How two timelessly luxurious Oxford hotels linked their front and back office operations effortlessly – and made the most of online booking.
Jeremy Mogford, the proprietor, is devoted to the city. Oxford is a rare place, he says, large enough to provide a truly unique combination of history, culture, beauty and entertainment, but small enough for the visitor to feel that they have managed to get to grips with every aspect of the city.â€
The Old Bank Hotel, which aims to provide a sense of timeless luxury, is located in a former Barclays Bank. In 1999 the hotel became the first to be created in the centre of Oxford for 135 years. Most of the 42 rooms were designed with spectacular views of Oxfords famous skyline of towers and spires.
Transformed from two Georgian buildings, Quod Brasserie occupies a former banking hall on the ground floor of the Old Bank Hotel. The oval, zinc-topped bar forms the centrepiece of the restaurant, which also has a terrace. The contemporary design includes stone floors and leather banquette seating.
The Old Parsonage, which dates back to 1659, is a short walk from the city centre. Its decor is best described as traditional meets modern. The hotel offers 30 recently refurbished rooms on two floors around a herb and lavender planted roof garden. The Parsonage Bar & Restaurant has the atmosphere of a private members club and serves modern British classics with an emphasis on fresh local ingredients, many of them grown on the owners farm in Oxfordshire.
Integrated hotel and restaurant management from NFS Hospitality
Until recently, the two hotels operated a Micros Fidelio system for EPOS and PMS and also used a third party for online booking. In search of a new and more economical solution, Aloha EPOS from NFS Hospitality was installed in the Quod Brasserie at the Old Bank and in the bar and restaurant at the Old Parsonage.
Aloha is a powerful EPOS system that links front of house to back of house, ensuring speed and accuracy from ordering through billing. According to Alasdair Burn, Restaurant Manager at the Old Parsonage, it is also much more user-friendly than their previous system. We are saving a lot of time, he says. I can do my rotas, my costings and my wage forecasts very easily.
The handheld version of Aloha is used by staff serving on the terrace, he says, saving even more time. It allows us to attend more to our guests. That’s what we all want to do.
Integrated online booking saves time and costs
In both hotels, Aloha EPOS is linked to the front desk where roomMaster 2000, the affordable property management system from NFS, has been installed. Accommodation Manager Sue Monk chose roomMaster and roomMaster.net, the online booking option, for three main reasons: We wanted a central reservation department with multi-site capability so we could view availability at both hotels, she says. We also wanted to save on costs as we were paying high commissions to our third-party booking service. Now we pay zero commissions and we really have control.
The Mogford Group can now use online booking to promote their best rates and other features without fear of running up costs roomMaster.net is working very well, adds Sue. Very user-friendly and it frees up so much time, so our reservations staff can offer more personal service as they’re spending much less time on the phone.
Going forward, Sue expects to expand her marketing efforts via roomMaster.net. Our clientele is roughly 50/50 corporate and individual so I see a lot of ways to market our facilities to these two sectors. It is great to be in complete control of our online booking and Im sure our new solutions will boost our business.