Only a few years back, event planning in the hospitality industry was complicated. Ask any restaurateur about it, and they’ll probably describe long, tedious processes involving phoned-in requests, faxed catering bids, notebooks filled with order details and seemingly-endless back-and-forth emails. It was ineffective, and it often wound up in misplaced orders and unhappy customers.
But thanks to web applications such as Tripleseat, venue staff and event planners no longer have to undergo such onerous routines. Tripleseat is a software company that provides restaurateurs, foodservice specialists and other venues with an easy and convenient way to organize events for their clients. The Concord, MA-based company, whose clients include TAO, Davio’s and Union Square Hospitality, started out in Boston and now operates across the nation.
Jonathan Morse started Tripleseat in 2008 after experiencing first-hand the perils of the industry’s very paper-based and manual systems. Then a VP at a business intelligence provider that specialized in the hospitality sector, Morse had a business meeting go awry because of a simple paperwork snafu. He recognized that the mess-up could have been avoided altogether if the hotel manager in this case had gone paperless when planning the event.
What was needed, thought Morse, was software that would digitize and streamline processes, allowing businesses to manage their private dining business more effectively. At the time, the only software to come close to fitting the bill was made specifically for hotel management, and was usually either too complicated or expensive.
Having previously worked as an event manager for Starwood Hotels, he thought, “well, I know how to fix this.”
A few months later, Morse teamed up with software developer Kevin Zink, and with the strength of their combined expertise, the two co-founders created the first Tripleseat prototype.
Morse and Zink first focused on solving the problems that event managers had managing their order loads because of paperwork. “So basically, the whole objective was to take the process away from pen and paper,” Morse added. The result was essentially a report digitization platform.
As the two cofounders observed more challenges experienced by venue managers and restaurant owners, Tripleseat expanded to tackle them. For example, they saw that it could take days for an event manager to respond to a potential customer’s inquiry.
“Our goal was to turn that couple of days into less than an hour,” Jonathan said, explaining what prompted Tripleseat to expand its features.
As a former event manager, Morse knew the importance of streamlining the event planning process. Therefore, the cofounders continued to collaborate, making the Tripleseat suite more convenient for venue managers and event planners.
The pair introduced three features to the application. The first enabled venue managers to generate event proposals for their customers faster, the second allowed them to capture leads from either the Tripleseat site or the venue’s own website and social media pages. Feature number three solved the communication problem between event managers and their customers.
“Before we launched Tripleseat, everything was done through email but details inevitably got lost,” Jonathan said, highlighting the importance of the last feature. Planners were constantly losing track of their discussions with clients in their e-mails because related event details were in different threads. “Now we have everything connected to the event.” Instead of having scattered information about an event across emails, the Tripleseat suite allowed organizers to track details on their individual pages. They can tell the venue, date and client information simply by opening their conversations on Tripleseat.
Capturing leads and responding faster to customer requests created more event planning jobs for restaurants, hotels and other venues, many of which had previously treated event planning as a secondary source of income. Morse estimates that event planning now makes up about 30-35% of their customers’ total revenue.
For restaurant owners and others venturing into the foodservice industry, Tripleseat is an ideal application. It’s fast, affordable, and can handle multiple planning projects and bookings simultaneously – all which enable you to do more profitable business. Even better, once you create a banquet event order for one customer, you can use that proposal as a template for any other clients with similar preferences.
Whether for increased sales, better communication or faster service, the ever-changing, innovative Tripleseat application has become a venue manager and hospitality professional’s go-to app during the event planning process. “By continuing to listen and adapt to the changing needs of our customers, the future remains bright for Tripleseat,” Morse concluded.
To learn more about Tripleseat, visit their website.