The Strategic Layers Behind A Successful Mille Crêpe Boutique

If you have ever been to Lady M outlets, you have probably seen how intense it is at the cake-cutting counter. The cake-cutting staff are often deep in concentration, slicing the cakes with precision and speed so as to serve the customers as soon as possible. It is a really busy place with sweet-toothed customers streaming in at almost any time of the day.

Efficiency as a value

Unlike your stereotypical bakery with lots of warmth and sugar-coating, Lady M is classy, glamourous and exact with their service and pastries. As shared by Hideyuki Niwa in a 2005 interview with The New York Times, Lady M has theperfect recipe. It is apt to say that Lady M’s cakes are a heavenly union between French and Japanese pastries, drawing the best from both worlds. Both the firmness of the cream and thickness of the crepe is perfect for the luxurious taste of their classic Mille Crêpes. Behind that perfection is an assembling time of a mere 6 minutes! More than 10 years on and now with a different owner, Ken Romaniszyn, Lady M has probably found ways to complete the cake in even less time which is precious to the efficient pastry business. Today, Lady M is definitely successful in terms of her branding inside out. Inside – the quality of cakes is often raved about; outside – her iconic logo and award-winning storefront design makes the boutique hard to miss.

Expanding in Asia

Photo Credits: Lady M Westgate, DanielFoodDiary

After garnering loyal fans across the States, Lady M then set her sights on two vibrant cities in Asia – Hong Kong and Singapore. Just like all her cake boutiques, the place is sleek with marble and glass displays. Inspired by Lady M’s very own Mille Crêpes, designer, Sam Trimble alternated white quartz with cream onyx to create a refrigerated display table that reminds one of a jewellery display case. Like diamonds and exquisite gems, the cakes win the attention of sweet-toothed ladies and guys alike. Other than the signature Mille Crêpes which come in various flavours, other signature creations have their own fans as well. Chestnut puree-based Mont Blanc is an indulgence that no nut lover can resist while the classic Strawberry Shortcake is perfected by the light vanilla sponge recipe emulating that of Japanese pastries.

Online Orders Management Woes

While the luxurious experience and especially the well-loved pastries are never compromised, with the high volume of traffic and incoming orders of cakes, store staff tended to become overwhelmed by the amount of miscellaneous work that comes along. Another thing you might have noticed is the preference for modernity and technology for her operations, such as the use of iPads to take your orders. Well, that does make in-store operations more efficient. On the other hand, for online delivery, Lady M had a beautiful site to take advance cake orders or even events on the frontend. However, on the backend, the collation of orders was a tall task. Built and customized by website developers, there were limitations to order management and even simple things like date and time of pickup/delivery to customers.

In the midst of their backend operation frustrations, Oddle approached Lady M to propose a more efficient system to boost their operations. Due to existing infrastructure for their online ordering operations, Lady M was initially reluctant to embark on yet another risky venture with online technology. Especially something that was still a work-in-progress…

Picking the right technology

Sample of Backend Analytics on Oddle online ordering

Today, Lady M is one of the biggest users of the Oddle online ordering system. In addition to using it as a platform for collecting orders from customers, Lady M also uses the system for internal ordering between the central production kitchen and their boutique outlets. No longer needing to make follow up calls and emails to customers, productivity has been improved at Lady M with automated order collation. This way, the staff get to channel more energy into serving customers.

“… customer queries regarding the order process has reduced tremendously.

— Chen Soong Fee, Marketing Manager, Lady M , Singapore

Even though Oddle was a work-in-progress, a key reason for being able to still resolve a large majority of Lady M’s needs is how it was built with the F&B industry in mind. While the F&B businesses in Singapore are still slow to catch on with online trends, it hasn’t stopped Oddle from constantly improving the online ordering system and continuously sharing it with more F&B businesses. Like all smart business owners should, finding the best tech service fit is crucial to actually benefitting from it and ridding yourself of all the frustration that can come along with engaging in an online ordering business.

Lady M continues to be efficient and productive in its operations of an international cake boutique with strategic decisions made to constantly enhance that cake boutique experience.

“The goal is to have visitors feel like they’re walking into the most serene, beautiful cake boutique where everything is delicious; one bite of cake and all worries melt away.

— Ken Romaniszyn, Lady M

This quote first appeared in an interview with Ken Romaniszyn by The New Potato.

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