The Strategic Layers Behind A Successful Mille Crêpe Boutique

 Photo Credits: Lady M

Photo Credits: Lady M

If you have ever been to any Lady M outlets, you have probably seen how intense it is at the cake-cutting counter. The employees are often seen deep in concentration, slicing the cakes with much precision and speed in order to cater to the many waiting customers. 

Efficiency as a value

Lady M presents itself on a totally different level from competitor bakeries with its class, brand appeal as well as top notch service. Furthermore, as shared by Hideyuki Niwa in a 2005 interview with The New York Times, Lady M has the perfect 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 are 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 lesser time. Which is quite a sought after skill to have in the bakery and pastry industry. Especially when its with regards to efficiency. Today, Lady M is definitely successful in terms of her branding inside out. Internally – the quality, taste and texture of her cakes are highly appreciated and frequently raved about; externally – her iconic logo and award winning storefront design has allowed the boutique to stand out from among her competitors.

Expanding in Asia

 Photo Credits: Lady M Westgate,  DanielFoodDiary

Photo Credits: Lady M Westgate, DanielFoodDiary

After garnering loyal fans across the States, Lady M then proceeded set her sights on two very prosperous 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. This display has further given rise to its classy brand identity. 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 style pastries.

Online Orders Management Woes

Lady M's employees has consistently strived to provide an impeccable store experience even when faced with a huge volume of walk-in traffic alongside the need to handle the constant influx of cake orders. This led to worries that such a process might get a little too overwhelming for the employees in the long run. Which was why iPads were adopted to document cake orders, as part of an attempt to make in-store operations more efficient.

Besides that, in a bid to grow the business beyond physical stores, Lady M began offering online delivery services to cater to consumers wanting to order online. As such, they turned to utilizing their official website as a platform to do so, only to realize the many challenges that came with it. Especially with the backend, for which the collation of orders proved to be a tall task. Built and customized by website developers, there were many limitations to Lady M's orders management. Even the simplest task of setting a date and time for pick up/delivery was a challenge. 

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 with something that was still a work-in-progress…

Picking the right technology

 Sample of Backend Analytics on Oddle online ordering 

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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