Case Study

Fuller’s Hotels and Inns

“Tech support is amazing, onboarding very smooth, and we really appreciate having a single point of contact and a fixed, transparent monthly fee.”

Background

Fuller, Smith and Turner has officially been around since 1845 – but in fact the roots of this multi-million pound brewing and hospitality business date back to the early 1600s. The enterprising Thomas Mawson snapped up The George public house in Chiswick along with two adjoining cottages for the princely sum of £70, and later added Bedford House, a brewhouse on Chiswick Mall, as well. Thus an empire was founded, which now includes just under 400 premium pubs and hotels, stretching from London to the Jurassic Coast.

Fast forward four hundred years, and Rezcontrol now provides PMS solutions for all Fuller’s hotels and inns, with 45 in total to date. Recent additions to the portfolio include Bel and The Dragon – six stunning inns in the Home Counties – and Cotswold Inns and Hotels, a collection of seven sumptuous boutique hotels.

Fullers doorhanger at The Bear

The problem

“We needed seamless hotel and restaurant integration across the Group”

Bedroom at The Swan

Fuller’s hotels and inns migrated to Rezcontrol after a rigorous selection process in 2021.

As Natasha Wildash, Group Accommodation Strategy Manager for Fuller, Smith & Turner, explained: “It came down to choosing the system that was right for our front of house teams, taking into account the varying sizes of our hotels – some may not have a dedicated reception team and all staff needed to be able to work with it. We needed a system that was user-friendly and yet had the back end capability to cope with our complex rate management and reporting needs.”

The ability to report across the whole Group was crucial to the decision, as with 45 hotels across three brands, it was vital to be able to provide any information requested by management on a group level too.

“Fuller’s had used Avondata’s legacy system Hotel Executive for 15 years, and the working relationship has always been unfalteringly positive,” said Natasha. “We inherited other PMSs when acquiring Bel and The Dragon and Cotswold Hotels and Inns, but Avondata came out on top, hence the decision to roll out Rezcontrol across all our hotel brands.”

The solution

Time-saving automations, rate management and upsells

Stairway at the Queens Head

Rezcontrol’s automated guest registration was the start of a whole new and seamless experience for Fuller’s customers.

“The guest engagement feature, with automated pre-arrival emails, online registration and more has saved so much admin time and has hugely improved the quality of our guest communications as well as generating upsells,” said Natasha.

“There is no doubt Rezcontrol contributes to the profitability of our bedrooms. We can manage all of our rates in one place and it’s so easy to open and close or set restrictions on inventory when we need to. The rate bands have enabled my Revenue Team to maximise every opportunity.

“Plus, the interface with our direct booking engine, Roiback, sees upsells automatically added to reservations. This has been a game-changer, as there is no longer a danger of missing something or ‘forgetting’ to charge. And the interface with Fuller’s accounting system is also watertight, so the management teams can relax, knowing the numbers are taken care of.

The benefits of Rezcontrol

Streamlining FoH operations and driving revenue through the table booking system

For any venue where F+B is as important as the accommodation, which of course it is for Fuller’s, the integration between room and table bookings has to be seamless. 

“There are many ways in which Rezcontrol’s integration between room and table bookings helps Fuller’s to improve guest experience and drive sales,” said Natasha. 

Features valued by Fuller’s include:

  • Reservationists can take room and table bookings through the same system, without having to jump between the two.
  • If a room is cancelled, the associated table booking will automatically be cancelled too, preventing inadvertent no-shows.
  • Tables booked through Rezcontrol are tagged as hotel guest bookings, so they can be prioritised by the F+B team as needed.
  • Rezcontrol automatically handles packages for hotel guests on inclusive meal packages. When a restaurant or bar bill is posted to the room, Rezcontrol will reconcile against the guest’s allowance.
  • Rezcontrol can also journal any unused meal allowances against accommodation, keeping financial reporting accurate.

“When it comes to restaurant bookings, the integration with Collins is also fantastic,” she said. “It not only improves guest experience, but has enabled our teams to push incremental sales without having to learn and operate two systems.” 

Fuller’s table booking systems allow everything on the dining front from reservations, table management, pre-ordering and payment, as well as simplifying the communication process. With floor plan management, check-in capabilities, and automated booking and wait-list, Fuller’s has everything a successful venue needs to streamline its front of house operations.

Boosting sales, reducing chargebacks and eliminating no-show losses

Fuller’s believe Rezcontrol has made their businesses more efficient and therefore more profitable. “We are seeing more bookings and increased average room rates, but also higher incremental sales linked to bedroom bookings,” said Natasha. “But as well as what we have gained it is also important to note what we are not losing due to the functionality – for example the new payment links reduce the number of chargebacks we receive, and the deposit rules mean that every late cancellation and no-show is charged. This is all really important to our bottom line.”

“I love every element – and I no longer have to waste time finding workarounds”

“Functionality-wise, I love every element – I have been able to step away from the day-to-day, and from endlessly finding workarounds that happened with various systems in the past,” said Natasha. “It has enabled me to develop my team and let them drive accommodation sales using a system that fulfils all our needs. There are frequent updates, and very little downtime. It’s great, and it works for all our establishments who have the system, as individuals and as a group.”

The Fuller’s hotel teams also engage really well with the training videos, and appreciate the fact that they can come back to them whenever they want for a refresher.

“RezControl doesn’t reduce the number of customer-facing staff we need, but it does enable them to spend more time with guests rather than on admin, and it helps with easily being able to move staff around to different hotels and give them access to the same system,” concludes Natasha.

“It’s all about working with a supplier that makes you feel valued”

“Rezcontrol really does everything we need,” confirmed Natasha. “But I can’t finish without putting in a word for their team. For me, it is all about working with a supplier that makes you feel valued, is approachable and will discuss all development requests and give genuine timeframes. Tech support is amazing, onboarding very smooth, and we really appreciate having both a single point of contact – Stuart is fantastic! – and a fixed, transparent monthly fee.”