Mindful of the detrimental impact slow and erratic Internet access was having on the business, one Oxfordshire inn has replaced its old copper-based broadband with Gigaclear’s pure fibre network to improve operational efficiency and enhance the customer experience
As a Visit Britain two Star Inn and Grade II listed historic country building, the Bear and Ragged Staff in Cumnor, West Oxfordshire is committed to offering guests the highest levels of service.
The inn’s 28 staff pride themselves in providing ‘exceptional food and drink in an exceptional environment’. The only aspect of this offering which was letting the side down was the existing copper-based broadband connection.
Like most establishments in the hospitality industry today, the Bear and Ragged Staff’s business relies heavily on the Internet, from point of sale and booking systems through to the complementary WiFi available to guests. Any slowing down of the network or a reduction in capacity would directly impact the inn’s day-to-day operations and potentially have a detrimental impact on its reputation.
“We attract top-end clientele, particularly the mid-week business crowd who need to be able to function as effectively here as if they were in the office”, explains Mark Greenwood, owner of the Bear and Ragged Staff. “If guests are unable to log onto a satisfactory Internet connection then regardless of how much they like the ambience of the place, they’ll simply go elsewhere.”
Faced with crippling download speeds of around five to six megabits per second (Mbps), Greenwood considered alternative solutions.
However, there were no options open to him that could provide the capacity and speeds needed and which were within his geographic reach or budget.
Meanwhile, Gigaclear, the ultrafast, pure fibre broadband network operator, announced plans to bring its network to the village.
“The fastest broadband speeds in the country would be rolling right past my front door,” continues Greenwood. “I’d have been mad not opting for Gigaclear!”
Since going live with Gigaclear in 2013, the Bear and Ragged Staff’s point of sale and booking systems are operating faster and more reliably than before. The network can also accommodate more simultaneous users which is particularly advantageous given that the inn can host functions of up to 250 people at a time.
Greenwood continues, “The benefits of Gigaclear far outweigh the costs. For example, not only are we now running more efficient systems but staff aren’t wasting valuable time repeatedly apologising to disgruntled guests for a poor Internet connection.”
Greenwood has ambitious plans for the Bear and Ragged Staff. As well as providing an immediate solution to address the slow Internet speeds, Gigaclear can easily accommodate the additional demand which will be placed on the network as the business grows.
“At the Bear and Ragged Staff, customer needs will always come first,” concludes Greenwood. “I’m now able to provide them with the infrastructure they expect and deserve.”