Hydes Brewery - Peace of mind on the cards!
Customers at a new flagship pub in Cheshire get something extra with their pint and meals – peace of mind.
For when diners hand over their credit card to start a tab at The Old Hall in Timperley, bar staff don’t put it in a glass behind the bar – it goes into a safe!
The pub, owned by Hydes Brewery of South Manchester, is one of the first to trial CardSafe.
CardSafe is an innovative new unit which holds 10 credit cards securely, throughout a customer’s stay. Cards are locked into the unit, and customers retain the key until it is time to settle the bill.
It has proved so successful at The Old Hall that Hydes plans to install it in a second flagship pub opening soon – and to roll it out to half its 40-strong estate.
Hydes see CardSafe as a valuable additional service to customers at their food-led outlets – and one which will complement the security provided by Chip and PIN.
Hydes operations manager Edward Barlow said: “The Old Hall is a new site which reopened in May after an £800,000 investment. It is a very busy food house and we felt that CardSafe was a nice little extra service for customers.
“There is no doubt that customers like the feeling of security from knowing that their credit card is safely locked away, and that nothing can happen to their credit card while they are enjoying their food.”
He added: “It has been really welcomed by customers and with Chip and PIN coming, I believe that CardSafe will become the norm in future.
“We trialled it and we will be rolling it out to our food-led houses – that’s around 20 pubs within a 50 mile radius of the brewery.
“To be honest, I don’t think we have a choice but to introduce it where people are likely to run up a tab.”
Managers at The Old Hall, Alan and Alison Edwards, have had excellent feedback from customers.
“Our customers have been very positive about CardSafe,” said Alan, who has been in the licensed trade for 10 years. “They comment on what a good idea it is, and I have never seen anything like it.
“Customers can see their cards are safe in a locked box, but it cuts both ways. We have the security of knowing we have the customers’ method of payment.
“It completely eradicates cases of people walking out without paying – whether deliberately or accidentally, which can happen.”
Alan has two of the units, to accommodate 20 cards in all. “That is sufficient for our needs at the moment, but the beauty is we know we can order and receive a further unit if we need one within 48 hours.”
The next Hydes pub to benefit will be The John Millington in Cheadle Hulme – which reopens in June after a 38 week closure for a total redevelopment costing £1.4 million.
Said Barlow: “As well as bringing peace of mind for customers it also benefits staff who cannot be accused of tampering with the card.”
Some pubs which have trialled CardSafe report increased spend per head. Barlow says: “The proof of that will be when we introduce it into existing houses, but I can see as a customer myself that knowing my card was safe might encourage me to stay longer and rack up a bill higher than perhaps I should!”