Award winning hotels have ‘the TGS edge’

In September 2016, the hotel industry honoured two of Victoria’s most respected hospitality groups at the 2016 AHA National Awards for Excellence – a platform for recognising venue and service excellence right across Australia.

Beating out a strong field of contenders in two highly competitive categories at the gala Gold Coast award night, Pegasus Leisure Group (PLG) took out the coveted Best Hotel Group Operator while Zagame’s won Best Gaming Venue, Metropolitan for its Boronia Hotel in eastern Melbourne.

After securing the state award equivalents in the AHA Victorian Awards for Excellence, PLG and Zagame’s proved that Victorian hotels have what it takes to be the best in the country.

Reflecting on the wins, both venues acknowledged their collaboration with Tabcorp Gaming Solutions (TGS) had played a hand in their award winning success.

Zagame’s Chief Operating Officer Jackie Booth and PLG CEO Simon Gardner were in agreement that TGS was instrumental in giving their hotels an edge over competitors both in the awards and the hospitality market itself.

Gardner stated unequivocally that TGS was “a key collaborator” in the group’s success, while Booth stated TGS was definitely a contributor to the Boronia Hotel’s achievements, saying “they’ve helped us grow our business.”

Of course, as any operator will attest, success doesn’t come easily. It takes brains and brawn.

TGS Victorian State Manager Adam Floyd explained that TGS brought both to the table. “We have a highly strategic approach to creating award winning venues, and we roll up our sleeves to get the job done,” Floyd said.

“TGS prides itself on making a real change to our clients’ businesses. It’s rewarding for us to see two of our TGS-supported venues being awarded in such highly competitive categories, and to know that these awards signify that they’re leading the industry in these spaces,” he said.

“We build true collaborative relationships with our clients and provide a holistic commercial solution for them that’s custom-designed for their business.”

AHA Victoria has recently announced the 2016 State for Excellence Winners, click here to view their media release.

5 ways TGS builds successful venues

  1. By offering gaming and hospitality design expertise for venues
  2. By providing capital and financial investment that provides additional capability and scale to their business
  3. By giving clients access to the most innovative and popular gaming machines
  4. By delivering strategic business advice, insights and knowledge
  5. By providing access to its incredibly popular targeted marketing and loyalty programs

Good old-fashioned hospitality

Zagame’s Boronia Hotel – Best Gaming Venue, Metropolitan

It’s been four years since TGS first began collaborating with Zagame’s in 2012 – a crucial time when the gaming landscape changed in Victoria.

Since then, Zagame’s Boronia Hotel has gone from strength to strength, as evidenced by its state and national award wins, just six months apart.

What makes the win the most impressive is that on both occasions the venue was judged on an anonymous site visit, with high emphasis placed on the ‘hospitality experience’ the judge received during their visit.

Julie Eyre, TGS Business Manager Key Accounts, points out that Boronia Hotel’s customers received a superior hospitality experience as the result of “a collaborative effort” between TGS and the leading Victorian pub group.

Eyre elaborated: “We work together with the Zagame’s team on gaming room product choice, assistance with gaming room layouts, plus advice and execution on bespoke marketing campaigns and promotions.”

“We also support their CRM and loyalty activity, providing advice and business intelligence via Tableau reports, as well as competitor market analysis.”

Zagame’s Jackie Booth agrees that collaboration was the key. “Definitely, it’s a team approach. We come together and brainstorm and push each other to be the best that we can be,” she said. “We look at what works best for us and we roll it out together.”

“We both have knowledgeable, passionate staff that work together when rolling out new product and in-venue concepts. This assists us in ensuring execution with excellence.”

According to Booth, pivotal to the success of the Boronia Hotel and others in the group has been access to TGS’s loyalty program and the exuberant way Zagame’s staff have embraced it, which she says has assisted them to recognise and reward their patrons based on visitation and loyalty.

“Utilising the IGT Membership program supplied by TGS has helped us increase the loyalty focus within the business,” she said.

Booth says Zagame’s wouldn’t hesitate to recommend TGS to other hotel operators and groups.

“They’ve helped us grow our business, guided us in our decision making, and assisted in promotional roll-outs.

“Their teams are knowledgeable, whether it be product selection, business development or marketing, they can assist in driving a business in the right direction.”

Flying ahead of the pack

Pegasus Leisure Group – Best Hotel Group Operator

The honour of being the nation’s best hotel group wasn’t lost on Pegasus Leisure Group (PLG). But they and certainly worked hard to earn it.

Anthony Bennett, TGS Business Manager Key Accounts, says “the group has been very aggressive over the last 18 months to position itself back into a market-leading position for hospitality venues within the Victorian market”.

“Since July 2015, we’ve seen major renovations and relaunches being completed at Highways, Croydon and Caulfield, which are the three main revenue venues for the group,” he said.

“TGS provided market reviews for all of the renovated venues to help support the direction each of the venues had to take to gain back market leadership within their own specific LGAs.”.

PLG CEO Simon Gardner agreed that a lot of blood, sweat and tears had contributed to the win, which was based on a written submission to AHA’s judging panel.

“We’re very proud to receive the honour of being awarded… it’s acknowledgement of the hard work and dedication of the entire PLG team.

“It’s also recognition of our determination to provide a peerless customer experience, whether that’s through our food and beverage offering, our facilities, or our gaming services,” he said.

Gardner was quick to recognise that “this can’t be achieved without the support of many strategic partners and suppliers which, in relation to gaming, we count TGS as a key collaborator.”

Since 2012, TGS has provided a dedicated team to drive PLG’s business across multiple areas including product, marketing, loyalty, break fix, and customer service.

In recent months, PLG has rebranded its loyalty program to Pegasus Rewards, with the TGS team instrumental in the successful implementation and roll out of the program.

“We’re continuing to find new and innovative ways to drive a point of difference for PLG in a highly competitive market place,” Bennett said.

“On a monthly basis, we provide a number of reports and insights to ensure PLG are leading the way on product and loyalty.”

And after all the hard work, there is praise. Gardner said: “We wholeheartedly thank TGS and all our strategic partners for the role they have played in contributing to our success at the AHA awards.”

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