Pub group adopts new tech to help keep customers safe

A PUB group in Cumbria is the first in the UK to use a pioneering system launched by a proven solutions company to help the hospitality industry keep staff and customers safe.

Solutions experts Eco, based in Annan and Cumbria, who received national acclaim for the way they responded to the pandemic to help care homes and other businesses, is launching a new contactless system for businesses this week in collaboration with Carol Milnes, CA Events.

The company’s Econnects technology, a simple-to-use system for pubs and restaurant owners and other businesses, is designed to help venues comply with NHS Test and Trace guidelines as well as being future-proofed in case in England, like in Scotland, the guidelines become law.

Eco’s system helps venues maintain records of staff, customers and visitors to support the NHS programme to identify people who may have been exposed to the virus, while at the same ensuring businesses remain GDPR compliant.

Pub group managing director Dianne Irving is the first to adopt the Econnects technology at her award-winning and historic venues in Carlisle.

Dianne said: “This situation is going to be with us for a long time so we were looking for a sustainable solution which makes it easy for our staff to gather and store information, and is also really easy to use for our customers.

“Econnects gives everyone - staff, customers, and any visitors to the premises such as those who are delivering - reassurance and peace of mind that, as well as enforcing social distancing at our venues, we are also doing everything we can by utilising the very latest technology to keep everyone safe.”

Dianne, who is MD of pub company Drouth, runs venues across Carlisle, including the award-winning Crown, the historic city centre Howard Arms, and the recently-acquired Milbourne Arms which opens after refurbishment on August 22.

Dianne Irving

She wants to ensure her venues are as safe as possible to staff and customers from

both sides of the border.

Dianne said: “We have been keeping a close eye on what Nicola Sturgeon is saying, as well as what is coming out of Westminster - and we wouldn’t be surprised to see laws in England follow suit to what is happening in Scotland (where the guidelines became law on August 14).

“As we have visitors to our venues from both sides of the border we wanted to make sure we are ahead of the game and offering the latest pioneering solutions to help keep everyone safe, so that our customers can enjoy our pubs with that peace of mind and confidence which is so important to everyone right now.”

Eco’s Econnects system is quick and easy to set up for any premises and involves a simple-to-use mobile interface for both staff and users registering entry with a contactless check-in.

Eddie Black, Eco managing director, said: “We have developed Econnects to provide a simple, affordable, contactless solution to help keep people as safe as possible in any environment - whether that be pubs, restaurants, cafes, offices, gyms, entertainment venues, sporting arenas, or other premises.

“This system is ideal for pub, restaurant and hotel owners, as it helps them meet their requirements in an easy-to-use way which reassures staff and customers.

“It also gives companies who have this system in place a competitive edge as it is the type of technology consumers will be looking for more and more.

Eddie Black
Eddie Black

“Knowing this solution is in place gives staff and customers that all-important confidence. It also allows business owners to concentrate their efforts on providing great service as they look to build their businesses back up after lockdown.”

Carol Milnes, of CA Events who has been instrumental in rolling out the technology, said: “One of the many advantages of this system is that it’s purely web based. It requires no technical knowledge from the user and there’s no need to install anything on any hardware.

“A QR code is provided, along with a poster with an establishment’s logo. Venues are also able to upload a PDF of their menu to the Econnects system which people can then access on the site.

“At the moment a lot of businesses are using paper menus which can only be used once and then have to be thrown away. This system takes all that hassle away, saving time, cutting out needless admin, and helping the environment as well.”

Eco’s response solutions division already has an impressive track record of helping the UK in its time of need. The company delivered one million items of PPE to UK care homes within seven days at the start of the outbreak.

Eco’s sanitising solutions have also helped a UK factory, making material for visors for the NHS, keep operating 24/7.

As well as its new Econnects technology, Eco’s response solutions include testing kits, testing pods, hygiene portals, thermal imaging cameras, PPE and sanitiser.

The company is building its own state of the art, 3,000-square-metre headquarters for 80 employees at Annan, where Eddie will be deploying all the technologies to protect the health and well-being of his own team.

All the technologies will be in place at Eco’s offices, as well as keyless entry, intercoms, and antivirus coverings on desks and chairs, the latter from one of Eco’s own specialist companies Ghyll House Upholstery and Design, based at Mealsgate, near Cockermouth, to help keep COVID-19, and any other future viruses, at bay.

All personal data collected on the Econnects system is Advanced Encryption Standard 256 encrypted on secure servers to comply with data regulations. Eco is also registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) regarding its data compliance.

Any organisation or business which would benefit from Eco’s Econnects system or

other solutions, or would like to know more, is asked to visit

email or phone 01461 500 206 for more information.