The Cricketers, Clavering is an English Country Inn in North Essex, close to the borders of both Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, boasting lovely walks, cycle routes and thatched cottages. Near to Stansted Airport and close to the historic market town of Saffron Walden and the magnificent Audley End House. They are also close to The Imperial War Museum in Duxford and Newmarket Racecourse.
While Owners, Sally and Trevor Oliver and their team like to uphold the traditional elements of the pub and restaurant, modern customer service is of the highest importance to them. Sally came to us initially in August 2019 to ask for help to implement a new voucher system on their website.
Due to the new social distancing rules in place, the pub has had to reduce the number of tables indoors, but The Cricketers didn’t want to stop being able to provide regulars with their delicious menu. Prioritising the safety and wellbeing of their staff and customers, The Cricketers made the decision to close its doors for a number of weeks during the most restricted period of the lockdown. However, in the meantime, Sally and Trevor Oliver, worked tirelessly on a plan to operate safely and efficiently once the government restrictions had been eased. That’s where we stepped in and created a new online takeaway system for them, to help the business during the pandemic.
The Voucher System
Previously, The Cricketers were selling gift vouchers to customers in person and over the phone, they wanted to change this to an online voucher system to help with the amount of admin.
We reviewed multiple options and selected the one that best fit their needs, the process looked at how the vouchers would be issued, as well as payment methods and ongoing management of the new system. They wanted the ability to sell vouchers online but maintain the significance of receiving a physical voucher in the post. This has worked really well for The Cricketers who pay extra attention to customer care, especially when the vouchers are being purchased as gifts.
We upgraded the website to incorporate the voucher system into their existing content management system (CMS), this allowed the client to manage the process from within the CMS which they already knew how to use.
We then integrated a shop solution to give them the flexibility to add additional vouchers in the future, it also allows their clients to check out with the known and trusted PayPal payment gateway. This option allows existing customers who have an account to check out quickly without needing to re-enter card details, making the whole process much more user friendly, and at the same time, making it available to everyone by letting new users checkout as guests.
The CMS can produce reports that enable The Cricketers to keep track of sales and their progress helping to make sure orders are processed simply and correctly.
When an order is placed The Cricketers receive an email alert containing the information needed to process the order, they are then able to put the order together, to post it out and mark the order as complete on the system.
Since setting up the new voucher system they have sold over 397 vouchers. Using an online reservation system has really helped Sally and her team’s customer service and organisation. The Cricketers make extensive use of the booking system features which has had the added benefit of stopping the bottleneck of bookings that had previously been a common occurrence.
The Takeaway System
When The Cricketers began their takeaway service, they used a pen and paper to record and process the orders, but as a busy venue, this was proving time-consuming and inefficient.
They asked us to implement this takeaway system and we were more than happy to be involved. A part of their plan was to add a takeaway system to the website that would allow their loyal customers to order food online, selecting a time that suits them to collect from the restaurant car park, following social distancing guidelines.
The Cricketers required a system that would allow their staff to update the menu themselves and automate the orders via email directly through to the kitchen.
We applied more structure in managing their services with the new online takeaway system. On the whole, everything is a lot more consistent and managing timeslots has really improved service levels. With one central access point for everybody, we eliminated the stress of taking phone orders and taking them into the kitchen. In the short period of time that the takeaway system has been up and running, The Cricketers have taken over 187 orders and counting.
We have delivered on their requirements and Sally Oliver had this to say, “We absolutely love everyone at Simpsons Creative; nothing is too much trouble, they are all so clever and know exactly what you want to achieve. All requests are carried out so swiftly and professionally. I so wish I had found them sooner!”.
It was important to ensure that the takeaway system works reliably but also that it is consistent with the design of the website so that the ordering process is seamless and has The Cricketers’ feel. The perks of an electronic database that comes with the new system in place all details are taken prior to check out, so The Cricketers can stay in line with Government guidelines for the Track and Trace system. We were able to do this using The Cricketers’ brand colours, fonts and imagery.
We appreciate how The Cricketers look after their staff and customers which made it all the more satisfying to help them add takeaways to their range of high-quality services.