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  • HITEC Special: Does EU GDPR Affect U.S. Hospitality Companies?

    By Alvaro Hidalgo. The EU General Data Protection Regulation has set a path towards protecting personal data which many other countries will follow. In a global industry such as hospitality, it should be a primary objective to take the steps towards compliance.

  • HFTP Report: Hospitality Data Security — Strategy for Data Protection and Regulation Compliance

    This guide from Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(R)) covers safeguards that can be implemented in hospitality businesses today, tips on how to continuously improve security and data regulation compliance.

  • HFTP GDPR Guidelines: Privacy Policies for Hotels

    This document offers points to consider in the development of a hotel’s privacy policy. In view of the multiple organisational and legal structures under which hotels operate, as well as the complexity of the third party landscape that may be part of the complete guest experience, this document serves as a guideline only.

  • HFTP GDPR Guidelines: Hospitality Guest Registration Cards

    This document offers recommendations for guest information collection on the guest registration card along with consent for use. It can be used as a guideline for loyalty cards, health data, export of data outside of the EU, privacy policies and direct marketing.

Google Debuts Restaurant Wait Times on Search, Maps

·13 November 2017
Now diners can preview a restaurant's wait time prior to showing

Consider a Widget Instead of a Hotel App

· 8 November 2017
If your hotel is planning to add software to your 2018 budget that will enable guests to check in, view their folio, and check out with just a click via your website, mobile web or hotel app, you’re not alone. Being able to “wow” your guests with the latest mobile tools is key to attracting and retaining today’s travelers; it can also be very expensive. Before allocating thousands of dollars to develop an app or hire someone to do it for you, should consider the benefits of a front desk widget.
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Star Micronics, eMobilePOS to Deliver Mobile Order-Ahead Solution with Cloud Printing

· 8 November 2017
Star Micronics, a manufacturer of mobile, Point of Sale (POS), and customer engagement technologies, announced it teamed up with e-Nabler Corp., developer of the eMobilePOS suite of point-of-sale solutions, to offer intelligent cloud printing for orders submitted via e-Nabler's mobile 'Order-Ahead' and stored value app Tupyx. The solution will be premiering at IAAPA Attractions Expo (booth #3157) in Orlando, November 14-17.
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7shifts Launches eBook to Help Restaurateurs with Employee Scheduling Headaches

· 8 November 2017
It’s late—too late to still be stuck at work. There you are, tucked away in your office flipping through text messages, bar napkins, and sticky notes to sort out who is available when. You spend hours piecing together a schedule for the upcoming week, then tack your finished product up on the staff room wall. It’s late—too late to still be stuck at work. There you are, tucked away in your office flipping through text messages, bar napkins, and sticky notes to sort out who is available when. You spend hours piecing together a schedule for the upcoming week, then tack your finished product up on the staff room wall.
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7 Ways Hotels are Moving to an Automated Future

· 6 November 2017
Smartphones and tablets already control most all aspects of our lives — from business to travel, grocery shopping to medical appointments. Self-service claims have become the present age currency. As a result, when it comes to hotel accommodations, guests want to experience the same self-service alternatives. This article from Trilyo, which provides self-service hospitality solutions like room bookings, check-ins and check-outs, and personalized payments, will take a look at how automation is becoming a part of the hospitality industry and how it is improving the guest experience.

CIOs, Stop Supporting "The Business"

· 3 November 2017
Is this a call for a global IT strike? No, this is about the specific use of the words “the business.” Saying that IT supports the business is suggesting that IT is not part of the business, but an ancillary area that provides support when necessary. This is definitely no longer the case.
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How Restaurant Technology Can Help Personalize Service

· 1 November 2017
In today’s fast-paced restaurant world, businesses must use all available tools to connect with guests and keep them coming back for more. The restaurant-customer relationship is changing - instead of sitting and chatting with their local servers and baristas, more customers are ordering a quick bite they can take on the go.
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Toast Announces Restaurant Technology in 2017 Industry Report

· 1 November 2017
Toast, an all-in-one restaurant technology platform, unveiled its third annual Restaurant Technology in 2017 Industry Report. The findings cover both diner preferences and restaurateur perspectives.
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Fishbowl, Inc. Releases 2017 Buzz Brands Report

· 1 November 2017
Fishbowl, Inc., a provider of analytics and marketing strategies for the restaurant industry, said it released the 2017 Buzz Brands report, a new study that ranks social media performance indicators for some of the country’s top restaurant brands. The report evaluates mid-sized restaurant chains (approximately 75-275 locations) — ranging from fast casual MOD Pizza to established fine dining Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse — that have a strong online presence, and analyzes more than 20,000 user reviews to determine what drives positive customer feedback. It also incorporates the Fishbowl Social Score™, which assigns a value of 1-10 to each brand’s social media performance based on a compilation of multi-channel ratings, frequency measures and review sentiment.

New Marriott Rewards App Allows Gives Guests One-Stop Shopping Convenience

·31 October 2017
Marriott Rewards members can be fully prepared for any type of trip they are embarking on by using Marriott Rewards® MORE™. The convenient, one-stop shopping app and desktop extension enables members to get richly rewarded with Marriott Rewards points when shopping over two-dozen top retailer sites including Nike, Ralph Lauren, Converse and Net-A-Porter. Even better, through MORE, members can use points to pay for the gear, garments and gadgets they need, seamlessly integrating into Marriott International’s award-winning loyalty program.
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2017 Labor Technology Showcase

·30 October 2017
As customer engagement and experience becomes increasingly important, the efficiency and satisfaction of hospitality staff has a direct impact on customers' perception and ultimately a company's financial performance. Technology can help ensure that you are putting your best players on that front line to service guests and best represent the brand.

Red Lobster Launches App-Based Loyalty Program

·30 October 2017
Red Lobster® announced today the nationwide* launch of a new app-based loyalty program, My Red Lobster Rewards℠. My Red Lobster Rewards members will earn one point for every dollar spent at Red Lobster. Once members earn 125 points, they will receive a reward – the choice between three tasty offers – which can be redeemed during a future restaurant visit. As a welcome bonus, RedLobster is giving guests who sign up for My Red Lobster Rewards 75 free points. The points are accumulated and tracked through the My Red Lobster Rewards app simply by scanning a QR code located on their receipt.
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Four Strategies to Control a Hotel's Largest Variable Expense: Labor

·27 October 2017
Hotel owners and operators are constantly on the lookout for ways to maximize revenue without sacrificing the guest experience, but many overlook their largest variable expense: labor. There’s more to optimizing labor than simply cutting staff. Having the right labor management technology and resources in place benefits employee engagement, guest satisfaction, and the bottom line. Here are four important strategies we’ve been able to implement at White Lodging using cutting-edge solutions provided by UniFocus.
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Tech Experts Weigh in on IoT, Connectivity & Security

·25 October 2017
Digital natives are changing how restaurants must operate and smart tech strategies will help prepare businesses for the future. Here tech experts and sponsors of MURTEC Executive Summit, discuss some of the key areas impacting foodservice today and how restaurants must address these trends to stay relevant, competitive and secure.
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New Technology Allows Resort Guests to Run Like Locals

·23 October 2017
Monarch Beach Resort is Orange County’s AAA Five-Diamond rated luxury resort overlooking the azure waters of the Pacific, located in the charming city of Dana Point. The resort offers guests an array of exclusive activities and inspiring experiences that embody Southern California’s serene coastal lifestyle. From oceanfront golf links and restorative spa services to water sports and celebrated dining, Monarch Beach Resort provides a complete luxury experience.
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Snapchat Lets Users Read Reviews, Book Reservations

·23 October 2017
Snapchat recently debuted a new feature within its mobile app called Context Cards. Users will now have the option to tag their snaps with their location, such as the restaurant, hotel, or movie theater they're at. When other users view that snap, there will be an option at the bottom of the Snap titled "More." Swiping up on "More" will launch the Context Card which will contain information such as the address, hours of operation, phone number, as well as information from other sources such as TripAdvisor, Foursquare, Michelin and goop.

Gaining a Competitive Edge with Third Party Revenue and Distribution Management Tools

·20 October 2017
When the hospitality industry discusses technology, it typically has to do with consumer-facing products that can positively impact the guest experience. This year, Choice Hotels announced a new partnership with AT&T to provide franchises with the telecommunications company’s Internet and WiFi solutions while Marriott International upgraded its mobile app and New York’s Westin Buffalo joined the growing roster of global hotels to employ a robotic butler. But when it comes to technologies that impact revenue and distribution functions, many of the major hotel brands remain loyal to their legacy systems.
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Hospitality: Shelter Your Business from Advanced Cyber Threats

·19 October 2017
The past five years have seen a huge shift within the hospitality industry. Hotels and restaurants are now nearly completely digitalized – from reservation platforms and apps and POS systems, to the complex corporate networks of large chains. These changes have brought enormous gains in efficiency but also enormous increases in cyber risk.
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Hoteliers: How Valuable Is Your TV Offering?

·19 October 2017
For too long, hotels have had little flexibility when it comes to the TV services they offer to their guests. Instead, they have been at the mercy of hefty licencing fees in return for cumbersome in-room systems. Even the electronic programme guides (EPGs) that accompany these systems leave a lot to be desired when it comes to being user friendly. The EPG is often buried three screens in before the guest can watch live TV.
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Don't Leave Data on the Table: Why a Smart POS Matters for Restaurants

·18 October 2017
In the hospitality business, every exchange offers a chance to get to know your customers better. This article from TD Bank will explore how restaurants stand to benefit from an updated POS that is able to collect, analyze and store important customer information. Although rarely considered, diners at a restaurant produce a large amount of data each time they go out for a bite to eat. What’s being ordered? How much are they spending? Do they pay cash or use a credit card? And, among the most important questions: Which customers are most loyal, and how can they be encouraged to remain so?

Pizza Hut Reveals Security Breach Affecting 60,000 Customers

·17 October 2017
On Saturday, October 14, Pizza Hut informed customers of a "temporary security intrusion" that affected users visiting the restaurant's website or mobile app during a 28-hour period lasting from October 1 to October 2. Guests using the website or mobile app to place an order may have had their information compromised. The hackers were able to access names, billing zip codes, delivery addresses, email addresses, and payment card information (account number, expiration date, CVV numbers).

U.S. Payments Forum: Merchant EMV Chip Enablement on the Upswing

·17 October 2017
The U.S. Payments Forum today released its fall 2017 market snapshot, providing new statistics on merchant EMV chip enablement, updates on upcoming milestones for merchants and issuers, and priorities around contactless and online security payment specifications going forward.
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Locals Take Issue with Airbnb Creating an Opportunity for Hotels

·16 October 2017
With its new ‘experiences’ function, Airbnb claims to be connecting guests with city residents as a way of giving experience-loving Millennials a taste of local culture. While the chance to spend a couple of hours cooking a pizza in Venice, or skateboarding through central park in New York City is appealing, lately the platform has been accused of creating divides between tourists and city locals, rather than bringing them together.

Innovation in Hotels Can Help Build Customer Loyalty

·13 October 2017
Hotels have always been innovators. But now, with online travel agents (OTA) taking up additional space in the market, it’s more important than ever to maintain the innovative edge, embrace technology and revolutionise customer experience. This article from Equator takes a look at how seamless integration between technologies can benefit the savvy hotelier and focus the budget on genuine ROI-driving technology.
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Exit the Dark Ages: Tech Can Help Hoteliers Create a Demand-Based Pricing Strategy for Meetings/Events Business

·13 October 2017
Ask any hotelier what their occupancy was last night, and chances are they’ll know almost instantly. But if you ask a similar question to an event manager, they might struggle to provide you with the exact occupancy for their meeting space yesterday. The guest room side of any hotel has been able to measure and analyze its business for decades, and technology and analytics continue to automate what was once a horribly manual process. But an equally important profit center for many hotels – meeting & event space – hasn’t experienced the same evolution despite seismic shifts in technology and connectivity. This article from IDeaS Revenue Solutions discusses how savvy hoteliers and function space leaders have been taking a more dynamic approach to pricing meeting & event spaces, and how they are utilizing technology to bring the business of meetings out of the dark ages.

Hyatt Hotels Breached Again

·13 October 2017
According to a statement from the hotel, Hyatt "discovered signs of and then resolved unauthorized access to payment card information from cards manually entered or swiped at the front desk of certain Hyatt-managed locations between March 18, 2017 and July 2, 2017." Affected information includes payment card information, such as, cardholder name, card number, expiration date and internal verification code. This is not the first time Hyatt has had to warn customers of a data breach. In late 2015 Hyatt said its payment processing system was infected with credit-card-stealing malware which affected 250 hotels in about 50 countries.

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