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Interview with Jane Pendlebury The new Hospa chief executive talks about her plans for the organisation

6 Reservation sensation Booking systems that boost the bottom line

12 Getting the rates right How to manage the revenue management cycle

18 On the move Streamline your processes with integrated ordering

24 First sight Track your diners with the newest CRM technology



ntegrated mobile ordering solutions might not yet be commonplace in hotels, but with all the benefits they can offer – from improving efficiency to


allowing operators to fully understand their guests and ultimately putting them in a posi- tion to be able to deliver higher levels of cus- tomer satisfaction – it’s no surprise it’s the direction in which the industry is heading. There’s no doubt that mobile is starting to

play a much bigger role in hospitality. Accord- ing to a survey by mobile ordering solution provider Wi-Q and The Caterer, 92% of hotels see mobile technology playing a role in their business in the future, with multi-language options, upselling capability and allergy- specific menus all scoring high in what hote- liers are looking to technology to provide. Peter Agel, global market segment manager

at Oracle Hospitality, has seen a similar trend. “There is an increasing willingness to allow

18 | Technology Prospectus 2017

mobile devices to become the centre point of guest interaction, in particular during certain parts of the guest journey (searching, booking, rating and sharing),” he notes. “And we also see that hospitality customers

are adapting guest interaction during the hotel stay or for their restaurants to allow interaction with guest mobile devices (online check-in/ out, searching things nearby, online ordering and table reservations).” Guest expectations are only going to get

higher. Not only are customers increasingly looking for solutions that are quick and easy, they’re also getting sick of apps clogging up their smartphones. As Patience Tagborlo, head of partnership solutions at Wi-Q, which offers cloud-based mobile ordering solutions that can be used on any device, explains: “Custom- ers don’t want to wait to order and pay, so they absolutely want to use a solution that makes the process quick and simple. They also don’t

Electronic point of sale systems are getting cheaper and more intelligent – meaning that almost any enterprise can take advantage. Elly Earls looks at the future of payments

From online check-in to table reservations, mobile ordering solutions are becoming increasingly sophisticated and popular. Elly Earls reports

Sponsor’s comment: Sage Pay

A common challenge facing those in hospitality is how not to make the payment process an obstacle to good service. Simplicity in payments is key, so the process becomes seamless and staff can focus instead on food and ambience. Mobile ordering devices in

want to download and update a different app at every venue they visit. Wi-Q’s HTML5 tech- nology overcomes these limitations.” David Taylor, chief commercial officer at

GLH Hotels, agrees that customers are much less impressed by apps now than they were in the early days of smartphones. “Back then, everybody everywhere wanted to download as many apps as they could because it was novel, but today people are much more ambivalent about apps because of what I call ‘app clog’, where you have so many apps on your phone that you end up running out of memory.” Guests also want to be treated as individ-

uals, says Agel. “Increasingly, they expect no standard offerings, no standard distribution channels, but interaction recognising their location, time, expectation, context and so on, so that the offering becomes unique, person- alised and differentiated,” he says. And while hotels are not yet able to offer all

of this in a coherent way, Alastair Campbell, former customer mar- kets and strategy director at GLH Hotels, thinks it won’t be long before they’ll have to. “As soon as it comes in, people will find it hard to remember when they didn’t have it,” he predicts.

PULLING TOGETHER When it comes to F&B, the ultimate solution for hotels would be to pull all related revenue streams together into one mobile-enabled online ordering solution, something that up until now hasn’t been possible. “Hoteliers haven’t had much choice up

until now and have been limited either by the technology available or the prohibitive develop- ment costs,” notes Tagborlo. Indeed, at London’s Eccleston Square hotel,

which has a comprehensive app – enabling guests to order room service, request house-

18 Technology Prospectus 2017 | 19 30 | Technology Prospectus 2017 Technology Prospectus 2017 | 31


Imagine a world where you can see

information about your customers as they walk through the door – their

24 | Technology Prospectus 2017 24

likes, dislikes and much more. Well, tune in, because customer recognition management technology is already happening. Rosalind Mullen reports


f you thought technology had nothing to do with providing a warm and person- alised customer welcome, think again.

Your competitors are already greeting res- taurant diners with their favourite tipple on their birthday, solving issues in real time before customers even make a complaint, or personalising hotel guest experiences by enabling them to select the room layout they prefer. And it’s all down to technology. “Technology is an enabler. It gives you the

tools to deliver the best experience,” says consultant Francesca Danzi, who is currently advising Cheerfy, a customer recognition

management (CRM) system that uses a hospitality business’s existing Wi-Fi to build up a profile of individual customers. Key benefits of Cheerfy’s technology are

that when a registered customer walks in, the manager or maître d’ is notified of the guest’s name and preferences. They can, for instance, see on their device that it is the guest’s birth- day and offer them a complimentary glass of wine or whatever fits their taste profile, and the manager can send a personalised wel- come message with menu recommendations. Any purchase feeds into the guest profile. “Today, to build customer loyalty you don’t

just need valuable reward; customers want to be valued in a mutual relationship. It is more emotional. The more that you add an emo- tional side, the stronger the bond is,” explains Danzi. “They want you to remember their name and prepare their coffee as they like it.” Danzi, who helped transform Burberry into

a digital luxury brand, adds that the retail industry has been gathering customer data for at least a decade. “We mapped the customers’ journey before, during and after they visited the store to keep the experience high. Restau- rants can learn from this. Customers want to be acknowledged and they will give out data if

Technology Prospectus 2017 | 25 44

restaurants or cafés, integrated with Sage Pay’s Pay at Table solution, allows servers to open their tables on a point of sale (PoS) terminal and ring up, pushing orders to the kitchen. When servers give tables their cheque, the payments device can retrieve the cheque by table number or cheque number, and the device can be used to leave a gratuity, split the bill, and take payment. The device will then automatically close off the table, making turnover more slick. Payment habits are constantly

evolving and we’re always looking to match requirements, providing all the necessary stages, but carried out in a more shorthand way, for a better consumer experience.

no reason that even the most modest of operations can’t get access to the technology – and business benefits – larger enterprises have been enjoying for years. The best systems can not only significantly improve the customer experience, thanks to a choice of convenient, easy-to-use payment mechanisms, they’re also offering big behind- the-scenes boosts for businesses, thanks to the unprecedented amounts of information on sales trends and customer preferences they can provide. “It’s a very exciting time with the range of


payment mechanisms coming to the market that are open to all businesses, regardless of shape or size,” says Seamus Smith, chief exec- utive of payment solution provider Sage Pay. “Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, everyone can get access to enter- prise-standard technology now.” Worldpay UK’s chief marketing and com- mercial officer James Frost agrees: “In the past, these solutions existed, but they might have been a few thousand pounds. Today, you might only have to pay £250 up front and then £50 a month, which brings these systems into reach for even the smaller companies that previously might not have thought that the technology was for them.”

CONVENIENCE IS KING So what can operators expect from the best systems on the market today? First off: conve- nience. “Customers don’t appreciate having to queue up for a bill; they want to be able to pay at the table and do so in a fairly convenient way,” Smith says, adding that the systems he’s most excited about at Sage Pay are the com-

dvanced Epos and payment systems might once have been out of reach for small businesses, but today there’s


pany’s pay at table and pay at counter offers, which provide operators with the capability to take payments in different currencies and cus- tomers the option to split payments. “This creates a virtuous circle of customer satisfaction, which is eminently realisable with the technologies and applications that are out there.” Worldpay’s all-in-one tablet-based point-of-

sale solution My Business Hub is another example. At quick-service restaurants, orders can be placed on tablets in the queue, which reduces waiting time, while at full-service restaurants staff can carry the tablet with them anywhere on the premises and orders can be taken instantly and processed quickly. Plus, the system is proving useful in prompting servers to ask customers if they need anything more, the net effect being that staff members are empow- ered and able to engage on a personal level with customers and equipped with the means to drive additional sales and encourage customers to return. Adds Frost: “We’ve also done some research recently that looks at the knock-on effect for a business of hav- ing the right technology. If you’re equipped with professional-looking technology, around three-quarters of the people we surveyed said that was something that enhanced their impres- sion of the business. It’s not only a very efficient thing for the business owner to do, it also creates a professional image for their customers.”

THE INTEGRATION OPPORTUNITY Equally important is that any payment tech- nology an operator chooses to invest in can

In association with Ice-cream sites had payment licked

Although not many ice-cream shops have

traditionally accepted card payment, let alone invested in a cutting-edge Epos system, Jack Button,

owner of beachside café Jack’s Jetty Snacks, which serves seaside fare including milkshakes, ice-creams, burgers

and coffees, felt it was the only way forward for his

Great Yarmouth business. “Until a couple of years ago,

I didn’t even accept card payments, but over time I started getting requests to pay by card and I felt that was going to increase,” he says. “Now, with things like Apple Pay, Android Pay and contactless, I felt investing in an Epos system was the way to go.” Button

opted for Worldpay’s My Business Hub for several reasons. First, it’s an all-in-one system, which means there’s only one monthly payment for the card terminal and the Epos system; second, the easy-to- use item catalogue reduces the chance of employee error when entering orders; and third, the system’s business analysis dashboards means the team

can gain valuable insights into the café’s sales trends. Button is already seeing

increased spend because of the variety of payment methods the system offers, and he hopes to make use of the insights the dashboard offers. “It’s very early days, but as time goes on, I can compares sales against last year and as I build the item catalogue I will be able to see what’s selling well,” he says.

“If you’re equipped with professional-looking technology, around three- quarters of the people we surveyed said that was something that enhanced their impression of the business”

the UK and we’re not only integrating pay- ment systems with the Epos system but also with the table planning/booking system, as well as enabling things like pay at table, includ- ing splitting payments, through mobile devices. Integration is where businesses can seek to gain most from the payment services, so it’s really important to look at that integra- tion opportunity.” Zhong Xu, director of hospitality product at

Epos system provider Lightspeed, agrees. “We’ve seen that Epos is becoming part of a larger value chain for retailers, so its connec- tivity with other solutions is becoming more important than ever,” he says. “We need to ensure that Epos fits seamlessly with the var- ious other services retailers are offering, such as reservations, online ordering, loy- alty, reviews and payments.” Even just the simplest integration can

integrate not only with the business’s Epos sys- tem but also with everything from table man- agement solutions to loyalty programmes. “Payment applications on their own are fine but where they really add value, particularly in

a sector like catering, is where they can inte- grate with other applications in the business,” Smith stresses. “For example, we’ve been working with a number of mid-market restaurant chains in

30 In association with

be incredibly valuable for business own- ers. My Business Hub is an all-in-one solution that includes a payment system that accepts contactless and Apply Pay as well as cash and credit and debit cards, an Epos system and the My Busi- ness Dashboard, Worldpay’s online insights tool. Users can see both cash and card transactions on the dashboard, which also enables them to view and compare sales trends, keep on top of cashflow, manage reconciliation quicker and view invoices. “It allows the business to get a very

good view on how they’re trading,” Frost says. “Some of the features identify the busiest day of the week and the busiest time of the day and it’s all served back to the operator in a very sim- ple way, giving them valuable information about their business.” Taking this one step further, the most

30 Small wonders Epos machines that are accessible for all

38 The mechanics of procurement Save time and money by consolidating costs

44 Heart of the operation Show your PMS system some love

Technology Prospectus editor James Stagg Art editor Chris Russell Chief sub-editor Louise Clissold Senior sub-editor Kirsty Utting Digital production editor Katherine Alano Group sales manager Rob Adam The Caterer editor Amanda Afiya Publisher Mark Lewis Chief executive Duncan Horton Technology Prospectus 2017 | 3

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