The Zonal story

Zonal was established in 1979, when the McLean family identified the need for a solution to manage and control their hotel operations near Edinburgh. The solution was the first electronic-point-of-sale (EPoS) system on the market, invented by Zonal’s founder, the late Ralph McLean.

This early EPoS system was admired by legendary brewer Scottish & Newcastle who then adopted our system across their network of pubs, providing both head office and site managers access to a wealth of information.

Ralph handed the reins over to his son, Stuart, who became CEO of Zonal in 1997. Alongside his talented team, Stuart continued to grow and transform the company into what is now: the UK’s largest hospitality technology company.

We now serve more than 16,000 businesses, from small independents through to large chains such as JD Wetherspoon, Greene King, PizzaExpress, The Restaurant Group, John Lewis, Tesco and Virgin Trains.

Hospitality businesses powered by Zonal
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of the UK’s managed pub market is powered by Zonal.

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Because size isn't important

Every day we work closely with customers of all sizes to discover the unique challenges they face, the goals they want to achieve, and the opportunities available to them.

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Our award-winning technical support delivers in excess of 95% performance against our SLAs.

Our commitment to innovation

Our focus has always been on bringing cutting-edge, integrated technologies to our customers. We have remained at the forefront of technological innovation through ongoing investment in research and development and strategic acquisitions. We embrace new ideas and share a high-level of trust and openness with our customers, enabling them to be involved throughout each step of the product development process.

£9 million
Invested on Research & Development in 2019

Comtrex, a leading EPoS company, joins the Zonal Group to further strengthen our position in both the UK and the US.


Zonal acquires a majority stake in High Level Software, to further enhance our integrations and offerings within the hotel sector.


Zonal acquires liveRES, an online booking and table management company, to enable customers to receive and manage their reservations in a smarter way.


TXD Digital Marketing is acquired to enhance Zonal’s customer engagement solutions.


Zonal acquires Freshnet, an online ordering and purchase-to-pay provider.

While technology changes, our values stay true

What mattered to us then is still important now: caring for the people who work with us; providing outstanding service to our customers; working together for the common good; and constant innovation. It is an intrinsic part of our DNA.

The long-term vision and family values that are demonstrated daily in our organisation make Zonal an outstanding place to work and a partner for life with our customers. We have built these values around 6 pillars: Teamwork, Innovation, Passion, and Professionalism, Accountability and Customer obsessed. We don’t just play lip-service to these traits, but live them every day in the decisions that are made throughout the company, from the exec team through to the shop floor.

The Zonal leadership team

Stuart McLean

Stuart McLean

Chief Executive Officer

Joel Chapman

Joel Chapman

Chief Customer Officer

Jon Woodforth

Jon Woodforth

Chief Technology Officer

James Taylor

James Taylor

Chief Financial Officer

Olivia Fitzgerald

Olivia Fitzgerald

Chief Sales and Marketing Officer

Richard Hammond

Richard Hammond

CEO, Zonal Hospitality Systems Inc (USA)

Rhys Swinburn

Rhys Swinburn

Managing Director - HLS

Howard McLean

Howard McLean

Special Projects Director

James McLean

James McLean

Property Director

Robin McLean

Robin McLean

Giving back to the community

Zonal has a long tradition of giving back to charitable causes. In the last few years our teams have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, run The London Marathon and taken on the Great Wall of China challenge – all in the name of good causes! In January 2021, we started our journey with Only A Pavement Away and are set to launch the first Winter Warmth campaign in Scotland to support rough sleepers across the country.

In addition to our own initiatives, through our integration with the digital charity box Pennies and our partnership with Pub Aid, we are also actively involved in facilitating and promoting the great work the hospitality industry does in raising huge amounts for Charities the length and breadth of the U.K.


Zonal has been providing technology solutions to the hospitality sector for more than 40 years and is recognised every year for its contribution to the sector by leading industry associations.

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