HOUSTON, Sept. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Pinot's Palette, a national paint-and-sip franchise known for providing guests with an entertaining evening of art and wine, is gearing up to release an interactive iPhone app next month.
Customers can use the app to locate nearby studios; book classes; and request information, says company CEO Craig Ceccanti. The app will also help franchisees increase revenue by marketing directly to iPhone users.
"With this app, franchisees can run promotions to a targeted audience," Ceccanti says. "Customers have the ability to 'favorite' a studio location through the app. This indicates they would like to receive promotions from the favorited studio."
The app will integrate with the company's existing Pinot Technology Suite (PTS), an industry-specific, enterprise-strength system that empowers franchisees to provide a high level of customer service without sacrificing time.
Ceccanti – who worked as a software developer before co-founding Pinot's Palette – built the system from the ground up, taking inspiration from large-scale airline and hotel reservation management systems. Franchisees use the PTS system to manage reservations; communicate with customers; and respond to inquiries about private parties. The system also includes a calendar planning report that helps owners analyze painting sales and choose paintings for their classes.
By automating many of the day-to-day tasks associated with operating a Pinot's Palette franchise, the software saves franchisees around 20 to 30 hours of work per week, Ceccanti says.
"Without a system like this, our franchisees would spend most of their time buried in spreadsheets," he says. "Our software reminds them to do what they need to do and it takes care of the rest – so they can be out in the community, promoting their businesses."
Franchisee Karen Doggett, who opened her Dayton, Ohio studio in mid-August, has already found the software to be an invaluable tool.
"You can manage your business by the numbers or you can manage it by the customers. If you manage it by the customers, the numbers will be there," says Doggett. "The PTS system frees me up to work with customers and stay on top of social media. Plus, everything is very simple and user-friendly."
Despite the PTS system's ease of use, it is actually a quite complicated – and expensive – creation. Ceccanti estimates the system's value at around $1.5 million dollars. If written out on paper, the code used to create the software would easily fill a set of encyclopedias.
And the company's technology continues to evolve: The next big innovation will be the iPhone app, which launches in October. Additionally, Ceccanti and his team are constantly enhancing the company's software with new features based on feedback and requests from franchisees.
"If a franchisee calls us and says, 'Hey, this is really impacting our business,' we can have it fixed or added – without any consideration for price," Ceccanti says. "We have that ability because we have the resources in-house."
SOURCE Pinot's Palette