Brand Leader, JW Marriott. "Fiola at Dopolavoro Venezia will feature a vibrant menu thoughtfully curated by Trabocchi, with cuisines deeply rooted in traditional flavors from Italy and the Adriatic."Nestled inside JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, the city's premier hotel that enjoys a splendid location on Venice's private island, Isola delle Rose, Fiola at Dopolavoro Venezia will incorporate culinary highlights from the celebrated menu of Trabocchi's existing Michelin-starred restaurant, Fiola DC. Guests can anticipate dishes that combine seasonal ingredients locally sourced from Venice's famous, centuries-old Rialto Market, the Adriatic Sea, as well as vegetables and exclusive olive oil from the private island's own vegetable garden and olive grove.The menu will change daily and provide a nostalgic twist on traditional Venetian cuisine prepared with a modern presentation and standout dishes such as Fiola Lobster Ravioli, Bassano White Asparagus and Caviar, Foie Gras alla Veneziana, Moeche col pien (soft-shell crabs from the Venetian lagoon), Venetian Style Tuna Crudo (a daily-changing crudo option, finished tableside), and Vanilla Fried Pastry Cream and Corbezzolo Honey. Guests can also enjoy Trabocchi's modern take on the classic Venetian cicchetti (local bites) for the Aperitivo."The debut of Fiola at Dopolavoro Venezia is a significant milestone as it marks Fiola's expansion internationally in the most magical city I know, as well as a personal homecoming as I announce my return to Italy after so many years abroad," said Fabio Trabocchi, Chef and Restaurateur. "We look forward to another exciting chapter for Fiola and are eager to offer the discerning guests at JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa signature dishes that incorporate local Venetian flare. Our menu was inspired by the city's romantic atmosphere and we are thrilled to open the doors to our newest location."Fabio Trabocchi, who participated in the inaugural Venice Food & Wine Festival at JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa in May 2018 and will be joining the soon to be announced festival again in 2019, manages an impressive portfolio of iconic restaurants in the United States with his wife and business partner, Maria Font Trabocchi, including: Fiola DC, Fiola Miami, Fiola Mare, Sfoglina Pasta House, and Del Mar. The Trabocchis' growing restaurant group has received numerous accolades including a Michelin star at Fiola DC, the group's fine-dining flagship restaurant. Both Fabio and Maria Trabocchi stand behind their commitment to providing guests with a world-class dining experience while making them feel at home the moment they walk into each of their restaurants.About JW MarriottJW Marriott is part of Marriott International's luxury portfolio and consists of beautiful properties and distinctive resort locations around the world. These elegant hotels cater to sophisticated, self-assured travelers seeking The JW Treatment - the brand's philosophy that true luxury is created by people who are passionate about what they do. JW hotels offer crafted experiences that bring to life the brand's commitment to highly choreographed, anticipatory service and modern residential design, allowing guests to pursue their passions and leave even more fulfilled than when they arrived. Today there are 80 JW Marriott hotels in nearly 30 countries and territories. JW Marriott is proud to participate in the industry's award-winning loyalty program, Marriott Rewards which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards. Members can now link accounts with Starwood Preferred Guest at for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer. Visit JW Marriottonline, and on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.About JW Marriott Venice Resort & SpaSettled on its own private island in Venice, Isola delle Rose, just a quick ride to St. Mark's Square by complimentary shuttle service, JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa is the ultimate luxury experience for the most discerning traveler. The combination of wide and lush green areas, a refined restoration by award-winning architect Matteo Thun, together with an attentive service and the finest wellness and dining experiences makes Isola delle Rose a serene retreat from where you can easily explore the beauties of Venice and at the same time indulge in the luxury of a resort. Opened in 2015, the Resort features 266 rooms and refined suites, 4 restaurants - including the fine dining restaurant Fiola at Dopolavoro Venezia, by Michelin-starred Chef Fabio Trabocchi - and 4 bars offering international and local cuisine, GOCO Spa - the largest spa in Venice, a Church, kids club and family activities, water sports, a rooftop lounge area with pool and view over Venice, lush green areas, and Sapori Cooking Academy for gastronomes looking to experience the authentic Venetian lifestyle and atmosphere. Visit JW Marriott Venice online, and on Instagram and Facebook.

The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts becomes an associate member of Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne· 9 January 2019
The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA) signed an advisory agreement with Lausanne Hospitality Consulting (LHC), the advisory services branch of EHL Group, on the 5th of December 2018 at the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts campus in Amman, Jordan.

DEADLINE EXTENDED: 2019 Top Women in Restaurant Technology Nominations

Hospitality Technology Magazine· 2 January 2019
Hospitality Technology (HT) magazine has extended the deadline for nominations for the third annual Top Women in Restaurant Technology Awards. Nominations are due January 18.

Four Seasons Resort Orlando Offers New In-room Wine By The Glass System

Four Seasons ·21 December 2018
Guests at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort enjoy premium in-room design features, such as an in-mirror television in the bathroom vanity, and an iPad for ease of making requests at the tap of a button. Now, guests in select room categories have the convenience of dispensing a glass of wine on demand at the touch of a button, through Plum, the Resort's new on-demand wine system. Guests no longer have to wait for room service to arrive and uncork the bottle before enjoying a glass.Plum is the first wine appliance that enables consumers to have a premium wine-by-the-glass experience. Plum houses two standard wine bottles and preserves each bottle for up to 90 days. The Resort offers Plum in its 68 signature suites, including the Royal Suite, Presidential Suite, Grand Suite and all Park View Suites, as well as Park View guest rooms and select accessible guest rooms.Four Seasons Resort Orlando is offering a 2016 Lyric by Etude pinot noir, and a 2016 Stag's Leap Napa Valley chardonnay, in the Plum units. The wines, available at USD 8 per 2.5 ounce glass or USD 15 for a 5 ounce pour, were selected by the Resort's team of sommeliers for their flavour profiles and general popularity. Guests can use Plum's interactive touchscreen to read more about the wine and even see photos of the vineyard. When dispensed, Plum is automatically charged to the guest's hotel folio."Plum is truly great for guests who are wine lovers, but perhaps don't wish to order an entire bottle," says Cory Saffran, Director of Food and Beverage at Four Seasons Resort Orlando. "Perhaps they wish to enjoy a glass on their guest room terrace before going to dinner. The convenience and ease of Plum are two reasons why guests love it."From a Resort operations standpoint, Plum is a time saver, as room service attendants are spending less time delivering and uncorking wine for guests. It's also ideal for personalising service. If a guest is known to love a specialty wine such as Opus One, for example, the team can arrange for Opus One to be in the Plum unit, so the guest's favourite bottle is chilled and ready when they check in to the room.For the Resort, which is Central Florida's only Five Diamond Award rated property, offering Plum is another testament to the many adult-oriented offerings the property boasts. From gourmet dining at the award-wining Capa steakhouse, named to the Wine Enthusiast list of 100 Best Wine Restaurants in the US, to an incredible Spa with six couples' suites, and a lakeside adult-only pool that is a true oasis, the Resort is ensuring "ways to keep adults happy" are front and centre.

Waitr Holdings Inc. to Acquire Bite Squad

Hospitality Technology Magazine·13 December 2018
Waitr Holdings Inc. (“Waitr”), a fast growing restaurant platform for online ordering and on-demand food delivery, announced that it has signed definitive agreements to acquire Bite Squad, an online restaurant food delivery service, for an aggregate amount of approximately $321.3 million, subject to adjustments, based on the closing price of Waitr’s common stock on December 11, 2018. The purchase price consists of a combination of cash and shares of Waitr common stock.

Flynn Restaurant Group Acquires 368 U.S. Arby's Restaurant Locations from United States Beef Corp.

Hospitality Technology Magazine· 6 December 2018
RB American Group LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Flynn Restaurant Group LP, announced that it has acquired 368 Arby’s restaurants throughout the U.S. from United States Beef Corporation (US Beef). Arby’s, the second largest sandwich restaurant brand in the world, is a perfect fit for Flynn Restaurant Group, whose portfolio includes household names like Applebee’s®, Panera Bread® and Taco Bell®. RB American Group will be Flynn Restaurant Group’s fourth prominent restaurant brand.

Pizza Hut U.S. to Acquire Online Ordering Provider QuikOrder

Hospitality Technology Magazine· 5 December 2018
Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., announced that its U.S. business entered into a definitive agreement to acquire QuikOrder, an online ordering software and service provider for the restaurant industry. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it marks one of Pizza Hut's largest acquisitions to date.

Bright Young Chefs Add Sparkle To Hotels

JLLH · 3 December 2018
Hotels and fine dining have long been a near-perfect pairing but in todays food conscious culture, the addition of an acclaimed chef at the kitchen helm can really put it on the foodie trail.Its no longer just the small number of household names, like Gordon Ramsay who set up shop at Claridges for 12 years, who draw in foodie fans.In Europe, smaller, boutique hotels are leading the way, adding quirky, interesting and exciting chefs to the gastronomic mix, says Richard Moulds, director of Foodservice Consulting at JLL.Theres been a trend away from the white tablecloth celebrity chef, he says. Less well-known but highly capable chefs who have worked below bigger names are now offering hotel operators the chance to revamp their dining and perhaps at a comparatively lower cost.Hotels such as Londons The Curtain in Shoreditch have taken on chefs bringing a new freshness and creativity to dishes, with Marcus Samuelsson opening Red Rooster last year. Across town, Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge has been cooking for guests of the Corinthia since September.Theres an undoubtable culinary pull when an up-and-coming chef moves in, Moulds says. Offering a smaller menu and doing a few dishes really well is by no means purely in the hands of the celebrity.For diners, an element of discovery is also key, says Moulds: Its about creating something for foodies to hunt down and find, he says.Food good enough to shareSocial media and Instagram in particular has a big role to play in promoting high-end hotel dining. Short-term, pop-up residencies of one to two months for chefs are proving popular among Instagrammers, says Moulds.Theres a definite social media spike on offer for hotel restaurants capable of rotating chefs, he adds. Its not unlike the way galleries will rotate exhibitions or a nightclub will run a DJ residency.In the Maldives, luxury resort operator Soneva has used pop-up food residencies as a way to enhance its profile and provide guests with a memorable experience and perhaps even a reason to visit in the first place. Michelin-starred chef Kenji Gyoten appared at its flagship resort for a two-week post, while in Muscat, the Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa hosted Danish chef and Noma co-founder Mads Refslund for four days in January.While a short-term residency may not be reason enough for someone to plan their holiday around, it can offer the cult, rock star effect and even raise interest from a chefs fans, says Moulds. For hotels in locations off-the-beaten track, the benefit for diners of being able to simply climb the stairs to bed after dinner cannot be underestimated.Some UK country home resorts have made the most of this benefit with diners becoming a captive audience.Playing the rating gameAs hotels note the benefits of offering stand-out food and drink spending on food and beverage at hotels rose by almost five percent in 2017 getting high quality chefs and providing a first-class experience are key.Reminders of a chefs background are typical, Moulds says, and central to dining decision-making.The archetypal food review will read along the lines of you may not know this chef, but he or she worked with this famous chef at this well-known restaurant its this association that brings in diners who are keen to be on-trend.The challenge for hotels, says Moulds, is when a chef packs up their saucepans something Berlins Regent Hotel experienced last year when Christian Lohse, the German capitals longest-serving two-star chef and a TV celebrity, left Fischers Fritz after 13 years. A change of concept by the hotel was swiftly announced.Concepts and tastes are in constant flux, says Moulds. But theres absolutely no doubting the appeal of a chef who can offer something special on the plate to complement a hotels surroundings.Appetite for an experience when dining is sturdy, Moulds says. In the case of Londons Mondrian hotel opening in 2014, award-winning U.S. chef Seamus Mullen worked closely with the establishments restaurant designers.Diners today want a fully-immersive experience, he says. Its about much more than just the off-chance that the chef swings by their table for a complimentary brandy and selfie.With competition for both high-spending diners and highly skilled chefs continuing to heat up, hotels know that good food doesnt just give them an edge, it can make them a must-visit destination.

How Can Restaurants Adapt to Modern Dietary Quirks

Hotel Online·28 November 2018
In my youth, my parents would take me to Joe’s Steakhouse in Montreal where we would eat massive rib steaks on wooden cutting boards with copious amounts of butter and sour cream lathered on baked potatoes. Posh dining equivalent might include a chateaubriand for two, expertly prepared tableside.

The benefits of gaming

·28 November 2018
When restaurant technology innovators think “gaming,” they usually think “training.” It makes sense: They imagine the young people in their lives playing Minecraft or Fortnight and see an opportunity to teach them restaurant job skills in a fun and engaging way.

Using tech to tame third-party delivery

·28 November 2018
With guests looking for both convenience and the dining-out experience, third-party delivery has been a rewarding solution for many restaurants. But many issues still need to be worked out, including increasing fees, operational hassles and brand confusion, said speakers at the National Restaurant Association’s recent Restaurant Innovation Summit in Dallas.

4 ways digital payments benefit your restaurant

·28 November 2018
Two-thirds of consumers can envision a cashless world in the future, according to recent Visa research. Is your restaurant ready? Operators are intrigued, but wary: What’s the impact on the guest experience of going cashless? What are the operational issues? A panel of experts talked through the future of payments at our recent Restaurant Innovation Summit, held Nov. 7-8 in Dallas, and suggested four benefits of expanding your digital payment options.


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