News Briefs


Subway's New Loyalty Program

loyalty program

Subway  unveiled MVP Rewards, a refreshed loyalty program launching September 9 in Canada, the U.S., and Puerto Rico. The new and improved program gives Subway guests the MVP experience with more ways to earn, more perks, and more earning power as customers ascend from Pro to Captain to All-Star status tiers. Consumers can earn points by ordering their favorite sub in Subway restaurants, on or the Subway app.

MVP Rewards replaces Subway MyWay Rewards. All 30 million MyWay members across North America will be enrolled in the new program, and their unspent tokens will automatically be converted into points, giving them a head start on reaching status and earning MVP Rewards' best perks. New members will receive 250 bonus points when they join**.

"Subway fans are the best in QSR and to thank them for their loyalty, we're giving them the star treatment as MVP Rewards members," said Mike Kappitt, Chief Operating and Insights Officer at Subway. "Consumer input helped inform our refreshed loyalty program to create a best-in-class experience. MVP Rewards gives our guests more of what they love from Subway, with a few hidden surprises baked in, so every guest feels like an MVP and comes back to Subway more often for their favourite subs."

As part of its loyalty refresh, Subway made the program easier for guests to sign up, earn and redeem points, as well as advance from Pro to All-Star. Besides craveworthy signature subs and meal upgrades, members at the Captain and All-Star tiers will soon have access to special Subway merchandise and members-only VIP exclusives:

For a complete overview of Subway MVP Rewards and Subway's new loyalty program benefits, visit


GauVendi Takes Another Step Towards an Open, Feature-Based Inventory Platform

logo, Gauvendi

GauVendi is advancing its disruptive approach to rethinking inventory, which has already been successfully implemented in the GauVendi Sales Engine, towards an open, feature-based inventory platform.

GauVendi started in 2020 with an innovative AI-driven booking experience that provides accommodation providers with a comprehensive solution for hyper-personalized sales and fulfillment automation. It was mainly deployed as a stand-alone solution. With this evolution, accommodation businesses and technology providers can now explore new avenues in sales, distribution, operational efficiency, and marketing of inventory. They benefit from highly automated processes without major system overhauls.

"We aim to offer every operator the opportunity to distribute their inventory in a scalable manner, much like it was previously only possible through personal sales - and all of it fully automated," says Markus Müller, CEO, and co-founder of GauVendi. "With the open API interface, all technology providers can now sell relevant and customizable inventory through their platforms. Our solution acts as an additional layer integrated into the existing tech stack, enabling differentiated sales and automation without significant changes to the current system landscape," adds Müller.

GauVendi's platform is the only one worldwide that provides a feature-based language and a dynamic product management system with its approach. The open API approach ensures seamless integration with other technology providers. Feature-based inventory can be transformed into relevant and tailored accommodation products using the AI recommendation model. The result is a transparent guest experience right from the booking process and significant time savings during reservations through intelligent and optimized room assignments.

The newly established inventory management platform and the associated new products and solutions were developed based on experiences gained from implementing the Sales Engine with existing hotel customers, their achieved results, and the acquired data. The new data structure enables the introduction of advanced automation possibilities, including dynamically optimized and intelligent room assignments using AI (Reinforcement Loops), going far beyond the largely manual and limited assignments used until now.

In today's era of personalization, the data structure in the form of categories for inventory management has proven to be inadequate. It lacks information about individual room features in data formats, making it challenging for operators to fulfill guest requests without significant manual and operational efforts. Any inquiry about specific room characteristics is handled offline and requires manual processing. Monetizing these features is also not possible, and the lack of personalization reduces the competitiveness of accommodation businesses compared to others.

Müller adds, "These problems are a thing of the past with the use of GauVendi. The results our customers achieve with our current solution validate this: significant increases in room revenue, considerable time savings through new automation features, a reduction in phone and email inquiries, and better guest reviews and check-in experiences."


Reservation Management Software Provider Libro Debuts Guest Experience Platform

Libro logo

Libro, a provider of online reservation management software, announced the release of its Guest Experience Platform 6.0. The suite of new features, including Reputation Management, Guest Marketing, and an Enhanced Digital Waitlist, expands the company's reservation software into a more robust Guest Experience Platform. Effective immediately, restaurateurs of all sizes can reduce wait times, collect guest reviews, conduct surveys, streamline guest communications, and manage table reservations all within the Libro Guest Experience Platform 6.0.

As part of the Summer 2023 release, Libro introduced a suite of Reputation Management features to proactively manage, influence, and improve a restaurant's public perception. With the Libro Guest Experience Platform 6.0, restaurant operators can automate email campaigns and soon SMS communications using personalized messaging to prompt guests to review their dining experience.

Also making its debut is Libro's new Guest Marketing module. Restaurateurs can develop and execute a consistent email communication strategy using drip campaigns that are fully branded, customized, and automated. For the first time, restaurateurs can manage guest relations directly in the Libro Guest Experience Platform rather than importing and exporting data from separate third-party applications.

Libro also leveraged its ongoing collaboration with Google to roll-out an Enhanced Digital Waitlist. Diners can now add themselves to a digital waitlist before arrival and track the wait in real-time using the "Join Waitlist" button on a restaurant's Google Business Profile. This feature complements Libro's existing Reserve with Google integration, which enables diners to discover restaurants through Google Search or Maps and book a table with a single click.

In addition, the Guest Experience Platform 6.0 release encompasses several enhancements surrounding reservations and table management. Restaurants can efficiently track and leverage guest preferences to anticipate diners' needs and provide an exceptional end-to-end dining experience. A variety of tools are also available to help reduce no-shows, including cancellation fees, charging a security deposit, or requiring prepayment.

"By incorporating Guest Marketing, Reputation Management, Reservations, and Table Management into a single, easy-to-use platform, we're providing a streamlined set of tools and data points that all work together to help operators better understand their guests," says Lorne Schwartz, President of Libro. "The Guest Experience Platform provides customizable features in this release to give restaurants more power to create a personalized experience and deliver the highest level of service before, during, and after a meal."


GiftAMeal Expands List of Integration Partners

Giftameal purple logo

GiftAMeal, an innovative cause-marketing program that turns customer photos into meals for local families in need,  announces strategic integrations with industry leaders Olo, Incentivio, Lunchbox, Thanx, Ovation, and Performance Foodservice. These integrations open new avenues for restaurants to engage customers, drive social impact, and enhance the dining experience.

Typically, to participate in GiftAMeal, guests simply scan a QR code to launch the program, take a photo of their food or drink order, and GiftAMeal makes a restaurant-funded donation to a local food bank to help provide a meal to a family in need. For its community impact, GiftAMeal was presented with HT's Industry Hero Award at MURTEC.  Guests are then invited to share their photo on social media to provide additional meals. Over 700 restaurants are involved and over 1.5 million meals have been provided so far. 

These new integrations provide the ability for GiftAMeal to seamlessly integrate into a restaurant’s tech-stack in a plug-and-play manner. See all integrations here:

Olo Integration

At the end of their online ordering experience via Olo (NYSE: Olo), customers can be given a prompt with a button to launch the GiftAMeal experience in a branded, mobile-friendly web-view.

Incentivio, Lunchbox, Thanx Integrations

Restaurants that utilize Incentivio, Lunchbox, and Thanx now have the ability to add a GiftAMeal button within their white-labeled mobile apps. This keeps the customer in the restaurant’s ecosystem, and adds a socially-conscious element to their apps to complement their loyalty programs.

Ovation Integration

Patrons can now launch the Ovation guest feedback survey at the end of their GiftAMeal photo-sharing experience, enabling restaurants to gather valuable insights. Similarly, patrons can launch the GiftAMeal experience at the end of their Ovation interaction, promoting social responsibility.

Performance Foodservice Partnership

Through the partnership with Performance Foodservice, GiftAMeal becomes a OneSource partner, offering a custom solution tailored to the needs of their client restaurants.


Serco Leisure Selects Agilysys PMS to Modernize Customer Experience

computer and tablet displaying Agilisys software

Agilysysthe hospitality-focused technology company, today announces its partnership with Serco Leisure, the world-renowned sport and leisure provider. Serco will implement Agilysys Property Management System across its entire 550-bed estate, in order to optimize both its customer and guest experience. 

Serco Leisure is one of the UK’s leading national operators of leisure, destination venues, and elite sporting facilities. Its properties include both Bisham Abbey, and Lilleshall National Sports Centre’s, Stoke Mandeville Stadium, and the Holme Pierrepoint Country Park. As home to some of the UK’s leading elite athletes and Olympic and Paralympic teams, Serco is dedicated to providing world-class facilities and an experience to match to its guests and customers. 

“Our previous system provided a less-than-ideal experience for customers and staff. Also, it did not integrate with other applications or provide proper reporting functionality,” said Steve Nelson, Operations Director of Serco Leisure’s National Sport Centres.

“With Agilysys solutions, we’ll be able to deliver a more personalized service for our diverse range of customers, which includes Olympic and Paralympic athletes as well as members of the public,” Nelson added. Agilysys’ intuitive and easy-to-use PMS will be rolled out across Serco Leisure’s properties alongside its latest point-of-sale (POS) system. 

“Serco Leisure understands the need to modernize its hospitality solutions to be the best in the market,” said Ben Curtis, Managing Director, EMEA for Agilysys. “We are grateful to help the company improve its offerings, which will attract more guests, customers and employees, enabling the company to maximize guest and staff experience and ultimately increase revenue.”

Serco is the latest addition to Agilysys’ growing portfolio of PMS customers. Between 2022 and 2023, the number of rooms managed by Agilysys PMS grew to more than 300k. Agilysys broader software portfolio includes customers such as Watergate Bay and Carnival in the UK, and Caesars Group and Hilton in the US. 


Trustwave SpiderLabs Release New Hospitality Cybersecurity Report


The Trustwave SpiderLabs team said it conducted a multi-month investigation into the cyber threats facing the hospitality industry worldwide and has released a detailed report displaying how threat actors conduct attacks, methodologies used, and what organizations can do to protect themselves from specific types of attacks.

The report, "2023 Hospitality Sector Threat Landscape: Trustwave Threat Intelligence Briefing and Mitigation Strategies," takes a multi-step approach to break down threat actor trends and techniques. For example, in the Emerging Trends section the threat is analyzed, there is a discussion on how it can affect an organization, Trustwave SpiderLabs insights are revealed, and mitigations to reduce the threat are introduced.

“In an industry where guest satisfaction and reputation are paramount, staying secure while offering cutting-edge technology is a delicate balancing act,” said Trustwave Chief Information Security Officer Kory Daniels. “Our latest threat briefing is a valuable resource for security leaders within the hospitality sector, providing a comprehensive view of the threats observed by our SpiderLabs team, along with specific mitigation strategies to bolster defenses.” 

The report discusses in depth the factors that make the hospitality sector unique when it comes to cybersecurity. These points include often having a seasonal and less security-sophisticated workforce, constant user/customer turnover, dirty networks, physical security concerns, and often operating under a franchise model.

When these industry-centric factors are combined with emerging and prominent trends that are appearing, such as generative AI and Large Language Models, contactless technology, and third-party risk, it’s obvious the hospitality sector must bring its “A Game” when it comes to cybersecurity.

How Threat Actors are Gaining Access

SpiderLabs found a long list of threat actors operating against hospitality organizations. These include the well-known LockBit, Hive, Ragnar, and BlackBasta, among many others.

These groups have an arsenal of weapons and techniques at their disposal including, malware like Emotet and Qakbot, phishing, fake order and extortion scams, business email compromise, brute forcing credentials, and using vulnerabilities like MOVEit RCE (CVE-2023-34362).

Why This Report Matters

The 2023 Hospitality Sector Threat Landscape: Trustwave Threat Intelligence Briefing and Mitigation Strategies report is not a simple laundry list of threats and issues, but instead offers concrete actions hospitality organizations can immediately take to better secure their operations.

Ensuring critical business and customer data is secure should be a paramount concern to those tasked with protecting these organizations. It is clear from the current activity being tracked that threat groups show no indication of slacking off in their efforts to pry this information away from its rightful owners.

Attackers will continue to use traditional methods such as phishing, exploiting known vulnerabilities, and compromising third-party vendors continue to pose significant threats. Additionally, threat actors will continue to find innovative ways to outpace defenses that are instituted.