The Residents Hotel is an Ashbourne institution, with many of us being no strangers to the Living Room Bar, Bed Night Club, and the all new Library Bar. I caught up with Amanda Calahan, proprietor of the Residents Hotel, to find out what goes into running such a complicated business.
Amanda got involved in the running of the Residents in 2008 and has been the sole proprietor since 2011. Business had been booming, but came crashing to a halt towards the end of 2008. Amanda was faced with the challenge of having to reinvent the business and keep revenue growing while cutting costs. “We haven’t a big marketing budget, so it’s very hands on”, she tells me. It’s been a team effort, with staff talking to customers, finding out what they want. Amanda’s team then watch to see what works and get feedback from customers. What worked last year won’t work this year, so Amanda does what she can to shake things up and keep the customer experience fresh.
When asked what the secret to success is, Amanda stresses the importance of retaining customers. The Residents runs a loyalty card scheme for regular patrons and workers in the local hospitality industry. Regulars are given priority wherever possible. Amanda praises her staff, who she says are one of the Residents’ best assets. They provide patrons with a consistently positive customer experience, knowing the customers and what they want to eat or drink.
The Library Bar is the Residents’ newest bar, catering to a different clientele to the Living Room Bar. “It’s for the customer who might have been out for a meal, doesn’t want to go somewhere loud and jammed, and wants to come someplace relaxed to have a chat with friends over a drink”. The Library Bar boasts a good selection of top shelf whiskeys, cocktails, and a full bar menu. Patrons must be over 30 years of age and no children are allowed in the bar. With the 6 Nations in full swing, it’s the ideal place to come to watch the match in peace with a good drink.
St. Patrick’s Day and Valentines Day are two big events for the Residents. Sun or rain, the Residents will be the place to be, with traditional music, food, and entertainment and an outdoor bar, safe from the elements inside a marquee. For Valentines night the Residents are offering a late night bar and DJ, as well as over-night specials of €25 per person sharing. Produce the receipt from a romantic meal at a local restaurant and you can have a complimentary cocktail once you book your room. Amanda thinks that offers between local businesses present a great opportunity to provide better value for customers and to do more business.
You can contact the Residents Hotel on 01 8359300 or through their Facebook pages below.