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Keeping your customers’ data safe

Mon 2nd Sep 19

Only a few years back, we all knew our customers but didn’t need to keep details about them. In today’s connected world, storing our customers’ data is the norm, and keeping it safe is paramount.

On 25 May 2018, a new law – the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – came into force. This important piece of legislation brought data protection sharply into focus, and the consequences of non-compliance can be very costly.

As a restaurant or takeaway, if you use and process customer data in any way, you need to have a lawful basis for doing so. This can be because you have a legitimate interest, because its necessary to carry out your business with them or because they’ve freely given consent. You’re obliged to tell your customer exactly what you’ll do with their data and allow them to choose whether they allow you to do this.

You might use customer data if you have an online ordering system, if you operate a loyalty scheme or if you send email newsletters. 

How to keep your customers’ personal data safe

Knowing the consequences of non-compliance can be daunting, but it’s easy to put the processes in place to keep your customers’ data safe:

1. Audit your data

Whether the data you hold is limited to your customers’ names and email addresses, or you hold many more details, check whether you need that information, where it came from, who shared it with you and who you share it with. You’ll then be able to take your next steps.

2. Get consent

Consent is vital to stay compliant with GDPR. So, make sure that you ask your customers to confirm they’re happy for you to use their data, and keep a record of that. You should also give them the choice to opt out of having their data used for marketing. 

3. Keep your website’s privacy policy up to date

If you have a website, you’ll need to make sure you have an up to date privacy policy in place. And if you use software to track how your online customers use your site, you’ll need to have a cookies policy, too.

4. Review your data storage

Whether you keep your records electronically or in paper form, you’ll need to review how you store your customers’ data. And to make sure it’s kept as safely as possible – under lock and key and encrypted.

6. Consider cyber insurance

Cyber insurance isn’t necessary for every business, but if you hold data electronically, you could be at risk from cybercrime. Cyber insurance can help to protect your business from the losses that cybercrime can cause – in terms of expenses and regulatory fines – should a data breach occur.

Your insurance broker should be able to discuss any requirements for cyber insurance for your restaurant or takeaway and they could advise you on risk prevention measures, too.

Keeping your hospitality business covered

Whether you need to know about insurance to help protect you in the case of data compliance issues, or any other covers for your hospitality business, the team at Ryan’s can help. Call our Hospitality Division on 01473 343330 today.

You can find out more about data protection and GDPR here.