Chicago — January 13, 2021 — Hotels are struggling to keep their doors open today, and many are unable to rehire full staff. Frontline employees fortunate enough to be working amidst the ongoing pandemic are wearing more hats and putting themselves at risk each day to deliver the highest levels of guest service in hopes of assuring travelers that their hotels are safe. To recognize these unsung heroes of hospitality, a new digital tipping solution has entered the hospitality scene to provide a contactless, cashless and “appless” enterprise system for digital gratuity with full reporting. Called youtip, the solution is simple and fast for tippers to use, as no app download is required.

“In today’s economy  ̶  even before COVID-19  ̶  businesses are choosing to go cash-free, including hotels, with many encouraging credit-card and contactless payments,” said Sarah Taveprungsenukul, youtip co-founder and CEO. “We’ve all been there. We want to tip service staff, such as the valet parking attendant, bellman or hotel housekeeper for jobs well done, but don’t have enough cash on hand to do so. Taking the time to download a gratuity app is inconvenient, especially for travelers who often find themselves in a time crunch to run to the ATM or who want to limit their exposure to handling germ ridden cash. We developed youtip as the easiest digital tipping solution in the market. Tippers simply scan a QR code displayed anywhere that is visible and convenient, such as a valet stand, on the in-room TV or smart speakers with digital displays, or on an employee’s badge/card. They can also click on links sent directly to them via text or email. This digital scan-and-tip system provides a quick and easy experience for guests and gives operators service feedback in seconds.”

youtip is the brainchild of Doug Miles, co-founder and COO, and a 20-year fintech veteran who too frequently found himself without the cash to tip during business travel. Noticing the rapid adoption of QR codes in the U.S. and smartphone cameras now having QR code reading capability, Miles dusted off an old idea to pitch to Taveprungsenukul, his long-time friend in hospitality. The duo also brought tech-solution developer and friend Nicholas Okuley, youtip co-founder and CTO, to the table to help finetune the offering.

“To achieve mass adoption, the solution had to be faster than cash,” Miles said. “youtip utilizes technology that already exists in your phone rather than requiring an app download. You just scan, tip and go. Our system routes the tip to the business’s bank account along with transaction reporting and guest feedback. This appless solution is a ‘first’ in hospitality, and we anticipate that it will change the way tips are transacted for the foreseeable future.”

Call for Integration Partners!

youtip can integrate with other critical business solutions, such as the property-management systems, point-of-sale systems, accounting/payroll solutions, service optimization systems, and voice/text technologies for hotels. Technology companies in the hospitality space who feel their solution, when tied to youtip, will further help hoteliers to recognize and reward today’s unsung heroes are encouraged to contact youtip at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

"By approaching the software with a focus on flexibility, we are able to not only offer a scalable standalone product, but also one that can be tailored to specific customer needs  ̶  whether to express their brand and personality, or seamlessly tie into existing infrastructure thanks to our various partner integrations,” Okuley said.

youtip is PCI compliant and utilizes the built-in security of Apple’s Apple Pay and Google’s G Pay. The company charges a convenience fee on every transaction to the person leaving the tip. QR codes can be leveraged to process both pooled and individual gratuities.

youtip is also ideal for charitable giving/fundraising campaigns. Businesses can use signage with a QR code tied to their charitable organization’s bank account to raise money in the field. Quick digital donations at events and during street fundraising initiatives can be a great way to enhance a fundraising tool kit.

“We are waiving system subscription fees through the end of 2021 to help the hospitality industry recover as quickly as possible,” Taveprungsenukul said, noting that charges may apply for design customizations and third-party integrations, such as PMS, payroll systems and branded mobile applications. “What we are most excited about through this technology launch is that youtip solves two key problems for the service industry: 1) Fewer people are carrying cash, and 2) increased demand for contactless services.”

For more information on youtip, visit For questions about business customization, integration, or enterprise deployment, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


ST-JEROME, QC, Jan. 13, 2021 /CNW/ - Foliot Furniture, a leader in the design and manufacture of quality furnishings for the hospitality and educational housing communities, today announced the appointment of Francis Arseneault as the company's Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Mr. Arseneault brings to the company over 20 years' experience in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, both in North America and internationally. The new CEO will assume his functions from Foliot Furniture's head office, based in Saint-Jerome, Canada.

Prior to joining Foliot Furniture, M. Arseneault served as President of Hefty® Waste Storage, business unit of Reynolds Consumer Products (NASDAQ: RCP) in the greater Chicago area.

Before his role with Hefty, Mr. Arseneault held positions of increasing responsibility at RCP, including time as President of the Presto Products brand and VP/General Manager – International and Business Unit Manager - Canada. In these positions, he led the sales, marketing, finance, operations, and distribution functions of multiple brands in Canada, the US and more than 90 countries.

"Beyond his impressive professional background, it is above all Francis's values and energy that have convinced me that he is the best person to guide the company towards the next stages of its growth," said Daniel Foliot, board member, founder and newly retired CEO of Foliot Furniture.

"It is a pleasure and an honor to have been asked to join Foliot Furniture. This company is not only impressive because of the quality of its products and services, but also because of its unique culture where people are at the center of the organization's success." said Mr. Arseneault. " At Foliot, we feel that safety, teamwork, passion and customer focus are embraced by everyone."

" I certainly intend to uphold Mr. Foliot's vision of further developing the company by leveraging our talented employees to ensure the achievement of our ambitious growth plans in the coming years."

" Among the top priorities, our digital transformation, innovation and the conquest of new growth markets are particularly important to me. Having led similar initiatives in the past, I look forward to seeing how much Team Foliot can accomplish."


Saskatoon, SK (January 7, 2021) – The monolith trend has found its way to Saskatoon. Motel 6 - Saskatoon owner Melvin Didyk, decided to ring in the New Year by bringing some joy and happiness to the area in the form of a 12-foot tall monolith.
The shiny silver monolith discretely arrived in the Motel 6 - Saskatoon parking lot on the evening of January 4. With the help of local contractors including SWS Fabrication, Wright Construction, Bridge City Electric and Fairway Lawn Care, the structure was assembled much to the delight of staff and guests!
“During these difficult times, Motel 6 Saskatoon wanted to do something within the community that would lift everyone up together and, if successful, bring a smile to their face,” said Melvin Didyk, hotel owner. “The monolith is a temporary installation, so be sure to pay us a visit before it’s gone!”
If you’re in the area or looking for an adventure, the monolith can be seen at Motel 6 - Saskatoon located at 231 Marquis Drive, Saskatoon, SK.


HENDERSONVILLE, Tennessee—Isaac Collazo, formerly of InterContinental Hotels Group, has been named VP of analytics for STR.

Collazo served in a VP capacity at IHG for the past 18 years, including the last two in competitive intelligence with a focus on performance analysis, predictive analytics, modeling and macroeconomic interpretation. His more than 30-year industry resume also includes earlier positions with Marriott International, Promus Hotel Corporation and La Quinta Inns & Suites.

“This was a unique opportunity to add someone of Isaac’s perspective and expansive industry data experience,” said Amanda Hite, STR president. “Isaac will be an immediate voice in conversations around STR methodology as well as our ongoing product development in the CoStar platform. Long-term, he’ll contribute to the evolution of the holistic solution we will deliver to the industry.”

Collazo is also a longstanding content committee member for the Hotel Data Conference, hosted annually by STR and Hotel News Now.

“The opportunity to work with the premier lodging industry leader to further strengthen its contributions is a dream come true,” Collazo said. “I believe my 30-plus years of working with STR and its data will provide an additional level of understanding that will enable us to further advance the comprehensive solutions that empower our industry. STR’s industry leadership is more important than ever given the impact of COVID-19. I am thrilled to be a part of the STR and CoStar Group teams.”


MCLEAN, Va. - In a year when the travel industry faced challenges like never before, Hilton (NYSE: HLT) weathered the storm by staying true to its founding purpose – to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality. As the COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented challenges for the travel and tourism industry, Hilton developed industry-leading guest innovations, reached significant growth milestones and continued to positively impact communities around the world.

Even as the company faced the biggest test in its 101-year history, Hilton’s resilient, capital-light business model enabled it to organically reach its 1 million room milestone in the fourth quarter. 

Three of the hotels that helped the company cross this important threshold paint a picture of Hilton’s global growth story: Hilton Garden Inn Umhlanga Arch in South Africa, illustrating the company’s expansion into Africa; Tru by Hilton Savannah Airport, showcasing the power of the fastest-growing new brand in Hilton’s portfolio; and the Hilton Garden Inn Guizhou Maotai Town in China, helping deliver on the company’s ambitious growth goals in the APAC market.

Meanwhile, Hilton’s overall development pipeline remains strong, with 2,640 hotels and more than 408,000 rooms globally*. 

“It’s been a year unlike any other, but even in the face of incredible challenges, our Team Members and owners have proven that travel is an unstoppable force for good,” said Chris Nassetta, president & CEO, Hilton. “Thanks to their grit and determination, Hilton has made a difference in the lives of so many and positively impacted communities at a time when our hospitality is needed more than ever – and together we look forward to creating even more meaningful memories in the year ahead.”

Throughout 2020, Hilton, in partnership with its hotel ownership community, has found innovative and meaningful ways to adapt to the changing needs of its guests, Team Members and communities:

Guest Experience

The pandemic rapidly changed guest behavior, priorities and concerns. Hilton responded with start-up style speed, grounded in more than a century of hospitality know-how to provide reassurance to travelers.

Among the innovations:

  • Launched Hilton CleanStay™, an industry-defining standard of cleanliness and disinfection in collaboration with RB, maker of Lysol and Dettol and in consultation with Mayo Clinic
  • Redesigned meeting and event experiences and set new standards for event cleanliness and customer service with the launch of Hilton EventReady with CleanStay™ 
  • Modified cancellation policies and took a number of steps to provide even more flexibility for Hilton Honors members including status and Points extensions
  • Created opportunities for Hilton Honors members to respond to the global pandemic by donating their Points to convert into cash and send directly to organizations including World Central KitchenClean the WorldProject Hope or Direct Relief
  • Provided alternative remote working options through the launch of WorkSpaces by Hilton in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom
  • Continued to provide contactless guest experience options through the free Hilton Honors app, enabling guests to personalize their experience with the ability to choose their rooms, check-in and out digitally and use their phones as digital keys. Guests have now used Hilton’s Digital Key to open more than 100 million doors worldwide
  • Inspired travelers to make new memories with the global launch of our insights-driven marketing campaign, “To New Memories
  • Revealed, for the first time ever, DoubleTree by Hilton’s official chocolate chip cookie recipe so guests could create an at-home version of this iconic travel treat

Response to Communities

Hilton continued to find inventive ways to address some of the most critical, immediate needs of the communities where it operates.

  • Partnered with American Express to donate up to 1 million hotel room nights across the U.S. for frontline medical professionals leading the fight against COVID-19
  • Expanded partnership with American Express through a $1 million contribution from American Express to World Central Kitchen, to provide healthy, freshly prepared meals to the frontline healthcare professionals who stayed at Hilton properties in cities across the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Revealed 2020 Hilton Effect Foundation Grants and reached more than $1 million in global COVID-19 community response efforts
  • Extended Hilton’s hospitality to help the travel industry come together to overcome the global pandemic including sharing countless stories of teams around the world supporting each other and helping their communities
  • Supported Hilton Team Members searching for virtual and remote volunteer opportunities, including during its annual Hilton Effect Week volunteer event and through innovative partnerships with groups including Clean the World, Meals on Wheels and more
  • Remained committed to the company’s Travel with Purpose 2030 Goals to cut the company’s environmental footprint in half and double its social impact investments worldwide. These efforts led to Hilton being named the global industry leader in sustainability for the second consecutive year on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices 

Continued Global Growth and Expansion

Hilton kept dreams of traveling alive by opening exciting new properties around the world. All the while, the company advocated on behalf of owners, many of whom are small businesses, who struggled with the travel decline.

Response to Team Members

2020 saw Hilton go from being named the #1 Best Company to Work for in the U.S. to, weeks later, having to furlough thousands of Team Members due to the impact of COVID-19 on travel and tourism. At every turn, the company leaned into its values to navigate these tough decisions.

  • Activated Hilton’s Team Member Assistance Fund to support Hilton Team Members who have been directly impacted by COVID-19 or have a family member impacted by the virus
  • Reversed its recruitment engine to connect Team Members impacted by furloughs and layoffs with access to more than a million job opportunities through the Hilton Workforce Resource Center
  • Launched a new Hilton Alumni Network portal with access to relevant career opportunities, resources, news and information
  • Committed to an expedited recruitment process for Team Members who reapply for future roles when conditions allow
  • Extended Team Member Hilton Honors status and access to Go Hilton, Hilton’s industry-leading Team Member travel program, for departing Team Members, and offered improved Honors status to current Team Members
  • Continued to earn recognition as a top workplace, even as the pandemic continued, including being named to the top spot on the 2020 list of Best Workplaces in Greater China
  • Recognized the heroic actions of frontline Team Members with the creation of a new Hospitality Heroes Award
  • Listened to Team Members and relaunched the network of eight Team Member Resource Groups committed to building communities across the organization, and introduced a Courageous Conversation series to foster meaningful dialogue to bring about lasting change in the midst of an evolving social justice landscape 

To learn more about Hilton, please visit:


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