If there’s one thing that’s appreciated at Luigi Malones, it’s a loyal customer. And with a new loyalty programme provided by Aloha EPOS from NFS Hospitality, the customers are returning in droves – and enjoying a range of rewards as well.

The Irish chain has restaurants in Dublin, Cork and Limerick. Named after an imaginary Italian who loved spaghetti, Luigi Malones is a very popular family-style restaurant.

To build business, a loyalty programme was set up a few years ago, but there was no link to the chain’s in-house till system. As a result, customer transactions and points were sometimes lost. So in April 2006, Aloha Enterprise was installed on a hosted basis, saving the chain any new investment in IT and assuring complete reliability.

The Hosted Solution

According to Luis DeSouza, Managing Director of NFS, the hosted solution represents a major trend in hospitality software: outsourcing of head office IT. “This solution allows any client to link its loyalty programme to its EPOS. The client saves significant money as no investment in IT is required. It also saves on administration time at head office and, as Aloha Enterprise is an online system, it provides access to information from any point in the world,” he comments.

Peter Darragh, Day Manager at the Temple Bar restaurant in Dublin, says the linked system has exceeded his expectations. He also appreciates Aloha’s flexibility. “It’s completely configurable,” he says. “If we want to link it to a particular printer for the use of waiting staff, it’s no problem. It’s also easy to make any seasonal changes to our menu.”

“I used to work for a hospitality software company so I know POS systems,” continues Peter. “Installing Aloha was the smoothest transition I have ever seen – it took only two days. And as it’s a hosted system designed for head office use, we get an overview of all three restaurants without having to contact them separately. This saves a lot of admin time.”

The Customer Royalty Card – for Rewards and Promotions

Luigi Malones’ new programme is called the ‘Customer Royalty Card’, with customers accumulating ‘royalty points’ each time they pay their bill. The card automatically tracks and updates expenditure and customers may use the cards at all three restaurants.

In just a few months, the Temple Bar restaurant alone attracted more than 500 customers to its loyalty programme. “We have a good clientele and they can see the benefits,” Peter says. “With the loyalty card they know exactly how many points they accrue with each visit as it’s right on the bill. They don’t have to wait for the statement.”

For the chain, the biggest benefit is that all the data capture is done by Aloha. “The loyalty programme does not increase our workload at all,” notes Peter. “It’s a totally streamlined system.”

In addition, Luigi Malones runs a lunch promotion: the 10th lunch is free – and it’s shown automatically on the card.”The customers are really happy and we’re happy as well. Not only are we getting lots of new and return business but the system is great for training purposes. Aloha is very intuitive so it takes only fifteen minutes to train a new employee. It really is user-friendly.”

Peter stresses how much he likes the support he gets from NFS. “The tech team really know their stuff,” he says.

Next Step – Corporate Loyalty?

Going forward, Luigi Malones is considering the introduction of a Corporate Royalty Card. “We’re starting to look at it,” says Peter. “We’re already making a list of companies and we plan to start tasting evenings soon. As the customer loyalty card works so well, we believe that companies will also be interested. And we know we can rely on Aloha Enterprise to handle all the new business we can generate.”

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