Mobile Ordering at the Atlantis, The Palm
In February 2017, wi-Q Technologies and The Atlantis, The Palm launched an ambitious new mobile ordering project. The project, which has boosted revenues and secured the Best Use Of Technology award at the Middle East Hospitality Awards, is one of the first in the world to use cloud-based mobile ordering, and not an app, to improve the customer experience and boost F&B revenue.
The project involved implementing wi-Q within the resort’s pool and beach area. wi-Q allows Atlantis guests to browse the pool and beach food and beverage offering via their own device and order at the click of a button. Instead of downloading a mobile application, guests can access wi-Q via any Internet browser in their preferred language, order from the entire menu and pay via cash, card or charge to their room. Additional features allow the guests to call a waiter, track the progress of their order and provide dietary requirements to the Atlantis team.
In an outdoor area, where it is often more difficult for hospitality staff to spot and recognise demand for refreshments, wi-Q gives customers more control over their own experience. This does not necessarily mean that customers and staff need not engage. However, it does allow customers to impulsively order and pay, without having to wait for service, whilst minimising disruption to their conversation, book or entertainment.
To date the project has seen increasingly successful results, receiving thousands of orders since launch and tracking a steady rise in the numbers of orders per day as guests familiarise themselves with the mobile ordering process. The process has secured into the hundreds of thousands of Dirhams in terms of incremental revenue, with incremental spend also increasing day by day. The solution, which started in just one revenue centre, has since evolved to service:
- Royal Pool
- Royal Beach
- Nasimi Beach Club
- Imperial Beach Club
The expansion in wi-Q Technologies offering has earned it status as a key strategic partner to the Atlantis. We are now working closely with the Atlantis on their digital guest engagement strategy. This will allow the Atlantis to offer guests several different ways to order F&B and hotel guest services: the Atlantis native guest app, the Atlantis web-based app or via the SMART TV in their room. In the longer term, this strategic partnership will also allow the Atlantis to create an intelligent, end-to-end guest experience, incorporating door unlocking, spa bookings, concierge services and even other emerging technologies, such as conversational commerce.
Regardless of how the guest chooses to order, all orders processed by wi-Q are posted directly into the Atlantis’s POS system. This streamlines the fulfilment process significantly and allows multiple room service orders to be processed at once - meaning that no orders will be missed if, for example, staff are busy on the phone. With wi-Q Technologies’ solution in place, staff can concentrate on the fulfilment of the guest experience, affording them more time to implement additional personalised touches.
Anthony Lynsdale, Vice President of IT at Atlantis, The Palm comments,
“80% of hospitality businesses in the region don’t yet offer a mobile ordering solution, or if they are, it tends to be an inferior offering whereby the customer has to download an app. I believe that apps have peaked and customers don’t want them clogging up their devices any more. The future we see at Atlantis, The Palm is a solution delivered by a web application and this is why we have embarked on the project with wi-Q Technologies. Whilst our results have been strong so far, the steady increase in usage and incremental spend suggests that our guests will soon be ready to use this solution across the resort in all outdoor outlets.”
Return On Investment
Due to the ubiquitous nature of the technology, there are four different increases or improvements that contribute to the overall return on investment. Some of these segments can be confidently calculated and some cannot. Where they can not be calculated clearly and with confidence, we have explained the theory behind them:
Increased Average Order Value:
wi-Q Technologies have data that proves its solution has increased the average value of an order by over 20%. Given the average number of orders that the solution processes in a given month, the monthly ROI of this increase in the average order value alone is 207%.
There is a clear logic that says if a guest cannot grab the attention of waiting staff, and there is an instant access, mobile ordering alternative that they are aware of, then the Atlantis will receive an order that would have otherwise been missed. Unfortunately, this service mishap is largely unavoidable - particularly in large outdoor areas such as pools and beaches. There is consequently a proportion of orders placed via wi-Q, that would not have occurred if the solution was not present. These orders are therefore incremental and represent additional revenue. The question is, what percentage?
It is worth noting at this point that these conservative figures are based on a lower-than-normal adoption rate. wi-Q Technologies strongly believe – given the success of the solution in similar venues – that over time and in conjunction with the rate of adoption, that incremental orders could reach 40-50%. As you can see from the table, this alone would generate an ROI of over 400%.
Unfortunately, there is no way to categorically prove this claim at the moment. wi-Q Technologies, therefore, take a more conservative stance and suggest that at the moment 10% of orders are incremental. The ROI of a 10% increase in orders is circa 79%. If you take this, and the ROI from the increase in the average value of an order, the total monthly ROI is 286%.
wi-Q Technologies do not believe it takes a great leap of faith to buy into this analysis. Given feedback from the Atlantis staff and the performance of the solution in other, similar-sized venues, we actually believe that incremental orders make up much more than 10% of the total orders.
There are also considerable efficiency and costs savings that should not go unnoticed. Thousands of journeys to take a guest’s order or payment, have been saved. This allows staff more time to focus on delivering the guest experience, which in this case is a full tray of refreshments. Whilst it is difficult at this stage to calculate a monetary ROI for this particular benefit, we believe that this saving alone, more than pays for the cost of the solution.
Finally, there is the soft benefit of the improved guest experience. Giving guests choice is very seldom a bad thing. Whilst we don’t envisage the adoption rates increasing too dramatically over the next 12 months, we do believe that our solution dramatically improves the guest experience for the significant minority of digital natives who are using it. When you consider the widespread adoption of digital dining within the takeaway industry - which we know millennial and digital natives are accustomed to - it is more than plausible to suggest that wi-Q improves the guest experience.
We believe the most significant ROI this improvement in the guest experience will generate, is with brand loyalty. From our back-end management system, we can see that once a guest has used the mobile ordering solution once, they are much more likely to return and place a second, third or fourth order. It is likely that these ‘early adopters’ actually enjoy the technology. It is therefore also likely that the technology will impact the guest’s choice of hotel on their next holiday or business trip.