We get it, the news on reopening has been hard to trust, but we want to make sure you’re ready in good time, especially when it comes to your listing on our website. From a checklist to top tips, check out our recommendations for getting your venue ready for reopening on DesignMyNight.
☀️ OUTDOOR SPACES AND DINING ☀️ Previous lockdowns have had hospitality leaning heavily on outdoor dining, with ‘outdoor restaurants’ one of our most popular pages in Q4 of 2020. 2021 is set to be no different. With that in mind, we’ve added brand new outdoor types to all of our websites. Haven’t updated your outdoor spaces on our website in a while? Find these in the ‘features’ tab. Haven’t asked us about our marketing for outdoor venues recently? We’ve got plenty of new pages for this too, so don’t be shy in chasing us. New outdoor search options include:
By the water.
Headed outdoor space.
✔️ YOUR COVID OPENING STATUS ON DESIGNMYNIGHT ✔️ Still closed? Offering collection/delivery? Bookings available, ready to go for a potential Easter opening? We’ve added a traffic light system to DesignMyNight to let users know when they can book in with you. Go ahead and get yours updated, simply head to ‘features’ on your page, and find the ‘Covid-19 Opening Status’ dropdown.
🍔 UPDATING MENUS AND ADDING OFFERS 🍔 It sounds simple, but menus and offers are some of the most overlooked updates on DesignMyNight. Not only does our offers search help users find the best deals in their area (including yours), menus help our users convert in to a booking quicker than those on venues without them. Head to your page to add your most recent deals, and menu files.
🍴 CHECK YOUR BOOKING TYPES, AND IF THEY’RE OPEN ON DMN 🍴 With 100,000s of visits a day, you can count on great booking opportunities on DesignMyNight. Haven’t checked your booking availabilty on DMN recently, or don’t even have your bookings open on our website yet? Check in and let us know if you need anything changed.
📗 HOW ARE YOU KEEPING PEOPLE SAFE? 📗 Following an audience survey last year, our users noted that understanding how a venue is keeping guests covid-safe would help them make a booking quicker. So how can you do this? Feel free to add comms to your DesignMyNight page, noting any changes to your venue, and any new safety measures you have in place, such as hand sanitiser stations, outdoor dining and more.
🥂 YOUR DESCRIPTION 🥂 Your venue description is a crucial piece of information on DesignMyNight. It can help conversions, help users get to know you better, and relay important information, from your food offering and recent offers to what your interiors are like. Haven’t updated yours in a while? Head to your venue admin, and tell our users a little more about you. While your venue description needs to be unique and informative, and can’t be copied directly from your website, it’s a great marketing tool that we encourage you to have fun with. Need a hand? We can also offer content writing services for a small fee.
🙁 STILL DON’T HAVE A PUBLIC PAGE ON DESIGNMYNIGHT? 🙁 With over 4,000 UK venues already live, we’d love for you to join us. Our CSM team are on hand to help you know more about their services, getting listed and getting public on DesignMyNight, including the benefits around our marketing options (don’t forget to ask us about those) and taking bookings on our site. Feel free to email them on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
To help support our Access Collins Partners financially during this current national lockdown, we will be waiving Access Collins subscription fees for January and February. We will review this going forward and following any subsequent government guidance.
Although we are waiving fees, our support, customer success, and account management teams remain on hand to help and you will maintain access to the Access Collins system and as with the previous lockdowns we have been supporting and promoting the fantastic initiatives taken on by you on DeliverMyNight, where we are marketing everything from online events to DIY kits and takeaway options.
Our finance team are sprucing up their referrals billing method and wanted to send out an update of the process!
Our team export out all your Completed referral bookings on the 8th of each month, for the prior month. This means you have from the 1st-7th to ensure all bookings are up to date.
Please note, Completed. We will only bill you for the reservations in your system that are marked as complete, however, it is your responsibility to ensure that any no shows, cancelled bookings or anything else that keeps customers getting through your doors – is reflected in your Collins bookings. Give a look over this LINK on how to reject bookings, this LINK covers rejecting in bulk and here’s a handy LINK on filtering bookings.
For November we will only be billing bookings for the 1st-4th so please ensure you have updated any rejected bookings for these dates!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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