As we take steps towards becoming a cashless society, Card Saver has transformed Fleetwood Town’s training ground, Poolfoot Farm, into a completely cashless venue, revolutionising the way they operate as well as their customer experience.
At the beginning of March, the use of cash in the UK more than halved in a matter of days, so businesses have been forced to adjust and adapt to the current climate – which isn’t a bad thing!
The £10m state-of-the-art Poolfoot Farm Sports and Leisure Complex in Thornton welcomes over 250,000 customers a year, and following the recent pandemic, they decided they wanted to enhance the customer experience and make it a safer environment for everyone before they reopened on Saturday 4th July.
As well as being the home of Fleetwood Town’s first team, Poolfoot Farm boasts seven top class grass pitches, two FIFA 2-star grade (the highest grade possible) 4G pitches, four FTFC red 5-a-side pitches, the first team and academy gym and physiotherapy room, club meeting rooms and Pizza Calcio, the venue’s fantastic bar and restaurant, and they welcome visitors from all over the world.
Card Saver pride themselves on delivering innovative products and payment solutions, and they have transformed the experience at Poolfoot Farm through the installation of cashless technologies, helping profits soar throughout the reopening weekend.
In addition to contactless payments up to the value of £45 at reception and at the bar via card and mobile phone, customers can now enjoy full table service in Poolfoot’s restaurant. This allows customers to receive a much more efficient service as it eliminates congestion at the bar, service is speedier and there’s a safer environment within the venue. Visitors will also be able to purchase gift vouchers and set up a pre-paid tab before arrival.
Card Saver has provided hand held tablets designed to be carried by waiting staff at all times, so bills can be produced immediately, printed, and fully itemised for the customer to view at the table, as well as having the ability to process the card payment there and then.
They have installed innovative point of sale technology at reception and in the bar area, and the terminals display customer facing videos on which Poolfoot can run special offers, Covid-19 updates, news and engaging content for those who opt to pay at the bar.
Poolfoot will also benefit from an advanced cloud-based back office software, Web Back Office (W-BO), which enables real-time sales reporting and stock control. W-BO allows for fast and efficient price and product changes and the ability to view in-depth metrics and analytics, with a full suite of reporting, in addition to the stock control function, giving management a full, clear and accurate picture of exactly what’s going on at all times.
Ross Chapman, Director of Card Saver, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to provide payment solutions to transform the way in which Poolfoot operates. These days, carrying cash is an inconvenience for many people, and not only is the venue now a much safer environment for staff, players and visitors, we have helped future proof the facility for many years to come.
“As well as providing their customers with a seamless experience, Poolfoot is now at the forefront of payment technology, setting the precedent for sports facilities in the UK and all over the world.”
Chelsea Shepherd, F&B Assistant Manager, said: “We had a really successful reopening weekend, and the new technology from Card Saver definitely helped ensure that everything ran smoothly. Customers were immediately put at ease when they found out it was table service, as they could stay within their own areas and not mix with others.
“Chris from Card Saver was here day and night in the run up to reopening weekend, and the service we have received from them is second to none.
“We received excellent feedback from customers throughout the weekend, and it’s safe to say that no one seemed to miss paying with cash. Contactless is the safest way to pay, for customers and for us as a business, as it eliminates having cash on site.
“We’re thrilled that Card Saver have delivered payment solutions which allow our customers to have a seamless experience.”
As well as benefitting Poolfoot’s restaurant, other areas of the venue will also see an improvement in the quality of the services they offer.
All pitch bookings will be made online, and when customers arrive, thanks to taking contactless payments, the time is takes to arrive in reception and get on the pitch will be much shorter, even if groups arrive at the same time.
It’s been suggested that a cashless society discriminates against the older generation, however local man Albert Morley (72) has been a regular at Poolfoot Farm since it opened in 2016, and after visiting during the reopening weekend, he’s really impressed with the new cashless technologies.
“Paying by card is so easy; it really does speed things up and I enjoyed the new table service option at Poolfoot,” said Albert. “I’ve been coming since it opened, and it’s great to see them adapting to the current climate.
“Everything ran so smoothly when I was there at the weekend, and even with the new restrictions, the staff were amazing.”
“I live in the local area, and I’m at Poolfoot pretty much every weekend,” added Rick Gilby. “The new cashless system makes everything so seamless, and it really enhances the experience, especially following the recent pandemic. It’s easy to social distance when you don’t have to move from your table!
“The pitches have just reopened as well, and now it’s all cashless I don’t have to take anything with me, I can just pay using my phone which makes the experience more enjoyable.”
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