Atholl Arms Feature
Case Study

Atholl Arms Hotel - ICR Scotland

Atholl Arms Hotel

The historic 233-year-old Atholl Arms Hotel is located in the heart of the highlands in Dunkeld, Perthshire and is the perfect hotel for any business or pleasure getaway in Scotland. The hotel comprises of 17 well-appointed bedrooms along with the Riverview restaurant, Meeting Place Bar and Riverside Cafe. The restaurant has won numerous awards and serves the best of local and seasonal ingredients.

The hotel was recently bought over by Zsolt Balogh, who was keen to establish his own business after some 27 years’ working for others in the hospitality trade. His aim was to identify an under-performing business in a good location that he could transform by applying his knowledge and experience.

Atholl Clerk
The Challenge

On taking over the hotel, Zsolt quickly identified the need to improve many of the processes and procedures, together with dated infrastructure that he had inherited. A priority in this respect was the EPoS and Property Management Systems which were outdated, expensive and ineffective in providing sales and management data. Zsolt explains “The existing EPoS system was seven years old and offered a mismatch of hardware and software that didn’t interface with our other systems and provided little management control. Simple things like being able to post a resident’s food and drink charges electronically from the bar or restaurant directly onto their room account were impossible, and the system was too slow and inefficient at busy times, leading to errors, lost sales and customer dissatisfaction.”

The Process

Having previously worked with ICR Scotland, Zsolt chose the company again, to advise on, and implement a complete EPoS upgrade. ICR Scotland provided the complete ICRTouch family of software. Zsolt says “Ian and his team at ICR are very experienced and knowledgeable. They spent time at the hotel, investigating the various aspects of the business before providing a bespoke solution that fitted my particular business needs. Without the walkthrough of my business I don’t think a suitable system could be implemented which would be capable of handling the requirements of my busy hotel, and in order to increase profit margins”

Atholl Pt Serve
The Solutions

Sales Director, Iain Montgomery recommended a range of software from market leading EPoS Software provider ICRTouch. Iain said, “The foundation to our EPoS system is ICRTouch's TouchPoint. The software is reliable, easy to use and proven. The main benefits of this software are; it’s extremely stable, intuitive to use, with a wide array of additional modules and third-party integrations”.

Atholl Touchpoint
The suite of software and hardware provided includes:

Aures Yuno Touch Screen EPoS Terminals

ICRTouch TouchPoint

ICRTouch TouchOffice Web

ICRTouch PocketTouch

ICRTouch TouchLoyalty

Atholl Tow
Benefits For Atholl Arms Hotel

Aures Yuno Touch Screen EPoS Terminal with TouchPoint is a fast, reliable and easy to use touch screen EPoS Interface for the busy public bar.

Hotel residents' food and drink bills can be posted electronically and instantly charged to their room from the bar or restaurant, so their account is always up to date.

Wireless hand-held ordering via PocketTouch reduces customer waiting times, encourages more frequent ordering and higher average spends and can also significantly reduce staffing overheads.

Table tracking and kitchen order printing in the dining areas ensures nothing leaves the kitchen without first having been charged on the till.

Inbuilt customer loyalty database provides incentives to win and retain customers from your local competitors with TouchLoyalty.

TouchOffice Web allows full management control and real-time reporting from any internet connected device. Take reports, change products and prices or perform stock taking procedures remotely from your office, home, or wherever.

One of the many suggestions given to the Atholl Arms was to trial PocketTouch which runs on any handheld, wireless Android or iOS device and is used by waiting staff for taking food and drink orders.

Zsolt added, “Our kitchen, bar and restaurant is some distance apart and as you can imagine it can take some time to go out, take the food and drinks orders using a traditional order pad and pen, then walk to the bar to manually input the order into the till. Ultimately, this then takes the server away from the customer. ICR Scotland loaned us the handheld device for two weeks to test before making a decision.”

Atholl Pt Orderman
Benefits of PocketTouch

The software can be programmed to prompt the server to upsell. For example; if spaghetti bolognaise was ordered, the system prompts the server to ask if side orders are required, and whether any drinks are needed. Overall giving them tighter control of orders.

Waiting staff can focus on providing a better and personalised customer service.

Cost Savings, Atholl Arms Hotel now needs one less member of waiting staff for each shift.

To provide a fully integrated solution, ICR Scotland were able to recommend a range of Property Management System (PMS) providers that could be interfaced with their new ICRTouch EPoS System.

With experience in using mainstream hotel PMS such as Micros and Opera, which Zsolt found dated, he elected to use “HOP” Property Management System.

Atholl Receipt

“Ian and his team at ICR Scotland are very experienced and knowledgeable. They spent time at the hotel, investigating the various aspects of the business before providing a bespoke solution that fitted my particular business needs.”

Zsolt Balogh, Owner
Atholl Service
The Results

The Atholl Arms Hotel now has a bespoke EPoS system that can coordinate all hotel reservations, guest data, and billing under one system. The system communicates between the different hotel departments to ensure clear communication, saving time and offering guests an improved and personalised experience. With the ability to track and monitor real time stock and sales, it helps to provide the owner with data on how and where to improve financial performance, whether that is increasing room rates, or upselling in the restaurant. Data can be accessed 24/7 from anywhere in the world.

Zsolt said, “All transactions can be recorded electronically and seamlessly from the moment a guest books a room, all the way through to checking out. Thanks to this, I have a tighter control of my financials and can easily detect trends within the business.

“We have now also purchased the hand-held devices, meaning pen and paper orders are part of the hotel’s 233-year-old history. It has reduced the service time and has ensured more accuracy when taking orders at the table. The kitchen staff no longer need to ask the waiting staff to go back and ask the customer how they like their steak cooked!

The device provides all the correct prompts, thus allowing the waiting staff to focus on providing a higher quality of customer service. This change has meant we can operate with one less member of the service team at each shift.

The loyalty cards we introduced have really helped to generate new clients, as well as keeping our regulars. The winter months can be quieter than other seasons, therefore this scheme encourages local residents to spend time with us, and take friends along that we have turned into repeat customers.”

Finally, Zsolt added, “Overall the ICRTouch EPoS System provided by ICR Scotland is very flexible and easy to use. It gives me the freedom to create new functions and make real time changes myself. ICR Scotland has helped us dramatically improve customer service levels, increase sales, and improve our food and liquor margins well beyond expectations. Based on the short period of time it has been set up, I believe it will save me in excess of £10,000 in my first year alone. This saving will be spent re-investing back into the hotel business.”

Atholl Staff