CUSTOMERS of Palmers Brewery pubs will be able to ‘check in’ online to help the NHS Test and Trace initiative.
When the government guidelines for safe re-opening of pubs were released on June 23, one of the stipulations was that pubs should assist NHS Test and Trace by collecting data from all their customers.
How to do this looked like a very grey area and was something that Bridport-based brewery Palmers were quick to pick up on.
Tenanted trade director Jim Jones said: “It was clear from reading the guidelines that pubs across the country would collectively be scratching their heads and trying to come up with a solution that was easy to implement, quick to use and able to cope with the tricky data protection requirements that we have in the UK.”
With some creative thinking, Palmers resolved this complex issue with a simple but clever update to its website.
Customers can now ‘check in’ at all Palmers pubs either by scanning a QR code at the door or by visiting the brewery website directly and filling out some simple details on a smart phone or tablet.
The whole process stakes less than a minute and the data is then stored in a safe environment, not used for any marketing and accessed only if NHS Test and Trace request it. It is even date and time stamped for them.
“Having thought things through, we were quick to realise that by making some changes to our website, we were able to accept all of the data that NHS Test and Trace would need, and store it securely before auto deleting it all after the required 21 days,” said Mr Jones.
“With the help of our digital partners, Key Digital Agency in Dorchester, we had everything up and running in less than a day, which is quite staggering given the scale of the problem.
“I have been overwhelmed with the generous feedback from our licensees to our quick and inventive solution. It looked like a potentially big banana skin to start with; let’s remember that the government itself has just admitted defeat with its £12 million Test and Trace app, so to come up with a fully operational fix in such a short space of time is staggering really.”
Palmers Brewery has four pubs in Lyme Regis – the Pilot Boat, Ship Inn, Royal Standard and Cobb Arms. The Pilot Boat will be fully reopening on July 4, while the Royal Standard will continue to operate a takeaway service for the time being and the smaller Ship Inn will be offering a limited menu outside. No update has been given on the Cobb Arms.