Looking back on the Trail — 2019

Joe Cripps
Mar 2021
3 min read

5 years ago, we set out to change the way hospitality businesses are run. Our birthday was an opportunity to reflect, revisit our values and mark our coming of age with a new brand.

There are a lot of problems in hospitality & leisure, now more than ever.

But we believe in doing one thing well. And one day, a pub manager said:

“I just need to know everything’s done”

It sounds so small. So obvious. But fix this one thing and it all falls into place.

And from that stems real, tangible business value. Overheads go down with more efficient & productive staff. The business has all the evidence it needs to be legally protected. And revenue goes up with consistent brand standards.

Which leads us to our new brand...

A rebrand had to be more than just a new lick of paint - it needed to communicate what we've learnt.

Our first logo — the trusty T in a box — was created by Spin, in the early days of Trail. It served us well, but we’ve come a long way since then.

We won't bore you with the design decisions behind every detail, but we did put some thought into how our visual identity should reflect what we do...

Trail is all about moving forward

  1. Guidance: Trail is a complete guide to running the business
  2. Progress: This is a whole new way of doing things, changing the way businesses work

What we want to communicate

  • It's a whole new way of doing things
  • It's incredibly simple to use.
  • There are real people behind it who care about what we're doing.

It's no accident that the new logo is incredibly simple - it's because that's what Trail is at heart. Bold, simple, the upward arrows a nod to moving things forward and increasing productivity.

The website was first up to be whipped into our new Trail shape. A super simple, clear experience for all.

Press ads quickly followed. Mostly white space, a breath of fresh air amongst the clutter and noise. Finally space to stop, take a step back and get some clarity.

The same consistent message applies to everything we do. From business cards to events, we make sure we stand out from the sea of slick but generic stands.

And then there's the swag!

Opening the doors to all 🤗

Traditionally we’ve focused our efforts on mid market and enterprise customers, but as the product matures we’ve been able to open Trail up to all sizes of customer.

Smaller businesses can now use Trail to help run their growing operations. It's important to support the new wave of hospitality business as well as the established brands. 

New types of customer help us understand the needs of the industry and how Trail can help solve their problems.

Shipping new features 🏎️

2019 was a mixture of supporting our larger customers with enterprise grade features as well as improving the experience for teams completing tasks on the Trail.

Head over to our new release log for a full look.

Site Access

Admins and Managers can now easily and quickly assign users to sites.

Change your own business hours

Shape Trail around the way your business operates.

New Navigation

Make it easier to plan, do and review.

Inline comments & faster photo upload

We massively reduced the steps to take and upload a photo by moving comments onto the task and providing a camera button to shortcut the process.

4. Trail Tripping ✈️

We’re proud to be a remote-first company, we trust our team and empower them to deliver great work with the freedom to choose where, when and how they do it.

But bringing everyone together for some face to face time is always invaluable.


This summer saw us return to our chateaux in Toulouse. We covered focused on improving new customer onboarding and the Customer Success process.


In the past 6 months we’ve grown the team and it felt like a great opportunity to align everyone on our culture and values. 

And finally...

It's been another whirlwind of a year at Trail. We've moved quickly, taking great leaps forward and faced new and exciting challenges.

These are the things that have kept us moving in the right direction:

  • Continually seeking a deeper understanding of our customers core problems and building a product that solves them
  • Taking time for a little introspection. Reflecting on what we've learnt and the huge amount we've achieved over the last 5 years.
  • Renewing our values as a team to foster a strong culture and focus ourselves ready to take on the next 5 years
  • Striving to be ahead of the curve, continually raising the bar above the competition and pushing ourselves forward

Here’s to the next 5 years 🚀

What customers are saying

"It’s the app I can’t live without in my working day."
Beth Cole
Assistant General Manager
"Trail is making it easier for our teams to ensure our food and safety practices are upheld."
– Trail is making it easier for them to ensure our food and safety practices are upheld."
Tracey Colbert
Risk & Compliance Director
"Our teams love it, it gives our managers of all levels absolute clarity on what they need to achieve every day."
James Brown
Operations Director
"Trail was so easy to set up and the pubs love it"
Simon Swann
Regional Manger
"We turned our Costa Checks and various compliance forms into regular tasks on Trail, which has contributed to some of the best scores we have had."
Delroy Daniels
Operations Director
"Trail has given us realtime insight into every facility across our estate, so we can react to maintenance issues before they become large."
Scott Vernon
Chief Financial Officer

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