HTN Case Study: Edwardian Hotels Utilizes Next-Generation Sales and Catering

Edwardian Hotels London owes at least part of its success in delivering on this “meetings promise” to its hospitality technology infrastructure – in particular, its advanced sales and catering management solution.

Edwardian Hotels London is a collection of 11 Radisson Blu Edwardian, London hotels in prime locations across London, Heathrow and central Manchester; The May Fair Hotel and a collection of restaurant and bar brands. The group has a versatile range of meeting and event spaces that accommodate 2 to 700 people.

The event spaces are designed with all the right ingredients for successful meetings, perfectly located for transport links and attractions – and all come with complimentary, secure, multi-device Wi-Fi, excellent AV technology and food from our restaurants. Whether you hold a meeting at The May Fair Hotel or any Radisson Blu Edwardian, London hotel, we aim to orchestrate your event flawlessly.

Edwardian Hotels London are also engaged in a major development in Leicester Square, incorporating a luxury lifestyle hotel, restaurants, bars, spa and cinema.

Most Edwardian Hotels London properties are popular for business and social events, including weddings, drink receptions, press and product launches, AGMs and intimate private dining events to name a few. All meeting and event spaces are equipped with state-of-the-art presentation and communications technology, offering multi-device Wi-Fi as well as dedicated and fully trained hotel staff ensuring efficient operations. The destination restaurants offer bespoke, flexible menus and are available on-site for any event. Edwardian Hotels London has earned a reputation for delivering exceptional and consistent service for both business and social events. “Our meetings promise is simple,” the company states. “We offer flexibility, efficiency and reliability.”

Edwardian Hotels London owes at least part of its success in delivering on this “meetings promise” to its hospitality technology infrastructure – in particular, its advanced sales and catering management solution. In 2011, the company implemented OPERA Sales & Catering for event management operations. The next-generation solution is seamlessly integrated with the company’s Property Management System and other hospitality technologies across the enterprise.

According to Avi Schlagman, General Manager of Meetings and Events at Edwardian Hotels London, the events business accounts for more than 10 percent of the company’s overall revenue on a group level – not a small contribution, given the size and scope of its overall operations. He notes that upwards of 50 to 60 hotel staff use the sales and catering management solution at any given time.

“Everyone now has access to all the information they need in order to perform at a high level,” he says.

Equipped with powerful analytics, reporting tools and real-time booking engines, OPERA Sales & Catering provides a unified view and comprehensive account of all function space business operations across all 12 properties in the hotel collection. In addition, flexible options enable customization of the solution to fit the unique needs of each individual property. Aided by the solution’s intuitive features and graphical screens, hotel staff across different departments and functions quickly achieved proficiency in its operation.

Advanced features include fully customizable catering packages, instant menu creation and resource inventory control. The function diary includes multiple viewing options and drill down features that, according to Schlagman, provide a dramatic improvement over previous systems in terms of driving efficiency in event planning and coordination.

Also impressive are the solution’s sales management features, which include flexible booking options for multiple conference and meeting rooms and multiple events. Because the solution provides access to all relevant data on a real-time basis, account managers and sales reps can develop effective sales strategies with easy data sharing among the hotel sales offices and PMS or regional offices and hotels.

Regardless of location, account managers and sales reps gain single-point access to vital information they need. Identical customer account information, availability and controls are shared throughout the enterprise and are archived for future reference.

The benefits are obvious: If, for example, a group that hosted a meeting at one Edwardian Hotels London property now wants to rebook at a different property with the same parameters, there is no need to start from scratch.

“If a customer wants the exact same meeting setup that they had at a previous meeting at a different property, then we can simply copy and paste that booking,” Schlagman says. “All the details are readily available. We were not able to do that with our previous system.”

For his part, Schlagman relies on OPERA Sales & Catering for tracking an array of financial performance metrics, including expected event revenue, margins and final consumption based on customizable revenue types.

“I can easily analyze the performance of individual hotels, including booking conversions and function space utilization,” he says. “I can also take a holistic view of what’s going on in meeting and events for the entire group.”

Built-in business intelligence dashboards and ad-hoc analysis capabilities allow senior management to generate valuable insights about their function space operations as well as the sales and catering market as a whole. They can identify emerging trends, make comparisons and focus on business areas that may require attention.

Edwardian Hotels London prides itself on the enormous success that its meetings and events business has enjoyed over the past 40 years. But the company’s quest for continuous performance improvement across its sales and catering operation is never-ending. And it knows that sustaining such success and revenue growth lie in embracing hospitality technology innovation.

“We’re not resting on our laurels,” Schlagman says. “We’re constantly investing in technology upgrades. With every upgrade comes more functionality and better reporting capabilities that can help improve our event management operations.”