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.


On the Edge: Chick-fil-A's Modern POS

chick-fil-a exterior

Software company Ditto has partnered with Chick-fil-A Inc. to modernize the point-of-sale (POS) system in Chick-fil-A  restaurants across the U.S.

Ditto created a distributed data platform that enables apps to synchronize data in real-time even without internet connectivity. Ditto's Intelligent Edge Platform enables mobile, web, IoT and server apps to instantly communicate with or without the internet, creating a more reliable digital experience for Chick-fil-A guests and local restaurant operators.

Internet Not Required

Chick-fil-A chose Ditto’s platform to enable devices across its commerce ecosystem to be cloud-optional. The next generation POS system will operate independent of an internet connection, providing more resilience to outages, enhanced speed and flexible control to deliver a reliable end-user experience. By relying on Ditto’s easy-to-use platform, the Chick-fil-A engineering team shortened their POS development timeline by months. The enhanced focus on user experience, rather than on networking and data management, elevates the overall experience. As a result, Operators and their teams will be able to deliver the Chick-fil-A experience customers expect, regardless of sales channel, internet strength, or connectivity.

“We want to bring the same commitment to operational excellence and customer care that you see at our restaurants, and extend that to the things guests can’t see, like technology,” said Chris Taylor, Senior Director, Customer Technology Solutions at Chick-fil-A. “Ditto moves key operational data between restaurant Team Members quickly, seamlessly and with no round trips to central services. The more control and information we can put in the hands of Operators and their teams, the better they can care for customers.” 

“When we discovered Ditto, we pivoted to a data-centric architecture that takes full advantage of the power of modern edge devices,” added Taylor. “The payoff has been enormous. Ditto has enabled us to transform our POS system and meet the needs of our customers and Operators – all while saving our teams and guests valuable time.”

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Romantik Hotels chooses Mews as PMS partner for their collection of 200+ hotels

romantik hotels logo and mews logo

Mews has been selected by Romantik Hotels as an official PMS partner for their portfolio of 200+ unique hotels across Europe. 

The international brand represents independent hoteliers with generations of experience. Many of the hotels are family-owned and are known for their strong sense of tradition and individual hospitality, creating special connections between guests and their environments.

“Romantik hoteliers put the guest experience before anything else, which is why we’ve chosen Mews as a PMS provider,” said Christina Neumann, Manager, Business Development at Romantik Hotels. “Their guest-centric platform is designed to put experiences before processes, and it gives each hotel the power to curate distinct and memorable stays.” 

“You can really feel the passion that the Romantik Hotels teams have for their work, which is why I know this partnership is a great fit,” said Matt Welle, Mews CEO. “I look forward to onboarding plenty of hotels in the coming months and helping them to meet their ambitious goals.” 

A direct, two-way connection to DIRS21 – a reservations and channel manager solution – was essential for the partnership. Mews built a new integration with DIRS21, allowing all Romantik Hotels to manage booking data centrally via Mews, with automatic inventory and rate updates. 

This is now available to any Mews hotelier on Mews Marketplace, which hosts approximately 800 live integrations, many of which can be connected with just a handful of clicks. 


Hospitality Group and Business Performance Index from Knowland and Amadeus Shows Q2 2023 Group Revenue Recovery in Fourteen of Top Twenty-Five US Markets

logo, company name

Knowland, a provider of data-as-a-service insights on meetings and events for hospitality, and Amadeus, a provider of hospitality technology, present the metrics from the companies’ Hospitality Group and Business Performance Index, for the second quarter of this year. The Index, which combines event data from Knowland with hotel booking data from Amadeus to give both individual and aggregate views of the key drivers of hotel performance, was first launched in June and is updated on a quarterly basis.

With its 2Q 2023 data release, the Index now includes data for the Top 25 U.S. Markets. This quarter’s data shows that fourteen of the top markets have fully recovered group revenue in comparison to the same time in 2019. The recovered group markets (with percent of 2019 revenue) include:

  1. Miami – 115 percent
  2. Tampa - 114 percent
  3. Orlando – 113 percent
  4. Phoenix – 112 percent
  5. Dallas – 108 percent
  6. Houston – 107 percent
  7. San Antonio – 105 percent
  8. Denver – 105 percent
  9. San Diego – 104 percent
  10. New Orleans – 103 percent
  11. Washington DC – 101 percent
  12. St. Louis – 101 percent
  13. Los Angeles – 101 percent
  14. Austin – 100 percent

Key insights from the 2Q 2023 Index are as follows:

  • Group business leads recovery – Group business continues to lead in recovery as Q2 2023 is at 102 percent of Q2 2019 levels, driven by a nearly 11 percent increase in Average Daily Rate (ADR) while room nights are lagging 8 percent behind Q2 2019 levels.
  • Meetings and events provide a stabilizing revenue base – Supported by increased rates, both actualized group room revenue and event activity increased slightly in 2Q 2023 compared to 1Q 2023. This continues an overall trend of increases in group business since early 2022, providing a strong basis for optimism in terms of forward-looking occupancy and revenue in 2H 2023 and 1H 2024 as hotels build on the foundation of group business booked further in advance while identifying opportunities to capture shorter term transient demand.
  • Corporate meetings significantly outperform other segments – Corporate meetings and events accounted for 62 percent of events held during the second quarter with Health Care, Technology and Training/Education as the top volume industry segments.

Launched in June, the Index was designed to help hotel sales teams and operators identify the top markets driving group business, enabling hotel sales teams to strategically target these markets and drive increased sales.

The Index compares figures quarterly to same-time performance before the pandemic in 2019, rolling up the data to score the overall ‘health’ of the industry. The Index also includes filters to view top event market segments and industries booking group events, allowing hoteliers, DMOs and CVBs to closely track trends and adapt their business strategies accordingly.


Sheilina Henry Promoted to President of Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse

dine brands logo

Bloomin’ Brands Inc. announced the promotion of Sheilina Henry to President of Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. She will be responsible for leading operations and development for the company’s fine dining brand.

“Sheilina’s extensive background in operations and her drive and passion for excellence will help create a meaningful impact at this exceptional brand,” said David Deno, Chief Executive Officer of Bloomin' Brands. “New restaurant growth is a priority at Fleming’s, and it is as close as the new flagship location that recently broke ground across the street from the Restaurant Support Center in Tampa.”

Henry has more than 20 years of experience in restaurant operations, training, and project management. She joined Bloomin’ Brands in 2012 as an Outback Steakhouse Joint Venture Partner. She was promoted to Vice President, Training & Development in 2016, Regional Vice President of Operations in 2019, and Group Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in 2020. She most recently added leadership for Off-Premises Dining to her Senior Vice President responsibilities.

Bloomin' Brands. has four founder-inspired brands: Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Barand operates more than 1,450 restaurants.


P.F. Chang's CEO to Step Down

PF Changs exterior in NJ

P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc. announced that Damola Adamolekun has decided to step down as Chief Executive Officer effective August 1. The Board has appointed Rohit Manocha, a shareholder representative and P.F. Chang's board member since 2019, to serve as interim CEO and is working with an independent recruitment firm to conduct a comprehensive search for a successor.  Adamolekun will return to Paulson & Co. Inc. as a Partner focusing on investments.

"I'm immensely proud of all that we've accomplished to elevate the customer experience, to build-out the company's technology infrastructure to enable a robust takeout and delivery business, and to expand our international footprint," said  Adamolekun. 


In the four-and-half years since acquisition, the company has invested more than $200mm to open more than 10 bistros and two flagships, revitalized the existing store fleet, and upgraded the menu and experience in restaurants to provide customers with the highest quality Asian food in an entertaining and celebratory setting.

The company has significantly expanded its takeout and delivery business, launching a small-footprint P.F. Chang's To Go format so more customers can enjoy P.F. Chang's anywhere. The Company is now in an ideal position to continue to grow and take advantage of the substantial opportunity to bring the P.F. Chang's experience worldwide.