HQ THEATRES & HOSPITALITY

THE 4 PILLARS

ENHANCING CUSTOMERS' EXPERIENCE

Find out more about how we cultivated a long-standing relationship with one of the UK’s largest entertainment venue operators, HQ Theatres.

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HQ Theatres & Hospitality is the UK’s second-largest venue operator and is part of Trafalgar Entertainment.

The company operates 12 regional theatres and touring venues throughout the southeast and other areas around London. We caught up with Mark Hollington, the Hospitality Director for HQ theatres.

HQ Theatres have been working with Apex Training and Development now for over four years. Initially, this work focussed on creating the ‘sales through service’, assets and tools for the four pillars training programme, which was developed for them. Most recently, this has moved on to exploring managing people’s performance and return to work, change management and resilience opportunities.

The initial challenge for HQ Theatres was to develop their spend per head by improving guests experience and upselling, which was a commercial requirement.

HQ Theatres began exploring different providers and came across Apex Training and Development as being a company who focused on this area and had some real expertise.

The journey began here and became a new learning programme on HQ Theatres ‘Four Pillars’ methodology to create the sales through service/guest experience set of tools and assets.

“The most reassuring attributes of Apex was the time taken to truly understand us and develop a collaborative way of working.

They come back with a new way of thinking, challenge our faults, challenge the reasons we want to achieve something and, actually, what they came back with in the end was…it didn’t feel like a sales through service piece and it didn’t feel like a commercial tool at all…what they came back with was something that focused entirely on the guest, their experience and on improving their night.

What we didn’t realise at the time was that the opportunity to improve our sales or service or improve our spend per head actually existed within the guests experience.

So I think that was the biggest lesson we learned with Apex is that they were able to change our way of thinking and reframe that.”

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MARK HOLLINGTON
HOSPITALITY DIRECTOR

“With ‘Sales through service’, it gets to the root of the challenge as opposed to just trying to teach team members to sell. What happens now is actually focused on teaching team members to look after guests, which challenged HQ’s thinking around sales training.

HQ Theatres have enjoyed a long and successful partnership with Apex and it’s delivered real results, from per head revenue growth and mystery guest scores growing year on year to team retention improving.”

What HQ Theatres particularly valued about Apex was the ability to have a frank conversation, with an exploratory call and the time taken to share ideas.

Mark continued, “You can see the Apex representatives mind start ticking as you’re chatting it through and what they very often come back with is something completely different.”

It might not be what you imagined, but it will be something that doesn’t just tick your box, it will it will tick your box and more. They’ll challenge what you’ve thought and come back with something that’s a bit more special and more perhaps more impactful and sustainable. With the results today we would have no hesitation in actively promoting Apex to colleagues to peers and other industry professionals. If you’re looking after people, whether it’s your team members or your guests, I would encourage you to talk to Apex and have a collaborative and exploratory session.

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