The South West food and drink industry is a key part of the identity of the region.
Matt Baker, Head of Business Sales at Jurassic Fibre, shares his views on how faster and more reliable broadband connections can help food and drink businesses thrive in the South West.
Fast and reliable connectivity for businesses in the digital age
South West businesses have seen a fundamental change in how they use the internet in the last couple of years. Both on the home working front and in the office.
More people working from home obviously increases the need for faster and more reliable connectivity, further pressure on residential broadband connections comes from multiple people working from home plus families using multiple devices, often at the same time, whilst streaming music, watching TV, and gaming. Smart home devices further increase the demand on a home broadband connection.
Likewise, the need for faster connectivity has risen sharply in the business environment as well. The requirements of businesses have undergone a complete shift in needing a reliable connection as well as bandwidth.
The trend towards video conferencing, brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, has seen an increase in virtual meetings and this has had a significant impact on businesses’ broadband requirements. In addition, more and more applications, products and business processes are online which all add to the greater need for fast and reliable connectivity.
Changes for South West food and drink businesses
The change in how businesses need to be connected and adapt has particularly swept the food and drink industry.
Hayley Reynolds, Founder of Raw Food & Drink PR and board member at Food Drink Devon, explains: “The South West is home to a fantastic profusion of food and drink businesses, which represent the region's rich history of agriculture and tradition of making profit off the land. In the last 40 years, there has been huge change for the sector, with many businesses having to diversify and adapt to the digital age.”
“Particularly for rural food and drink businesses, connectivity is the greatest challenge when it comes to growing their markets, modernising their services and engaging with customers online. It’s crucial that broadband companies like Jurassic Fibre are supporting these businesses and helping to preserve the legacy of the food and drink industry in the South West."
Food and drink brands need a digital presence to grow and engage with customers
Those in the food and drink industry are becoming increasingly reliant on good connectivity and improving their digital presence to grow their business and better engage with customers.
With a massive food production presence in the South West that supplies the region, as well as the UK, connectivity for the producers and distributors is key to maintaining efficient communication with their customers. Then there are bars and restaurants that need to meet consumer expectations. People want to be able to view menus online and use apps to order or use their devices while dining.
Before the pandemic, coffee and sandwich vans already offered online payments to provide a better customer experience now the pandemic has accelerated these consumer habits, more bars and restaurants will adopt this process.
If businesses are serious about growing outside of their local market, their digital capabilities need to reflect the quality of their business, especially as the market becomes increasingly competitive.
This is particularly important in the South West where visitors don’t know the area and are making decisions on where to spend money based on websites and social media.
Why supporting the South West food and drink industry is so important
The food and drink industry is critical for the South West.
It’s one of the region’s best known sectors, whether it’s the brands that produce the food or famous restaurants.
The South West boasts beaches and natural beauty, but the food and drink sector is such a big part of the attraction to visit and experience the region.
With the seasonal nature of the sector, it’s vital to support businesses so they can maximise profit.
Supporting the food and drink industry with stable, reliable connectivity that provides bandwidth to many devices and applications to deliver an even better customer experience is a real blessing for us knowing that it’ll help contribute to the recovery and growth of South West businesses.
Jurassic Fibre’s support for food and drink brands in the South West
Jurassic Fibre has built and is continuing to build a core network throughout the South West, in Devon, Somerset and Dorset, which enables much faster and more reliable connectivity through Fibre-to-the-Premises broadband, something that some of the larger providers and altnets haven’t been able to do to the extent we’ve achieved. The locations we’re providing service to aren’t always in built-up areas and are instead in rural and coastal areas where decent connectivity hasn’t always been possible.
We’re helping businesses in hospitality and production by building a much better infrastructure to bring them into the digital age so they can keep up with consumer expectations.
This connectivity is the enabler for a much greater all-round experience. Allowing cafes, bars, and restaurants to function at a basic level and essential for simple things like taking payment at a table. They don’t need high bandwidth, but stability of infrastructure is critical to take payments without problems. Imagine the sales a bar or restaurant could lose if they only accepted cash. What’s more, it’s not only about the customer experience, businesses need to deal with suppliers and distributors through digital communications and complete orders online.
We want people to visit the South West and experience the fantastic food that’s produced in the region. The food and drink sector will be the part of the South West economy that benefits earliest from coming out of lockdown, and that has a knock on effect on the wider economy.
If you need a faster broadband connection for your home or work, find out more about ultrafast full fibre broadband by visiting Jurassic Fibre or contacting our sales team: 01392 345595 or firstname.lastname@example.org