Sheffield software firm's free gift voucher scheme helps locked down pub raise £25,000

A Sheffield software company is offering its gift voucher platform free during the shutdown - helping one village pub raise £25,000.

Thursday, 14th May 2020, 2:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th May 2020, 2:16 pm

Airship, on South Street at Park Hill, is offering Toggle free to hospitality businesses.

It allows pubs, bars and restaurants to set up a webshop where customers can buy giftcards for food and drink that can be redeemed over the bar when they reopen.

Regulars at the Devonshire Arms, Middle Handley, have already spent £25,000 to support their local.

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The Airship team from left: Rob Marcer, Andrew Whiteley, Oskar Marcer and Dan Brookman.

The team at Airship will also provide technical support free of charge.

Chief executive Dan Brookman said: "Businesses such as the Devonshire Arms are the life-blood of their communities. By making Toggle free for the duration of the shutdown, we're helping operators and their customers ensure that there's a thriving hospitality sector when we come out the other side."

Located between Chesterfield and Sheffield, the Devonshire Arms is led by father and daughter John Tompkins and Alex Tunney, and manager Hugh Wragg.

John said: "The priority was to ensure that there was a pub to return to for staff, friends and valued customers.

Owner John Tompkins at The Devonshire Arms.

"We signed up on the Monday, and were live selling a huge number of cards from our website by the Wednesday. Set-up was quick and easy.

"The response has been fantastic, with £25,000 of sales so far, showing just how much our customers value the pub and its place in the community. Promoting the gift cards through our social media, and our 3,000-strong database, has also given us a reason to keep in touch with our regulars and keep the Devonshire Arms ‘family' together."

The pub had previously sold paper gift vouchers and offers through Groupon, but Toggle enabled it to bring it all in-house and online, he added.

Cards are available worth £10, £20 and £50. Users can be up and running in around 30 minutes.

Some 700 firms are live on Toggle, 300 joining after lockdown. Users include: JW Lees, Yummy Pubs, Boston Tea Party, Brewhouse & Kitchen, Côte, Turtle Bay, San Carlo, Bob Bob Ricard, Park Chinois, Revolución de Cuba, Hickory's Smokehouse, Ego Restaurants & Rosa's Thai Café.

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