Crepeaffaire’s story began in 2004, when the first family-owned Crêpeaffaire opened in London. Ever since then, they’ve been pioneering the creperie cafe movement from Brighton to Newcastle, and Netherlands to Kuwait!
We caught up with Crepeaffaire’s Founder, Daniel Spinath and Richard Gilliatt, Digital Brand Manager to get an insight into how things have changed since running their digital ordering, EPOS, kitchen management and third-party delivery platforms with Vita Mojo.
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Long before the pandemic, Crepeaffaire were driving towards digital ordering with the goal of giving their digital savvy guests a speedier and more modern experience. They were looking for a system that made the ordering experience branded, slicker for the customer and one that would help drive ATV. Finding a way to stay in touch with guests and offer loyalty incentives to encourage repeat visits was another key factor in their drive towards tech.
COVID forced Crepeaffaire to accelerate this whole process, and they had to move to a digital system ASAP. They created a tech stack that consisted of separate providers for POS, online ordering and delivery integrations, which quickly became time-consuming and difficult to manage:
“These fragmented integrations meant that there were multiple touch points which complicated diagnostics.” – Ric
The use of multiple platforms meant that changing and updating menus was a laborious task. Updates needed to be made several times, across multiple platforms:
“We used to work through the night to make menu updates because there was no way to update everything in a simple way during trading hours. We would have to wait until the last store was closed, update every menu, store by store with new pricing or amends and then push everything out to our different platforms.” – Ric
The other issue? Crepeaffaire’s agile and fast-moving team were being held back by the lack of speed of their tech stack:
“We couldn’t react quickly with new deals or promotions to fit trends in the market. If we wanted to do something new we’d have to plan it way in advance, which just isn’t fit for purpose for a fast-moving hospitality business.” – Daniel
The one platform solution
The Vita Mojo Operating System offered Crepeaffaire a solution that combined digital ordering, EPOS, kitchen management and third-party delivery platforms in a single platform.
“Initially, it was difficult for us to visualise how all the fragmented parts could work together in one place. When you’ve been working with multiple systems for so long it’s hard to believe that one system could do it all.” Ric
Bridging the gap between an existing tech stack and a one-stop platform can be a daunting process. But with hands-on support from Vita Mojo in moving over and integrating systems, Crepeaffaire had a successful launch at the speed that suited them.
“The number of integrations we had was a little overwhelming but it really helped to know that we didn’t have to do everything at once. Vita Mojo was able to give us the support we needed to work at a pace that worked for us. We got plenty of support along the way and never felt out of our depth.” – Ric
Let the numbers do the talking
Since adopting the Vita Mojo system, Crepeaffaire has seen a double-digit increase in average transaction value. Customers using Mobile Order & Pay spend 37.2% more than they do at the till when eating-in and a whopping 89% more than when taking away. Allowing customers the time to browse their mouth-watering menu digitally without feeling rushed has allowed Crepeaffaire to free up staff time whilst also increasing ATV.
“The speed, convenience and consumer-friendliness is fantastic. We’ve even seen an increase in order sizes. It’s also helpful to have an integrated loyalty system which is clearly signposted across our digital ordering platforms and part of the customer journey.” – Daniel
Since launching with Vita Mojo, the kitchens at Crepeaffaire have seen significant transformation. Ric tells us that previously, some stores had Kitchen Display Screens while others had printed tickets, leaving them with a messy workflow. Printed tickets would sometimes get lost and the integrations to their POS meant that orders wouldn’t always come through to the KDS correctly.
“Vita Mojo’s kitchen stations have been a blessing for us. We’re able to have separate food and drink stations but still monitor them from one FOH screen. We have a much cleaner layout and calmer environment. Orders are organised clearly on the screen so we’re able to fulfil them more accurately.” – Ric
Vita Mojo’s pricing zones and scheduling features let Crepeaffaire alter pricing between different store regions, put new meal deals or bundles together for delivery. The best part: they can set them live across all channels in the click of a button!
“It’s a much more responsive experience. We get everything planned and set up in the system once and then can schedule it to go live whenever and wherever we want it to.” – Ric
The value of customer experience
Crepeaffaire have heard first-hand from their customers that they still find human interaction important and don’t want to just be ‘a number on a screen’.
“It’s really important for us to find the perfect balance between the two and keep our customers’ experience and friendly service at the forefront of what we do. Crepeaffaire is a lifestyle concept and we want to give our guests a great experience.” – Daniel
To cater to Crepeaffaire’s wide customer base, the solution to finding this balance has been to keep up the host function and communicate the choice customers have between digital or traditional ordering at both the door and the table.
“We don’t want to just be highly automated. Our tech is there to improve our guest experience and make it as convenient and comfortable as possible. We’re high-tech, but will still always be high-touch.” – Daniel
Since launching with Vita Mojo, Crepeaffaire have seen a good number of customers embracing tech, with around 25% of customers spontaneously using digital ordering channels. For customers opting to use digital ordering channels, Crepeaffaire focused on making the order and payment process as easy and painless as possible. Touches like offering guest checkout rather than a longer login process had big impacts on customer satisfaction.
Navigating the ever-changing landscape
As the hospitality industry battles challenges like the cost of living crisis and the labour shortage, Crepeaffaire’s early drive towards digital ordering has helped them better cope during this time. Even staff training has become a much simpler task. Having one provider means there are fewer moving parts and the simple and intuitive interface means the team can get up and running in no time.
“We’ve really struggled with labour and staffing recently but kiosks have been great for stores hit with labour shortages. If we didn’t have digital ordering during this time, I think it would have been harder to cope.” – Ric
Crepeaffaire’s digital transformation has made a world of change to their operations but their digital journey is far from over. Their newly launched concept, Crepe & Roll targets a younger audience and focuses on grab and go coffee, crepe rolls, ice creams and shakes.
“Its small footprint and fast turnaround means tech will play a much larger role in these sites. Up to 80% of orders are expected to come through digital platforms. We’re excited to be on this journey and see where tech can take us!” – Daniel
A platform that performs
Now, for any operators out there thinking about taking the big leap and moving to one platform for their restaurant tech, just take it from Ric…
“It was terrifying but it’s a no-brainer. Initially, it was difficult for us to visualise how all the fragmented parts could work together in one place. When you’ve been working with multiple systems for so long it’s hard to believe that one system could do it all.”
The kind words about Vita Mojo don’t stop there! Here’s a few more that have got us blushing:
“The Vita Mojo team is fantastic! We are a small business and with other providers, we sometimes found it difficult to get a response when we raised issues.
The team is always extremely responsive and supportive. We’ve been able to change a lot of things alongside them. When we’ve voiced that there’s a feature that we feel we need, they take it on board and make it happen for us which is incredible.” – Ric