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.


Waverly Labs Adds New Features to Forum

waverly labs logo

Waverly Labspioneers of smart translation solutions, unveils an enhanced version of Forum, the mobile and web-based app that helps people easily communicate in multiple languages. Designed for use in lecturers, auditoriums, and theaters, as well as in-person and/or remote meetings (working alongside platforms such as Zoom, Google Chat, and Microsoft Teams), Forum now features five additional languages, greater user and session controls, faster and more variable launch and access options and is now fully compatible with Android and iOS.

Users of Forum either host or attend a session that can take a variety of formats, including one-to-many, one-to-one, or many-to-many communications. Once a session is created, participants can join by simply scanning a QR code or entering a meeting code generated by the host. They then select which language they want to receive, and Forum provides text and audio translation direct to their device. Forum can be seen in action here.

Its foundational technology revolves around capturing speech, leveraging cloud-based processing, and seamlessly providing translations to many devices and tailored solutions, each optimized for specific applications. With its exceptional speed and precision, Forum effortlessly manages ongoing conversations, ensuring a seamless and authentic interaction among participants, and adeptly translate conversations involving multiple users while simultaneously processing different language translations, enabling seamless and dynamic communication.

Already being tested by multinational companies such as Uniqlo and Chanel, The Perfect Crime, the longest-running play on Broadway, and churches around the country, Forum has proven a versatile platform. Most recently, connected health leaders, Withings, a French-based company, used Forum at an event in Paris with international attendees. Léa Céline Lutz, Brand Marketing Specialist, Withings, commented, "We hosted an international conference with attendees from four different countries (France, the UK, Germany, and the US). The Forum app was the perfect solution because our speakers presented medical and technical information in a variety of languages, and each attendee could follow along in their native language of choice." 

Forum can be used in a wide variety of industries, including theaters, lectures, houses of worship, education, conferences, events, international business meetings, labor training, and entertainment. Today, it adds Ukrainian, Bengali, Farsi, Swedish, and Finnish to the languages it supports. It now offers audio and text translations in 25 languages and 45 dialects, including English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Greek, Russian, Hindi, Turkish, Polish, Chinese Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Cantonese, Hebrew, Thai, Vietnamese and Dutch.

"Over the last seven months, we have been working closely with a variety of people on Forum, and we are delighted to expand its features even wider, bring on board new languages, provide a wider range of customization, and give those using Android OS the experience of using Forum." Said Andrew Ochoa, Founder, and CEO at Waverly Labs.

The advanced features of Forum include the following:

Versatile speech recognition and transmission options

  • Hold-to-Talk: Hold the mic button to capture your voice and release it to translate.
  • Pause-to-Translate: Simply talk, and following a 2- second pause in speaking, translations will be completed without the need to hold any mics or press any buttons*.
  • Live Translation: In this mode, Forum translates as you speak in real-time*. 

Vocabulary Preferences: Providing great control over terminology and decency. 

  • Custom Vocabulary and Definitions: Add uncommon vocabulary that are regularly used, such as names, acronyms, expressions, and slang, to personalize and increase the accuracy of your experience.
  • Profanity filter: Provides the option to block any words or phrases not wanted in a chat.*

Transcripts:  - Past conversations are available as transcripts. You can see the messages displayed in all the participants' languages during the session*

Host Controls: The HOST speaker has complete control to mute the audience and lock the session so no other participant joins during the speech.*

Enhanced Accessibility Features - Ability to adjust Text size, view the number of participants in a session, and control the speed of audio.* 

Log-in flexibility: Creating a Forum account and/or log-in has never been easier as users now can do it using Google, Apple ID, or an email*.

Mobile Web Browsers: Now, downloading the app is not necessary anymore; just scan a QR code with a camera phone, making it easier to distribute to a bigger audience.*

*Added Enhanced features to Forum

Forum offers both free and tiered feature plans to cater to diverse user requirements. The app can be downloaded for free, allowing users to join sessions and listen to streamed translations (text) on their devices. However, hosting sessions and sending communications for translation requires a plan.

Plans vary based on factors such as the number of participants and supported languages, monthly translation minutes, hosted session limits, and access to additional features like vocabulary preferences. Users can choose from Free, Personal, Professional, and Premium plans, with monthly costs ranging from $0 to $129. Furthermore, customized "Team Plans" are available for individual companies, ensuring a tailored solution to meet their specific needs, as well as custom Enterprise solutions

Forum is part of the Waverly Labs suite of translation solutions, which also includes SUBTITLES and AMBASSADOR INTERPRETER. SUBTITLES is a customer service counter display designed for safe in-person interactions, while AMBASSADOR INTERPRETER is an over-the-ear device that provides nearly simultaneous audio and text translations. For further information, please visit


Canary Technologies Unveils Canary AI, a Generative AI-Powered Guest Messaging System for Hoteliers

Canary Technologies logo

Canary Technologies, a guest management system, is launching the beta version of Canary AI, a fully enabled generative AI engine that will be embedded across Canary’s entire Guest Management System. The product is the latest in Canary’s suite of guest management tools, driven by the latest technology. Generative AI refers to algorithms that are used to create new content using existing context.

The product will assimilate relevant general hotel information from existing resources about the property and surrounding area in order to generate auto-responses using contextual guest information like reservation details and guest profiles. The AI model is trained over time to craft the most relevant answers based on the most common guest responses. 

Canary’s new feature will keep customer data safe while helping hoteliers increase staff efficiency, enabling them to save hours in responding to guest inquiries. It also saves guests time, providing answers to their top-of-mind questions directly and instantly.  Canary’s AI capabilities will also drive a more personalized guest experience based on their specific customer criteria like loyalty status. Hotels can sign up to be part of the beta launch by contacting Canary.

“AI is reshaping the way we live, travel, and do business. With Canary AI, we’ll be able to help hoteliers transform the guest experience and enable staff to focus more on hospitality,” said Blake VanLandingham, Head of Engineering for Canary. “As AI reshapes the way we live, travel, and do business, we look forward to maintaining the safety of customer data and building this new technology into the guest journey as part of the Canary platform.”

Canary will continue to embed AI into their products to help hoteliers reduce fraud, streamline operations, elevate the guest experience and boost revenue. 


Tripleseat Acquires Attendease

handshake partnership

Tripleseat, a provider of cloud-based event management software for the hospitality industry,  announces the strategic acquisition of Attendease, a meeting and event software for enterprise and corporate event planners.

The acquisition is a natural fit. It combines two separate ecosystems, social and corporate event planners and event managers at restaurants and hotels. The sales and event management platform of Tripleseat and the Attendease event planner application come together for a frictionless planning process, further entrenching Tripleseat as the powerhouse in end-to-end event management solutions. The combined company will operate under the Tripleseat brand and will be managed by Jonathan Morse, Tripleseat co-founder and CEO.

 Attendease provides functionality that empowers planners with dynamic features such as event registration, ticketing, VIP and speaker management, website building, and data-driven reporting  that will integrate with Tripleseat's sales and event management platform.

Event planners will now have a seamless and easy experience finding, booking, and planning their weddings, corporate events, birthday parties, or tradeshows.


Oaky Empowers More PMS Solutions with Front Desk Upsell Automation for Enhanced Upsell Results at Check-in

PMS logos

Oaky, a hotel upselling software solution that helps thousands of hotels to maximize their revenue, has made its Front Desk Upsell automation (FDU) solution available for a wide range of PMS solutions Oaky provides 2-way integrations with. In addition to Mews and OPERA Cloud customers, hotels using Guestline, Infor, Protel, Shiji, Apaleo, Stayntouch, and Cloudbeds can now also take advantage of Front Desk Upsell automation.

Front Desk Upsell automation is a recommendation engine that allows agents to sell the right deal to the right guest at the right price during the check-in process. All it takes are a few clicks and seconds of employees’ time. 

Via Oaky’s dashboard, the front desk agent can search for the specific guest’s reservation to get access to instant upselling prompts as well as information necessary for successful upselling, such as room/service availability, current rates, price ranges and upsell commission they can receive in case of selling a room upgrade/service. Upselling prompts are tailored to each guest segment, which increases the conversion rate of upselling deals.

Front Desk Upsell automation was a strategic investment and the next step in expanding the capabilities of the Oaky solution with the goal to equip hotels with top-notch tools, enabling them to take their upselling and revenue management strategies to new heights. 

This expansion to include other popular PMS solutions further demonstrates Oaky's commitment to providing comprehensive and flexible solutions for hotels seeking to optimize their upselling strategies. Erik Tengen, the co-founder and CEO of Oaky, shared: 

Helping hotels to drive more revenue is at the heart of what we do, and our latest expansion of Front Desk Upsell automation to numerous PMSs enables more hotels to maximize their revenue potential. With the software's rapid load time and real-time upsell prompts, hotels gain the power to seize new revenue opportunities at check-in, retain more staff that excel in upselling, and elevate the overall guest experience.”

Pillows Grand Hotel Reylof is one of the early adopters of Oaky’s new Front Desk Upsell automation solution. They’ve achieved an upsell conversion rate of 23% which has helped them to generate a 2.2% TRevPAR contribution.

Their front office managers highlight increased efficiency as one of the major benefits. Aside from being easy to use, it also loads quickly, helping to save precious time and keep the check-in process smooth. 

"We are delighted with the remarkable results we have achieved using Oaky's Front Desk Upsell automation. In just 10 days, we experienced a significant increase in revenue per room and a high conversion rate. Oaky's solution does not only streamline our upselling process, but it also saves us valuable time. It is user-friendly, fast, and has exceeded our expectations. We are confident that Oaky's technology will continue to drive revenue growth and enhance our guest experiences."

Hotels eager to replicate or improve upon the success of Pillows Grand Hotel Reylof can now take the next step towards achieving their goals. By reaching out to Oaky about their Front Desk Upsell pricing, hotels can unlock the tools needed to build upon their upselling strategies and unlock new revenue streams.


More Than One Million Anti-Human Trafficking Trainings Completed by Hotel Industry Employees

AHLA Foundation logo

The AHLA Foundation proudly announced that Foundation-funded human trafficking awareness trainings have been completed more than one million times by hotel employees across the industry. Developed by Marriott International and administered by PACT (previously known as ECPAT-USA), the trainings are part of an industry-wide initiative to help hotel employees recognize and report signs of potential on-property human trafficking. The hospitality industry is uniquely positioned to disrupt human trafficking, and employee trainings play a critical role in prevention efforts.  

There are two available courses – Your Role in Preventing Human Trafficking: Recognize the Signs and Recognize and Respond: Addressing Human Trafficking in the Hospitality Industry for Associates and Managers. This training milestone is in addition to many multi-faceted anti-trafficking efforts by AHLA members. 

This accomplishment comes on the heels of the AHLA Foundation’s 2023 No Room for Trafficking Summit last month, where the AHLA Foundation awarded grants from the No Room for Trafficking Survivor Fund to four community-based organizations – a first for the hospitality sector. The fund has grown to more than $3.5 million since last year, and the AHLA Foundation will match contributions up to $5 million dollars to achieve its goal of $10 million in total contributions by the end of 2023.   

“More than one million training programs being completed – alongside the $500,000 in grants awarded to survivor support – mark encouraging trends that demonstrate the industry’s influence and the power of partnership,” said Anna Blue, President of AHLA Foundation. “There is no finish line – we know we have a long way to go, but it’s clear that awareness and education are critical to chipping away at this global issue.”