How Gloucester Rugby Club is making the most of its fabulous conference facilities with the help of the latest technology.

At the Kingsholm Stadium, home of Gloucester Rugby Club, they think not. Here, the Kingsholm Business Conference Centre and banqueting facilities have become one of the most important conference venues in the Cotswolds and the Southwest of England. To manage their extensive facilities, the centre have, on a hosted basis, installed Rendezvous, the advanced browser-based meeting room, conference and catering management solution.

With 38 meeting rooms to manage at the Stadium, the software handles a conference and events business worth in the region of £700,000 a year with only two members of administration staff.

Rendezvous comes from NFS Hospitality, the Hertfordshire-based technology group. So when Gloucester Rugby needed a system to manage 45 cash registers turning over £800,000 worth of beer sales in a single season, they stayed loyal to the NFS brand and installed the company’s Aloha point of sale software.

“I have massive faith in NFS, said Patrick Morris, the club’s Head of Events.

Aloha Point of Sale software optimises restaurant or bar management and actively increases revenues. In one complete solution it offers seamless integration between stock control, labour management, loyalty and gift cards, head office management, table reservations, guest management, tableside ordering and mobile payment systems.

It also helps to spot scams, something for which anyone in the service industry needs to keep a wary eye, whether it involves bar staff, customers or a little of both.

“We employ up to 120 staff on match days, said Patrick. When you are dealing with cash and vast levels of stock, you need an effective control, otherwise the potential for scams and mistakes is prolific. Once you have a system in place, you can police the business, tighten up controls and manage your business with greater informed decisions.

“Aloha allows us to monitor bar sales in 15-minute windows, and look for business patterns. According to the pattern presented, we can manage our staffing and stock levels more effectively.

But lets get back to brand loyalty. It is paying off for Gloucester Rugby because Aloha isn’t just a cash management system, it is also a revenue generator and for this particular business that could mean a potential income stream of £25,000 a year.

“Most of the money in the world of sport is made from sponsorship, Patrick explained. So we aim to sell advertising space to sponsors and local business on Aloha-operated customer-facing screens at each till.

Our business plan originally showed that it would take around five years to pay back the cost of installing Aloha. With the revenue from the sponsorship advertising, we aim to pay for the system within two years.

Anyone who uses any kind of software knows the value of effective back-up and after sales services, and here too Patrick is pleased that he was loyal to the NFS brand.

The NFS helpdesk staff have a full technical know-how, and the ability to give advice in a non-technical way, he said. They are much better than other helpdesks I have used, which were little more than messaging services.

Gloucester Rugby have learned the real value of brand loyalty. Following their success with Rendezvous, they have gone on to discover that Aloha point of sale software is much more than a replacement for a till or cash register. It has evolved into a powerful solution that optimises restaurant or bar management and actively increases revenues.

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