BT and lastminute.com Deal Whets Appetite for Broadband Take up

BT has joined forces with lastminute.com
to bring the broadband
revolution to Britain’s restaurant industry with the launch of a
superfast online queue busting booking system.
  The venture will enable restaurants to advertise table vacancies
the instant they become available - acting much like an interactive
reservations book - live to the half a million people who visit
lastminute.com everyday.
The service is a complete broadband-based system designed with
the specific needs of a restaurant in mind.
It includes access to BT business broadband for those
restaurants that are not yet broadband enabled, a live diary
management and booking system as well as a stylish internet terminal,
all designed to enable any restaurant to fill their tables more
effectively.
The booking system also provides access to a range of marketing
partners that will help advertise the restaurant more effectively.
This is BT’s first initiative tailored to drive broadband uptake
within this sector of the leisure industry.
A second initiative - aimed at combining BT’s broadband capacity
with lastminute.com’s expertise in the lucrative internet lifestyle
market, is the roll-out of bright pink multimedia ‘kiosks’ where
customers will be able to book great deals on local hotels, shows,
restaurants, holidays and family-friendly events via the
lastminute.com website.***
Already available in key London sites, the kiosks will be rolled
out to Birmingham, Manchester and other UK locations to be confirmed
over the next month.
Pierre Danon, CEO for BT Retail, said: “These initiatives are
the first in what is an ongoing relationship with BT and
lastminute.com.
“With this relationship we are able to offer a very powerful
combination of BT’s internet access and customer relationship
expertise with lastminute.com’s leadership in the lifestyle market -
aimed at both businesses and consumers.
“We believe the ‘broadband restaurant’ initiative will help to
transform and revitalise the way restaurants operate,”
“An empty table will now be an opportunity to attract a new
market. It’s also a great example of how an industry sector such as
restaurant and catering, which may not have traditionally been at the
forefront of the broadband revolution, can take advantage of the
internet’s immediacy, 24/7 availability and cost-effective business
model to steal a march on the competition.
“The ability to do something spontaneous has just been made that
much easier with this new deal with BT,” said Brent Hoberman, CEO of
lastminute.com.
   
“But the partnership also has extremely practical benefits for
the restaurant industry, particularly in London.

“The area has been hit hard by the congestion charge, to the
extent that some smaller operations have been put out of business. By
making it easier to book, we’re making it easier for customers to
take advantage of all that that the city has to offer and providing
all restaurants with a brand new, easy to use route to market.”
The two initiatives will be supported by a marketing campaign
that kicks off in September.
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