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.


LG Electronics and ArtPlayer Partner to Provide LG SuperSign Cloud Art Service

LG television displaying artplayer's artwork

ArtPlayer has chosen LG SuperSign Cloud for collaboration due to LG’s significant market presence and a global reach, providing LG SuperSign Cloud solutions to customers around the world deployed in various industries and sectors, including retail, hospitality, transportation, healthcare, education, and corporate environments where the benefits of art can be advantageously displayed.

“We are delighted to partner with LG by seamlessly integrating ArtPlayer directly into the LG SuperSign Cloud’s user interface, thereby expanding the reach of our art service to LG customers worldwide,” said Morten Kryger, managing director of ArtPlayer. ”They can display rotating artworks, easily change display options, and optional mix the art with other content in their playlists.”

ArtPlayer can be used for digital signage purposes within hospitality establishments. Digital screens displaying artworks can serve as eye-catching signage to guide guests, promote facilities, or provide information about events and services.

Additionally, ArtPlayer can contribute to a therapeutic environment in healthcare facilities. The presence of visually captivating and calming artworks has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and discomfort for patients, creating a more calming and supportive atmosphere.

ArtPlayer is not only beneficial for patients but also for healthcare staff and visitors. The presence of engaging and visually captivating artworks can uplift moods, reduce stress, and improve the overall well-being of those working in or visiting healthcare facilities.

According to LG: Regularly creating fresh content may seem challenging, but LG SuperSign Cloud’s Art Service, ArtPlayer, grants users access to an eclectic array of refined art for their displays, elevating the atmosphere in diverse settings such as offices, hotel lobbies, and restaurants. These captivating motion graphics can promote a soothing and entrancing experience for customers in the waiting area.

Additionally, the ArtPlayer in the LG SuperSign Cloud is an annual subscription service that provides AI-curated images which can evoke moods like ‘calm’, ‘happy’, and ‘exciting’, transforming public displays into artistic showcases instead of mere advertisements.


Sonesta Announces Hiring of Michelle Steffens as Vice President of Full-Service Hotel Operations

Michelle Steffens of Sonesta HOtels

 Sonesta International Hotels Corporation (Sonesta), the 8th largest hotel company in the U.S., announced the appointment of Michelle Steffens as Vice President of Operations, with responsibility for the managed portfolio of full-service hotels and oversight of the full-service regional operations team.

“We welcome Michelle to Sonesta as leader of the Full-Service Operations Team,” said Len Wolin, Sonesta’s Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations. “We believe her experience as an operational expert and hospitality leader will be vital to enhancing the guest experience and driving top and bottom-line performance at Sonesta.”

Ms. Steffens joins Sonesta with more than 17 years of hospitality industry experience.  Most recently, she was Senior Vice President of Operations at Aimbridge Hospitality.  Ms. Steffens’ previous roles included senior-level and regional leadership positions at Interstate, Island Hospitality, and White Lodging. 


White Castle Expands Successful Drive-Thru AI Partnership

White Castle exterior

SoundHound AI Inc. and White Castle announced an expansion of their partnership to deliver a superior voice AI-enabled drive-thru experience to restaurant customers across multiple locations nationwide.

In the first phase of its partnership, SoundHound’s technology powered voice AI ordering technology at select White Castle drive-thrus. This new agreement between the two companies will grow that coverage to over 100 of White Castle’s US drive-thru lanes by the end of 2024 – many of which will run 24/7.

SoundHound’s technology is based on complete end-to-end AI and is not a human-assisted system. It relies entirely upon intelligent automation to deliver a fast, accurate, scalable, and consistent service right across locations and channels (including kiosk, phone, and other devices).

SoundHound and White Castle’s next big step marks a commitment to take sophisticated drive-thru AI to broad implementation based on years of proven results. These include:

  • 90% order completion rates that exceed previous staff-based benchmarks
  • Average order taken and processed in just over 60 seconds
  • Consistent, reliable, and “always on” performance
  • Scalable and repeatable infrastructure

“White Castle is committed to investing in the best available technology to create welcoming and enjoyable drive-thru experiences for our customers,” said Mike Guinan, Vice President, Operations Services for White Castle. “Our partnership with SoundHound has allowed us to be first movers in this space and we’re excited to do even more to satisfy cravers everywhere. Working together, we’ll be able to deliver the drive-thru experience of tomorrow today.”

A study by SoundHound reveals that a majority of customers (over 60%) are already comfortable using an automated voice assistant at a drive-thru. Even the majority of the segment that are “AI skeptics” would willingly use an automated voice assistant to order if it speeds up the process. Well over half of all customers (57%) state that long lines at the drive-thru are their biggest pain point, ahead of incorrect orders (52%).

This partnership builds on SoundHound’s track record in the services space, spanning capabilities and products including its breakthrough Dynamic Interaction, and phone-based Smart Answering and Smart Ordering offerings. 


Nomadix Earns ISO/IEC 27001 Security Certification from BSI

Nomadix ISO certification

​​Nomadix® Inc​., bringing connected experiences to life, today announced the company has received its ISO/IEC 27001 Security Certification, awarded by BSI, a leading conformity assessment body and the originator of the standard. Certification by this internationally recognized program demonstrates that Nomadix has the security practices in place to protect all corporate, partner and customer information.

ISO/IEC 27001 is the latest iteration of the information security management system standard that aligns with the 114 comprehensive ISO information security controls, which cover organizational issues, human resources, information technology, physical security and legal issues, and results in improved performance in privacy protection, data leakage prevention and risk management. The certification demonstrates Nomadix’s continued commitment to providing the highest levels of security and confidentiality in all of its global business processes, a cornerstone that’s expanded throughout the company’s history.

“At Nomadix, we enable companies to connect, manage and engage with their customers, and security and privacy are at the foundation of everything we do from our people, processes and programs,” said Dr. Chris Spencer, group chief information security officer at Nomadix. “This prestigious certification requires a robust approach to managing information security, building resilience and driving continual improvements to protect against evolving security risks.”


Iconic Hotels Selects IDeaS to Drive Revenue Performance Across Five Properties in Australia

Exterior view of Iconic Hotels' property

IDeaS, a SAS company and a provider of hotel revenue management software and services, announced that Iconic Hotels by Geoconhas adopted IDeaS Revenue Management System (RMS) across five of its Australian-based properties to automate daily pricing tasks and drive Average Daily Rate (ADR) performance.

Following a period of organizational growth, Iconic Hotels faced complex revenue management issues that relied heavily on manual intervention. These inefficient processes were prone to errors, potentially impacting the hotel group’s profitability.

  • Match competitor pricing activity: Iconic Hotels required an automated solution that matched the systems and processes of their competitors, ensuring its properties were priced correctly in the market so to avoid leaving money on the table.
  • Automate daily revenue management tasks: The automation of daily revenue management tasks enabled key staff members to focus instead on higher-value operational and strategic activities. 
  • Improve revenue performance: Since working with IDeaS, Iconic Hotels has experienced an increase in ADR performance across all five properties using the system and an increase in sales from higher-tiered and more profitable room categories. 

Rudy Kalele, director of revenue, distribution, and central reservations for Iconic Hotels, said: “IDeaS RMS stands out for its flexibility in adapting to market deviations, allowing us to align with current conditions. Additionally, the system’s ongoing optimization provided by the RMS ensures accurate rate decisions and forecasts that closely align to the final monthly numbers, all supporting ongoing operational and business planning.” 

Jurgen Ortelee, managing director of APAC, IDeaS, said: “IDeaS is excited to be working with Iconic Hotels in Australia to automate their revenue management process and enhance their pricing strategies. With IDeaS RMS, Iconic Hotels has automated daily revenue management processes. It now makes pricing decisions with a comprehensive understanding of its competitors’ positions, facilitating optimal pricing for its rooms and ancillary services. This, in turn, supports ongoing revenue growth for the hotel group.”