The Temple Gate Town House Hotel is located in the historic Irish town of Ennis, Co. Clare, on the site of a 19th Century Convent of Mercy. Before being converted to a convent, the original houses, Row House and Lifford House, were the property of Charles O’Connell, cousin of Daniel O’Connell, the great Irish liberator. In 1995, the Sisters of Mercy moved from the Ennis Convent to new premises nearby.
The hotel is owned by John Madden along with Ennis Developers. Together with his son Paul, now the Managing Director, they wanted to develop this historic site into a high-quality hotel whilst retaining its historical values.
Today, Temple Gate is an award-winning hotel that brilliantly blends the old and the new. With 72 rooms and two suites, the hotel won the 2003 Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association Award for Best Hotel Internet Strategy and in 2004 received Ireland’s Best Service Excellence Award from Failte Ireland. Most recently, Paul Madden was presented with an Irish Welcome Awards Certificate of Merit for his contribution to the Irish tourism industry.
The hotel also operates two restaurants, the Preachers Pub and JM’s Bistro, as well as a conference centre. The centre includes a Great Hall, accommodating 220 people, and several large meeting rooms. These facilities are fitted with state-of-the-art communications, A/V equipment and WiFi access.
Advanced EPoS Solution from NFS Hospitality
While not many hotels in County Clare can boast such technology, Paul Madden knew that advanced IT can transform customer service. In search of the best solution for JM’s Bistro, which has 2,000 covers, the Temple Gate evaluated seven different vendors before choosing Aloha EPOS from NFS.
“We were seeking a package that would be easy to use, would provide good reports and would be well supported,” Paul says. “In our view, Aloha’s reporting, flexibility and functionality are on a par with the leading systems out in the market.”
Paul also liked the way that NFS presented the product as a solution to real operating problems, and warmed to the idea of a trial run. “This gave us the chance to validate that the software was stable and worked well in a live environment,” he says.
The installation went very smoothly, notes Paul, aided by his NFS trainer.“He really gave us confidence in the software and service.”
“We expected to benefit greatly in terms of operational controls and to streamline the food and beverage operation – and we got it,” he continues. “We’re through with handwritten dockets for the kitchen, which were prone to error and slowed down service “.
Paul also likes the way Aloha ensures that the presentation to the client looks professional. “This creates a good impression as well as reducing queries,” he says.
With such a high volume restaurant operation, good reporting is critical. “With Aloha we’ve got the data we need to better manage our operation,” Paul comments. “Our key reports, such as product line mix and server performance reports, can be run instantly. This lets us focus on really important business management issues.”
The Bottom Line?
In Paul’s words: “I would be happy to recommend NFS and the Aloha solution to other similar hotel and restaurant operators.”