Brend Hotels checks in with Zonal Solutions

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Integration of systems, especially the link between drinks and food orders and room bills is a major issue for hotel operators, accounting for thousands of pounds in lost revenue annually.

Leading Cornish and Devon hotel operator Brend Hotels has checked out a new hospitality solution from Zonal that seamlessly bridges the gap between front and back of house.

Brend Hotels operates 11 award winning luxury venues across Devon and Cornwall that specialise in providing stylish accommodation.

Due to the organic growth of its business, Brend Hotels had been using a combination of systems including standalone tills provided by a local POS supplier. Each hotel had been operating as a single site with no holistic view across the entire estate, or comprehensive reporting at an enterprise level.

“Due to the nature of our business growth, we wanted to create a system that would give us greater visibility on performance across our developing estate, so that we could identify issues and opportunities for growth. We needed a solution that was flexible, efficient and cost effective, that would integrate seamlessly with our existing infrastructure and grow with us. And, we needed to work with a company that really understood hospitality.”

Tony Clarke, Brend Hotel’s IT Manager

Brend Hotel’s previous systems had been unreliable and were not integrated with its Property Management System (PMS) making it difficult to post charges to customers’ rooms resulting in a sustained loss of revenue. This issue played a significant part in the decision to partner with Zonal.

In 2005 the company appointed Zonal to install its Aztec EPoS front and back of house system in its hotels, integrating with Brend’s existing PMS system for room postings.  Currently five locations now use Aztec, including a beach-side cafe at the Saunton Sands Hotel, Devon.  The system connects to the hotel for room charges, enhancing the overall customer experience.

 “This was an important development for our expanding business and we needed to work with a professional and reliable supplier that could support us every step of the way. Zonal’s experienced team provided hands-on installation and on-site support that was invaluable in creating a system that adds real value to our business.”

More importantly, Zonal’s system was flexible enough to cope with the demands of a multi-site hotel operator. Simple to install and operate, the system was easily configured to respond to the different needs of each hotel.

As a further extension to its systems Brend Hotels recently installed Kitchen iQ, Zonal’s kitchen management system in the Terrace Lounge and Bar at its Saunton Sands operation.

With Kitchen iQ, seven screens have been installed in the kitchen, and a pager facility implemented to indicate when orders are ready, which has already improved operational efficiencies and speed of service.

“The initial Kitchen iQ trial has been really positive with a marked improvement in customer satisfaction and the turnaround of orders. The Zonal team has been on site to install the equipment and train our team so that they understand the benefits and how it can improve the overall customer experience. It’s this professionalism and reliability, together with an in-depth understanding of hospitality that has made Zonal a valued supplier to our business.”

Looking ahead, Brend Hotels is determined to exceed its customers’ expectations and maintain its focus on quality service in unrivalled surroundings.

“Although our customers don’t see the systems behind the scenes, they play an integral role in making sure that we deliver a great experience. From checking in, to room charge posting and the accurate and efficient delivery of food, we now have a system in place that not only delivers robust reporting but improves customer satisfaction levels, which in an increasingly competitive marketplace, is a real bonus.”

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