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call answering in safe hands

Olney Wine Bar - virtual receptionist case study

olney_wb_pic.jpg “Our busy restaurant demanded that staff were serving customers but meanwhile we needed to ensure we did not miss a call for a booking. Unable to answer calls and take bookings whilst in service, we relied on an answer-phone, or when closed, a mobile. Not only was this not efficient, but it did not give a professional image and moreover, we found ourselves missing out on bookings,” said Jo Marks, Proprietor of the Wine Bar.

“We also wanted to be able to capture mobile numbers and email addresses for future marketing but this was not easy to do in a consistent way in a fast and busy environment.”

“Answerlink provided us with a first class solution which has resolved these issues ensuring we never miss a call. They always capture the correct details and can make instant bookings 24 hours a day!”

Business challenge

  • The restaurant is only manned during service hours.
  • When staff are on duty their first priority is to serve the customers in the restaurant and were not able to answer the phone in busy times.
  • Messages taken often had no formal written message and were not recorded so if the information was lost, unclear or insufficient we could not retrieve it.
  • Important bookings could be lost or the caller kept waiting too long.
  • Without a script there was no consistency in communication style with customers.
  • We had no database of previous customers and could not update them on coming events and promotions.


  • Answerlink provided a bespoke Virtual Reception Partner service for Olney Wine Bar.
  • Calls that are not answered within 4 rings at the Wine Bar are diverted to Answerlink, hence when staff are too busy or the bar is closed every call is answered day and night.
  • All calls answered are to a clear agreed script so that all information can be captured from the call and bookings taken immediately with contact numbers, email addresses and any other information that the bar wishes to capture.
  • All this is immediately texted and emailed to Olney Wine Bar or any member of staff required with full store back up of messages.
  • Messages are recorded so Olney Wine Bar can refer back to the message should they need to clarify details.
  • A customer database of over 1000 customers has been generated and is on-goingly updated.
  • Answerlink offer an email and multi text service to communicate to the database as often as required.
  • Staff can report absences any time of the day and the message will be received and recorded.

Benefit & Result

  • Marketing has become both easy and cost effective as we can pick up and measure all responses to advertising.
  • Bookings have increased by 32% as we are not missing a call at any time of the day. In just one week, we have taken 67 bookings out of opening hours which we may have lost without the Answerlink service.
  • We have a database of 1000 customers created within 6 months that without doubt we would not have achieved ourselves in such a busy environment and now we can communicate with them monthly on up and coming promotions.
  • The email and text service has been a real money-saver. We were quoted in excess of £4000 to do this by an IT company and Answerlink simply charge per text message.
  • Now that Staff are calling in on the Answerlink line, we are completely informed of any absence or sickness, which has led to better staff level management for shifts. We have reduced our staff cost by £500 per month, by not having to over-resource during busy times.
  • What’s so great is that the cost is so controllable and it goes in line with how busy we are. The Answerlink service only costs us £50 per month and above that we only pay for the calls taken, so if we manage to take every call ourselves, then it is only costing us £50 for the whole month!

“Improving communication can inject new life into any business or restaurant. Answerlink built the service around our business. They are ISO accredited and have been established for 20 years which gives us the comfort to trust them to partner us when we just don’t have the resource to do it ourselves,” concluded Jo Marks

If you would like to know more about Answerlink services then call 0800 988 5321 or 0845 330 5577.

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