WHO ARE WE?
Rose Hospitality was born in 2020. John, our Founder, was previously co-founder and CEO of Grapeshot which he grew from a start-up bedroom into a global "contextual intelligence" software company, serving digital advertising data across 148 countries for 9,000 brands including Hilton and Marriott. Grapeshot was acquired by Oracle Corporation in April 2018.
In 2020 John had just taken over Lochinver Larder and was launching Rose Castle and found the lack of real-time data in the hospitality sector quite a surprise. It seemed hospitality had discovered the QR code, but not large scale intelligence capture and customer profiling as he already saw in the digital ad industry.
He recognised early on that many venue owners and operators lacked the systems and dashboards to effectively plan, budget and forecast. Data needed to be actionable and intelligent, giving insights to the right staff role, at the right time.
Deciding to move beyond the traditional methods of spreadsheets and desktop PMS systems, John set out to revolutionise the way the hospitality industry captures, shares, stores and regulates its guest data. Bringing together a team of tech-savvy colleagues and a director with a lifetime of experience in the hospitality industry, the mission and goals of Rose Hospitality were born.
DOING TECHNOLOGY - GLOBALLY
John's first software Muscat built the first search engines of the web. Muscat powered the 1996 websites of the BBC, Nokia, NASA, Greenpeace, as well as creating the largest index of the internet (twice the size of Alta Vista) in 1998, when Google had just 12 people on its payroll. Muscat had been sold for 10X investor returns in 1997 to a company listed on NASDAQ and the London Stock Exchange; so when John was stopped from spinning his new web search engine out of the public company, he and his co-founder split away to write and build Grapeshot instead.
Grapeshot understood words in billions of web pages on the internet. The probability weights of words distributed within documents and across documents can impact search rankings, so John "inverted" the search paradigm to make the document itself a search query. Documents could find documents both fast and automatically, and this is how contextual data advertising was done by Grapeshot. The words on an internet page would drive a search to find the best matching ads (also defined by sets of weighted words curated by the brands and their agencies).
Within the ADTECH (Advertising Technology) sector John's team installed systems running 2 million API calls per second and impacting 100 billion contextual advertising decisions per day: that is a magnitude of scale larger than the daily trades on a whole stock market like London. Grapeshot's software platform injected contextual signals into the live algorithms trading ad decisions across 148 countries in 70 languages (Mandarin, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic and more). This is why Oracle Corporation acquired the Grapeshot company in 2018 - when it was scaling 180% YonY revenues, with 96% Gross Profit, and healthy EBITDA profits too.
John believes Deeper and Broader Guest Profiles should cover the range of any guest's likes, dis-likes and needs. Collections of words built out from questions and answer capture methods, coupled with Booking, Reservations and other structured data-sets - together offer a new universe of guest intelligence. Just as Grapeshot's contextual intelligence (now Oracle) impacts ad delivery outcomes in digital advertising, John believes the RH Guest Intelligence platform will impact millions of hospitality outcomes, with Rose Hospitality injecting guest profiles into dashboards and digital workflows in real-time, globally.
At Rose Hospitality - we know how to do context, APIs and scale.
THE ART OF HOSPITALITY
Duncan Cameron is an accomplished team member with a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry, specifically in leveraging guest intelligence to enhance guest experiences and drive business success.
By the time of his graduation of a Degree in Hotel Management, Duncan had become a General Manager, having worked in management positions at both 4 and 5 star properties, and as a chef in a 4 Rosette kitchen.
After managing a small golf resort and still only 25, Duncan joined a small Boston (USA) consultancy working globally with Marriott and domestically in the UK with Premier Inn. Ensuring brand standard compliance throughout their global estate, his role evolved into coaching and troubleshooting operations across Rooms and Food & Beverage.
Duncan resumed his management career as General Manager at a 5* Small Luxury Hotel of the World boasting a Michelin star restaurant before taking over the running of a luxury timeshare resort and marina in the English Lake District.
Duncan further expanded his portfolio to include contracts with prestigious brands like Hilton, QHotels, Compass, Sodexo, and Baxter Storey. This allowed him to gain invaluable insights into hotel operations and the guest journey through firsthand experiences as a guest.
As a respected consultant, Duncan has also worked with The Hotel Collection, Elior, Cirrus Inns, Epic Corus, and No Ordinary Hotels, as well as smaller independent properties.
With over 2000 properties in his consulting portfolio, Duncan's commitment to professional growth and industry knowledge is evident through his membership as a Fellow of both the Institute of Hospitality and HOSPA.
Driven by his frustration with the lack of insights into guests using the properties for dining, events, and conferences, Duncan quickly identified the need for improved guest intelligence, and joined John at Rose Hospitality to contribute invaluable insights and drive the success of our guest intelligence software platform.
SMARTER BY DESIGN
David Buttar, was a key designer and software engineer alongside John in Cambridge at Grapeshot (which was sold to Oracle Corporation in 2018). David designed the Grapeshot Keywords App which was used as an essential tool by hundreds of thousands of staff every day, working for brands and agencies across the globe in the digital advertising sector.
Typically in their 20's to 30's years of age, these customer staffers were time-poor and needed simple and effective ways to curate sets of targeting words into their contextual ad campaign strategies.
Used by 1,000+ agencies working for over 9,000 brands like Hilton, Marriott, Nike, and Netflix; the Grapeshot Keywords App was the most used App on the largest Demand Side Platform (DSP) AppNexus (called Xandr after its exit to AT&T). Tradedesk, AOL, Adobe and 60 other platforms integrated with the Grapeshot Contextual Platform via APIs and used the Grapeshot Keywords App, built by David and his colleagues.
Apps must fit the working processes and purpose of each user. The Grapeshot Keywords App was designed as a web App with backend Open APIs for integrators. Thats why it grew to be one of the most popular contextual ad targeting data providers and a leading app for contextual advertising, globally.
Oracle Corporation continues to sell Grapeshot Keywords App within the "Contextual Intelligence" platform David and John helped to create.
At Rose Hospitality, we are now obsessed with building out a new "Guest Intelligence" platform - with global ambitions once again.
WORDS SAY EVERYTHING
Sarah McNeil uses her Irish roots and the experience of working across lots of sectors as a communicator and marketeer.
Born in Northern Ireland, Sarah’s marketing career began in 2003 following the completion of her BA Modern Studies in the Humanities honours degree.
Entering the community and voluntary sector, Sarah engaged in a wide range of roles that focused on peace and reconciliation and community development. Over the next 15 years, Sarah began to hone her marketing skills through the promotion of programmes and projects aimed at bringing people with opposing views together in a safe, nurturing environment to explore their differences and their similarities. This was challenging work, to say the least! It was during this time that Sarah recognised how crucial open and honest communication was to building trust and empowering people to address and challenge long-held beliefs.
As digital began to overtake traditional print media, Sarah embraced online marketing and helped charities and community organisations do the same. Digital platforms were utilised in a variety of ways to engage with traditionally hard to reach groups.
After moving to Cumbria in 2016, Sarah pivoted from full-time employment in the community sector to self-employ consultant, setting up her own freelance copywriting and marketing business. By harnessing her people skills and experience working in conflict resolution, Sarah quickly built a client base founded upon open and transparent communication and a deep understanding of target markets, tone of voice, and brand values and ethos.
In 2023, Sarah moved her skills and experience into Rose Hospitality. Creating language and content that directly engages with target audiences, Sarah is personalising the marketing process through the employment of correct tone of voice, clear calls to action, detailed customer personas, and the collection and application of customer intelligence.
The questions which underline the capture of profile information is at the core of Rose Hospitality's guest intelligence platform. A broad and deep lens on each individual's preferences, needs and delights, requires the right tone of voice and conversation for profile capture, yet actionable answers need to be universally applied, and delivered - in the moment - into the hands of different staff (via apps) at the real-time moment of need.