Chelsea Village is a multi-faceted business, leisure and entertainment complex built around the grounds of London’s famous Chelsea Football Club. It is also the site of the world’s largest Aloha EPOS installation to date. Aloha is a powerful Windows-based web-enabled EPOS solution provided in Britain by NFS Hospitality.
Located in the fashionable Fulham area, the 12-acre Chelsea Village site provides an enormous range of F&B, accommodation and health club facilities. The stadium seats 42,500 people and the site employs more than 300 staff, including temporary workers.
Systems Integration for Multi-site Location
To integrate F&B for all these facilities, Chelsea Village selected Aloha EPOS from NFS Hospitality. “As Chelsea Village is expanding fast, especially in corporate hospitality, we knew we needed a system that would cover F&B for the whole site,” comments Michael Kirk, Project Manager.
Installation Got Underway Earlier This Year and Michael Is Highly Enthusiastic.
“So far the Aloha project is fantastic, especially as it integrates with our PMS system and our inventory control,” he says. “NFS are an excellent company because they understand the hospitality industry. They not only provide reliable software but they are a real systems integration partner.”
He also noted that the project involved many tight deadlines. “When you’re running a football ground, you have to be ready to welcome 42,500 people. There’s simply no room for delay. NFS have been with us every step of the way.”
The Aloha Project
Aloha was first installed at the Village’s two hotels, the Village and the Court, as well as the Village’s five restaurants. The two hotels together have 291 four-star bedrooms and 21 conference and banqueting rooms, and the themed restaurants range from the upmarket Fishnets to The Shed, a popular sports bar, to Le Bistro coffee shop. Aloha is also installed at the Purple nightclub and the stadium’s corporate hospitality facilities.
Training and Interface
NFS provided initial training before the system went live, Michael says. “This was excellent, and we had some additional training for the front of house staff.” In addition, more training sessions will be provided before the next football season.
As a systems integration partner, NFS was responsible for the interface with Chelsea Village’s PMS system, its accounting system, its credit card authorisation and its loyalty scheme – the Team Card, currently held by 80,000 corporate hospitality members.
These stored value cards are used on the premises as a debit card. In addition, NFS provided an interface for the stock control system and, very importantly, for Chip & Pin, the credit card authorisation system. All of Chelsea Village’s Aloha terminals will be adapted for Chip & Pin in the autumn, well in advance of the January 2005 deadline. After that deadline, banks will not compensate facilities for credit card fraud unless they have Chip & Pin. Conversion to Chip & Pin has been termed the biggest challenge to F&B operators since decimalisation.
Luis DeSouza, Managing Director of NFS, says: “Chelsea Village now has an advanced, web-based F&B management system. This has been a very large implementation with many tight dead deadlines. We are very pleased to have worked with Michael and his team to make this project happen on time.”
Aloha in Use
At present only three people have absolute control of Aloha EPOS across the 75 terminals installed to date. These include the accounts & control department, the site cost controller and the managing director of the two hotels.
However, about 30 managers and supervisors have access to reports. In terms of reporting quality, Michael has already seen a “vast improvement”.
“At any one time, any manager can go to any terminal and see how busy any of the restaurants are. So he or she can shift staff if needed. This is a huge benefit that lets us maintain service quality in the face of high volume.”
As Michael looks to the start of the new season, he says that the full systems integration provided by Aloha EPOS is expected to save significant time as well as improve service. “The biggest benefit is the consolidation of EPOS onsite,” he notes. “We are now running a highly efficient operation and it will be even better when we complete the Aloha project next year.”