News Briefs


Steak n Shake Adds New Way to Pay

Steak n Shake exterior in Indy

Steak n Shake will offer PopID Check In and PopPay on its self-ordering kiosks in select locations in the Orlando market, with plans to expand to more than 300 corporate locations. PopID Check In is an opt-in service that enables consumers to scan their face to automatically sign into their loyalty reward account and see their past orders, making the ordering process as convenient as possible. When a guest checks in with PopID, they also have the option to use PopPay to automatically complete their payment.

“Our partnership with PopID is a key part of our effort to provide guests with a fast and seamless ordering experience," said Keith Correia, Chief Information Officer. "When using PopID Check In, a guest does not need to use their phone or take out their wallet as part of the ordering process. They will automatically be checked in for loyalty rewards, and they can choose to make an automated payment with PopPay. A guest can even see their past orders and quickly reorder their favorite menu items. Ordering at Steak n Shake has never been easier or more convenient.”

In addition to enhancing the guest experience and improving order throughput, PopPay helps to reduce fraud and offers lower payment processing fees.


Wildfire Systems Launches RevenueEngine to Drive Monetization of Generative AI-Powered Offerings

Wildfire Systems Logo

Wildfire Systems Inc., an innovative technology platform that powers reward programs, shopping companions, and content monetization launched RevenueEngine, the industry’s first solution for monetizing ecommerce transactions driven by generative AI-powered applications, plugins, and products. 

As the AI economy accelerates, companies and startups are increasingly leveraging generative AI to create innovative applications that promise to transform industries - including retail, travel/hospitality, financial services, healthcare, and more. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, the generative AI industry may grow from $40 billion in 2022 to $1.3 trillion by 2032. 

However, many companies lack a clear monetization strategy for their AI applications which prevents them from tapping into this market opportunity. Wildfire’s platform solves this problem, transforming new AI applications into revenue-generating products. 

“In dorm rooms, garages, and offices around the world, people are using AI to build innovative products and services, however, monetizing that content still remains a challenge, and that’s where we come in,” said Jordan Glazier, CEO, Wildfire Systems. “RevenueEngine is uniquely positioned to be the foundational layer which enables innovators to easily earn revenue from the services and generated content they are creating.” 

RevenueEngine turns AI-created product recommendations from general and specialized chatbots, predictive text, or other software that generates or enhances content into monetized, revenue-driving ecommerce links to nearly 60,000 online merchant programs around the world. Whenever products are mentioned in generated content, RevenueEngine transforms those product mentions into monetizable links so that creators can earn a share of purchases made through those links. 

Rather than generating content itself, RevenueEngine provides the AI infrastructure layer for monetization that can be used by anyone developing LLMs, or building products on top of them. For example:

  • Publishers using AI to generate an article about “must-have” products for a new baby  can leverage RevenueEngine to automatically populate the article with monetized links directly to the products mentioned in the article. When readers clicked the links and made purchases, publishers earn a share of the sale

  • A financial services company using AI to generate personalized product recommendations based on past spending habits can tap into RevenueEngine to automatically link recommended products to the retailers selling those items online. When users click the links and make purchases, the financial services company earns a share of the sale.

TravelArrow, an all-in-one travel assistant that helps consumers get the best deal on their next vacation, partnered with Wildfire in 2022 to power their MilesBack feature which allows their customers to automatically earn miles or cashback when they shop online. As the company began to develop ForgeMyTrip to provide AI-generated trip itineraries, they again turned to Wildfire.

“Wildfire was integral to making our MilesBack feature a success, enabling us to substantially improve the customer experience we deliver- so we knew they’d be key to the success of ForgeMyTrip as well,” said Jaideep Patil, Co-founder, TravelArrow. “It makes sense to provide users with convenient links to learn more about AI recommended points of interest, book travel, and more. With RevenueEngine, the links are monetized and generate revenue nearly effortlessly for us. Integrating was quick and easy, taking less than a day because of the simplicity and efficiency of the Wildfire API.”


BeCause Partners with to Provide API for Third-Party Sustainability Certification Data

BeCause logo

BeCause, a startup enterprise software company transforming how the hospitality, travel, and tourism industries manage their sustainability data, has announced a new partnership with global online travel platform Through a dedicated API, the partnership will make it possible for to receive updated data in real time about accommodations that have earned an array of more than 40 recognized third-party sustainability certifications. This will enable the company to more efficiently present reliable, up-to-date information about those accommodations with a third-party certification, so travelers can make a more informed choice for their next trip.  

The ability to transparently communicate credible sustainability information is increasingly crucial for companies like, as a growing number of people continue to indicate that they prefer more sustainable travel choices. In fact, according to’s latest Sustainable Travel Report, 57% of global travelers say they would feel better about staying in a particular accommodation if they knew it had a sustainable certification, and 81% say sustainable travel is important to them.

A bespoke sustainability solution to meet global tourism and traveler needs

Based on its Sustainability Management Hub platform, BeCause developed an API solution specifically for’s needs. As one of the world’s leading digital travel platforms, sought an efficient, scalable way to receive data from accommodations certified according to the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) recognized standards, among others. They also wanted that data to be automatically updated in their database, so customers would always have access to up-to-date sustainability information about the available accommodation options.

BeCause’s solution addresses both needs first by replacing manual update processes, which are time-consuming and occur only periodically, with automated sustainability data transfers. The BeCause solution also maps standards from 40+ certifications that align with GSTC criteria to the data provided by tens of thousands of individual properties worldwide, providing a more complete and accurate picture of the sustainability information for those accommodations available on

“Through our partnership with BeCause and the technical solutions they have created specifically for our platform, we’ve streamlined how we receive sustainability information from our accommodation partners that have invested in achieving a credible third-party certification, allowing us to focus our efforts internally on those areas where we can further innovate and have the most impact,” says Thomas Loughlin, Sustainability Manager at “We get the accurate, trustworthy data that we need in real time, which we can then in turn automatically present to our customers, enabling them to make more informed decisions about how they choose to travel.”

A partnership between leaders in the sustainability sphere

“Working with, which beyond having an extensive global reach, has an equally considerable reputation for being a leader in sustainability issues and efforts, is a significant deal for our startup,” says Frederik Rubens Steensgaard, CEO and Co-founder of BeCause. “It’s an ideal fit in terms of vision, needs and capability, and we look forward to helping expand its sustainability data management capabilities even further as our partnership continues.”

BeCause helps organizations collect, coordinate, and communicate their sustainability data, reducing redundancies and creating efficiencies that translate to positive revenue and ecological impacts. BeCause’s solution connects certification entities and travel providers and distributors, enabling over 17,000 hotels and online travel platforms to provide travelers with accurate and reliable sustainability data. These processes, traditionally handled via spreadsheets, emails and unconnected niche systems, are ripe for transformation, and the need to manage them efficiently to ensure compliance and competitive advantage is fueling the growth of BeCause.‍


Chick-fil-A Debuts Drive-Thru Only Location

Chick-fil-A Hawaii drive-thrus

The first drive-thru focused Chick-fil-A location on O‘ahu will open on July 27 in Honolulu.

Chick-fil-A Inc. has selected O‘ahu-raised Zane Dydasco as the independent franchised Owner/Operator of Chick-fil-A Makiki. 

Face-to-Face Ordering

The restaurant’s custom design will feature a dual-lane drive-thru experience and three walk-up windows. In the drive-thru line, team members will welcome customers face-to-face to take each guest’s orders on a tablet. As the  order-taker walks the line, another restaurant Team Member will come to the customer’s car to take payment, allowing vehicles to move through quickly. To ensure restaurant Team Members working in the drive-thru line are comfortable in warm weather, Chick-fil-A  partnered with clothing brands that design cooling vests and moisture-wicking uniforms.

As a drive-thru focused restaurant, Chick-fil-A Makiki will not provide dine-in services.

Guests of Chick-fil-A Makiki can download the Chick-fil-A  App and join the Chick-fil-A One  tiered membership program, where guests receive points on every qualifying purchase which can be used to redeem available rewards. Third-party delivery will be added in the future.


LasoExperience Empowers Hotels with Seamless Integration of Maestro PMS for Enhanced Guest Interactions

woman in hotel lobby

LasoExperience, a guest-experience SaaS platform that builds meaningful relationships with guests, and Maestro PMS, a web browser based cloud and on-premises all-in-one property-management system for independent hotels, luxury resorts, conference centers, vacation rentals, and multi-property groups, announces an integration partnership that will empower hotels to deliver exceptional guest experiences through personalized and relevant interactions, such as booking their stay, mobile check-in/out, mobile keys, purchasing extras, ordering food and beverage, signing up for activities, booking local attractions, and messaging staff.

With LasoXP’s cutting-edge technology and Maestro's robust PMS platform hotels can gain a comprehensive view of their guests' needs and preferences, providing them easy ways to interact with hotels and make their experience more enjoyable from pre-stay to post-stay. This integration bridges the gap between data-driven insights and exceptional guest experiences, and it provides real-time communication that has been lacking between guests and staff.

"We are thrilled to partner with Maestro PMS and bring this powerful integration to our customers," said Michael Garvin, CEO of LasoExperience. "By combining our expertise in guest engagement with Maestro’s advanced, flexible operational technology, we are equipping hotels with the tools they need to truly understand and cater to their guests' preferences. This integration represents a significant step forward in elevating customer service and driving hotel success."

Leveraging Maestro’s API, the joint solution impacts the guest journey immediately after booking as travelers are led through their stay from pre-stay communication, onboarding, mobile key, recommendations, offers, room upgrades, concierge service, follow-up and future bookings. Together, LasoExperience and Maestro are enabling guests to feel more welcomed as they enjoy a personalized experience which leads to higher guest satisfaction, additional revenue streams, and exceptional service in addition to augmenting labor needs and costs.

Key Benefits of the LasoExperience and Maestro Integration:

  • Enhanced guest engagement: By exchanging data between LasoExperience and Maestro PMS, hotels can gain deeper insights into guest preferences, enabling them to tailor their services and offerings to meet individual needs. This heightened level of personalization creates memorable guest experiences and fosters long-term loyalty.
  • Increased revenue through relevant offers: By keeping up with reservation changes in real-time, hotels can seize opportunities to enhance guest experience. Whether it's offering room upgrades or personalized add-ons, hotels can send targeted, just-in-time offers that delight guests. This flexibility ensures that hotels are always providing the best possible service, increasing guest satisfaction and driving revenue growth.

"We are excited about the possibilities that this integration will bring to our joint customers," said Warren Dehan, Maestro president. “Hospitality is built on partnerships, and Maestro PMS is continuing its commitment to supporting not only independent hoteliers, but also working with new partners as they emerge, naturally expanding their solution capabilities to meet the needs of their customers and modern travelers.”

The integration of these two systems is smooth and makes LasoXP fast and simple to roll out in an active hotel environment already using Maestro PMS without interrupting operations. Today, Spruce Point Inn is the first property to benefit from the holistic view of the guests enabled by this two-way integration and the ability to engage and activate them when it matters the most. The Sunseeker Resort in Charlotte Harbor, Fla., and the Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, W.Va., will soon follow suit.


Cvent and Choice Hotels International Announce Cvent Instant Book Rollout Across Global Choice Portfolio

cvent teaser logo

Cvent, a meetings, events and hospitality technology provider, and Choice Hotels International announced the global rollout of Cvent Instant Book™ across Choice’s portfolio of franchised hotels. The new direct booking integration, available later in Q3, offers a simplified booking experience for meeting planners to easily find and book guest room blocks online at Choice Hotels properties, streamlining what can traditionally be a cumbersome, manual process. Hotels joining the Choice distribution engine after the acquisition of Radisson Hotels Americas will gain access to Cvent Instant Book soon.

Planners can search, compare real-time rates & availability, and book rooms at Choice Hotels' properties with just a few simple clicks, bypassing the request for proposal (RFP) process that is typically required for larger, more complex events. Embedding the technology into Choice Hotels booking platform also enables hoteliers to increase their visibility and attract more group business by showcasing their properties to Cvent's extensive global network of event planners.

"We’re proud to work with Choice Hotels International to further expand our Cvent Instant Book experience,” said Jim Abramson, Cvent Vice President of Product Management. "This new functionality reflects our shared vision of making booking and managing meetings & events easier – for both planners and hoteliers alike. By embracing innovative technology like Cvent Instant Book, Choice Hotels is prioritizing the customer experience, and now, each of their property owners can easily tap into our extensive global network of 110,000 meeting and event organizers who trust Cvent to find the right venue and power their events."

"We are excited to work with Cvent to further bolster our simplified booking options for meeting planners around the world," said Abhijit Patel, Vice President, Global Distribution and Commercial Strategy. "Our integration with Cvent highlights our commitment to providing our customers with the technology and functionalities they use most, and we will continue to expand our offerings to best showcase our hotels and attract group business to our properties."

As a longtime Cvent customer, this announcement expands Choice’s use of Cvent technology to power their group and corporate travel business and reach a global planner audience. All Choice properties are listed on the Cvent Supplier Network, one of the one of the world’s largest venue-sourcing platforms where planners go to find and book meeting and event venues. In addition, Choice will continue their strategic Cvent Business Travel partnership.

To see this new Choice Hotels Instant Book experience live, visit the Cvent Supplier Network and log in to search and book Choice hotels around the world.