iDeal Hospitality Partners recently announced Impulsify as the Grab-and-Go solution provider for their owners and partners. We sat down with Jill Rigsbee, CEO of Ideal, and Janine Williams, CEO of Impulsify, to learn more about this partnership and how it will benefit the hospitality industry.
Covid wreaked havoc on hotels on countless fronts, but perhaps nowhere more than the Food and Beverage outlets that were closed or severely restricted throughout the pandemic and well into the recovery in many markets.
The crisis created an urgent demand for self-service grab-and-go markets that are profitable and easy to manage while offering quality meal options for guests not yet comfortable dining in communal spaces. Once thought of as a cost center – this retail outlet quickly became front and center operations to bring meals, snacks, and beverages to guests safely while keeping much needed revenue on property.” These retail outlets are here to stay and are becoming more robust than ever before,” asserts Rigsbee.
Grab-and-Go Retail Technology
Impulsify released their initial product offering, ImpulsePoint, to Full and Select Service hotels in 2014. The cloud-based, PMS-integrated Retail Management System allows associates to sell retail items at the existing front desk terminal with barcode scan accuracy and room charge capability.
Real time inventory management, giveaway/discount tracking, and product performance data allowed hoteliers to measure retail performance and cost of inventory in a way never previously available through F&B POS solutions and direct PMS posting. Hotels who tested the beta version experienced a 49% increase in revenue and an astounding 220% increase in profit.
In 2016, Impulsify expanded their offering to reduce the burden that successful retail placed on front desk associates. ShopPoP was introduced as the first of its kind guest-facing kiosk specifically designed for the lobby retail market. Guests could avoid front desk lines by scanning their items at the kiosk and paying by credit card or charging to room folios.
“It isn’t ‘grab-and-go’ if you have to grab a soda and go wait in the front desk line…That’s grab-and-wait,” mused Williams at the time.
The kiosk was gaining popularity with innovative retail programs like Crowne Plaza’s Marketplace and Hilton Garden Inn’s The Shop who made guest-facing retail kiosks part of their retail brand programs despite hospitality’s early hesitancy to give up human interaction during the transaction.
The Pandemic Effect
In 2020, ShopPoP instantly became the definition of “essential.” Layoffs, reduction in team members, and cross contamination concerns of front desk associates behind plexiglass handling food items escalated the need for in-store, guest-facing POS solutions.
This only increased in 2021 due to the labor crisis. “Removing hundreds and often thousands of transactions from the front desk at this time is not a luxury upgrade, it is a responsible way to take care of the employees that do show up!” asserts Williams.
According to 12M+ retail transactions, guests select the kiosk 86% of the time when offered.
iDeal Meets Impulsify
iDeal Hospitality Partners, founded by the hotel industry procurement expert, Jill Rigsbee saw the opportunity within grab-and-go and immediately began looking for solutions to offer the owners, brands, management companies, and franchisees she serves. Her criteria? An innovative product that serves both Select and Full-Service Hotels who want to meet guest demand for higher quality F&B while providing significant incremental revenue to owner/operators who have lost so much profit through the recovery.
“We looked at a variety of service providers for that space to add to our portfolio,” recalls Rigsbee. “Janine’s team passionately understands the challenges owners face and the path to significant retail profitability with the right technology. She also fiercely protects the brand vision from becoming cookie-cutter vending. One size-fits-all design and third-party revenue share models sound good in theory – but do not allow the brand differentiation or profit potential that Impulsify retail solutions provide.”
iDeal Hospitality Partners is comprised of procurement veterans from industry giants including former Avendra, HSM, and Foodbuy Executives. Jill’s mission is to bring innovative products and services into hotels, boost sales for supplier partners, give guests what they demand from hotels, and increase profitability for hotel owners and operators. “We know hotels and hotels know us; we are proud to seek out unique options that make our clients better and stronger,” says Rigsbee.
Other products iDeal Hospitality Partners is referring include Nightfood-Sleep Friendly Ice-Cream, B4Check-in reservation and payment technology, Abillipay payment fraud prevention, and Clean-A-Card - key card sanitizing system. “We are very excited about the products and technology we will be announcing in the coming weeks.”
The two women were connected by a mutual colleague and instantly formed a bond personally and professionally. Their commitment to charity and women-owned business opportunities, combined with their desire to deliver innovative products and services to the hospitality industry is destined to be a resounding success!
About iDEAL Hospitality Partners Group
iDEAL provides outsourced marketing and business development services for companies eager to grow sales in the hospitality sector. iDEAL knows the key decision-makers and stakeholders that consider and purchase products for all areas of a hotel or resort. Through its long-standing relationships with hotel owners and management companies, the iDEAL team presents client’s innovative and unique products and services for the lodging industry to hotels and resorts throughout North and Central America and in the Caribbean.
Impulsify provides self-service retail technology, design services, and business intelligence to maximize incremental revenue opportunities in commercial real estate common areas like hotel lobbies, co-working spaces, and multi-family residential complexes. Impulsify technology and design solutions completely automate retail deployment and management to increase profitability and minimize operational impact of unattended retail stores for non-retail businesses.
Contact: Janine Williams – 888.306.3252
PR Agency: unknownlab
Contact: Sam Dudeck – 760.613.3775