News Briefs

  • 2/29/2024

    Lighthouse Unlocks the Power of Generative AI with Launch of Smart Summaries for Hotels

    Lighthouse Logo teaser

    Lighthouse, a commercial platform for the travel & hospitality industry, announced the launch of Smart Summaries within its award-winning Business Intelligence solution. Smart Summaries leverage generative AI to transform complex data sets into easy-to-read daily performance summaries for hotel commercial teams, transforming how hotels interpret complex data to make revenue decisions.

    Generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) is helping hotels tackle tasks like writing marketing copy and automating responses to guest inquiries with chat bots. But turning quantitative data into actionable insights has remained elusive. Now, Lighthouse is using the latest advancements in GenAI to dramatically improve the quality and speed of quantitative data analysis for Revenue Managers. 

    In an industry first, Lighthouse is leveraging advanced GenAI learning models to provide hotel professionals with customized daily performance summaries directly to their inbox. This advanced technology was built and rigorously trained using vast data sets and tens of thousands of human-written performance summaries as part of the training models. Smart Summaries are able to capture and summarize changes in pick-up, ADR, segmentation, and occupancy that previously took hours to compile.

    "With the introduction of Smart Summaries, Lighthouse is at the forefront of generative AI innovation for hospitality businesses," said Sean Fitzpatrick, CEO of Lighthouse. "Our goal is to take revenue management to the next level, eliminating the more mundane administrative tasks, and freeing up time to make great commercial decisions and grow revenue. 

    We're just getting started with generative AI. It complements our other advanced AI and machine learning capabilities perfectly and we envision our platform becoming an even more invaluable commercial co-pilot over time.”

    To build the GenAI capabilities, Lighthouse worked with thousands of hotels to identify the number one time-consuming task for revenue managers: managing repetitive daily performance communications with stakeholders. Smart Summaries directly address this challenge by automating the generation of insightful, easy-to-understand performance summaries, freeing up time for more strategic initiatives.

    Key benefits of Smart Summaries include:

    • Reduction of non-revenue generating workload so hoteliers can focus on strategic initiatives that drive revenue
    • Timely identification of actionable insights that impact pricing and promotional strategies
    • Improved efficiency for hospitality commercial teams

    Lighthouse's Smart Summaries leverage generative AI to transform how revenue managers use data. Greg Peppel, Head of BI Products at Lighthouse said, "Research by HSMAI indicates that revenue managers spend over half their time on tasks that don't generate revenue. Our goal is to shift this dynamic, enabling them to focus on strategic activities by utilizing AI to save time and streamline the complexity of data analysis." 

    Smart Summaries are currently available to a limited set of Lighthouse BI customers and will be rolled out globally over the coming months.

  • 2/28/2024

    Restaurant365 Launches Tip Automation, Strengthening Payroll Accuracy & Efficiency

    skeptical man facing a payment terminal

    Restaurant365, an all-in-one restaurant enterprise management platform, announced the release of its tip automation tool.

    Accurately managing the distribution and accounting of tips is critical to restaurants' day-to-day operations and long-term success.

    "Restaurant365 Tip Automation gives me four to five hours of my week back," said Chad Arnold, an Oklahoma-based Summer Moon Coffee franchisee and early adopter of the tool. "Now, it's simple for me to delegate and teach someone how to use tip automation versus a spreadsheet, and from an employee standpoint, it's regulated; they know a software is managing the process, so it builds trust."

    Eliminating Manual Chaos  

    Previously, restaurants used nonstandard processes to manage how they account for and distribute tips, requiring multiple individuals to make manual calculations, opening the door for mistakes and inconsistencies. Restaurant365 Tip Automation bridges the gap between POS punches and the payroll system, eliminating the need for cumbersome data entry and auditing, while automating record keeping. Users can create as many rules as needed to accurately manage tip shares and pools, eliminating the need for manual work and any doubt that tips are distributed according to company policies.

    "As with many other restaurant management functions, we've long seen leaders spending too much time working with disconnected sets of generic tools and spreadsheets that prevent them from performing at their best," said Mark Calvillo, senior vice president of product at Restaurant365. "With Restaurant365 Tip Automation, restaurant companies of all sizes can create automated, integrated workflows that streamline manual work so leaders can focus on what matters most — their guests and teams — with the confidence that tips are properly managed and accounted for."

    By moving the entire tip workflow to an automated system, restaurant leaders and employees get greater visibility into the entire process. Employees can see their tips within Restaurant365's mobile app, including total tips earned for each pay period, broken down to shift totals, giving employees financial visibility to better manage their money and expenses. 

  • 2/28/2024

    Chipotle Doubles Investment in Cultivate Next to $100M

    chipotle avocado robot

    Chipotle Mexican Grill is increasing its commitment to its Cultivate Next venture fund by $50 million, which brings the fund's total investment pool to $100 million. Introduced in 2022, Cultivate Next makes early-stage investments into strategically aligned companies that further Chipotle's mission to Cultivate a Better World and help accelerate the company's aggressive longer term growth plans to operate 7,000 restaurants in North America.

    "Our decision to double our commitment to our Cultivate Next venture fund is a clear indicator that we are investing in the right companies that we can learn from and utilize to improve the human experience of our restaurant teams, farmers, and suppliers," said Curt Garner, Chief Customer and Technology Officer, Chipotle. "The parallel growth of Chipotle and our partners will continue to further our mission to Cultivate a Better World by increasing access to real food."

    Cultivate Next Investments

    To date, Chipotle has invested in a wide range of companies innovating in areas such as farming, supply chain, advanced robotics, and plant-based foods. The new $50 million commitment will expand the company's existing portfolio, which currently features:

    • Hyphen
    • Local Line
      • Local Line is a leading local food sourcing platform for regional food systems, serving farms, producers, food hubs, and food buyers. In less than a year, Chipotle's investment has helped Local Line digitize their operations, increase their retention rate of customers, build their farm database, and expand to serve international farms in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. In tandem, Local Line has been a key partner in enabling Chipotle to meet its local produce sourcing goals.
      • Due to the early successes with the platform, Cultivate Next has made an incremental investment in Local Line. Chipotle will also leverage Local Line to fund grants to local farms within 350 miles of its new restaurants. The company plans to open 285 to 315 new locations in 2024.
    • GreenField Robotics
      • GreenField Robotics is a company founded with the vision of making regenerative farming more efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable by leveraging the latest advances in AI, robotics, and sensing technologies. The company's autonomous agricultural robots can weed crops both day and night, while reducing the need for toxic herbicides. With its Cultivate Next investment, GreenField will continue to build out its robotic fleets, which are currently running on farms in several states, and release additional capabilities for the robots including micro-spraying, cover-crop planting, and soil testing.
    • Nitricity
      • Nitricity is a company seeking to tackle greenhouse gas emissions by creating fertilizer products that are better for fields, farmers, and the environment. Funding from Cultivate Next will be used to scale up Nitricity's production of nitrogen, build out the company's infrastructure, and support the launch of its first commercial product within the next two years.
    • Vebu
      • Vebu is a product development company that works with food industry leaders to co-create intelligent automation and technology solutions. Chipotle is collaborating with Vebu to build and scale Autocado, Vebu's proprietary avocado processing cobotic (collaborative robot) prototype. Autocado is currently progressing through Chipotle's stage-gate process and will undergo an operational test in one restaurant this spring.
    • Meati
      • Meati Foods serves nutrient-dense whole-food products made from MushroomRoot™. Chipotle is continuing to explore opportunities to bring real, fresh vegetables to the center of the plate with menu innovations that uphold its Food with Integrity standards.
    • Zero Acre Farms
      • Zero Acre Farms is a food company focused on healthy, sustainable oils and fats that is on a mission to end the food industry's dependence on vegetable oils. The company has introduced a new category of healthy oils and fats made by fermentation that are more environmentally friendly. Chipotle is in the early trials of testing Zero Acre Farms at its Cultivate Center test kitchen in Irvine, California.

    "It is incredible to see the possibilities that exist when we bring the right founders, startups or ventures into collaboration with Chipotle," said Christian Gammill, Cultivate Next Fund Manager. "Witnessing the progress of our cohorts over the past two years has motivated us to scale our efforts and drive real change in the supply chain, agriculture, restaurant innovation, and automation sectors."

    The Future of Cultivate Next
    Chipotle will continue to provide updates on the Cultivate Next venture fund in 2024 and beyond. Companies interested in collaborating with Chipotle through the Cultivate Next venture fund can apply by emailing [email protected].  

  • 2/28/2024

    Weeva Collaborates with Design Hotels


    Designed by sustainable tourism experts, Weeva champions continuous improvement actions, backed by consistent data management, to boost efficiency, reduce wastage and, ultimately, support profitability and business resilience within the industry. 

    Renowned for establishing partnerships that keep its member hotels ahead of the curve, Design Hotels is currently hosting an ongoing series of online workshops and virtual roundtables to connect its members with partners, industry experts, and each other around actionable insights and forward-thinking ideas and practices. 

    The first of these conversations, hosted by Elin Kann, Director Sustainability & Culture at Design Hotels, and moderated by Dr Andrea Ferry, Head of Sustainability at Weeva, focussed on the importance of developing an internal culture of sustainability. A key takeaway was: 

    “If ‘vision’ is where you are going, ‘culture’ makes sure you can get there.”

    Weeva’s reporting tools can generate tailored Impact Reports for hotels to share with their guests, tour operators and other suppliers. Reports show metrics such as the carbon footprint per bed night or an overall view of a property’s impact. It’s not about being perfect, but rather quantifying goals and showing improvement. Using a system like Weeva helps streamline internal management, sharing the load between departments, from HR employee wellness surveys for to showcasing your community projects. It is also an invaluable data aggregator for those wishing to gain certifications. 

    Julie Cheetham, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Weeva commented: 

    “We’re so excited to onboard many of the Design Hotels member hotels into our system in 2024, giving them access to all our best-practice educational guides, suggested improvements and easy-to-understand tools and dashboards that track results in real-time. 

    The travel industry has long needed affordable, accessible sustainability technology to measure and improve operations for the benefit of profit, people and the planet – so it is wonderful to see our software being adopted by hotels of this calibre globally.”  

    Stijn Oyen, Managing Director of Design Hotels, said

    “We are delighted to collaborate with Weeva to share the exemplary sustainability efforts and successes of our member hotels in transparent, measurable ways. 

    By utilizing Weeva’s data-driven, science-backed approach, our aim is to learn more about the impact our hotels have on the planet, and apply these insights to develop new, meaningful initiatives that guide them towards a more conscious, sustainable future.” 

  • 2/29/2024

    Tenable Introduces Groundbreaking Visibility Across IT, OT and IoT Domains to Fully Illuminate Attack Vectors and Risks

    new tenable logo

    Tenable®, the Exposure Management company, today announced the release of Tenable One for OT/IoT. It is the first and only exposure management platform that provides holistic visibility into assets across IT and operational technology (OT) environments. 

    The convergence of physical assets and IT – such as HVAC systems in data centers, badge readers in office buildings, cameras on manufacturing floors, and many more – has resulted in a broader cyber attack surface. As IT, OT and IoT assets become increasingly interconnected, cyber attacks are often originating in IT systems and then spreading into OT environments, with potentially devastating results. Today's CISOs find themselves responsible and accountable for securing OT and IoT environments.

    Tenable One for OT/IoT extends visibility beyond IT, to include OT and IoT, and helps security leaders gain a clear picture of true exposure across their entire attack surface. This first-of-its-kind approach allows organizations to prioritize security risks wherever they reside - be it in the cloud, data center, or the OT environment - and most importantly, to understand how these risks create attack paths across their infrastructure. 

    Users can also view their global exposure, including OT assets, to see how their security posture compares to other companies in their industry and gain additional insights from their OT assets to make better decisions, faster. 

    The Tenable One platform now combines the broadest vulnerability coverage spanning IT assets, cloud resources, containers, web apps, identity systems, OT and IoT assets. It builds on the deep threat intel, regulatory compliance and vulnerability expertise and data from Tenable Research, and adds data analytics to prioritize actions and reduce cyber risk, enabling: 

    ● Comprehensive visibility beyond the IT environment to the modern attack surface 

    ● Risk intelligence to mitigate operational risks 

    ● Actionable planning and decision making across enterprise and critical infrastructure environments 

    “On a daily basis we witness threat actors finding creative ways to disrupt businesses through non-traditional paths. Risk doesn’t end at IT. For those that rely on physical computing technology, OT and IoT often power their most business-critical activities. Any disruption is extremely damaging and often results in an inability to function,” explained Amir Hirsh, SVP and general manager of OT Security, Tenable. “We understand that OT environments require a different approach from IT and we’ve designed our security solution so teams no longer have to choose between cybersecurity or productivity. They can have both.” 

    The threat to OT systems from nation-state actors was recently driven home in a U.S. Congressional hearing in which top leaders from the Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the FBI, the Office of the National Cyber Director (ONCD) and the National Security Agency (NSA) testified that U.S. electricity systems, water utilities, military organizations and other critical services are actively being targeted by Chinese hacking campaigns. Subsequently, an international advisory confirmed that Volt Typhoon - a People’s Republic of China-sponsored threat actor - has pre-positioned itself on U.S. IT networks to enable lateral movement to OT assets and to disrupt functions. 

    The Tenable One for OT/IoT license includes not only Tenable One, but a companion license of Tenable OT Security and Tenable Security Center. 

  • 2/28/2024

    Accor and IDeaS Announce a Global Revenue Management Partnership Across Accor’s Portfolio

    logo, company name

    IDeaS, a provider of hospitality revenue optimization software and services, and Accor, a hospitality group with one of the industry’s most diverse hospitality ecosystems encompassing more than 45 hotel brands from luxury to economy, have announced, following a rigorous selection process, that Accor has chosen IDeaS as its global revenue management software (RMS) provider.

    Partnering on a bespoke suite of advanced IDeaS revenue management solutions, Accor continues to transform its commercial strategy to benefit hotels, property owners, and managers and redefine revenue excellence while driving RevPAR and Revenue Generation Index (RGI) growth.

    Accor is a leading hospitality company operating over 5,600 hotels in more than 110 countries. IDeaS and Accor have signed a partnership, introducing a range of IDeaS solutions to Accor’s diverse global brand portfolio, aligning IDeaS’ transformational capabilities with the unique needs of the Accor hotelier.

    Accor will leverage IDeaS to future-proof its revenue management strategy by utilizing best-in-class technology to create a competitive advantage and deliver superior value while considering its global portfolio footprint. Through the focus and implementation of strategic pillars, the new toolsets will enable hotels to benefit from dynamic pricing, total revenue and profit optimization, and awareness of the competitive landscape to shift focus toward revenue management strategies while driving a strong revenue management culture across Accor’s global portfolio.

    Benefits of the partnership include:

    •             Proven RevPAR and RGI growth — Accor has already seen growth in RevPAR and RGI in hotels that have already been onboarded.

    •             Tailored revenue solutions — The partnership includes a suite of revenue solutions designed to meet the unique needs of Accor and its global hotel portfolio, maximizing expertise, economy of scale, and financial returns.

    •             Solutions and support for the future — As an industry-leading RMS technology provider, IDeaS is well-positioned for the future, with the demonstrated scalability and joint innovation capabilities needed to collaborate with Accor to shape the future of the hospitality market.

    Ravi Mehrotra, co-founder and chief scientist, IDeaS, said: “We are thrilled to be selected as a global partner to drive Accor’s commercial revenue platform transformation at a moment of unparalleled growth and opportunity for the company worldwide. In a new era of innovation and consumer and product diversification, we are pleased to bring IDeaS’ market-leading automation, pricing approach, and a singular focus on holistic revenue optimization to Accor’s diverse brand portfolio.”

    "We are driven to provide our owners and managers with the best possible solutions to achieve revenue expansion and optimal topline performance. As the hospitality industry evolves in response to dynamic market demands, deploying a robust and adapted hotel Revenue Management System secures our sustainable commercial growth, with demonstratable RevPar and RGI growth. The developed solution with IDeaS serves our unique, extensive and diverse brand portfolio and global footprint.” added Karelle Lamouche, Chief Commercial Officer, Accor, Premium, Midscale & Economy brands.

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