ESS, the Defence, Energy and Government Services sector of Compass Group UK & Ireland, has recently introduced its Coffee House Express brand into the ‘Radio School Café’ at RAF Cosford. The model incorporates self-service technology and customer hosts to deliver an array of benefits, including faster customer flow, extended opening times and an increased range.
The outlet offers hot and cold food, prepared in-house to grab and go, alongside a variety of hot and cold drinks. There are two self-service tills for payment, enabling the ESS team to host customers on the café floor and ensure products are readily available.
The new model has resulted in much faster service times, with customer flow around three times quicker than it was previously. This is particularly important in this location where more than 200 service personnel undertaking training leave classes at the same time for a 25-minute break.
The self-service infrastructure supports significantly extended opening times, with the café now available to customers for an additional 15 hours each week. Outside of peak times the outlet is unmanned, and stock levels are maintained by an ESS team member visiting the area regularly. An unmanned service is also offered to those remaining during leave periods when previously the facility was closed.
New display equipment has enabled a substantial increase in the range, with the offer moving from a simple hot bap and packaged bakery items to a full range of pastries, freshly made sandwiches, wraps, salads and desserts.
Full integration with the ESS App means faster payment and loyalty rewards come as standard.
The work was undertaken in collaboration with the site and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).
The new café is proving popular with customers, with sales significantly increasing since the refurbishment works were completed.
Sarah Herring, OC Station Logistics Wing – RAF Cosford, commented:
“We are very fortunate to be the trial site for ESS in the delivery of their first self-serve style café. It is testament to the relationship Cosford has with ESS that we are partnering on such initiatives and exploring future opportunities to grow and diversify the offers on site. Our collaborative approach means we are continually working together to evolve and improve the service for our personnel.”
Mark Webster, Managing Director – ESS Defence, Energy and Government Services, commented:
“We’re delighted that we’ve been able to improve the lived experience of service personnel at RAF Cosford by introducing our Coffee House Express brand into the Radio School Café. Implementing self-service technology and introducing customer hosts has enabled us to meet our priorities of faster service times, extended opening hours and increased product range. Early feedback has been positive, and we will work closely with our client and customers to ensure we continue to meet their requirements.
“Deploying new technology across our estate is allowing us to meet the evolving needs and expectations of our consumers, from increasing the availability of services outside of traditional operating times to offering ‘click & collect’ and ‘click & deliver’ via the ESS App. We’re incredibly excited to be on this journey!”