A summer of success for start-up food retailer, with card payments on the go
After being given the chance to sell at a world-renowned music festival, start-up LOKI POKÉ needed a payment solution with a reputation for reliability.
Georgia Hussey founded LOKI POKÉ in Bristol during lockdown. Having seen the popularity of poke in Australia, she saw an opportunity to put her own twist on this native Hawaiian dish. And sure enough, when restaurants had their doors closed due to COVID-19, producing and delivering fast and fresh Hawaiian-inspired salads and rice bowls proved to be a big hit. Georgia was soon able to move operations from her flat to open a takeaway in Bristol’s popular Wapping Wharf.
Every second counts when taking payments
Following the success at her permanent premises, Georgia was offered a last-minute opportunity to run a pop-up food stall at a popular festival. Having never taken LOKI POKÉ to a festival before, it was too good to turn down. But, as a result, she didn’t have long to prepare.
“As a business owner, the thought of not being able to take payments and having to turn away business is a big concern,” Georgia said. Her meticulous planning led to the realisation that every second is precious. With a sales target per minute forecast, she needed a card reader that could keep up and not be impacted by any potential Wi-Fi issues.
She knew a quick reliable payment system, including a backup, was essential to making a good profit. It would allow her to focus on customer service as well as maximise profits.
The safe, secure solution
Fortunately, a fellow trader with festival experience recommended Lloyds Bank Cardnet. Georgia was already a Lloyds Bank business customer, and after listening to her needs, they offered her a portable card machine called Clover Flex which connects using Wi-Fi. In case the Wi-Fi went down, they also provided her a mobile card reader which uses a SIM. These were delivered quickly, and she was able to set it up easily in time for the big event.
Georgia was delighted: “It all worked perfectly. We used a mix - one linked to Wi-Fi, which was great because it was super-fast. A few situations needed the card reader, but we didn’t rely on it much because the festival had such good infrastructure. My request was last minute, but the service from Cardnet was amazing.”
Georgia was also impressed at the user experience. A one push button makes a big difference when you’re serving hundreds of customers in a short period.
Cash or card?
After such a positive first festival experience, Georgia and her team went to a second summer festival. But this time, the on-site Wi-Fi wasn’t so reliable.
Thanks to Cardnet, LOKI POKÉ was one of the few traders that could take payments consistently even when the event’s Wi-Fi connection wasn’t working at all one day. The festival-goers had been told not to bring cash, and there were only a few ATMs on-site for the entire festival.
While other festival traders had to turn customers away, LOKI POKÉ was incredibly popular. Georgia was relieved not to lose any sales or have to deal with the added complexity of cash-only payments. She explained, “If you don’t expect to be dealing in cash at an event, you may not have sufficient change for customers and be forced to reduce your pricing, which affects your margins. Cash also slows you down. Each transaction takes a bit longer, and those delays soon add up.”
When peace of mind is paramount
As a relatively new business owner branching out into festivals for the first time, Georgia wanted to concentrate on her customers and sales, not worry about payments. Cardnet allowed her to do just that.
Following a successful first summer of festivals, LOKI POKÉ has greater financial security as it’s opened up new opportunities.
Georgia can now start making longer-term plans for the business. "The profit from last year’s festivals enables us to re-invest in some of this year’s festival set-up and a few other projects."
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