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Atlas Hotels

How Atlas Hotels navigated a quickly-changing F&B environment with technology

Atlas Hotels is the largest franchisee of Holiday Inn Express hotels in the UK and Europe. The company dates back to 1996 when Somerston Hotels formed and opened its first hotel a year later. Its portfolio grew rapidly, and by 2005 became Europe’s largest franchisee of Holiday Inn Express Hotels. In 2014 the company rebranded as Atlas Hotels and today owns and operates 58 properties with more than 7,000 rooms in key business and leisure destinations throughout the UK.

We spoke with Cluster Operations Managers Erica Beckwith and Abs Linton about their journeys to operations leadership and how they have used technology to navigate a quickly-changing environment.

The path to hotel operations leadership 

Abs Linton spent the last 20 years of his career in the hospitality industry, starting at reception and then working his way up through various departments within Atlas to his current leadership role with the company’s full-service properties.

“I always knew from a young age working in hospitality was something I wanted to do with my career,” he told us. “There’s a sense of purpose I get from helping and communicating with people. There is so much within this industry you can specialize in. It’s diverse, energetic, and challenging.” 

For Abs, the ability to specialize presented an opportunity to manage food and beverage operations. “I’ve always had a keen interest in this, how it relates to technology, and how we can do things better and make life easier for our team members.”

Erica Beckwith got started in the hospitality business for similar reasons, first as a hotel receptionist because she liked working with people. From there, her career has included roles as a front office manager, working on the finance team, and as a general manager.

“I always say to people that if you work in a limited service hotel, you’ll learn everything about hospitality much faster than if you work in a full-service hotel because there isn’t just one department that you work in. You do it all and that fast-tracks your knowledge and skill set.” 

Today, Erica is a cluster operations manager overseeing four hotels in the Atlas portfolio. While her focus has always been on providing a great experience for guests, she is now also taking on more responsibility for taking care of employees, and this has been very rewarding. “I love seeing people succeed in their careers and being a part of helping them along their journey.” 

About Shiji

Shiji Group is a multinational technology company that provides software solutions and services for enterprise companies in the hospitality, food service, retail, and entertainment industries, ranging from hospitality technology platform, hotel management solutions, food and beverage, and retail systems, payment gateways, data management, online distribution and more. Founded in 1998 as a network solutions provider for hotels, Shiji Group today comprises over 5,000 employees in 80+ subsidiaries and brands in over 23 countries, serving more than 91,000 hotels, 200,000 restaurants, and 600,000 retail outlets.

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Atlas Hotels
Release Date:
August 2022
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