This multi-award winning business annually attracts a footfall in excess of 1 million – welcoming holiday makers to their five-star accommodation, The SPA Hotel and privately owned luxury holiday homes. They also offer a vast array of sport and leisure activities including a private health club; host conferences and weddings; and provide numerous restaurants, cafés and bars for visitors to choose from.
To help meet the complex needs of this diverse business and to deliver a seamless customer experience and optimise across-site spend, a flexible, reliable and EPoS-integrated technology solution was key.
Three years ago, IT Manager Steven Lonsdale appointed hospitality tech innovator, Zonal, following a comprehensive pitch process. “Zonal has exceeded our expectations, providing us with the technology solutions we need, starting with its Aztec EPoS, from which we have been able to add on business modules to meet the changing needs of our business,” he said.
With 11 venues attracting a range of customers from fine dining to large scale conference and banqueting events, to casual and family-friendly dining, and even a Zoo, the functionality of Aztec and its reporting systems has helped transform Ribby Hall Village’s operation and keep up with customer expectations across the estate. Steven added: “In the past, this was done in silos and took months of planning, but now we have the real-time data to make holistic decisions that can be drilled down to our customer base, at a touch of a button.”
Supporting Ribby Hall Village and optimising online booking sales and table management is Zonal’s liveRES Table management system. “We didn’t have online reservations or a formal table management system before, but this has been a game changer for us.
“We’ve made it easier for our guests to dine with us and charge their bill back to their room and even integrated into our PMS package allocations. We can also collect data about their spending habits and provide them with offers and deals that are bespoke to them.”
“Through Tables we can manage our table management far more effectively and optimise the number of covers we can achieve without increasing our staff overheads.”
Ribby Hall Village’s eateries all have differing opening hours, and out of hours they were missing out on valuable bookings. liveRES has proved to be the ideal solution, giving functionality to engage with customers by sending reservation reminders and reducing the costly risk of no-shows, plus the deposit functionality is helpful for managing larger groups. “We do have guests who will book several restaurants for the same day and decide at the last minute which one they are going to dine in, which proved unfair to other potential diners and came at a cost to the business.
“We are already seeing the benefits of liveRES and are planning to utilise its deposit functionality to ensure that the customer commits to the booking, as much as we do at Ribby to delivering the highest levels of service.”
Taking the customer experience to the next level, Ribby Hall Village has also introduced Zonal’s handheld, electronic order pad, iServe. With iServe orders can be taken quickly at the table, which directly feeds into EPoS, which in turn sends the order directly to the kitchen.
“During the high season, iServe has proved to be hugely effective for our teams who no longer have to run backwards and forwards to the till. They can focus on our taking care of our guests and be confident they’ve delivered the correct order, minimising the risk of mistakes occurring.”
With the success of iServe, Ribby Hall Village is now planning a pilot of Zonal’s Order & Pay app in some of its busiest restaurants and bars. “This is a big step for us and I am eager to see how it could impact our business. The opportunity to reduce wait times for our guests, deliver food to our accommodation and engage directly with customers is very enticing indeed.”
But the one bit of tech that is getting Steve excited is Zonal’s Activity Management (ZAM) system. Historically, Ribby Hall Village’s vast array of activities, from the annual Santa’s grotto and ice skating, to Segway and spa treatments, had to be booked by telephone and during opening hours. With ZAM all activities can now be booked by guests, during their stay through the POS terminal using Aztec functionality, or online providing visitors with a 24/7 seamless service – making the customer experience quicker and more convenient. The system is fully integrated into the till system, our website and our PMS, giving staff and guests a complete schedule of activity and availability.
“Our Zonal journey has only just started and we look forward to continuing our relationship as the needs of our business and those of our guests continue to adapt and change in this fast-paced world,” concluded Steven.