What has Coach Hire in Madrid has to do with catering service?

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Coach Hire compare and booking tool: why we started with it?

When talking to coach hire companies in Madrid some owners asked me why the owner of a catering company has started a service in their market. As most of them are family owned businesses who have been passing over the ‘stick’ for generations and stayed true to their transport profession I understand that a switch from catering to bus rental may seem strange. Looking at it from the broader perspective of service industry it however all comes together.

About 10 years ago when I just returned from a 7 year stay in Spain I worked at the hotel reservation site Booking.com and helped them to start their service in Spain. Although some Hotels were reluctant to join in the beginning ‘we already have a website where guest can book’ the system became a success in the travel market and is now one of the top hotel booking websites with worldwide presence.

As a true believer  in internet technologies  and  that  ‘the system can be the solution’ I tried participating in several quotation comparison tools for my catering service. I was never successful in getting clients from them. The clients simply seemed to lack any sense of quality and were only guided by the final price and how much food or menu items they would get for that amount. Taste and service, although a very important part of the experience seemed not to be appreciated.  I tried them a few times but these tools didn’t fit with the service I was providing. As my own catering website was doing quite OK I had enough business I stopped using them.

The idea though of bringing together supply and demand in the service industry had got a hold of me. After comparing several market segments Coach Hire seemed a bit more easier for comparing offers. After all the main thing is to get from A to B. Now with almost 1 year on the road we have become more aware that off course more  factors then just ‘getting there’ do influence the experience of the client with a bus rental company. Although our travel tool is not perfect yet the good reception of our service by both bus rental companies and both national and international clients has motivated and strengthened  us to keep investing.
In future blog posts we will try to discuss the steps we take and issues we encounter on our road to the perfect bus and coach hire tool. We will therefore also  deepen lots of our industry related  aspects in relation to how a travel tool  like ours can help making life easier for incidental and frequent users like Tour Operators, DMC’s, Travel Agents and Coach hire Companies.

Lets us know your thought’s, ideas and suggestions!