Helping Customers Cope With Lockdowns And Capacity Restrictions

Pamela Connellan
on 30 March 2021

Over the last year the hospitality industry had to adapt pretty quickly to a new playing field since COVID hit the world stage including snap lockdowns and capacity restrictions – situations which were at first completely new to every hotel, motel, restaurant and bar in Australia.

But adapt they have done and the Access Group ANZ is now launching a new reservation system called Access Collins which takes into account the fact there could be a snap lockdown called and capacity restrictions could come into play. The new venue management system includes suggestions for alternative times, dates and venues if a lockdown is called or an organisation suddenly finds itself fully booked. 

The system already over 1300 customers in the UK, likely because the UK has been hit incredibly hard and this system will help boost booking efficiency in a pandemic situation. Alison Dodd, CEO of The Access Group here in Australia and New Zealand, says the fully integrated hospitality and reservation management system results in an increase of up to 15 per cent in bookings and enquiries. 

Dodd adds The Access Group has a team of hospitality professionals in the ANZ region who understand the challenges operators are facing and are confident the Access Collins will help businesses wanting to boost their reservations and profits.

“The importance of managing reservations efficiently has been magnified around the world over the last year,” she adds. “Handling queries sensitively and efficiently can give customers reassurance about their safety after a series of lockdowns and restrictions.”

“Multiple operators benefit from the smart space finder tools which can suggest alternative times, dates or venues if the original choice is full, and Access Collins is indispensable for taking large group or party bookings,” she says.

Also supporting the roll out of Access Collins across Australia is DesignMyNight, a hospitality and nightlife discovery platform which will be launched in the next three months, bringing its venue and event search platform to promote the hospitality scene in Sydney, Melbourne and other major cities.   

We asked Alison Dodd some more questions about Access Collins:

Women Love Tech: How will the new hospitality solution – called Access Collins – transform the reservations for Australia’s hospitality sector?

Access Collins optimises venue space and efficiency, operating as a one-stop shop for all reservation stages – from enquiry, confirmation, dining and following up and across all booking channels including website, social media and phone calls.   

Group venue owners can maximise venue space and sales opportunities by using smart space finder tools to see which of their locations have space on certain date ranges, times or areas, and can redirect customers to an alternative option if required. 

For events, Access Collins goes beyond bookings, allowing all customers to specify their meal choice and highlight food intolerances or dietary requirements up front.  For back of house, this allows the kitchen to order accurately and reduce food waste. For front of house, Access Collins captures this information in an event run sheet to assign the ideal number of staff and provide clarity around customer specific needs, ensuring an optimal customer experience. 

The smart features of Access Collins can also be used to send out automated booking reminders and follow ups through an internal mailbox. This mailbox also serves as a central repository for all enquiries to be managed against each reservation, with operators able to gather important insights through accessible reporting.  

All of these smart features lead to a potential 15 per cent increase in bookings, 24 per cent increase in enquiry conversions, and over 1000 hours a year saved in efficiency times – providing a very simple and streamlined solution to answer hospitality venues’ greatest hurdles.  

Women Love Tech: How long have you been working on this solution?

The Access Group is a UK company which expanded its global footprint to the Australian market in late 2019. The solution was established in the UK in 2014 and is now much broader than just Access Collins, offering ticketing, EPoS, stock management, HR and other integrated business solutions.  With Australia already having a vibrant hospitality scene, it seemed a natural next step to bring Access Collins to the market. 

Women Love Tech: Who developed the software – was it an Australian team or an overseas team?

The Access Group UK developed the software. Continuous development of the solution, in consultation with customers, has been an essential capability during COVID. Access adapted the software to allow customers to pivot and leverage the pre-order function for take-aways ensuring our customers could still operate. 

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