Lightspeed Commerce Inc | September 08, 2022
Lightspeed Commerce Inc. ( NYSE: LSPD) (TSX: LSPD), the one-stop commerce platform for merchants around the world to simplify, scale, and create exceptional customer experiences, has announced the initial launch of Lightspeed Restaurant in the Australian market - a unified hospitality commerce and point-of-sale (POS) platform to power Australia's restaurant revival.Unveiling at Fine Food Australia, and coming soon to Australian businesses Lightspeed Restaurant, an industry-leading cloud platform, combines an innovative POS, contactless integrated payments, online ordering, advanced inventory, industry leading analytics and more; enabling operators to run smarter, more efficient restaurants. The local launch of Lightspeed Restaurant integrates cutting edge technology to build a single product that incorporates the best features of Australian leading Kounta and the breadth and sophistication of Lightspeed's market leading capabilities, and comes as Australia's world-famous dining industry continues to defy economic pressure.
Data from a subset of Australian restaurants, cafes and bars using Lightspeed in July found that year-over-year revenue was up 50.3% in restaurants, 48.5% in bars, and 25.7% in cafes compared to the same month in 2021. Remarkably, July was the sixth successive month of year-over-year growth*.
"Bringing Lightspeed Restaurant to an Australian market famed for the vibrancy of its hospitality sector is an exciting moment for Lightspeed. Restaurants have rapidly accelerated their digital transformation in recent years, and today merchants can't compromise when it comes to technology. Lightspeed Restaurant allows Australian restaurant owners to take control of seat level ordering, multiple service environments, complex printing setups, and more, all through a single commerce platform - providing the solution they need to meet and exceed the needs of their customers, empower their team and overcome the challenges of today."
-Peter Dougherty, General Manager of Hospitality, at Lightspeed
Key features of Lightspeed Restaurant include:
Advanced insights: Lightspeed Restaurant informs operators what turns customers into regulars, who their best wait staff are and why, and makes them feel like they're on the floor every day even across multiple locations.
Comprehensive integrated inventory: Track and automate inventory without breaking the bank. Know exactly how much product was sold, how much is still on hand, and how much is needed from a supplier for the next order.
Speed and automation for the front of the house: Optimised by years of user testing, Lightspeed Restaurant is easy to use and train on, key for hiring and retaining staff and running smoother shifts in busy environments.
Innovative ordering and payments with Order Anywhere: Fully integrated with Lightspeed Restaurant, Order Anywhere provides contactless ordering and payments for dine-in, and commission-free ordering for takeout, with the flexibility to either pre-pay online or pay at pick up, while avoiding expensive third-party fees.
Real-time data: Restaurant owners, chefs and managers receive a daily email detailing everything they need to know before doors open, and a shift prep email detailing reservations, VIP guests, and notes for the service ahead.
Bluebonnet Barbecue, Melbourne's iconic Texas-style BBQ venue, has been using Lightspeed Restaurant in the initial launch phase. Bluebonnet's Manager, Mikey Buchanan, said the platform gives the business a competitive advantage and the foundations to overcome challenges and provide better experiences for customers and employees alike.
We've been looking for a platform like Lightspeed Restaurant for years. The access to real-time insights has given us a deeper, more accurate understanding of our business than we've ever had before. It's incredibly powerful and sophisticated, but also user-friendly, which is so important in a transient industry where staff come and go.
Rather than using different systems for different business functions everything is on one system, driving operational efficiencies which benefit our team and, ultimately, our customers. We're passionate about our craft and our customers, and with Lightspeed Restaurant we spend less time working on administration and non-revenue generating tasks and more time delivering the food and experiences that bring people together.
The initial launch of Lightspeed Restaurant in Australia follows the recent launch of Lightspeed Payments, an integrated, contactless payments processor that gives hospitality and retail businesses the ability to process customer payments directly from their point-of-sale.
Powering the businesses that are the backbone of the global economy, and used by merchants around the world including Messina, Lion, Momofuku, Five Guys, and Vera Wang, Lightspeed's one-stop commerce platform helps merchants innovate to simplify, scale and provide exceptional customer experiences. Our cloud commerce solution transforms and unifies online and physical operations, multichannel sales, expansion to new locations, global payments, financial solutions and connection to supplier networks. Founded in Montréal, Canada in 2005, Lightspeed is dual-listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange ( NYSE: LSPD) (TSX: LSPD). With teams across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, the company serves retail, hospitality and golf businesses in over 100 countries.
COMMERCIAL TRAVEL, INDUSTRY OUTLOOK
Travel Insured International | September 27, 2022
Travel Insured International is pleased to announce a new partnership with Blue Ribbon Bags, a leader in travel luggage retrieval. Travel Insured joins Blue Ribbon Bags' growing list of industry partners seeking to provide a better experience for their travelers. As a travel protection provider with plans containing insurance benefits for lost and delayed baggage, we're excited to offer this service to our customers throThis non-insurance service provided by Blue Ribbon Bags will be available to clients of large tour operators working with Travel Insured. Because each Travel Insured plan features insured benefits for Baggage and Personal Effects, Travel Insured can provide eligible payment up to a maximum benefit amount if baggage and personal effects are lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed during the trip or while checked with a common carrier. The added service of Blue Ribbon Bags will assist travelers in tracking their baggage claim via text.
"Our job is to make that process a little bit better and to keep that communication with the customer as smooth as possible," says Menkin. With assistance from Blue Ribbon Bags, plan holders will also receive intermediary support in pursuing their lost baggage, which can be a tedious and time-consuming process."
-Blue Ribbon Bags CEO, Gabriel Menkin, understands that airlines are doing their best to keep up with lost baggage claims.
When somebody has a lost bag, we are sending them real time email, SMS, and WhatsApp notifications every time there's a change to the status of their bag, says Menkin. Travelers will be empowered to track the progress of their lost baggage claim and receive notifications to stay informed every step of the way. For the first 96 hours, Blue Ribbon Bags will track and expedite the return of a traveler's lost bag. If the bag is not recovered, the traveler can file a claim against their Travel Insured protection plan for their lost or delayed baggage and personal effects.
Travel Insured partners with large tour operators that provide travel packages to customers, which can include air travel, ground transportation, local tours, and other services at one or more locations per trip. For travelers with varied trip types and multiple destinations on their itineraries, baggage protection may be more important than ever.
"This partnership comes at a time when the travel industry is facing unique obstacles in transportation, like significant increases in lost baggage claims from top airlines, We're always seeking innovative ways to enhance our programs, so we're eager to offer this baggage tracking service to our wholesale customers. We strive to help travelers feel confident before, during, and after their trip."
-Isaac Cymrot, VP of Strategic Partnerships
About Travel Insured International
As a leading travel insurance provider with more than 25 years in business, Travel Insured International provides trip protection to help each individual travel confidently. Travel Insured is owned by Crum & Forster whose parent company is Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., an insurance specialty company that consistently earns an A credit rating from AM Best. We're proud to partner with tour operators and help them to offer extensive travel protection with major travel insurance benefits as well as non-insurance assistance services. At Travel Insured, we remain steadfast in the commitment to providing dependable coverage, great value, and end-to-end satisfaction for our customers' travel insurance experience.ugh our plans to help ensure expedition of luggage claims through any major airline in the world.
DESTINATION AND TOURISM, HOSPITALITY TRENDS
Bluegreen Vacations | October 13, 2022
Bluegreen Vacations Holding Corporation (NYSE: BVH) (OTCQX: BVHBB) (“Bluegreen Vacations,” “Bluegreen,” or the “Company”), a leading vacation ownership company, announced its recent acquisition of a 320-room resort and spa in Panama City Beach, Florida and two buildings in the Streamside at Vail Resort enclave in Vail, Colorado.Bluegreen currently plans to convert the 320-guestroom resort and spa, formally branded and managed as a Sheraton®, to 200 rooms, consisting of studios, one bedroom, two-bedroom and presidential suites and add a new sales preview center. The property, which includes a full-service spa, four restaurants, a private marina and beach as well as pools, tennis courts and fitness center, will receive additional enhancements to building exteriors, public areas and other improvements.
The Panama City Beach Resort and Spa is Bluegreen’s second acquisition in 2022 having acquired property at Streamside at Vail in July. The company’s purchase of the Vail property will add 46 units of one-bedroom and one-bedroom loft to Bluegreen’s growing inventory and provide access to a range of amenities including clubhouse, spa, fitness center and shuttle service to local attractions. Plans are underway to renovate guest rooms, building exterior, and infrastructure in early 2023.
Bluegreen Vacations is committed to identifying iconic destinations across the country from which to fly our flag, said Ray Lopez, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Bluegreen Vacations. Panama City Beach, ranked among the top beach destinations in the US and the Colorado Rockies, has long been of interest to our owners. Both properties have well-established, desirable amenities which provide Bluegreen with an exciting product to offer our owners,” Mr. Lopez added.
In addition to acquiring two resorts in Panama City Beach, Florida and Vail, Colorado, Bluegreen Vacations announced it has broken ground on a new resort in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Slated to open in 2024, the new resort will feature 67 guest accommodations including three-bedroom presidential suites with upgraded in-room amenities designed for comfort and relaxation. The project will also include an expansive sales preview center.
“The majestic Smokey Mountains have been a popular destination among Bluegreen’s owners, Adding a new resort in this region allows us to not only address our owner demand but gives us an opportunity to provide our owners with new experiences and introduce new owners to this inspiring destination,”
-Dusty Tonkin, Executive Vice President and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer of Bluegreen Vacations.
About Bluegreen Vacations:
Bluegreen Vacations Holding Corporation (NYSE: BVH; OTCQX: BVHBB) is a leading vacation ownership company that markets and sells vacation ownership interests and manages resorts in popular leisure and urban destinations. The Bluegreen Vacation Club is a flexible, points-based, deeded vacation ownership plan with 69 Club and Club Associate Resorts and access to nearly 11,200 other hotels and resorts through partnerships and exchange networks. The Company also offers a portfolio of comprehensive, fee-based resort management, financial, and sales and marketing services to, or on behalf of, third parties