How Rendezvous helped Hickory boost turnover by 40%
The Managing Director of a leading Scottish events and catering company has described how technology from NFS has helped transform the business – and driven a huge uplift in turnover.
Brian Galbraith runs Hickory, which provides 'contemporary catering for the connoisseur’, showcasing highly creative and stylish Scottish food for corporate events and clientele across Scotland.
As well as being exclusive caterer at two prestigious venues based in East Lothian - Eskmills and Dunglass Estate - the business also has partnerships with Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute and National Trust for Scotland properties in the North East.
Because of this Scotland-wide activity and the need for multi-functionality across multiple brands, Brian required flexible software to help the company co-ordinate activities, provide an effective central booking system and help drive up efficiencies and save costs.
He turned to Rendezvous software from NFS, an industry-leading events and conference solution – and says he’s amazed by how successful the move has been.
“Rendezvous has been transformational for our business,” he said.
“It’s really helped us bring the business together – everyone from Sales and Planning to Finance and the Kitchen team can log and access the information they need. And because it’s cloud-based, they can log in online from wherever they are.
“The system brings up the customer’s name, and logs every single enquiry we get, so we can learn lessons about why people book and why they don’t, and make changes to respond to that.
“We also use it for invoicing and it’s linked to our accounting system, so it’s a huge asset to the financial team.”
Brian’s team, which includes more than 30 full-time members and as many as 150 casual workers, found implementing Rendezvous remarkably easy.
“It was up, tested and running within a couple of weeks, and we find our new starters can be using it effectively within a day or two,” said Brian.
Unlike Hickory’s previous system, Rendezvous removes potential duplication by allowing users to view a booking or venue and make changes online in real time.
By becoming a virtual ‘head office’, available 24/7 across the whole business, the system has saved Hickory a huge amount of time.
“The time we are saving is astonishing – it is probably saving us around 40-50% of the time we were spending previously,” said Brian.
“It’s meant that as a business we have been able to grow without taking on an inappropriate number of personnel in each location – we can handle things wherever we are.
“This year, we’re looking at an increase of 40% in our turnover. Rendezvous helps us to be more productive, and also makes sure we know exactly what our customers want so we can respond to them better.
“For instance, we have a 24-hour turnaround policy on enquiries, and the system helps us to fulfil that.
“Rendezvous also provides us with extremely informative reports so we can make informed decisions about the business, and another thing I like is that the system can develop with us as our requirements change.”
When Brian is asked to rate Rendezvous and NFS on a scale of one to five, with one the lowest, he finds the answer easy.
“It’s got to be up there near to five,” he said. “I’m sure there are other good software systems out there, but Rendezvous certainly works for us.”
NFS is a privately held, international technology company providing software, hardware and implementation expertise to the hospitality, facilities, and leisure markets in more than 30 countries.
The company has been in business for 21 years and has more than 1,500 satisfied customers like Hickory, providing them with reliable world-class solutions that are extremely cost-effective.
To find out more about Rendezvous and NFS Hospitality click here