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Scott Moren-Brown, Director of Operations, TOCA Social

Giving TOCA Social the confidence to tackle compliance

“When you first get started with privacy, it’s easy to feel lost. We didn’t know what we needed to do to cover ourselves. What DataGuard gave us is confidence.”

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Scott Moren-Brown, TOCA Social

BEFORE DATAGUARD

  • A brand-new business unsure of where to start with privacy
  • Needed to conduct a data privacy impact assessment
  • Nobody to turn to for privacy compliance queries

WITH DATAGUARD

  • Received specialist advice on setting the business up compliantly
  • Data protection impact assessment plus privacy-by-design guidance
  • Can rely on answers from a DPO who understands the business
 

A GAP IN THE MARKET

Amongst a sea of crazy golf and ping pong- themed sports bars, the founders of TOCA Social saw a golden opportunity: a social entertainment venue based around football. “Football is the most popular sport in the UK. We saw a huge gap in the market for a football-based social entertainment concept that also provides great food and drink,” explains Scott Moren-Brown, Director of Operations at TOCA Social.

Tapping into this untouched market, TOCA Social opened its doors in the summer of 2021. Business couldn't be going better, with the venue completely booked out on weekends and holiday periods.

The team at TOCA Social was newly formed, with stakeholders coming from a range of different backgrounds. Scott had previously worked at the retailer John Lewis, so for him, compliance was already a familiar topic. The rest of the team shared his view that it was critical to get privacy right from the get-go: “When we started TOCA Social, we knew we couldn’t be a company who has a great concept but then gets in trouble for not managing data privacy properly. Starting out on the right foot was of huge importance to us.”

WHERE TO START? PRIVACY FOR A YOUNG BUSINESS

As a brand-new company, it made sense for TOCA Social to outsource privacy support. With so much to cover, the team needed the expertise of someone who had done it all before. “We focused on compliance from the get-go. For us, data privacy is all about future-proofing our business. We want to protect the data of our customers - and avoid bad press and fines.”

After some Google research and lining up a few privacy companies based in the UK, Scott made a list of five frontrunners. He played close attention to how the initial conversation went. “Often that first conversation is an indication of the customer service you will receive in the future. DataGuard felt like the right fit from the start. We immediately saw eye-to-eye.”

As a very young business, the team at TOCA Social also appreciated DataGuard’s ability to be flexible on costs. “DataGuard’s pricing is really flexible – we were able to reduce initial costs and gradually add more hours as we expand and need more support. Our package is aligned with our business growth.”

KICK OFF: PRIVACY BY DESIGN AND DATA PROTECTION IMPACT ASSESSMENTS

For brand new businesses, lack of processes can often be a great thing. But when it comes to privacy, this lack of structure and clarity can feel like a minefield. Selling the idea to stakeholders took a little time:

“When I first heard everything we had to do for privacy compliance, I was really shocked. The team were also apprehensive – but in the end, we were pleasantly surprised. DataGuard had a process-driven approach that got our Marketing, HR and Finance teams through a data protection impact assessment (DPIA). It was much easier than we initially expected.”

DataGuard’s privacy experts also helped TOCA Social with privacy by design and default concepts. This was essential for getting the right consents in place for the entertainment platforms provided at TOCA Social’s venue. In addition, DataGuard helped the HR and Operations team to compliantly implement facial recognition software for staff registration.

GIVING THE ENTIRE TEAM CONFIDENCE

Scott and the team appreciated DataGuard’s step-by-step approach. The privacy experts helped the team to make changes at an easy pace, showing them a clear path to compliance. “When you first get started with privacy, it’s easy to feel lost. We didn’t know what we needed to do to cover ourselves. What DataGuard gave us is confidence.”

Another key element in getting the entire team aligned on privacy was DataGuard’s privacy platform. “Our entire team used it – HR, Finance, Marketing, Operations, Events. The Marketing team used the Privacy Policy Generator to create a compliant privacy policy – so this was all sorted and ready to go for our website launch.”

If anyone on the team raises a question, Scott feels confident to hand them to DataGuard for an answer. "Having a DPO who is an expert in our field and who understands our business really takes the pressure off. It gives us such peace of mind.”

 

COMPLIANCE IS CENTRAL TO FUTURE GROWTH 

TOCA Social’s immediate success in London means that the company will look to open more venues across the UK in the coming years. In addition, constant advances in entertainment technologies mean that TOCA Social will constantly upgrade their venues to create the best experiences possible. They are currently researching new games and the ability to show video replays.

“We’ve got big plans in the next few years, from new venues to launching the TOCA Social app. Compliance will be a key piece of the puzzle for all of this, and we’ll need DataGuard’s support to get us where we want to go.”

For TOCA Social, digitisation and providing the latest technology is key to providing a great customer experience. “Digitisation has affected so many businesses,” says Scott. “Compare airlines 20 years ago to how they operate today. Things have changed so much, and businesses need to keep up."

CARING ABOUT PRIVACY = CARING ABOUT CUSTOMERS

TOCA Social’s mission is to create a brilliant environment for people to connect and socialise. As such, customer care is paramount to the TOCA Social team – and a key part of this is taking care of their customer’s data.

“Caring about data privacy is just common courtesy. It shows that you care just as much about your customers themselves as you do about them spending money with your company. If we only cared about taking people’s data, we wouldn’t be seen as a viable, long-term business.”

For Scott, any business that cares about repeat customers should look after them on every step of the way: from the very beginning through to every future experience. TOCA Social is laser-focused on this. And although privacy compliance is not always a walk in the park, the team understands how a strong data privacy program helps to build this all-important trust.

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