Testimonial - Poco

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Poco is a tapas restaurant serving local, seasonal produce. We have a strong sustainability ethos and we take pride in championing the incredible local food that we are so lucky to serve to our customers, whilst keeping our impact on the environment to a minimum. We opened in November 2011. Tom Hunt, Ben Pryor and Jen Best came straight from the festival circuit to set up something more permanent where we could celebrate food within a community all year round.

When did you first hear about the Bristol Pound? When did you join?

...A good few months before the launch in September 2012 there was a lot of excitement and hype about the new currency and how it will effect the local economy. We joined as soon as it launched!


Why did you get involved with the Bristol Pound?

The Bristol Pound is a wonderful way to support local business by encouraging people to spend their money in independent business. Much of our emphasis is supporting local suppliers so it made both logical and practical sense to get on board.


How do you or your customers feel or behave when using £B compared to sterling?

Certainly – there is a huge element of pride when people spend their Bristol Pounds. There is the confidence that the money you are spending is staying within the local area and there is something quite magical about that. And vice versa, we feel proud to accept them.


What’s TXT2PAY like?

Absolutely fantastic. There is still the giddy excitement when people TXT2PAY, it is just so easy! There is only the minor bit of extra accounting admin because of the separate Bristol Pound account, and monitoring the income and the charges that incur, but that doesn’t even compare to the simplicity for both the customers and us in the restaurant when receiving payment. I think it is a genius system and one does wonder why we don’t just scrap debit cards!


How have your Bristol Pounds been re-spent or where do you plan to re-spend them?

Most of our Bristol Pounds are passed onto our suppliers. The other proportion is given to our employees as part of their wages.


What’s the best thing that has happened for you & your business from joining?

The best part for us is the astounding sense of community and the sheer popularity of the currency. TXT2PAY has certainly overtaken the physical currency, and I think this is a fantastic indication for what the future has to hold.


What do you hope will happen as a result of Bristol people and businesses having their own currency?

I hope that independent business will feel empowered because of the incentive for Bristolians to spend money in their establishments, and the same along the rest of the chain to the suppliers etc. Our restaurant already uses local suppliers, but a very positive effect is for businesses who source from further afield to change their behaviour and start taking advantage of the fantastic produce that is on our doorstep.


How do you help staff to make the most of your customers commitment to using £B?

We keep £B in the cash drawer when we can and offer it to people as change. (Staff) are fully informed too, so when people have any questions about how the system works they can provide useful information.