Cateys 2022: Best Use of Technology Award: Mollie's Motel & Diner

05 July 2022 by
Cateys 2022: Best Use of Technology Award: Mollie's Motel & Diner

Mollie's Motel & Diner wins Best Use of Technology Award, sponsored by Ten Kites

Mollie's, with sites in Oxfordshire, Bristol and Manchester, boasts interiors designed by Soho House and a brand ethos that style and comfort can be affordable. It has harnessed technology to offer an effortless digital-led experience that retains the warmth and engagement of traditional hospitality.

With its tech partners Mollie's has created a pioneering, integrated ecosystem that is guest-focused, data-driven and operationally seamless, while being commercially affordable as it scales its business.

A guest's main interface is the Mollie's app, which delivers a raft of benefits including online check-in, a digital room key, TV control, pre-bookable electric vehicle charging bays and 24-hour online chat. The app will also allow guests' phones to automatically pair with the TV, casting their personal Netflix or Spotify account directly to the screen and syncing with the super-fast complimentary Wi-Fi.

The benefits have not gone unnoticed by guests and a review in The Times said: "Bonus points for hotel tech that means you receive an alert as soon as your room is ready – no waiting around until 3pm. What a swell idea."

When planning the project Mollie's aimed to create a technology ecosystem that was customer-centric, easy to train staff on and operationally seamless, as well as powerfully data-orientated, resilient and affordable as the business scaled. The company worked with multiple technology partners, but all systems, including kitchen management, point of sale, HR, finance and a central transactions engine, are fully integrated.

In terms of measurable successes, the solution has shortened the lead time to deploy new properties, driven a 40% operating cost reduction in technology and increased guest satisfaction by reducing waiting times for check-in.

It has also seen a 120% increase in the brand's booking conversation rate, increased average spend and turnaround time fordiners, as well as saving more than five hours a week for the customer service team.

Technology has not been harnessed to remove human interaction, but in a bid to create a seamless experience while freeing the team up to focus on guests. With the industry's current staffing difficulties this investment has been particularly pertinent, shielding the business from pressures while freeing team members to be proactive in the delivery of great hospitality experiences.

And the journey is not over. Darren Sweetland, Mollie's managing director, said: "As our brand and footprint continues to grow, we will continue to innovate and invest in the optimal technology to create the perfect guest experience."

What the judges said

"Very sound application of a system, uniquely applied for the benefit of customers and for building staff self-esteem." – Stephen A Minall

"The clever integration of various different technology solutions is impressive. Mollie's did an excellent job of seeking expert advice and support to help pull together various pieces of software to create an enviable, all-encompassing solution." – Jane Pendlebury

The shortlist

  • Levy UK & Ireland
  • Mollie's Motel & Diner
  • Pan Pacific London

The judges

  • Grant Ashton, chief executive and founder, 67 Pall Mall
  • Charles Boyd, director, 8 Northumberland
  • Harpreet Cheema Head of social media, Sodexo
  • Stephen Minall Director, Moving Food
  • Michael Mrini, director of IT, Edwardian Hotels London
  • Jane Pendlebury, chief executive, HOSPA
  • Carl Weldon, chief operations officer Europe, Hospitality Finance and Technology Professionals
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