Café.com - Hoole Internet Café   

Industry sector: Food and Beverage

Location: Hoole, Chester

Services: FTTC, Purple WiFi, VoIP, IT Managed Service

ITS Technology Group serve up a winning combination of Purple Wi-Fi, VoIP and a Technology Managed Service to Café.com.   

ITS introduces Café.com and chats to Team Leader, Kamal Shah  

Internet cafés were a natural evolution of the traditional café. As demand for ‘guest Wi-Fi’ increases, most pubs, bars, hotels and cafés offer free customer Wi-Fi. This popular facility is narrowing the gap between the Internet café and traditional cafés. We spoke to Café.com Team Leader, Kamal Shah about the benefits of supplying free Wifi to customers and how faster, more reliable broadband benefits his customers. I also asked what plans were in place to build on their current technology offering to their valued customers, that standard coffee shops didn’t provide, and so reinforce café.com’s status as an Internet café.

Café.com is a popular, trendy Internet café situated on Faulkner Street in the centre of Hoole; a busy and vibrant suburban village filled with independent shops, bars & restaurants and is within easy walking distance from Chester city centre. In addition to welcoming customers into the Café, Team Leader Kamal Shah, also provides a catering service to corporate customers and processes online orders for local delivery. Kamal’s dedicated and professional team serve up great, freshly prepared food alongside an extensive range of freshly prepared tea’s, coffee’s, smoothies and soft drinks. 

Café.com’s friendly and attentive staff have been welcoming customers for over 17 years. The café has always provided Internet connectivity and prides itself on being ‘ahead of the curve’ when becoming established as an internet café many years ago, when it wasn’t commonplace for people to find a reliable internet service away from their home or workplace.
What is it about Café.com that keeps customers coming back for more?
“I actually worked here before I took over the business. I got to understand how things were done and what the customers’ needs were. Consequently, I’ve got a great relationship with my regulars and exemplary customer service is at the heart of what we do here. All staff will agree that the customer comes first and we work hard to ensure that our standards remain high.
People are now more aware of where their food comes from, not just from the quality viewpoint, but also in terms of carbon footprint. I do feel a sense of pride when I explain to my customers that I’m an avid supporter of local Hoole businesses, which is why I source produce locally; in fact, most of it comes from the businesses here in Faulkner Street!

The fast and reliable Wi-Fi also plays a key role in us welcoming back loyal customers. I couldn’t describe a typical customer, we welcome young and mature, groups or individual guests, those that join us to relax and read a magazine and others that catch-up with friends and social media posts. We also have a fairly even split of business and social customers.
Working from home is a modern phenomenon and we do attract lots of customers that bring their laptop, find a quiet corner and hook up to their email and the Internet. Regularly customers come in, find a seat, place an order, then download or stream a film or check out the news; if it makes my customers happy, it makes me and my team happy!” 

What encouraged you move away from your previous technology provider, and choose ITS? 
“I became a customer of ITS in 2013. I was introduced to Roy Shelton, CEO and was gripped by his energy and enthusiasm in the services that ITS provide. Again, ITS are a local company that could offer me a ‘one stop shop’ solution, so I only had one company to deal with, instead of three. ITS now manage our FTTC, WiFi, VoIP phone system and IT support, so I no longer need to work with separate providers.

Although unlikely, I was concerned that if the connection failed, my VoIP phone service might be compromised. Thankfully the option of built-in disaster recovery guarantees 100% up-time, therefore mitigating any risk. The reality is that ITS were chosen because they are a big enough company to offer a very reasonably priced ‘one stop shop’ solution for all of Café.com’s technology needs, but small enough that I’m on first name terms with the technical design guys and I can get through to them in an instant. They have become our trusted adviser.”

What’s next in technology terms that sets Café.com apart from competitors and how do you think your customers will benefit?
“I’ve been chatting to Matt from ITS and I’m really excited about our plans for large screens for our customer terminals, multi wall mounted USB chargers, Wi-Fi printers and utilising the marketing benefits of Purple WiFi, so we can reward our loyal customers with special offers or vouchers. I wouldn’t describe myself as a technical person, far from it, but I’m always looking at ways to improve customer experience in that respect. Purple WiFi gives me real-time user analytics. I can get stats that show me the age, gender, length of session, data usage  – everything I need to help understand my customers’ needs more.

We already have fast broadband that easily accommodates our needs and I believe the speed of our broadband, which is 80Mbps Download and 20Mbps Upload, has increased our customer base and encourages customers to stay longer. With smartphones and tablet devices in most people’s pockets, demand for a quality internet connection is at its peak. Our free fast Wi-Fi attracts more mobile workers during the week, so the availability of a Wi-Fi printer service will enhance their ‘mobile work’ experience. At weekends, customers tend to use the Wi-Fi to browse sports and news sites, check their social media updates and view catch-up TV – it adds to the already social atmosphere and satisfied customers are what we are about.”

What would you say to anyone considering becoming a customer of ITS?
“Roy Shelton, ITS’ CEO has great business acumen. His team provides great customer service and I trust ITS to resolve any issues I have, without hesitation.

No company is perfect, that’s impossible. ITS isn’t perfect, but they come close and in my experience, are better than the rest. Their customer service is second to none, as soon as an issue is raised, it is dealt with quickly. I personally feel as though ITS is an honest company with high levels of integrity and those key qualities are what other companies lack.”  

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