Apps And The Hospitality Industry

May 10, 2013

In the UK and particularly the UK Hospitality Industry we are very slow to adopt technology in business.

WHY!

Wherever we go now we see our potential customers using their phone, tablet or laptop to conduct their business and personal life. Recent statistics tell us that mobile web traffic rose by 403% in first 9 months of 2012, 87% of the world’s population owns a mobile phone and mobile broadband subscriptions have grown annually by 45% since 2007. Our customers are all spending more time on their smart phones doing mobile banking, shopping and socialising. People are looking for and demanding easy accessibility.

The retail industry are all encouraging us to click and collect so lets join in and reap the benefits that an app can give our businesses, such as:

  • Reducing wastage
  • Improved advanced knowledge on sales
  • Opportunity to promote other areas of business
  • Growing a database
  • Target marketing for offers
  • Happy customers
  • Income through complementary advertising
  • Knowledge of customers spending patterns

Businesses in the hospitality industry that are utilising app technology are seeing significant benefits, for instance Dominoes are seeing sales of over £1m per year via mobile and with suggestive selling are seeing average spend increases of 18%.

The App can link with social media sites, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Trip Advisor, Google+ and Four Square to further promote your business.

Unlike most Apps the App system I work with allows access to the control panel for its users. This access enables menus to be updated, features can be added or removed, offers and daily deals can be promoted all whenever the business wishes to do so. It is also allows direct access to the database so it can be utilised for marketing purposes and exclusive offers together with providing information on your customers buying patterns. This App system is also totally bespoke and uniquely branded to your business. We also work and listen to all our clients to constantly develop the App for the benefit of all.

This app is appropriate for use across all aspects of the hospitality industry  from ordering your lunch at work, booking and pre-ordering in a restaurant or pub, pre-ordering food and drink for an event, ordering room service in a hotel and also for take-aways on the high street.

Imagine being a football supporter and from your seat or before you arrive at the stadium being able to order your half time food and drink. Then either have it delivered to your seat or collect from a central point

  •  No Queuing
  •  Hassle Free
  • Increase Spends
  • Invaluable Customer Information
  • Target Marketing
  • Create a loyalty scheme without the need for customers to carry around a loyalty card
  • Reduction in cash handling with in App secure payment
  • All monies go direct to your account

The same benefits apply if you operate a staff catering facility and you make your menu available on their smartphones 24/7. It allows them to create their sandwich from your deli options at a time to suit them and then at lunchtime avoid the queuing, imagine how they will feel able to do more with their lunchtime. Also if you are in the pub and restaurant sector allowing your customers to view the menu on their smartphone, even pre-order and if desired pre-pay the benefits are enormous to you. We are also a very favorable option over the bigger app operators if you operate a take away as we ensure the money goes direct to your account and set up and order rates are very competitive.

With all of this why do you not allow your customers to carry your venue and menus around in their pocket all day. Your standard website is not optimised for viewing on the small screen of a mobile phone or tablet but your Web 2.0 site will look great on a small screen and means that you are accessible to anyone with mobile internet. People will be able to view your menu, book a table and order food in advance and all this information can be sent direct to your printer, fax, computer or as a text. Also we can enable online and in-app payment direct to you.

The information that can be provided from this software will tell you how people are using your app and therefore produce more successful target marketing and launch promotions for quiet periods. It comes complete with Google Maps so customers can easily find you. It will also link with all your social media to further inform your customers and build up loyalty by offering vouchers and special offers.

If you would like to be sent a demo app for you to visualise the benefits and explore how it will appeal to your customers contact me or visit the app page on the web site http://www.guineasassociates.com/services_mobile-apps.html


POUR YOUR OWN PINT

December 10, 2012

Imagine going into a pub, to an event, stadium or racecourse and being able to pour your own pint. Technology is everywhere controlling our World and now it will allow you to pour your own pint.

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THE FOUR KEG WALL

Pour your own Pint –The system that allows your customer to pour their own draught beer, either from a table, beer wall or mobile unit.

The ideal solution for volume businesses and customers pay for every drop of beer.

This system, new to the market can be fixed or mobile. The fixed solution is for new builds or refurbishments as beer lines need to be run to the table. The mobile is ideal for events, stadia or any volume occasion. The mobile unit holds 2 kegs and gas. The beer wall holds four kegs and gas and will therefore service more people, ideal for volume occasions like stadiums. The system works wirelessly and staff are totally in control from behind the bar or a central point. The customer purchases an i-button from the bar or cash point and this allows them to pour beer to value on the i-button. The system has a number of advantages including:

  • Instantly increases profitability as customer pays for every drop of beer dispensed
  • It saves time and allows staff to focus on other areas
  • It has proven success in where it has been installed with customers booking beer tables in advance when there is a major event
  • The screen on beer pump allows customer to order other drinks and food directly from table
  • Mobile units provide a solution to volume environments or in temporary situations such as marquees.

8 Tablet 2

A TABLE TOP UNIT COMPLETE WITH TABLET

The draught beer unit above shows the beer taps complete with tablet which can be used for ordering food, alternative drinks and would connect to the tills so the orders can be bought to the table. The tablet can also be used for advertising to improve the pay back or advertise future events and menu items.

This technology has use throughout the hospitality industry and has tremendous appeal to the customer. Imagine being able to book your own beer table in your pub to watch a major event on the big screen or going to that major event and not having to queue for a pint.

The capital outlay is offset by a number of factors including it allows you to serve more beer, there is no waste and you can sell advertising space on the tablet.

If this is of interest please contact me for further details


TABLET TECHNOLOGY IN THE UK HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY

July 18, 2012

The use of tablet technology in the hospitality industry has not fully reached the UK shores, but it is approaching fast. The use of tablets in restaurant and hotels to replace paper menus and guest information books plus a variety of other procedures has got the hospitality industry in the USA in a spin. The use of this technology is being embraced by family restaurants, sporting venues, leisure facilities and major hotels across this continent as the realisation of the benefits of interacting with guests is recognised. It is a topic of hot debate as to if the industry, previously geared around personal service, is ready to accept this technology and the supporters of its implementation are winning the day. It is already becoming the talk of holidaymakers as they return to the UK from the USA, so the storm is being whipped up and is on its way, so why not take the opportunity to see how it might help your business. Tablet technology is not for all establishments but it certainly has its place in family restaurants, pub chains, large hotels, sporting stadiums, bowling alleys, casinos, theme parks and holiday parks. Let’s just look at some of its uses.

Replacing Menus

We have all faced the issue of trying to make dishes sound appealing with words and making sure our menus are not stained or dog eared. The cost of replacement menus when we increase the selling prices is significant and how do we remove items from the menu that are not selling without incurring costs also how do we price menu items with fluctuating seasonal prices. The tablet has all these answers and more. Imagine being shown to a table where there is a screen showing photographs of every dish on the menu, no requirement for descriptive words, people eat with their eyes. What a WOW factor this creates. The prices and dishes on the menu can be changed when you want, if you have sold out it can be removed, if the cost price changes significantly you can amend your selling price. The tablet can detail the composition of every dish on the menu to alleviate the issue of guests asking waiting staff what the dish contains and with the increase in food allergies, this information is essential. The guests when ordering can even send the chef a message please can we have the dish without…. In addition to all of this imagine the benefits of guests being prompted to order additional items and wines and drinks recommended with the food. Also guests do not have to wait for a waiter to order dessert or additional drinks and request/pay the bill the tablet will deal with all of this and you have the additional sales. In the USA restaurants have been reporting between 10 and 30% increases in average spend. Your staff can focus on delivering customer service and if guests do require a waiter’s attention it can be requested via the tablet. The tablet also allows you to receive immediate guest feedback and the technology allows immediate postings to Trip Advisor and social media sites, what a marketing opportunity. From a management prospective the technology reduces the risks of missed billing, constantly logs the inventory of products, provides valuable information on guests dining habits and keeps managers in permanent contact with their business. The tablet can also include limited internet access and a games console.

Guest Information Books

In our hotel bed rooms how do we provide information to our guests on all the facilities in the hotel and the local area, in the main we provide a paper book, which suffers the same down falls as the menu. Tablet technology in all the bedrooms can resolve all of this, providing up to date information and much more. The tablet can store all the information about the hotel facilities and local visitor attractions, you can even sell advertising space to further promote these attractions and improve your return on investment, it also allows guests direct access to all the hotel departments and vice-versa so guests can book a spa treatment, order additional pillows order food and drink and the spa can message every room to say they have just had a cancellation or the concierge can message to say that he has just got availability of theatre tickets. The opportunities are endless to promote your business. The advantages of retailing food and drink are replicated from the restaurant in the room service menu on the tablet and the hotel has the same information on guest’s preferences as in the restaurant. In the USA hotels are providing tablets in all guest rooms to provide a more interactive experience and in addition to all of the above allowing them to download music, check on flight/traffic information and weather forecasts.

In addition to the above uses, hotels in the USA are utilising the technology to improve guests check in, replace room keys and as remote controls for TVs and air conditioning.

All of this technology works wirelessly and is easy to install with no additional wiring and allowing the guest to be in control and significantly enhancing their experience with more efficient, faster and effective service.

In the UK and Ireland I am helping to bring Panasonic and Crave technology to the hospitality market. If you would like a no obligation demonstration on how this technology can improve your business please contact me at davidholt@guineasassociates.com.


UPSELLING IN YOUR BUSINESS

November 7, 2011

HOW TO UPSELL  TO YOUR CUSTOMERS AND CLIENTS

How do you persuade your customers to make an additional purchase at the point of sale, have you trained your team on all the useful techniques. If you do not utilise upselling in your business to its full potential you could be losing thousands of pounds worth of sales and a large percentage of this additional sale is profit. Upselling is how we persuade our customers to make an additional purchase at the point that they buy – either at the till face to face or at the point where they order online. All the major retailers have this down to a fine art, where they offer buy two for a discounted price, the customer thinks they are wining, you know you have won. Its a win win situation.

Upselling is very powerful and relatively easy because your customers have already made the important buying decision by making the decision to purchase from your business and the actual amount he or she is prepared to spend is often flexible.

Upsells are nearly all profit so you can offer a substantial discount on the upsold items and still be making a lot of money, you have already covered your biggest costs, which are marketing, staff and overheads.

The biggest and best exploiters of upselling are the fast food chains. Who ask “is that large or super” and of that upsell 85% is profit and though a single transaction does not offer a lot do it a million times a day and it makes a very large difference.

The fast food brands drill this upselling into their staff from their very first part of their training and continually enforce it daily, that is why you will have noticed that the server will always offer an upsell. You should be doing the same in your business. You need to train your staff the correct phrases like was that a large one or would you like a cake with that.

The fast food chain is an example to the mass market and you don’t have to follow this example. Your business may have some more affluent buyers and it can work just as well to offer an expensive upsell. So if your core product/service is £100, your upsell could be £500 or more. The fact that the majority of your customers won’t want to spend £500 is irrelevant. The question is can we get 5% or maybe 10% to go for the high end upsell. If we can the impact on your profits can be substantial. The only way to find the best price for your upsell is to test the market.

As well as upsell we should look at product “bundling”, which is where we sell linked products together, such as toasted tea cakes and pots of tea or meal deals such as sandwich, crisps and a drink, at a discount and therefore increase your customer spend.

There is another very important reason to do upsells and product bundling. The purpose of getting more money from each customer is not just to make more money for you and your business it also means you can spend more per customer to acquire that customer at the outset. The purpose of a customer is not to get a sale. The purpose of the sale is to get the customer so we can make more money selling to them again in the future.

So let’s brain wash our staff into upselling and look at products we can bundle together as packages.

 


Hello world!

October 13, 2011

Hi I am Managing Director of Guineas Associates, based in the UK with offices in Cambridge and also in Limerick, Ireland. We are a small consultancy business focusing on the catering, hospitality, event and leisure industry. The business was formed in May 2008 and since then we have successfully assisted businesses in the process of change management, retail branding and implementation of new contracts. I pride myself in providing quality results that work for all our clients in terms of both financial return and customer benefit.

I am able to draw on 30 years of experience of managing the catering operations at prestigious stadiums, racecourses, conference centres, arenas and
major one off events. I have also advised on International stadia including
projects in Sydney, Paris, Monaco, Amsterdam, Milan and Dublin. I have also
managed and delivered the full corporate hospitality experience to the leading
industry and corporate buyers at events such as the Ryder Cup, European
Champions Final at the San Siro Stadium, Milan and for Rugby Internationals at Twickenham and Millennium Stadiums. The services we offer include, but are not limited to:-

  • Interim Management support
  • Auditing, monitoring, evaluation of operations and procedures
  • Identifying organic growth opportunities
  • Brand identity and development
  • Market research
  • Supplier sourcing and purchasing review
  • Production of policy and procedure manuals
  • VIP Management
  • Preparation and Management of Major Events

In the three years since forming Guineas Associates I have assisted companies
with various projects, which include managing a division of a company through
the process of management change and restructure, whilst developing a brand for
their retail operation. I have opened a new contract for a client and managed
the design and build project for this contract, liaising with client,
contractors and local authority and recruiting the team, developed the retail
brand and produced marketing materials for the venue. I have also helped a
company develop their retail offer and produced an induction and customer
service training document for a high street operator. I have assisted an Irish Event cleaning company with the introduction to the UK market, producing a template for tender documents, a framework for strategic plan and introduction to key event organisers in the UK.

 For more details and case studies visit www.guineasassociates.com


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