CASE STUDY: The Spotted Dog Pub

The Spotted Dog is a village local which serves outstanding food. Roll back several months, however, and the pub had been idle for over a year during the Covid pandemic, before it was salvaged by four villagers and an exec chef who came together in March 2021 to revamp and reopen it. Located in Flamstead, a picturesque village with 1,000 residents in Hertfordshire, the Spotted Dog now stands out for its stunning 17th century premises combined with superb 21st century technology – giving customers and staff the best of both worlds. Chris Carson, one of the founders, explains.

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The Challenge

The Spotted Dog has been revived in loving detail by our team of four villagers and exec chef Mark Jarvis, who trained under Raymond Blanc and now runs two restaurants in London. Apart from Mark, our only pub or restaurant experience was on the other side of the bar, and the same could be said for technology – so when it came to telecommunications we definitely had to outsource. 

Our building is small, a terraced house built in the 1660s that was converted into a pub in 1826 with three tight rooms, a courtyard and a terrace. Poor Wi-Fi in the pub’s previous incarnation had led to stuttering streaming and failing connections, and we knew that seamless tech throughout a building and its outside space is integral to the success of any venue today. We needed to replace the old EPoS and Wi-Fi equipment with a whole new setup and we called in Marston’s Telecoms for their expertise in the hospitality sector.

The Response

We contacted Marston’s Telecoms on 1 June and by 7 July all the work was complete. They discussed options with us, and we agreed their recommendation of Paymentsense for our PDQ payment card devices and Lightspeed for our EPoS. 

For broadband we chose FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) 80Mbps, with two virtual networks, one for management purposes and one for guest wi-fi access. The team also provided 4G backup that would kick in if our internet went down.

They installed Access Points in each room and outside for reliable, robust Wi-Fi and repositioned the router at the heart of the pub, achieving perfect Wi-Fi in every corner of the premises with minimum fuss. 

We found Marston’s Telecoms very engaging, helpful and quick, providing reassurance in an area we knew nothing about. When we had 100 things on our To-Do List they provided peace of mind, competitive and fair pricing, and great service. It has been a seamless experience.

The Result

Having WiFi that never fails is part of the exceptional experience we offer our customers, as important as our outstanding food prepared by our two Michelin-trained chefs.. 

The Spotted Dog lies in the countryside but three minutes from the M1 in a triangle between Saint Albans, Berkhamsted and Harpenden, attracting affluent, discerning customers. Our technology more than matches their expectations.

We recently had 12 people from FedEx all plugged in and enjoying fantastic Wi-Fi at once, and we have the confidence to offer a corporate service in our private dining room where companies can book off-site days, meetings and events and stay for dinner if they wish (which many find an excuse to do!)

We contacted Marston’s Telecoms on 1 June and by 7 July all the work was complete.

The Verdict

Thanks to Marston’s Telecoms, the quality of the internet is great and we have never had to miss a beat. It’s so important because we are open from 9am to 10pm seven days a week and need to handle up to 50 people for morning coffee, from young parents dropping in after the school run to retired villagers, with up to 20 covers for lunch and again for dinner. 

In 2026 we’ll be celebrating the Spotted Dog’s 200th anniversary, with future-proofed technology delighting all our customers and staff.