Lockdown 2.0 – We’re Here to Help

In case you have missed it, we have an incredibly handy Collins guide on lockdown and re-opening, with lot’s of useful hints and tips on how to maximise the software during this difficult time.

We also recognise the financial impact the latest lockdown will have so we are reducing all Collins licence fees by 50% for the month of November. You do not need to do anything, this has already been applied to your November invoice.

While we are reducing the licence fee for November, we will not be reducing our service. You will be able to access the software as usual and our support and account management teams will be on hand should you need any assistance.

We’ve also been promoting the fantastic initiatives taken on by you during this second lockdown on DeliverMyNight, which is a new platform that markets everything from online events to DIY kits and takeaway options. The message across DesignMyNight.com and on our social media platforms has been to champion the industry and also to let our audience know how they can help support it during this difficult time. Whether that’s by moving their booking instead of asking for a refund, buying a gift voucher in the lead up to Christmas or purchasing in-house merchandise until you reopen.

With love, Team Collins

Customer Success Portal Update

We have previously communicated to you about moving across to our new support portal and I am excited to say its finally here and will be our new way of supporting you from Tuesday 10th November.

The below outlines what you need to do and the main benefits of interacting with the support portal for all of your support needs as well as some links to some handy video guides.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact kerry.cornish@theaccessgroup.com

Accessing the Portal

It could not be easier for any user to gain access to view our Knowledge Base documents, as you no longer need to sign up for an account simply follow the link and sign in as a guest. Along with this exciting update our guides are also searchable on popular search engines such as Google, simply type in what you are looking to achieve.

Click here to access the Support Portal  

Navigating the Portal  

Getting around the new Support portal now couldn’t be easier. From quickly finding the guides you need, using the handy search bar at the top of the page. Where you can now select the product you wish to search within. Once an article has been found you can send this onto colleagues by either printing a copy or sharing the link provided on screen, which will take them directly to the page you are viewing.

To watch a quick video covering the navigation tools please click here.  

Creating & Updating Support Cases  

If you are a nominated support user you will have the ability to contact the support team, we’ve made this easier by moving the case builder and case management tools to the main dashboard. Here you can build new cases and view your open cases quickly. Please note you must be signed into your account to view this section of the support portal.

For a quick video to guide you through the section please click here.  

Engaging with the Community  

The community is a great place to share your views and opinions with other like-minded professionals within the hospitality sector, once you have asked your question other community members will give their opinion or provide you with the answer.

For a quick video of the community please click here.

Collins Security

We have been informed that fraudsters claiming to be from Access Collins / DesignMyNight have been targeting venues and asking for booking details.

A member of the Access Collins/ DesignMyNight team will never;
– Contact you out of the blue asking for booking/ customer details
– Ask for your Access Collins password

Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with information will help keep your business and customer’s details safe. If you are in any doubt whether you are speaking to a member of the Access Collins team, STOP. It’s ok to reject/ ignore the request and contact us through our support portal.

Collins & Curfew – Our Top Tips for you

Opening Times & Availability 

With a curfew of 10pm now in place across the UK you’ll need to ensure that your system is set-up to reflect this. By updating your closing times with Collins you can ensure that bookings can’t be raised past this point [Guide Here]To support this?

Amend your latest booking time settings to ensure that you aren’t over-committing to covers and that you can comfortably see out the last customers by curfew. [Guide Here]. 

You might have done this already, but with groups capped at no more than 6, it’s worth taking the time to reflect this in your Max Group Size. Making sure booking types are limited will help you and your customers remain compliant [Guide Here]

Contacting Your Customers 

Already have customers booked in after the 10 o’clock curfew? We’ve got you covered on the easiest ways to pull this information from Collins so that you can update any customers as soon as possible.

We’ve included two pre-filtered links below that will take you to the exact data you’ll need to pull in your Enquiries page of Collins – from here you can reject the bookings. 

For bookings of 7+ from now until end of Jan 21- Open this link
Any bookings where the duration exceeds 10pm – Open this link

Before doing so, please make sure that ‘Automatic cancellation email’ is activated in Settings > Booking Types > Emails if you want the system to notify customers. [Guide Here]

OR, should you want to just amend the booking time to adhere to the 10pm curfew, you’ll need to edit the Until time and then compose a new Confirmation email to make the customer aware of the changes should they wish to go ahead – [Guide Here]

Should you need to pull any further data, here’s a handy guide on how to filter enquiries like the above. 

Collins Pay & Your Refund Process 

With these recent changes to the guidelines it is expected that as an industry we will see a small rise in refund requests. This is the time to make sure your refund policy ties in line with the Access Collins process so that a clear message is communicated to customers.

Refunds raised by the customer through Collins are expected to be paid in 10-14 working days. Moving to direct debit will fix this process to 10 working days. If you would like to move to Direct Debit please reach out to your Account Manager or AM@designmynight.com

Updating Booking Policy/Safety Measures/Booking Confirmation 

Are your bookings policies and booking confirmations reflective of the new changes? These are a great opportunity to confirm your stance on the current guidelines and reiterate any key facts (such as group sizes and closing times) in a clear message to the customer.

Please also read our Prepare your Business’ guide which covers other useful tips such as; updating floor plansrequesting contact details for Track and Tracelimiting arrivals and many more useful ways to utilise your Collins software.

A Sign Of Hope on DesignMyNight.com 

These new policies will feel significant to your business over the coming months, but we did want to share some positive news when it comes to you and your listing on DesignMyNight (Don’t have one yet? We can do that for you too, check with your Account Manager). 

Not only have we seen little to no changes when it comes to the amount of people visiting the website since the announcement (showing that interest in bookings, regardless of their end time, is still prevalent), we’re seeing elevated interest in the coming season, with visits to Halloween pages up 604%, visits to Christmas pages up 207% and visits to NYE pages up 127%.

It really isn’t lost on us that all these new changes to the guidelines mean a lot of new changes for you, if you need more help or would like our assistance in any way, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

All the best,
Team Collins xx

Bookings Partner Update

As we continue to grow and send higher numbers of referrals to our partners, we want to streamline the process to make it more efficient for all parties. This means no more booking statements or spreadsheets. Hooray!

As you know we only ever bill a referral fee for a completed booking that has been made via designmynight.com or one of our 3rd party affiliate partners, never your own website, and if the booking is cancelled or marked as a no-show, then you do not pay a referral fee then either. Rather than sending a statement each month and your teams having to check the statement and come back to us to confirm, going forward, we’ll require these details to be updated in Collins.

If the booking has gone ahead as expected, there is nothing you need to do.If you use Collins in live service to check guests in, that’s perfect as you’ll be recording no-shows and actual guest numbers in Collins throughout service, so again there is nothing further you would need to do. If you don’t use Collins in live service, not to worry, it’s easy to go back and update the booking as a no-show or with actual guest numbers. Updating the booking in Collins will make it a much more efficient process compared to the current back and forth between our finance and your bookings teams.

How to record a no-show in live service

How to update actual guests after a booking has taken place

We want make sure you have plenty of time to update the previous months referral bookings, so you will have until the 7th of the following month. After that date we prepare the invoices. So if you need to, all referral bookings must be updated by the 7th. For private hire bookings, our concierge team will be in touch for final spends by the 7th. Any questions or if you would like to join as a bookings partner, please contact your Collins account manager.

Collins Updates: Access Hospitality Suite

As a member of the Access Hospitality family of best-in-class software products, we’ll be making some small aesthetic changes in Collins to make the journey from one Access product to another seamless and coherent. 

From next Tuesday we’ll be changing the current terminology of Venue and Venue Group to Site and Organisation respectively. You’ll also see this change reflected in Access People, Maintain, Procure Wizard and EPoS soon.

This is an exciting change, particularly if you use two or more of our software solutions, as it further unifies your experience of navigating between each product.

Please note: besides the visual change of name, the functionality and usage of any settings will remain the same as usual.

Should you wish to learn more about our Hospitality suite of Products from EPoS, HR & Scheduling and Purchase to Pay, please visit the website here for more details and to request a demo.

Team Collins xx

Reduced VAT Rate

“On 8 July 2020, the government announced that it would introduce a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT for certain supplies of hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation, and admissions to certain attractions.

This cut in the VAT rate from the standard rate of 20% will have effect from 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021.”

For more information and to see whether this is applicable to your supplies and services, please view www.gov.uk

In accordance with the temporary rates, we’ve made some changes to our Invoicing/VAT receipt tool, allowing you to apply either the standard or reduced VAT rates to the applicable supplies – you can find all the steps and further details on the Invoicing tool and these changes on this handy guide.

These changes will be going live within Collins first thing on Thursday 16th July 2020

We hope this all helps and if you any questions, please feel free to contact us on collins-support@designmynight.com

Team Collins x

NHS Track and Trace – how you can request guest contact details

To aid compliance with Government Guidelines for reopening your venue on Saturday July 4th and to help the NHS Track & Trace scheme, we’ve been working hard on some changes for you to request and temporarily store the contact details of all guests from every booking. This can be requested at the point of booking and/or added to the booking manually by a user.

Please take some time to read through this handy guide on how to set up Guest contact fields on your widget and where to then view these details on the booking/enquiry.

PLEASE NOTE: prior to these changes, if you have enabled the Kind of booking type to be Guest list. Please make sure to untick this so the booking is treated as a standard booking and not a Guest list booking.

We hope this all helps and if you any questions, please feel free to contact us on collins-support@designmynight.com

Team Collins x

Collins Pay Update

Back in March when venues were forced to close we took the decision to deactivate Collins Pay for anyone using our Stripe Account. We did this to bring in a new refund process and to reconcile each account. In preparation for venues opening again, please let your account manager know if you would like Collins Pay re-activated.  

Reminder of the new refund process – As the original payment would have already been transferred to you (payments work on 3 day cycle), the refund amount will need to be credited back to us before we can complete the refund to your customer. When you action refund in Collins this will not immediately trigger the refund to the customer. We will reconcile any refunds you make in Collins and invoice the next working day. If you are on Direct Debit, the payment will be collected 2 days later. If you are not on Direct Debit the invoice will need to be settled in two working days. As soon as the invoice is settled, we can release the refund to your customer. We reserve the right to deactivate Collins Pay or offset Collins Pay payments against any unpaid invoices.

Update on Corporate card fees – Stripe have recently updated the transaction fees for using corporate cards and so we have needed to review our processes in order to offset the increased charges we now incur. If the customer chooses to use a corporate card they will be notified that there is an additional £1.50 fee, they can choose whether to accept and continue or to use a different card (the end customer pays this additional £1.50 fee, there will be no additional cost to you other than the usual card transaction fee).

Any questions, please contact your Collins Account Manager.


Team Collins x

Let’s Get You Back To Business

We hope you’re well and staying safe during these surreal times.

During lockdown and the last few weeks, we’ve been making the most of this time and reviewing all our current processes/guides, as well as seeing how we can make your Collins experience even better. From on-boarding and videos to content, we’ve been busy bees and have some exciting new changes to show you…

We’re upgrading our support portal in July, so you will have a better experience when contacting our support team. Get access to extra aids such as shiny new training videos, a dashboard outlining your outstanding requests and an online community, which includes topics raised by other like-minded hospitality folk. You will need to register for this portal which can be done herePlease note registration confirmation can take up to 24 hours, so we would recommend you and your team do it as soon as possible.

To help you get the most out of your Collins system and what it can do to help you with social distancing, we’ve created a back to business guide. This goes through the different functionalities and how you can get most out of your venue at this time, as well as tips on getting your staff back up to speed. Do you use our ticketing system, Tonic? We’ve got a guide for that too

  • Re-opening Traffic Light System 

Are you closed, providing takeaway/delivery, or getting ready to open your doors as soon as we get the green light? If so, contact your Collins account manager who can help you get your designmynight.com page updated to reflect this with a unique traffic light system – making sure you don’t miss out on any potential customers as our website audience grows daily.

We hope this all helps and if you any questions in the meantime, please feel free to contact us on collins-support@designmynight.com

Team Collins x