Three young hospitality professionals have created an online service for the hotels of Manchester to use to recommend quality restaurants to guests visiting the city.
Sean Walsh, 24 with the help of Jack Appleton, 25 & Tom Ansbro, 23 all from Manchester have created the site HotShepherd.com after working for top hotel brands such as The Landis Ritz Taipei, Hilton Worldwide and The Lowry Hotel.
The website, which successfully launched to Hotels in Manchester City Centre back in June this year is completely free and has been rewarding hospitality professionals at the heart of full service, upscale properties across the city for recommending restaurants and attractions listed on the site, with an incentive programme fully funded by HotShepherd.com.
The site is now open and ready for the public to register free and use, rewarding the consumer for dining out with 25p cash-back per person they book. This balance is funded by HotShepherd.com and users then ‘cash-out’ for restaurant or store vouchers.
“Have you ever been in a new city on holiday or on a business trip and wanted a real, local meal somewhere new and special? When you ask for a recommendation at the front desk you don’t want a restaurant that’s part of a chain, you can get that anywhere, you want somewhere different and memorable, somewhere that’s unique to where you are” says Founder and Managing Director Sean Walsh,
“not all team members have the same knowledge of the local area so a site that offers this information for free to hotels is extremely valuable.”
Sales and Marketing Director, Jack Appleton explains “we have been improving the relationship between hotels and restaurants for a number of months and team members are rewarded for their efforts, and essentially delivering a smoother service to their guests.”
“Bringing this exciting platform to the general public, coupled with rewarding them for using the site is an exciting step for the industry in Manchester. No other directory rewards you for using it, for free, our cash-back scheme give back to the people that drive this fantastic industry”.
The team received funding from Business Finance Solutions Manchester through the government’s start up loan scheme, encouraging local entrepreneurs to start their own businesses with flexible business loans. “We’re proud to be local guys doing something we love to help the city of Manchester” – founder Sean Walsh.
The service is an online directory tailored to the hotels or consumer’s location, suggesting nearby, quality restaurants for them to send guests to or dine.
After logging the booking in the system, and once the restaurant has accepted, commission is paid directly to the hotel or individual’s account for them to save up and spend at any of the restaurants or attractions listed on the site.
“We always have been and continue to be driven to give back to the team members behind the front desk at top hotels for delivering amazing customer service, so cash towards a team member night out or Christmas party or a charity donation is our way of doing that, however the platform is now open for everyone to benefit from”, explains Account Manager Tom Ansbro.
Hot Shepherd gives back to the hospitality industry in another way, by donating 10% of all profits to hospitality related charities and by offering a charity donation as a reward.
This year the site is supporting the Springboard UK Charity helping young people get a start in the industry. “Even with a good degree, I had to move to Taiwan to get a good start in hospitality, so helping Springboard create employment opportunities for people less fortunate was always top priority” explains Sean Walsh.
The site is always free to use for everyone in Manchester with top restaurants such as Neighbourhood, Grill on the Alley, and Australasia listing and all rewards are covered by Hot Shepherd. The service now features attractions and other services that hotels recommend, and will reach more cities soon but for now the team are focussed on highlighting the hidden gem restaurants that Manchester has in abundance.