Bell Centre, Montreal

The benefits of optimizing your inventory with Alfred. Discover the Centre Bell experience

Overcoming Challenges by Optimizing Center Operations

Center Bell was seeking for technological solutions to facilitate three aspects of its activities:

  • the sale of prestige products
  • market valuation of their products
  • the implementation of intelligent wine lists

Offering a range of prestige products for the Centre Bell was a major challenge. A number of operational issues prevented them from selling these products in small quantities.

Can staff rely on inventory data that is hours or even days old?
- No, because the quantity available is too small.

At the Bell Centre, bottles are often ordered simultaneously at different locations, but service staff sometimes sell bottles already sold elsewhere, due to the lack of a real-time inventory management system. This limits the sale of prestige products requested by customers.

The Centre Bell, like many other establishments, was faced with a major challenge: assessing the true market value of its products, particularly its wines. Unlike other goods, the value of a bottle of wine can vary considerably depending on factors such as rarity, producer popularity and market demand. This complexity made it difficult to access reliable information on the true value of wines. The Bell Centre was therefore looking for a solution that would enable it to obtain this data without having to devote many hours to in-depth, repetitive research.

A Look Inside: Luxurious new Air Canada section at Bell Centre (PHOTOS) |  Offside

Alfred's solutions for the Centre Bell

François Guay, Director of Operations at the Centre Bell, was already familiar with Alfred solutions thanks to his previous experience at the Coureur des Bois in Beloeil. He was convinced that these solutions could be perfectly integrated into the Centre Bell's operations and meet its needs.

Alfred offers an exhaustive database of products with detailed information on their market value, enabling the Centre Bell to adjust its selling prices to maximize profits.

Alfred's intelligent wine list offers automatic updating, reflecting in real time the products available at the Centre Bell. Changes to products, prices or spelling corrections are immediately taken into account. What's more, as soon as a product is sold out, it is removed from the card, avoiding any confusion for customers. Alfred also offers an integrated inventory system, recording all actions carried out, which addresses the Bell Centre's concerns about inventory management and control, offering precise monitoring and tracking.

The Withdrawal application records and locates each sale, enabling Centre Bell administration to better track sales and inventory. The application also identifies restaurants with imbalances, facilitating the necessary support and training. The Inventory application tracks each bottle from arrival to sale, while the Requisition function ensures that products are delivered to the right locations, avoiding tracking and control problems. Together, these applications offer a comprehensive view of wine and spirits operations, improving inventory control and providing valuable data to optimize Centre Bell's revenues.

Integration of Alfred solutions at the Bell Centre

The integration of Alfred solutions at the Bell Centre is seamless, without disrupting employee routines. Servers can easily retrieve products via a tablet and check inventory in real time. The digital system also simplifies warehouse tasks, and the dashboard provides managers with precise data on their operations. Having identified the appropriate tools, the Alfred team implemented a two-month integration plan:

1. Set up and secure the main warehouse: take stock of the warehouse (Inventory), add new bottles (Stock Receipt) and remove everything that physically leaves the warehouse (Withdrawal).
2. Test integration at two points of sale (two restaurants) and implementation of requisition functionality. Implement these new working methods and closely monitor operations to detect and quickly resolve any problems that may arise. Carry out a complete inventory of these two restaurants.
3. Integrate the remaining points of sale (3 restaurants, 125 lodges and the Air Canada Signature Club).

The experts responsible for this project

The two experts who worked on this project were Ian and Emeric.

Ian Purtell is a well-known figure in the Quebec restaurant world. With over 25 years' experience in the restaurant business, Ian has worked for Restos DIX30 and Restaurant Le Coureur des Bois Bistro Gourmand, among others. As Director of Operations at Restaurant au Coureur des Bois, Ian won Wine Spectator magazine's Grand Award in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Ian also shares his expertise as Vice President of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS).

Emeric Bouyer. Emeric has always worked in the restaurant business. He also studied at the Lycée Nicolas Appert hotel school in Orvault, France, where he obtained the Brevet de Technicien supérieur en art de la table et du service. He went on to study at Taylor's University in Kuala Lumpur, where he also obtained his Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) 2 diploma, and put his knowledge to good use at the Intercontinental Hotel in Montreal as Catering Sales Point Manager.

Their respective experiences were particularly useful for the analysis of Centre Bell operations. Indeed, the analysis and integration of Alfred's solutions at the Centre Bell required several days of work. During these days, our experts were on site to understand how the Centre Bell and its many restaurants operated, and how best to integrate Alfred's solutions. Thanks to their ability to adapt, their in-depth knowledge of the restaurant business and their genuine desire to help the industry with effective tools, they facilitated the daily lives of all Centre Bell employees by intelligently incorporating Alfred's solutions.

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