Famous UK bakery optimises food-handling hygiene


Botham’s of Whitby has been a delicious destination for locals and visitors alike for more than 150 years. The family-owned and run craft bakery founded by Elizabeth Botham in 1865 - today proudly operated by her great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren - currently offers five locations in and around the historic, picturesque fishing village of Whitby on the North Yorkshire, U.K. coast. It is truly an institution in the area, having served many local families for generations, as well as winning new devotees every day.

Food & Drink

Busy shop with excellent hygiene always a top priority

Like many food establishments, the dichotomy between food handling and money handling is always top of mind for Botham’s. The desire to present fresh, clean food is often at odds with the need to take notes and coins that are often the opposite thereof.

“Anyone who counts money is well familiar with that experience—the dirt and grit you can feel on your hands,” noted Kay.

Botham’s, like many similar establishments, has responded to the challenge by dictating that employees wear gloves and engage in frequent hand washings between serving each customer. In fact, Botham’s overall hygiene practices have long earned them the coveted “five star” rating from the local government, a fact proudly displayed on the sign officially placed on the front of the facility.

However, with long lines of customers throughout much of each day those precious seconds add up, and were  increasingly taking away from their primary roles of warmly greeting customers and creating and serving delicious food for them. In a town full of quaint cafes, excellent fish and chips shops and other competing choices, management worried if their long lines could also be chasing some customers away. “We wondered if there was a better way to maintain excellent hygiene and speed things up as well,” stated Kay.

We wondered if there was a better way to maintain excellent hygiene

A cleaner way to handle money

In early 2018, Kay and her team discovered the Paypod Pay Station by Crane Payment Innovations (CPI), supported by U.K.-based reseller Giesecke+Devrient Currency Technology (G+D). Paypod allows customers to handle all of the money themselves as they do now with credit cards, entering the notes and coins into the machine and receiving change.

Cashiers monitor the transaction on screen but don’t ever touch any money, allowing them to proceed to greeting and serving the next customer in the queue that much faster.

Paypod is available in two models to best fit your store—on-counter (hybrid) or incounter (embedded)—that include highspeed note and coin recyclers. Paypod also includes POSlinq™ Interface Software that connects with any Windows® point of sale system.

“On his latest visit, the health and hygiene inspector said that he had never seen anything like it and thought it was a fantastic idea,” said Kay. The inspector, of course, also noted that the store continued to be worthy of its hard-earned “five star” hygiene rating.

Saves time, saves money

Kay revealed that while hygiene was the primary driver to bring in the innovative device, she and her team were surprised and gratified by how much time the Paypod is saving them in their nightly cashing out procedures.

Each evening, she explained, managers would need to spend from half an hour to 45 minutes to manually count all the notes and coins and fill out the paperwork—longer if there was a discrepancy.

In fact, small discrepancies were not uncommon—in the urgency of a busy store, several employees might be hectically grabbing coins from the till at once to help get customers on their way, a habit that could lead to the wrong change going out on occasion. With Paypod, that lost revenue is a thing of the past, as is the employee money handling time.

“With Paypod, the cash out now takes maybe 10 minutes, maximum,” said Kay. “Everyone is heading home to their families now minutes after closing. They love that. It saves time, saves money and it’s a great morale booster.”

Queue times are starting to shorten too; although the occasional customer sometimes needs to have the process explained to them, they quickly catch on. “Most everyone is familiar with the Paypod concept—we all do it at the car park and all kinds of self-service kiosks all the time,” Kay remarked.

The Paypod team came in one evening and it was up and running and ready to go at opening the next morning

Great service, fast installation, and more Paypods to come

The service and attentiveness by CPI and G+D, noted Kay, has been excellent. Botham’s personnel were invited to visit the Paypod manufacturing facility in Manchester, and were given a trial unit to test out for several months.

“The Paypod team came in one evening and it was up and running and ready to go at opening the next morning,” she noted.

“Representatives were there watching the first few customer transactions to make sure everything was okay, and it was, everything worked quite smoothly.”

With their permanent unit working well at the Enterprise Way location, colleagues at other Botham’s locations have asked when they will get their own Paypod. Botham’s plans to roll out installations at the Baxtergate and original Skinner Street locations next, with more scheduled over the next 6-12 months.

“This has been an excellent solution for the Enterprise Way store, and I’m sure it will be equally successful at our other stores as well,” said Kay.

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