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Industry News - May 1st 2017



SYNQ3 Restaurant Solutions' AI study Reveals 3 Ways Restaurants Can Enhance the Guest Experience

SYNQ3 Restaurant Solutions  announced the results from a never-before-done study using a new artificial-intelligence (AI), automated-speech-recognition (ASR) technology, VIA Analytics.  Like the study[1] itself, the findings show that restaurants using dedicated order-takers and guest-specific data experience a 6.4 percent increase in sales and an 11.4 percent increase in positive customer experiences.
In the study, VIA (Virtual Intelligent Assistant) monitored restaurant calls for three major brands, including P.F. Chang's, as well as SYNQ3’s restaurant-technology, call center. Using advanced AI, the tool tracked tone of voice, vocal stress, language, interactions, timeliness of responses, interruptions, vocal exchanges, and emotions during each call. It then correlated those findings with customer experience, engagement, handle time, call abandonment, average check, and order-to-call ratios.
When detailing why P.F. Chang’s participated in the study, the president and COO Wayne Jones said: “Creating the optimal dining experience for guests is our No. 1 goal. With this study we were able to actually track, measure and assess live, in-process guest interactions to find specific strategies for enhancing the guests’ experience.”
Several takeaways surfaced in the study providing insights for all restaurants to improve their customers’ experience, and thus, increase restaurant sales. The listed takeaways include:
1.      Restaurants need to provide more consistent positive engagement. To provide the optimal guest experience during take-out orders, restaurants have to identify and implement means for increasing consistency and efficiency in how they engage with their guests. By centralizing the order-taking process, restaurants can provide more focused, effective and enjoyable guest interactions.  
2.      Guest-specific data can greatly increase the guests’ experience and overall guest-to-restaurant relationship. According to the study, using dedicated order-takers and guest-specific data equated to a more positive customer experience by 11.4 percent. When a guest calls for a take-out order, and SYNQ3’s guest-data system recalls their name, preferences, favorite order, food allergens, and other specifics, the order-taker can provide an efficient, guest-centered interaction. And, according to the study, guests like ordering with someone who knows what they want and how they want it.
3.      Outsourcing, restaurant technology, and guest-specific data lead to greater profit margins in take-out orders. In the study, restaurants experienced significantly better order-to-call ratios, a 6.4 percent increase in sales, when using dedicated order-takers and guest data. With the data, the call center was able to greet callers by name; offer options based on noted preferences; direct the conversation based on tone and prior ordering history; upsell; and, ultimately, close more sales with an increased average check.
“Increasing restaurant profits depends on providing a great guest experience,” Jones said.  Both he and SYNQ3 agree that restaurant technology holds countless opportunities for restaurants to revolutionize the guest experience to benefit both the guests and the restaurant. 


Avalon Hotels, JRK Hotel Group Hire TCRM to Provide Revenue Management Services

Total Customized Revenue Management, LLC (TCRM) today announced the company has been hired by a couple of major players in the hospitality space - Avalon Hotels (Beverly Hills and Palm Springs) and JRK Hotel Group (Los Angeles). As part of its expanding hospitality portfolio, TCRM will offer task force services to each new client, including strategic direction focused on the development of profit-based strategies.  TCRM will also provide a strong layer of guidance and support for the companies’ property teams, and oversee implementation and accuracy of any new revenue management procedures.
The addition of these new clients to TCRM’s roster marks an exciting moment for the company, as both are major players in key hospitality markets throughout the United States.  Avalon Hotels operates properties providing high-end lifestyle experiences, while JRK owns and operates unique, elegant and stylish luxury properties. TCRM will be responsible for managing revenue for the groups’ hotels in New York and California.
Combining more than 75 years of hospitality experience, TCRM has become a premier provider of revenue management services to the hospitality industry and develops innovative approaches to drive ROI for clients, using analytical skills and a tech-savvy approach to help identify and solve challenges.  TCRM’s offerings range from task force and ongoing revenue management to system and brand conversion, one-on-one and classroom training, strategic evaluations and data entry. Clients are provided with customized services and packages to propel revenues to the next level.

Astoria Hotel Experiences 600% Growth in Online Business

A Heritage property in Dubai, Astoria Hotel, is a three-star property with more than 100 rooms. Given that Astoria Hotel primarily caters to international guests, along with midscale domestic travellers, it is important for the property to be present in global online sales channels and metasearch sites. 
Knowing this, the company decided to partner with eRevMax for its RateTiger channel management and rate intelligence solutions. RateTiger allowed the hotel to connect with more than 300 online sales channels and better producing OTAs, improving exposure and tapping into new markets. Backed by real-time data and analytics, the hotel was able to respond to market dynamics more efficiently and optimize online revenue. During a three-year period, this resulted in an online business share increase from 5% to 38% and the hotel experienced 600% growth in online business.
The Middle East is the fastest-growing region for travel with the UAE being the dominant market. With more than 15 million overnight visitors, Dubai has seen double digit growth in mid-market travel segment. RateTiger solutions have enabled Astoria Hotel to maintain real-time rate and availability in OTAs based on sound business intelligence.
“Rate parity & accurate inventory management are must to maintain your property at par with your competitors, especially clusters like Bur Dubai which are very price sensitive," said Alankar Borkar, manager – sales & reservation, Astoria Hotel, Dubai. "Being a heritage property in Dubai was a tough transition period for us to market on dynamic platforms. We can say eRevMax is our most important partner in this transition. We have stretched our online market to 38% in the last 3 years due to excellent support & tools from Rate tiger. We highly recommend this product especially in Dubai.” 

TripAdvisor Announces New Partnership With IHG

TripAdvisor announced a partnership with IHG to include all the company's hotel brands in the TripAdvisor instant booking marketplace. In the coming months, consumers will be able to instantly book rooms at IHG properties directly, without leaving the TripAdvisor site or app. With nearly 5,200 hotels and 770,000 guest rooms in almost 100 countries, IHG is the latest global hotel organization to join TripAdvisor instant booking.
Users simply tap or click "Book Now" to initiate an instant booking. During the process, TripAdvisor prominently features text and branding to let the user know that InterContinental Hotels & Resorts or one of the other IHG brands (e.g., Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts) will handle the transaction and customer service.



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