News Briefs


Unlock Protocol Integrates with Stakes to Bring Membership-Based Restaurant Experiences to Life


Unlock Protocol, the NFT-based protocol enabling creators and brands to form direct relationships with their communities online, has integrated with Stakes, the customer loyalty platform for hospitality businesses. Together, Unlock and Stakes are making it possible for restaurants to sell memberships to their best customers, unlocking perks like last-minute reservations, premium tables, access to secret menu items, special events like wine tastings, cooking classes, performances and more.

How it Works

Customers purchase a membership to their favorite restaurant using crypto or a credit card, and customers mint an NFT that either goes directly to their wallet or is custodied by Stakes. When the customer books a reservation, the system automatically recognizes them and unlocks the perks of their membership. When they arrive at the restaurant, the staff can tell it's a member reservation and they can provide a premium table, free drinks or desserts or the infinite other possibilities this infrastructure provides. Additionally, the membership NFTs provide a touchpoint for restaurants to reach out and engage their best customers by inviting them to special events, to vote on holiday menus, and offer just about any other perks imaginable.

This integration will unlock future capabilities like menu voting, exclusive tastings, referral bonuses and more. Using Stakes, restaurants can boost the lifetime value of their customers by providing them a unique experience that keeps them invested in the brand and coming back.



Lunchbox Rolls Out Catering 2.1

Lunchbox catering

Lunchbox, the enterprise online ordering system, rolls out Lunchbox Catering 2.1, a reimagined management suite with enhanced backend features that streamlines the guest catering experience.

With 73% of remote companies expecting to return-to-office this year, the demand for workplace catering has increased, promoting 50% faster growth in the catering sector than the overall restaurant industry. With the management suite, restaurants are able to streamline an otherwise segmented ordering platform, allowing loyalty and operations to work cross-functionally.

Features include:

  • Order Level Upsells
  • Single Site Ordering
  • House Accounts: Turn one-time guests into repeat catering clients with options to send instant invoices through the House Account feature.
  • Call Center Tool sends quotes, process digital payments, edit orders, access guest order history, update billing, and more.
  • Custom Operations: Have full control over catering operations, with access to customize holiday-specific menus, prep/lead-time, payment options, and more.

"Restaurants often use one partner for catering and another for their online ordering solution — this results in a siloed solution where the two systems are unable to communicate seamlessly and share data," says CTO of Lunchbox, George Istfan. "Lunchbox is eliminating that silo by building an end-to-end platform that encompasses all of an operator's menus and creates a frictionless guest ordering experience for each channel."


Satisfi Labs Partners with accesso® to Make AI Accessible for the Tourism Industry

logo, satisfi labs

Satisfi Labs, a conversational AI platform for destinations and experiences, announced that it has partnered with accesso Technology Group, a technology solutions provider for attractions and venues worldwide. The strategic collaboration between the two companies will empower streamlined and intuitive engagement between leisure & entertainment venues and their guests with AI-driven customer communication. 

Satisfi Labs’ AI Chat solutions are built by attractions and venues, for attractions and venues, leveraging a proprietary NLP and context response system. Its AI Chat has been a cornerstone feature for organizations looking to help answer customer questions and transact revenue across sports, tourism, and entertainment. In partnering with Satisfi Labs, current clients of accesso will be able to take advantage of the momentum of artificial intelligence with automated, 24/7 buyer communications and experiences. 

“AI has become part of everyone’s vocabulary over the last few months and we have been building our product for moments like these,” said Don White, CEO of Satisfi Labs. “We are thrilled to be working with Accesso to bring artificial intelligence to the attractions and venue ecosystem. Our technology will deliver on this new AI economy because it provides data straight from the source, ensuring significant ROI for tourism organizations everywhere.”

“We are excited to partner with Satisfi Labs, leveraging their AI Chat technology to help our clients meet continued and growing demand for self-service solutions, enhance operational efficiency and improve the overall guest experience,” said Steve Brown, CEO of accesso.

Satisfi Labs recently announced a patent pending for its context-based Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology. Satisfi Labs' proprietary training methods for its NLP technology allow for a deep and wide understanding of questions and revenue opportunities. The model employs a contextual algorithm that organizes natural language understanding concepts into tiers across global, vertical, sub-vertical, and local levels to allow for scale and granular accuracy.


Cvent To Be Acquired By Blackstone in $4.6 Billion Transaction

cvent teaser logo

Cvent Holding Corp. (“Cvent”), an industry-leading meetings, events and hospitality technology provider, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an affiliate of private equity funds managed by Blackstone (“Blackstone”) in a transaction valued at an enterprise value of approximately $4.6 billion.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cvent stockholders will receive $8.50 per share in cash, representing a premium of 52 percent to the volume weighted average share price over the 90 days prior to January 30, 2023 – the day before media reports of a potential transaction were published. A wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) will be a significant minority investor alongside Blackstone as part of the transaction.

Cvent’s comprehensive suite of technology solutions powers the entire event management process to maximize the impact of events. Cvent has approximately 22,000 customers globally in the corporate, non-profit, higher education and hospitality sectors as of December 31, 2022. Since its founding in 1999, Cvent has helped manage more than 5 million events, and lists over 302,000 hotels and venues as of December 31, 2022 on the Cvent Supplier Network, an online platform with tools to search, negotiate and contract with hotels and venues for event space.

“We are excited to share this announcement and look forward to our next chapter alongside the Blackstone team,” said Reggie Aggarwal, founder and CEO of Cvent. “As one of the world’s largest private equity firms, Blackstone brings deep expertise in the event and hospitality industry, and with their backing, we plan to continue to invest in our business and deliver the innovative solutions that meet our customers’ needs and power the meetings and events ecosystem.”

David Schwartz, a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, said: “The continued events and travel recovery is one of Blackstone’s highest-conviction investment themes. Given our extensive experience in the hospitality, events and real estate sectors, we believe Blackstone is well positioned as a growth partner for this exceptional business.”

Martin Brand, Head of North America Private Equity and Global Co-Head of Technology Investing at Blackstone, added: “Cvent is an industry leader and we are excited to partner with their management team to continue the firm’s innovation and deliver world-class technology solutions to customers in the event and hospitality space.”

In connection with the transaction, Vista Equity Partners (“Vista”), a leading global investment firm focused exclusively on enterprise software, data and technology-enabled businesses, and majority stockholder of Cvent, has agreed to invest a portion of its proceeds as non-convertible preferred stock in financing for the transaction.

“Since Vista first invested, Cvent has undertaken considerable business transformation and has been a testament to how we partner with founders like Reggie to help their businesses scale and thrive,” said Monti Saroya, Chairman of the Cvent Board of Directors, Co-Head of the Vista Flagship Fund and Senior Managing Director. “The newly digitized events landscape, coupled with Cvent’s strong existing customer base and commitment to innovation, has provided a new growth vector in a post-COVID world. We look forward to seeing the company continue to execute on the opportunities ahead of it.”

Certain Terms, Approvals and Timing

Following the recommendation of a special committee composed entirely of independent and disinterested directors, the Cvent Board of Directors unanimously approved the merger agreement. The transaction is expected to close mid-year 2023, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including receipt of approval by Cvent’s stockholders and required regulatory approvals. Upon completion of the transaction, Cvent’s common stock will no longer be publicly listed, and Cvent will become a privately held company.

Blackstone has received a fully committed $1.0 billion credit facility as part of the financing of this transaction.



Qatalyst Partners is acting as financial advisor to Cvent, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal counsel to Cvent.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC is acting as financial advisor to the Special Committee, and Goodwin Procter LLP is acting as legal counsel to the Special Committee.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is acting as legal counsel to Blackstone, and Evercore, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and UBS are acting as financial advisors to Blackstone.


Nomadix Releases Proven Connectivity Solution for Long-Stay and Serviced Apartments to the Hospitality Market

woman doing a video conference call

Nomadix® Inc​. announced it has released its proven managed connectivity solution for hospitality properties serving long-term rental and serviced apartment residents. When hotel guests turn into long-term residents, their connectivity requirements change, as well as their expectations for home-like experiences. As the trend for mixed-use properties continues to rapidly grow, especially across the Middle East and Europe, Nomadix Managed Wi-Fi for MTU transforms the way building owners and operators set up, manage and provide service for long-term residents and their guests.

Hotels planning to address this expanding market segment should invest in Nomadix Managed Wi-Fi for MTU as it provides robust, simplified management for onboarding, offboarding, and security, as well as offers simplicity for everyone and everything connected to the network. According to a survey conducted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), people own on average 4.8 internet-connected devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, and this number is expected to increase to 6.6 devices by 2025. Considering the various IoT devices in an average home, a family of four could easily have 30-50 devices connecting to the internet — not counting the smart devices already included on the property (i.e., smart thermostats). Long-term residents typically travel with more devices making this a major focus area for properties wanting to make it easy for residents to connect and stay connected in a secure, simple and reliable way.

Nomadix’s solution replaces the traditional logins and portals used for short-term stays. New residents will receive an email with a direct link to connect when they move in and are then in control of their network to connect their devices. They don’t need a portal or login page compared to the traditional method of accessing the internet, which is important for IoT devices that often don’t have a screen to enter information. And instead of needing to authenticate every week or every 72 hours, for example, the resident is set up with their own virtual network for secure, fast and convenient access throughout the duration of their contract.

“Long-term residents expect the same high-speed internet connectivity experience as they get at home. This includes seamless connectivity and the ability to easily connect all of their preferred devices for work, relaxation and play, including video streaming, gaming, and video calls for working remotely,” said Tammy Estes, chief product officer at Nomadix. “Hotels have trusted our bandwidth management and visitor-based networks for over 25 years, and our connectivity solution specifically developed for multi-tenant, long-term residents will provide increased NOI, better guest satisfaction, and overall better experiences for employees and residents throughout the rental duration."


This seamless and hassle-free solution is supported by Nomadix Networks, Cambium Networks, Cisco Meraki and Ruckus Networks, to name a few, and is now available for hotels looking to upgrade or for new installs. For more information about Nomadix Managed Wi-Fi for MTU, visit


CASE STUDY: Smoky Mountain Resorts Transforms Workforce Management Game

woman using a tablet

Smoky Mountain Resorts, a family-owned business known for its portfolio of three unique family-friendly hotels – the Creekstone Inn, Country Cascades Waterpark Resort, and The Resort at Governor's Crossing – is dedicated to delivering a high level of excellence even amid labor challenges and rising costs. With fewer hands on deck and a need for greater accountability among all staff members, management sought potential technology partners capable of offering greater control and oversight over daily operations. This included a complete upgrade of its employee communications and workflow tools to promote a mobile-first operations strategy. What they discovered was PurpleCloud Technologies, a service optimization platform designed to increase productivity and decreased labor costs, especially in the housekeeping department, one of the largest cost centers in hotels. 

“Like many hotel companies, Smoky Mountain Resorts faced growing challenges that came with reduced staff and higher guest expectations as business began to recover,” said Adria Levtchenko, PurpleCloud Co-Founder and CEO. “Each of their hotels relied on legacy technology before the pandemic, limiting their teams’ ability to perform their duties on the move and adding unnecessary steps to daily operations. This minutia was compounded amidst high turnover and increased worker stress levels, creating multiple barriers to meeting guests’ service expectations. They needed a solution and found it in PurpleCloud.”

The Problem

Housekeepers at Smoky Mountain Resorts properties lacked an efficient way to inform the front desk when rooms were finished cleaning, as they were still dialing the front desk to update them on each room’s status. If a guestroom needed additional attention, a specific housekeeper would need to be located on property and told to revisit the room, creating a backlog of activities and derailing the process of efficiently making rooms available to guests.

Similarly, the maintenance department at each of location was manually printing work orders to receive a list of tasks. This process took more than five minutes and often contained outdated information – a real problem during high-traffic periods. This problem also extended to managers, who were often forced to check in with each department individually and rely on their reporting to understand the status of work orders and how they have been prioritized. It required tracking down each department head in person multiple times per day and became increasingly overwhelming with limited staff.

These issues shared a commonality: they required each department head to be in a specific location on property to receive or provide crucial operations information. In today’s fast-paced hospitality environment, this became a detriment to the brand’s stellar reputation among travelers and necessitated a change.

“Communications restrictions compounded these challenges,” Levtchenko said. “To stay in contact with each associate, their managers used a third-party messaging app. Although it improved overall communication, the app also created security and operations concerns and provided sub-par cellular service when making onsite calls. At the beginning of each shift, staff had to start new chat threads using the platform. This was limiting and made it difficult to follow up with past conversations and impossible to create a log for long-term conversations.”

The Solution

PurpleCloud reduces time spent on staff moving from one location to another simply to receive new work orders or update management on their current status. It oversees operations, monitors guestrooms' status, and streamlines daily property checklists.

Available on tablets, mobile devices, and computers, the PurpleCloud app enables staff to quickly review hotel status and any relevant requests via its built-in chat feature. This digital approach to workforce management eliminates redundant paper use, as work orders and property information can be viewed directly within the app.

“We have successfully eliminated many communication barriers and challenges by having operational information flow seamlessly between resort departments and teams,” said Kay Collier, Smoky Mountain Resorts CEO. “Our ability to monitor and maintain consistent accountability within our resorts through daily and weekly checklists is a feature in PurpleCloud that we were not able to find in any other software.”

The Implementation

After adopting PurpleCloud’s suite of operations engagement and insight tools, hotel workers begin their day by checking the PurpleCloud app for assignments, updates, and relevant information. Notifications are delivered to departments or individuals to provide additional information before each shift, and each department receives new updates as tasks are completed in real-time. Management, engineering, housekeeping, and front-office workers all received access to PurpleCloud, creating greater consistency across all departments.

“PurpleCloud’s built-in chat feature improved communication across the board,” Levtchenko said. “Staff could reliably contact one another in an emergency, as our app’s text chat feature supports longer conversations with time-stamped messages that are easily recalled. PurpleCloud creates greater accountability for each department by leaving a clear trail noting when requests were made, addressed, and completed. It allows hotel managers to quickly identify areas for improvement and note successes within their staff for recognition. Most importantly, it helps different departments manage their responsibilities and reduce unnecessary minutia limiting operators’ capabilities.”

The Result

Staff at Smoky Mountain Resorts no longer need to leave their departments and visit a central hub to print physical work orders. By using their mobile devices to access PurpleCloud’s application and stay up to date on issues as they arise, the company reduced the time it takes to address work orders by 50 percent. The system also reduced the time it takes for hotel managers to receive an overall update on each department, down from 15 minutes to just a few moments throughout the day.

Housekeeping room inspection times have also dramatically reduced, as room availability is updated quickly. Room inspectors can now mark rooms as clean or needing additional attention directly on their mobile devices, keeping housekeepers informed on the status of each room throughout the shift. These changes have increased the efficiency and movement of every worker on property, cutting unnecessary trips to the front desk and improving workflow.

“With a greater level of information available to the hotel team at all times, Smoky Mountain Resorts’ operation has nearly doubled in efficiency,” Levtchenko said. “Their people are more aware of their priorities, and managers have clear metrics to help them track areas of improvement. Accountability for every team member has increased, contributing to improved guest review scores. These investments show the resorts’ commitment to service and operations excellence and it will help better position Smoky Mountain Resorts for continued success as hospitality resumes recovery.”

Visualization is a powerful tool, and Smoky Mountain Resorts are making use of PurpleCloud’s technology to better manage its rooms, reduce reliance on paper, and cut down on unnecessary trips to the front desk. Corporate now knows more about each property than ever before. Staff are assigning rooms more efficiently because they know the status of a room, its inspection score, and when it is available. These capabilities have better equipped Smoky Mountain Resorts to succeed in today’s hospitality landscape.

“Using PurpleCloud this past year has proven to be successful in reducing administrative costs and time spent handling paper records,” Collier said. “Our focus has been on prioritizing the use of technology to increase efficiency for our team and guests. PurpleCloud has been an integral part of that process. In our next phase, we hope to introduce gamification to encourage our employees and add some fun to the workday. The feedback from the people using PurpleCloud everyday in our organization is overwhelmingly positive and we are truly happy with the choice to incorporate it into our business.”