The Whitbread Group were nominated for a raft of awards at the European Retail Solutions Awards and their wins included Most Innovative Company of the Year, Best International Solution and Project Implementation of the Year.
Part of the innovation demonstrated by the Whitbread Group included their rollout of a new payments infrastructure, the first of its type globally supporting EMV.
The Whitbread Group PLC is the UK's largest hotel and restaurant group, managing leading businesses in the budget hotels and restaurant sectors. These businesses include Premier Inn, Brewers Fayre, Beefeater and Costa Coffee. Whitbread's approach is to focus investment in expanding sectors of the hospitality industry worldwide bur primarily in the UK. The bulk of sales in each business is by credit and debit cards.
Whitbread has a unique hospitality business with three distinct and individual brands which necessitated a bespoke payments solution to be put in place.
Whitbread engaged STS to provide their Hostlink hospitality solution in conjunction with Fidelity National Information Service to provide a centralised card payment service. IBM provided their StorePay outlet payment software and VeriFone supplied both fixed and mobile chip and PIN terminals.
Hostlink's flexibility provides the perfect solution for each environment, allowing traditional fixed chip and PIN solutions at Costa Coffee, full hospitality functionality (including bill printing at table, splitting bills, partial payments, gratuities and non-card payments) in Beefeaters and Brewers Fayre and the use of single PIN pads from multiple POS at Premier Inn. Hostlink also allows the Micros and Alphameric EPOS systems to support fixed and mobile PIN pads depending on the different environments.
When fully rolled out there will be 5000 VeriFone SC5000 fixed terminals and 2000 Verifone VX670 mobile terminals throughout the restaurant group.
Whitbread is the first large restaurant chain with a completely integrated mobile chip and PIN solution. The suppliers have given Whitbread a single interface to both their customers and their bank. This has resulted in significant cost savings in excess of £1,000,000 per annum, improvement in customer service, processing efficiencies and greater security for Whitbread's card transactions.