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Food and Hospitality

Stay Connected to Your Customers
Businesses Never Switch Off

The Food and Hospitality sector in the UK is diverse, spanning an array of businesses including hotels, resorts, catering businesses, restaurants, pubs and takeaways. The industry is pivotal to the UK’s economy. Every day, hundreds of thousands of people either visit, stay in, or order from hospitality businesses.

The industry faces the technology challenges inherent in any fast-paced environment. In today's ever-connected working world, businesses never switch off. Any downtime is lost time. It is vital that they have technology solutions they can depend on 24/7/365. Companies in this sector require the full range of technology services — from connectivity, to phone lines and broadband, to digital and cyber security services — all essential to business continuity.

Food and Hospitality businesses need to be connected all the time. Many companies have long, unsociable, or even round the clock opening hours. Hotels never close and they need to have online and mobile booking facilities online 24 hours a day. Similarly, if we’re talking about a takeaway business, if a customer wants to place an order late at night, the IT infrastructure needs to be in place to support this.

Chess understands this industry. We work with 40,000 businesses across all sectors. Around 10% of these are Food and Hospitality businesses. Whether it’s a company with just a few people or a larger enterprise with a hundred, they need the right blend of technology solutions to make sure they stay connected and keep up and running.

SMEs

The Food and Hospitality sector is characterised by SMEs. We know this because, amongst our client base, the average monthly spend per customer is just over £50. That’s a small outlay compared to other types of business in the SME segment, where the typical spend is over £100.

The sector is fast paced and growing apace. 68% of our customers have been with us for fewer than three years.

All companies require reliable and secure connectivity, but particularly important for this size of business is affordability. Solutions such as Cloud PBX require virtually no installation charges and carry no ongoing maintenance charges. Furthermore, costs are fixed per user per month, so companies have complete transparency on how much their bills will be.

31%
People that use an online food delivery service.
16.7%
Cyber crime that is aimed at retailers.
1/3
Card purchases that are contactless.
Food

Of our Food and Hospitality customer base, 37% are small takeaways, with the majority operating through a single outlet. The lifeblood of the UK economy, it is vital that these individual entrepreneurs are supported by making sure they have the appropriate technology to execute their business plan.

Looking at food concessions (i.e. takeaways), 99% of our customers purchase a phone line from us. This suggests that the traditional method of booking and ordering by telephone remains core to these businesses. However, 68% of our customers also take additional connectivity such as broadband, showing that online orders are growing in importance.

New Technologies

New methods of ordering and delivering food — such as Deliveroo and Just Eat — rely on modern, fast, communications technology. As more than 27,000 food retailers are now registered on Just Eat and some 8,000,000 customers visit the site each month, the need for the latest technology solutions in this segment is growing.

Seven out of our top twelve customers in the Food sector take either a Cloud PBX or an ISDN voice phone system. This indicates that our customers are increasingly looking for fast and seamless connectivity, to meet rising ordering and booking demands.

With restaurants, technology creates opportunities to improve the customer experience. Whether it's reserving a table via a mobile app or paying a bill with an iPad, they are constantly seeking ways to meet their customers’ increasing demands for technology that improves their dining experience.

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Let Them Have Wifi
Seamless Connectivity

Let Them Have Wifi

Hospitality businesses need to ensure they can cater for their customers’ technology expectations. Today, it’s difficult to find a bar or coffee shop that doesn’t offer its customers free Wi-Fi. And a large part of a hotel’s offering is providing a venue for businesses to host meetings, conferences and away days, which require the latest phone technology and conferencing facilities.

Seamless Connectivity

Cloud systems also enhance consumer experience. That’s why our Hospitality customers are increasingly investing in these products. For instance, Cloud can be an ideal medium to provide hotel guests with the digital services they are increasingly looking for when selecting a venue. Cloud-based systems also have the advantage of enabling cost savings as they remove the need for expensive on-site IT system — often requiring resource-intensive maintenance — replacing it with a cheaper and more flexible solution.

Cloud

Cloud systems also enhance consumer experience. That’s why our Hospitality customers are increasingly investing in these products. For instance, Cloud can be an ideal medium to provide hotel guests with the digital services they are increasingly looking for when selecting a venue.

Cloud-based systems also have the advantage of enabling cost savings as they remove the need for expensive on-site IT systems — often requiring resource-intensive maintenance — replacing it with a cheaper and more flexible solution.

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Managing Customer Expectations

Hospitality businesses need to ensure they can cater for their customers’ technology expectations. Today, it’s difficult to find a bar or coffee shop that doesn’t offer its customers free Wi-Fi. And a large part of a hotel’s offering is providing a venue for businesses to host meetings, conferences and away days, which require the latest phone technology and conferencing facilities.

Digital technology is being deployed to improve customer experience. Hotel guests and passengers at airports don’t want to stand in a queue to check-in but expect the digital technology to be in place to allow them to check in online or via their smartphones. Also, digital solutions can be employed to personalise the experience for customers. Hotel operators can invest in systems that, for instance, display a guest’s name on a welcome screen at a reception desk, save their food preferences or store information on past purchases.

One technology that’s vital to any enterprise is the ability to take payments. Today, even for small businesses, wireless card-reading devices are the most popular method of payment, with contactless machines easily the most convenient way to make a payment. Affordable technology systems are essential for all businesses across the Food and Hospitality industry. Whether they need just a single line, fast broadband, or require a Cloud-based phone system, they require a first-class customer experience.

Technology solutions not only keep businesses connected with their customers but also help streamline their supply chains, making their business more effective and efficient. They work seamlessly and are simple to use. They enable our customers to focus on what they do best — running and growing their business.

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IT Manager
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Managing Director