Scottish hospitality tech startup, Stampede, has launched a new secure, contactless service to help pubs, bars and restaurants collect customer data and safely re-open as lockdown eases.
The service is designed to make the process easy for venue owners when they re-open in July while also making walk-ins possible again via its automatic registration process.
Stampede’s service allows customers to share their details securely using smartphones and enables venues to track and timestamp new visitors. A venue can then choose to delete the data after 21 days as per the new government guidelines.
For regular or returning customers, the service will automatically register their smartphone on arrival and reset the 21-day counter, meaning they do not need to provide their details each time, hoping to retain the spontaneity of a pre-pandemic pub visit.
The service is fully-managed by Stampede, but can be customised by the venue owner, meaning a premises doesn’t have to maintain complicated records if they don’t want to.
Stampede founder, Patrick Clover, commented on the UK Government’s rules on data collection: “The Government guidance on how pubs, bars and restaurants should support track & trace measures and implement data collection policies was frankly woeful.
“It lacked clarity and eschewed responsibility, putting the onus on venues to act responsibly and find their own solutions.
“Pub owners care about the health and safety of their customers, but most won’t know where to get started with data collection, security and privacy, nor will they want to risk spoiling the experience by making customers jump through hoops,” he said.
“Our data collection service means spontaneous pub trips and walk-ins can still happen under the right circumstances. It’s a better, more secure and more private option than digital ledgers, and more hygienic than using pen and paper.
“The outlook for British pubs and bars was extremely bright before the outbreak, pub numbers were up for the first time in a decade, and I expect the industry to get back to its feet asap,” Clover added.
The service is designed to make the experience for the customer more seamless, whilst being less time consuming for venue staff, and mitigating data protection or health and safety issues created by physical ledgers or digital spreadsheets.
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Concerns have recently been raised about the privacy of customer data when using services that require them to hand over personal data.
Critics have said that the British government and pub owners are putting their customers at risk by implementing poorly thought-out, insecure check-in technology.
ProPrivacy’s Ray Walsh told ComputerWeekly that the rules are a “red flag for privacy”: “The potential for pubs to mismanage, mishandle or lose that data in breaches or leaks has the potential to put the pub-going public at massive risk,” he said.
“People’s contact information is extremely sensitive, and it is important for strict measures to be put in place to ensure that data is handled in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)”.