Press Releases

Feb 23, 2021

AI-Powered Self-Checkout Food & Beverage Kiosks Land in Charlotte Douglas International Airport

  • HMSHost Introduces Smart Vending for Touchless Food and Beverage Experience
  • Dynamic Vision Recognition Captures Purchased Snack Items While Automated Blue Light Cleans Vending Machine Between Users

BETHESDA, Md. (February 23, 2020) – Speed and especially safety are essential as travelers are hustling through the airport again as they try to adjust to the new normal of travel. To meet these essential needs, HMSHost fast-tracked the launch of the SandStar Smart Kiosks as a contactless, on-the-go option for hungry passengers. The new intuitive coolers are located at the Red Star Bar in Concourse B at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

“HMSHost is constantly delivering new solutions to adapt and innovate throughout airports spaces around the world,” said HMSHost President & CEO Steve Johnson. “Contactless convenience is at the forefront of our technology initiatives because it keys in on the health and safety of our customers. Passengers traveling through CLT can now grab fresh food to-go with self-checkout to give them confidence in a truly contactless experience.

Want delicious, freshly prepared sandwiches, wraps and salads in a hurry? Just swipe a credit card to open the cooler door, pick from an assortment of nutrient-packed portable choices and premium beverages, close the door, and head to the gate to board a flight. The smart kiosk uses dynamic vision recognition to capture the items taken from the kiosk and activates the Blue Light virus cleaning cycle once the door is closed. The Blue Light kills 99% of any virus that could potentially be present between customers. Payment is made automatically to complete the shopping experience. The final shopping cart is displayed on the screen and sent to your mobile device for your convenience.

“SandStar is delighted to partner with HMSHost to bring this leading-edge technology to airports around the world,” said Mike Kiser, President of SandStar North America. “With our current pandemic, consumers are seeking contactless shopping solutions as a way to keep them protected which is why we expected staggering growth of smarter self-checkout systems delivered through our intuitive retail kiosks.”

Consumers are rapidly changing their shopping habits and technology is paving the way for alternatives to traditional retail experiences. As HMSHost continues to evolve its food & beverage programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SandStar is a smart and safe solution empowering consumers to self-select products and checkout without any human contact.

About HMSHost
Global restaurateur HMSHost is a world leader in creating dining for travel venues. HMSHost operates locations all over North America, and is part of Autogrill Group, the world's leading provider of food & beverage services for people on the move. Visit for more information.