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Subway puts Zen on broadband menu

Leading UK food chain confirms long-standing ISP as an accredited partner to supply its stores across the country with a bespoke connectivity offering that facilitates a delivery line of service that was not previously possible

Restaurant chain Subway has chosen Zen Internet to supply broadband to its 2,000-plus stores across the UK, in recognition of the need to transform the legacy service originally used to a more reliable and resilient network provider.

In its operations, Subway said it takes pride in setting “rigorous” standards to ensure customers experience the same great taste, service and in-store experience wherever they go in the world.

The Independent Purchasing Company Europe Limited (IPC Europe), an independent non-profit organisation owned by Subway franchisees in the region, executes against these standards while delivering financial and service benefits to Europe through volume purchasing and pan-European supply chain operations.

Recognising the need to migrate from the legacy service used by Subway stores across the UK, IPC Europe reviewed its connectivity requirements and sought out a partner that could bring increased benefits, improved levels of service, enhanced resilience and a service that would scale with its future plans.

A founding principle of the Subway franchise is to keep operating costs low, so finding a cost-effective offering that still allowed the store owners to deliver excellent customer service was a crucial consideration. By looking at things differently, Zen was able to design a bespoke offering to meet the price point requirements without compromising on service specification or resilience.

Zen adapted a Cisco router using what it described as an “innovative” technical design coupled with dynamic application to meet the project’s requirements.

The service comprises a hybrid of both FTTC and FTTP connectivity services which, when combined with the fully managed Cisco router, delivers corporate Wi-Fi and internet of things capability to stores. It is also designed to be capable of providing all of a store’s connectivity requirements, from managing card payments, interactive menu boards and advertising to facilitating CCTV, online delivery orders, and even managing the in-store drinks dispensers.

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The service was successfully deployed as a pilot across 30 stores as proof of concept ahead of the complete roll-out.

Zen said the Subway stores can now access reliable connectivity to maximise their online platforms and enhance the customer experience, something the franchisees were struggling with on the previous legacy offering. A franchisee on the pilot reported a significant increase in revenue because the new system facilitated a delivery line of service with the likes of Deliveroo, UberEats and JustEat which was not previously possible.

“The importance of a secure and stable internet connection has increased drastically in the retail sector over the past decade,” said IPC Europe commercial director Simon Aldred. “Especially during the coronavirus pandemic, when dining in was impossible and we had seen most of the traffic coming via pick-up and third-party deliveries.

“Being conscious of our technology requirements in-store, we wanted to provide Subway franchisees with a bespoke internet solution that would cover all of their current and future needs.”

Zen Business managing director Martin O’Donnell said: “It was a collaborative process to design the right solution for IPC Europe, and it is satisfying that we were able to solve their specific challenges.

“[We] take a personal approach to delivering the best service in the market,” he added. “As we are independently owned, we can make fast decisions and adapt to the needs of our clients. The combination of pioneering technology with the best service in the market, at a price that’s scalable for Subway’s operational model, allows the chain to not only enhance the customer experience but to further their digital transformation efforts.”

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