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

Thanks
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

Thanks,
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.

Thanks

Team Collins x

An update from us (31st of March, 2020)

We hope you’re keeping well during these tough times.
We want to keep everyone aware of the steps we’re taking in order to support you right now. We understand this situation is both unique and uncertain, and we are constantly reviewing how we can help you and your business during this period. If you are experiencing difficulties, please contact your account manager for assistance. If you’re unsure who to contact, message our support team on collins-support@designmynight.com who can help point you in the right direction.

Thanks

Team Collins x

An update on Collins Pay and refunds

Collins Pay: We have taken the decision to temporarily disable Collins Pay, which means you will not be able to take payments or card authentications through the system while business has been halted. 

Refunds Through Collins: Previously, when you refunded a customer through Collins we refunded the customer immediately on your behalf, then deducting the refund from the next bulk payment due to you. Due to the unprecedented situation, the number of refunds outweigh the number of new payments, which means we can no longer operate in this way.  

You can activate a refund in the usual manner from Collins, however, the refund will not be actioned instantly. We will reconcile the refunds you have made on a daily basis and we will invoice you for those refunds the next working day, or make a payment to you if you are owed. As soon as the payment for the refund invoice has been received we can then release the funds to the customer on your behalf.

We hope you understand why we have had to make this change and that we cannot take on the liability of everyone’s refunds.

A Message From Us (March 25th, 2020)

Working with you

We know it’s tough out there right now and understand that you will have had to temporarily close your venues following guidance from Central Government and Public Health England in relation to COVID-19. 

It’s an extremely challenging time for the industry as a whole, and we here at Access Collins are feeling every closed door and every empty table, just like you.

We are 100% committed to supporting you during this difficult time and want to work with you to ensure that both Collins, and your business, can continue once day to day life resumes. From support, through to software, we will still be providing you with the key assistance that has underpinned Collins as a platform from day one. 

Our onboarding, support and account management teams will continue to be at the end of the phone or email should you need assistance with anything. Please reach out to these teams if you have any questions, and if you’re not sure who to talk to, you can contact our support team on collins-support@designmynight.com who can assist.

During this period we will be waiving the fees on any extra Collins training sessions for the foreseeable future in a bid to make sure that you have a fully efficient and tactile staff when business returns.

We see a thriving, if not wholly more inventive industry once this all simmers down, and look forward to being there on the other side with you. 

 

Moving Forward

It’s amazing how quickly the industry can pivot and it’s a testament to everyone working in it. Here are some initiatives to help at this time.

Gift Vouchers – We encourage you to set up gift vouchers to allow your customers to support you now, and to use at a later date. Built for the industry, our e-gift voucher Soda is a great place to get started.

We’ll also be using DesignMyNight.com to help you market these vouchers across the UK, with everything from on-site marketing and newsletters to an active audience, to potential social media shares (confirmed on a play by play basis).

Delivery or Click and Collect – In partnership with Qikserve and Preoday, we have pulled together a great way to help venues get mobilised quickly in offering delivery/click and collect. Better yet? We’re offering you 2 months free software use, pending the current climate. Offer delivery or Click and Collect to your customers.

We’re also generating daily new content on DesignMyNight.com to help support this change of function for venues, including regularly updated delivery content for venues in London, Manchester and beyond:

Helping Domiciliary Care Customers – Some The Access Group customers in the domiciliary care, care home and charity sectors are struggling to source food, beverage and cleaning stock to ensure that the more vulnerable in society are looked after. We are looking at opening up lines of communications, linking our Hospitality clients who may be able to help into these organisations. If you were willing and/or able to help, please let us know by dropping us an email at hospitality@theaccessgroup.com. We’re currently gathering info on what is needed and will then communicate this to you.

You can access the most up to date information surrounding COVID-19 via the World Health Organization, as well as the government’s website

Important changes to Collins & Reserve with Google

Hi All, 

We wanted to inform you of some Reserve with Google changes that came into effect on the morning of Friday the 31st of January.

We have been liaising with the team at Google and they have informed us that they are continuing to update their policy regarding what can be offered as a reservation platform. To maintain consistency across all systems that offer bookings, they have disallowed us to feed anything other than Dining booking types to the Reserve with Google page. This will ultimately mean that booking types like the following will be accepted according to Google’s policy; 

  • Breakfast
  • Brunch
  • Lunch 
  • Dinner 

And the following will not be allowed as an option

  • Cocktail Masterclass
  • Drinks Table 
  • Private Hire 

At the moment this will also mean booking types that can be defined as set menus, for example, Christmas Dinner or Valentines Day, won’t appear as an option however we are looking into what avenues can be explored with Google and will, of course, let you know as and when we hear of any updates.

What will you see? As Google set a hard deadline of Friday the 31st of January to implement these changes, we have been working really hard to make sure our integration and this change has been seamless for our clients. For this, we have built a new integrations page which will be enabled by default for those that offer bookings through Google and within this section, you’ll be able to see what availability will be visible to your customers via Google and what types will be inactive based on their policy. Over the last week, we have been sense checking the booking types that should be available so as to minimise any impact on our clients. 

More Information here. 

Do we require anything from you? Due to the amazing flexibility you have within Collins, some operators may have an overlap in booking type times.

EG: 

  • Breakfast 7am – 11am
  • Brunch 11am – 1pm
  • Lunch 12pm – 3pm 

If this applies to you, we kindly ask for you to head to the new Integrations page (found in your venue settings) and spot check the priority of these booking types, should a customer select a time where both or a few are available. If you have any queries about your inactive booking types, please contact your Account Manager and we’ll do our best to help you. 

Going forward if you’re creating a new Dining booking type, make sure to use our template booking types as they will automatically feed to Google’s booking process. If you have created a blank booking type but believe it should be appearing on Google, please contact your account manager. 

It is really important to note that we are adhering to a policy that has been set by Google. This is not Collins specific but a rule in place for all systems. We will continue to work with Google to explore/open up other avenues and keep everyone updated with our findings. 

Thanks,

Team Collins x

Big Launch: Collins Call

We are super excited to launch COLLINS CALL; a new product we have been building for near on a year!

Collins Call is an automated phone reservation system.

Do you worry about your venue phone line ringing through and missing out on bookings/enquiries? Spend too much time on the phone, taking small bookings?

Now you can connect Collins Call, which hooks straight into your live Collins system, and takes the booking for you, over the phone. All automated. Never miss a potential booking/enquiry again!
As you know with Collins, we like to push the dial forward too, so ours will be the first automated phone reservation system that can take enquiries and deposits, as well as the standard auto-confirmed smaller bookings.


Rather than ramble on, please take a look at our FAQs, here, for more info and pricing on Collins Call. We hope you love this product as much as we have loved developing it!

Collins Venue Tags: Segment your venues to get the best out of your reports and other sections

We are super excited to launch our new ‘Venue Tags’ feature, which allows multi-site groups to segment their venues; be it by brand, district, locations.. whatever you like.
You can sort what ‘Tags’ are to be set up at an organisational level and then assign them to the associated venues.
tags
You‘re then able to report by the different Tags set up, within a matter of seconds. Need a brand report for a regional meeting? No problem. Want to see how the Scottish sites are getting on in the run-up to Christmas? Easy peasy.
reports
You can also copy across data from one tag to another at the click of a button…want to upload your Christmas Menu 1 to all London venues and Christmas Menu 2 to all northern venues? Done..in a minute.

Reserve with Google Partners With Collins

Collins has launched a partnership with Google to implement the Reserve with Google product.
This allows your potential customers to book directly from your Google Listing and Google Maps. The customer never needs to leave Google to make the booking and the confirmed booking then goes straight into your Collins system, like any other booking.
Why are we so excited about this? The Reserve with Google mantra is about converting your customers extremely quickly compared with someone googling your venue > landing on your site > finding reservations section > making a booking. Think of it similar to the Amazon “Buy Now” philosophy where you just buy with a click without further thought needed. It also allows customers to search and book your venue in Google Maps, which is great for on-the-go, last minute bookings.