Meet the Monkey Awards Nominees – In Restaurant Dining

For the next few weeks, we’re turning the blog over to Contactless Intelligence and letting them do the run down of the categories and nominations for the 2010 Monkey awards, sponsored by VISA Europe. Both here on the Krowne blog and on C-I.TV we’re going to give more information about the categories and the final nominees in these categories.

Today – In Restaurant Dining.

This category rewards those companies who have done the most to promote and install contactless technology into their franchises and restaurants – both in the background or foreground and especially in terms of payment. Our four nominees this time are all from the UK and are;

  • YO! Sushi (UK)
  • Aramark (UK)
  • Baxter Storey (UK)
  • EAT (UK)

Let’s look at the Nominees.

First up it’s YO! Sushi, a franchised restaurant chain providing Japanese food and famous for its conveyor-belt deliver system and color-coded dishes. Today YO! Sushi has grown with close to 50 restaurants worldwide, serving 3 million plus customers a year with locations throughout the UK and international locations in Moscow, Dublin, Dubai, Kuwait and Kuala Lumpur. Contactless payments were initiated in their London restaurants to aid in reducing queuing times in 2007

YO! Sushi was nominated because they are a true in-house restaurant business that is suitable for contactless. They have openly embraced contactless technology (from the beginning of the London launch), initially utilizing the banks’ PDQ terminals and then developing their own EPOS equipment. They now have 37 outlets live in the UK.

YO! Sushi say, Initial usage of contactless was fairly low, as cards were not so widespread and customers did not realize they could use their cards for contactless. YO! embraced the new technology, as it aligns perfectly with our brand (being Japanese and thereby associated with high-tech). The next steps will include loyalty programs.

Our second nominee comes from Northampton and is Aramark for Barclaycard In-house Catering – Cafe Areas (UK). Aramark are an International company providing food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel. The company has participated in the Barclaycard in-house contactless trial in their Northampton offices.

Aramark were nominated because (says the organization doing the nominating), they have fully supported contactless technology from the outset, amending and adjusting their working practices to allow development of contactless from its start, and then through various trials and rollouts. They site that speedy transactions and simplicity of usage was a key driver in them incorporating contactless technology into their systems and practices.

Baxter Storey is our third nomination and also hail from the UK. They are an independent contract caterer in the UK and have also participated in the Barclaycard in-house contactless trial in their Northampton offices. Baxter Storey has also fully supported contactless technology from the outset, amending and adjusting their working practices to allow the development of contactless technology from its inception. At present there are four Barclays sites that are contactless/cashless; London (3 tills with around 10,000 staff), Birmingham, Northampton (5 tills, around 3,000 staff) and Teeside. All of these sites no longer accept cash but offer guaranteed contactless customers on site, especially as often there are no alternative catering facilities in the vicinity. Pricing of food and drink is kept competitive to encourage spend from Barclays employees who can either load a pre-paid eWallet on their employee IDs or pay with their standard Barclaycard contactless debit/credit cards. A further 13 Barclay’s sites will have the new cashless/contactless system implemented by summer 2010 and cash will also no longer be accepted at these sites.

Once these sites are live there will be a potential 27,000 customers using contactless technology. Baxter Storey are also working on rolling out contactless to the 100 or so vending machines across all sites.

Last, but not least is EAT (UK).

EAT serve sandwiches, soups and snacks prepared by hand to take away at around 100 stores throughout London, serving about 350,000 customers per week and with an average transaction value of less than £10, provide ideal conditions for contactless technology implementation. EAT first implemented contactless in 2008, fat the Moorgate branch before rolling out on a wider scale through their other branches.

EAT are credited with being one of the original companies to adopt contactless technology. They were the first to introduce Contactless as a fully integrated solution with till software and have been proactive and willing to build awareness of the technology, by supporting contactless retailer forums and have been happy to share their experiences with others. EAT have also run a number of contactless promotional campaigns. The company is working with Barclays and a number of other solutions providers on NFC customer loyalty schemes.

So there are our four nominees in the In Restaurant Dining category. The winner? Well, you’re going to have to check back here on the 29th April (say about 11:00pm for that), when all winners will be announced. Until then…

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