06 Sep, 2019

The value of having an H&L Account Manager on your hospitality team

H&L Account Managers become an extension of your business team, an invaluable resource that you can call on to help you run your pub or restaurant more efficiently. They will help you stay up to date with trends, implement better operational processes or even get out of sticky situations. I have been in hospitality for more than ten years and have helped my customers maintain an efficient business while still embracing change.

The trends in the marketplace my customers need to be aware of

Sometimes you need a crystal ball to predict what is going to be important in a few months but for now, these are the main trends trends we are seeing at the moment where our customers need the most help.

  • “Farm to Fork” - there are more boutique suppliers of food, wine and beer now in the market, and a “Farm to Fork” approach is becoming more sought after. Restaurant and pub owners want to provide a point of difference to their clientele, and consumers want this, and they like the sustainability approach, knowing that the smaller businesses providing wholesome local food are being supported.

    This means more work for the restaurant owner with more invoicing and more labour. Before this you may have purchased your produce and beer from one supplier for ease of management but now you have several to deal with.
  • Online ordering inside the venue - there is an increasing trend in customers being able to use their own mobile devices in venues to order food and drinks. Especially in pubs, people walk in off the street, order a beer and food and pay for it from their phone, there is no waiting and no line up.
  • Customer loyalty and retention – this is an age old business challenge and it is probably more important today because everyone knows the value of retaining customers. It costs less to keep current customers than to find new ones and this increases your overall profit. It is better to direct your marketing dollars to customers that you know are interesed in your business, have been there before (but haven't been back in a while) and are interested in products that you supply.

The business challenges I am helping my customers with at the moment

Online ordering - people are ready to use online ordering apps like Uber Eats, Foodora, Menulog or Deliveroo but this is putting pressure on restaurants owners to make sure they have the right technology to manage the orders. At the moment many venues have four different iPads for all these online ordering systems. The order receipts are printed out and sent to the kitchen, restaurant owners find this an additional burden to their business operation.

H&L have a middleware solution called Doshiicalled Doshii that integrates online apps into the POS allowing customers to place orders and print directly to the kitchen like normal orders without the manual intervention. So far Doshii integrates with Menulog and Deliveroo, soon more integrations will be announced.

Managing kitchen efficiencies, cook times and quality control – H&L’s Order Management System will tell the restaurant manager how long a food order takes to be acknowledged - from when the order is taken to delivery. For example, if the order took three minutes to complete and then five minutes to cook, and your goal is to get this done in five minutes all up, then you have the data to be able to make the necessary changes to your operation to achieve your five minute goal. Every little step in the process is visible so you can easily see where you need to add efficiencies.

Customer loyalty retention and keeping customers coming back - it costs less to keep customers coming back than it does to market to new ones. But you need the data to know how to do this effectively.

Through ZEN loyalty we can track customers spending and how often they come in using your customer sales data to direct market and carry out offer seamlessly at the POS.

Example 1; One of my customers found all males between 18-25 years old who had not been in for the last 6 months. They had just bought a pallet of a particular product on special and offered that drink to the customer list interested in that specific product, at a discounted rate to entice them to the venue over the following week.

The offer was only for this demographic and applied at the point of sale and proved to be a successful campaign.

We help our customers work out loyalty programs that suit their clientele. We do this by reviewing the reports that H&L’s software provides so we can discover preferences, activity and overall trends in the venue.

Example 2; One of my clients is a venue with multiple venues, they set up a customer loyalty program that enables cross pollination between venues. If you become a member, your beer (and other drinks) costs less for example, so people provide their names and emails to get the discount, which is valid across all their five pubs.

It also means the business is building up their database so that they can conduct better and more focused marketing campaigns.

How H&L's technology supports hospitality businesses to run a better operation

Farm To Fork Management - H&L partners with Accounts Flow which automates receiving stock and invoicing and ensures that all suppliers are recognised in the system. It also ensures that up to date cost prices are recorded in the stock management system.

Online Ordering at the table - Customers want to use their personal devices to order and pay while they are in the venue and H&L's POS and Booking solutions provide this capability.

Function Bookings – H&L’s POS technology integrates directly with IVvy which is a functions management tool. People can book and pay a deposit online for a venue function room and this goes directly to the functions manager. Run sheets are then posted to the POS for employee access on the date of the functions to increase communication and efficiency.

ResDiary – for restaurant bookings, you make a table booking on the website which goes to the restaurant’s manager who can see the table’s activity immediately. It is seamless and the table’s ordering and payment is one integrated flow. You also capture customer details for future marketing and sales associated with the customer.

Bottlemart integration – we can update special prices for catalogues, hence no more manual entry of new pricing, it’s done automatically. We can also maintain stock levels so that if people are ordering online and they have run out of stock, then ordering stops. This is updated automatically.”

Other ways that H&L Account Managers help their customers

These are some of the issues that keep our clients up at night.

  • What happens if I get a power surge and my server blows up?
  • What happens if my Point of Sale system is offline?
  • What happens if I can’t print to the kitchen?
  • What happens if there is theft in the stock room?

We have helped our customers with these sorts of problems.

We have a personal and professional touch. We are all hospitality professionals and we can empathise with our customers’ pain points. I always tell my customers they can call me any time day and night and any day of the week so if anything goes wrong, I am here to help them. We are here to make sure your business continues no matter what. We’ll get in touch with the helpdesk or technicians if you can’t and will do whatever we can to help get the problem solved.

We’ll get into the trenches with you and sort any problems to make sure your business continues to run.

Even to the degree of doing smaller things in order to keep people operational. For example, I have had a customer call me and say “James we are out of paper and ink to print the orders” and so I delivered the paper and ink, I do what I can to keep them going.

Get in touch with H&L Australia today – let’s chat about your business

Get in touch with your local H&L Account manager on 1800 778 340 today to find out how they can help you run a more efficient and profitable business.