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SUBWAY® Chooses The Zen Way

  • Zen is confirmed as an accredited partner with IPC Europe Ltd to supply Subway® stores across the UK with a bespoke connectivity solution

Subway®, the world’s largest restaurant brand, has chosen Zen Internet, the UK’s largest B Corporation certified telecommunications and network connectivity provider, to supply broadband connectivity to its 2,000+ stores across the UK.

Subway® sets a rigorous set of standards to ensure that customers experience the same great taste, service and in-store experience wherever they go in the world. The Independent Purchasing Company Europe Limited (IPC Europe) executes against these standards while delivering financial and service benefits to Subway® Franchisees in Europe through volume purchasing and pan-European supply chain operations.

Recognising the need to migrate from the legacy solution used by Subway® stores across the UK, IPC Europe reviewed its connectivity requirements and sought out a partner that could bring increased benefits, improved levels of service, enhanced resilience and a solution that would scale with its future plans. As part of the digital transformation, the Subway® stores can now access reliable connectivity to maximise their online platforms and enhance the customer experience, something the Franchisees were struggling with on the previous legacy solution.

A founding principle of the Subway® franchise is to keep operating costs low, so finding a cost-effective solution that still allowed the store owners to deliver excellent customer service was a crucial consideration. By looking at things differently, the experts at Zen designed a bespoke solution to meet the price point requirements without compromising on service specification or resilience. Zen adapted a cost-effective Cisco router using innovative technical design coupled with dynamic application to meet the project’s requirements.

Commenting on the solution, Simon Aldred, Commercial Director, IPC Europe Ltd, said, “The importance of a secure and stable internet connection has increased drastically in the retail sector over the past decade. Especially during the coronavirus pandemic when dining in was impossible and we had seen most of the traffic coming via pick-up and third-party deliveries. Being conscious of our technology requirements in-store, we wanted to provide Subway® Franchisees with a bespoke internet solution that would cover all their current and future needs. Zen’s high-quality service, fast broadband connections and willingness to adapt to Subway®’s requirements made them our ideal partner.”

Martin O’Donnell, Managing Director, Zen Business, said: “It was a collaborative process to design the right solution for IPC Europe and it is satisfying that we were able to solve their specific challenges. At Zen, we have big business capabilities including a vast UK network and we are one of the first Ultrafast connectivity providers in the UK. But we also take a personal approach to delivering the best service in the market. As we are independently owned we can make fast decisions and adapt to the needs of our clients. The combination of pioneering technology with the best service in the market, at a price that’s scalable for Subway®’s operational model, allows the chain to not only enhance the customer experience but to further their digital transformation efforts.”

Having led the project team, Enzo Romano, Senior Business Development Manager, Zen, said, “The solution itself is a hybrid of both FTTC and FTTP connectivity services which, when combined with a fully managed Cisco router, delivers corporate WiFi and IoT benefits to Subway® stores throughout the UK. It is also capable of providing all of a store’s connectivity requirements from managing card payments, interactive menu boards and advertising to facilitating CCTV, online delivery orders and even managing the in-store drinks dispensers. The project demonstrates how we can deliver considerable cost savings by exploring the less obvious connectivity solutions that many IT professionals would not think of.” 

The solution was successfully deployed as a pilot across 30 stores as proof of concept ahead of the complete rollout. A Franchisee on the pilot reported a significant increase in revenue because the new system facilitated a delivery line of service with the likes of Deliveroo, UberEats and JustEat which was not previously possible.

Bo Johal, a Subway® Franchisee participating in the pilot scheme, said: “As a long-standing Franchisee since 2005, I can say that a solid internet provider is crucial to today’s business. Switching to Zen has proven to be a success as they do provide a reliable internet connection with no hiccups! The process is very straight forward and with no disruption. The other benefit which I have noticed is the customer service is excellent and it’s very easy to get through to them.”

The Zen solution is now available to circa 2,000 Subway® stores throughout the UK as part of a four-year framework agreement with IPC Europe Ltd.

About Zen

Zen Internet is the largest B Corporation certified telecommunications and network connectivity provider in the UK. Zen provides a full range of broadband, data, voice, hosting and infrastructure services to homes and businesses across the country.  The company also delivers complex network and cloud solutions for a wide range of large businesses and corporate customers through its strategic partnerships with AWS and Cisco.

As the only Which? recommended provider for broadband 2021 and 2022, Zen is renowned for delivering excellent customer service and technical support and has been awarded Best Broadband ISP in PC Pro’s Technology Excellence Awards for 18 consecutive years. Other accolades include Sustainability Winner in Comms National Awards 2021 and Highly Commended in CRN Tech Impact Awards as Sustainable Vendor of the Year.

As a proud member of the B Corp community – balancing profit with people and the planet – Zen is carbon neutral and is working towards achieving Net Zero status by 2028. The company is also a recommended Best Buy in Ethical Consumer’s latest guide to broadband.

Zen has offices in Rochdale and Leeds and employs more than 500 people. The organisation puts great emphasis on maintaining a people-centric business and was named a Great Place to Work® in November 2021.

About Subway

As one of the world’s largest quick service restaurant brands, Subway serves freshly made-to-order sandwiches, wraps, salads and bowls to millions of guests, across more than 100 countries in more than 37,000 restaurants every day. Subway restaurants are owned and operated by Subway franchisees – a network that includes more than 20,000 dedicated entrepreneurs and small business owners – who are committed to delivering the best guest experience possible in their local communities.

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