Innovation Heroes: inspiring ideas from two ambitious food & beverage businesses

German fast-casual restaurant Beets & Roots and well-known Dutch café chain Bagels & Beans share how payments are helping them boost their business

In his influential 1985 article The Discipline of Innovation, the famed management consultant Peter F. Druker stated that “Innovation is the specific function of entrepreneurship…..It is the means by which an entrepreneur either creates new wealth-producing resources or endows existing resources with enhanced potential for creating wealth.” Drucker’s ideas still hold true.

For most food & beverage businesses the focus is on creating efficiencies or enhancing existing services to generate more revenue, something that a payments platform can assist with. This is even more important for ambitious local players, and we’re often brought in to support these initiatives.

In our Innovation Heroes series, we look to highlight entrepreneurial brands with big ambitions. Brands that collaborate with us to inspire their innovation, improve their payments processes, and in turn fuel their growth. We recently caught up with two in the food & beverage sector.

  • Bagels & Beans a well-known Dutch cafe chain focused on natural products and socially responsible food.
  • Beets & Roots a German fast-casual restaurant that focuses on healthy food of the highest quality.

The two have more in common than an ampersand, they’re both high growth companies thriving in an ultra competitive industry at a difficult time. Here we’ve tried to condense their learnings into three key focus areas for burgeoning food & beverage entrepreneurs.

Speed

Drucker lists seven sources of innovation in his article. These sources, he stated, “account for the great majority of all innovation opportunities”. Number one on his list is “Unexpected Occurrences”. Undoubtedly, one of the greatest unexpected occurrences of the century has been the coronavirus pandemic which has forced businesses to rapidly evolve.

When the coronavirus first landed in the Netherlands, Bagels & Beans acted fast. Realizing that takeaway would now be the preferred method for picking up their delicious bagels and salads, they quickly set up an online ordering facility on their website. On this site people can order and pay online, and then pick up their order at the time and restaurant location of their choice. This prevents people from needing to queue, improving the flow for staff and customers.

Bagels

On 7 April, the Bagels & Beans team reached out to Adyen about their takeaway website. The first orders were placed on 9 April.

The two days to go live was great, and essential during this period.

Lieke Wesselius Bagels & Beans

In fast casual cafés and restaurants, revenue is driven by efficiency in every aspect of operations, including payments. In-store this means terminals with up to date software, always ready to accept the latest payment methods, be they card or wallet based. Online, it means being able to quickly start processing payments through an out-of-the-box solution.

Lieke Wesselius from Bagels & Beans details: "The integration of the entire POS system into our cash register system was very quick and easy overall. The process of the entire POS introduction corresponded to the experience we had with the introduction of online payments. With Adyen, we had one of the smoothest rollouts when it comes to payments."

Placing customers first

In densely populated cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, and Amsterdam, competition in the food & beverage sector is intense, so any slight advantage you can gain in delivering customer happiness over a competitor is welcome. One way to achieve this is ensure that every interaction is optimized, be it the greeting they receive at the counter or in your app.

Two of the key takeaways from recent research on quick-service restaurants (QSRs) gave indicators to the modern diners’ preference:

  • More than 60% said the ability to pay for products or services through a messaging app would increase their likelihood to make purchases.
  • A good loyalty program with rewards was identified as by far the biggest reason given to keep coming back to one QSR versus another.
Beets & Roots bowl

For us, every aspect is about how customers interact with us. We want to give them the freedom to pay however they want. The same goes for online, where we want buyers to choose how they want to order or which payment method they want to use.

Max Kochen Beets & Roots

Adopting a unified commerce model can help you make every customer interaction count. A unified commerce solution is one that consolidates your sales channels, online, in-app, or in store, meaning all of your customer data and sales information is available via one interface.

For your customer this has two big advantages. By tying their loyalty to their preferred payment method, they can collect points, or get that sixth latte free without having to plunder their bag for their illusive loyalty card in the process. It also opens up a plethora of convenient ordering options such as paying via a kiosk, or ordering in-app and collecting in store.

We want to make the experience as smooth as possible, regardless of whether customers are on our website or come to our restaurants.

Max Kochen Beets & Roots

For you, the advantages from both a practical and strategic point of view are immense. With a unified platform and in-depth customer data you can:

  • Get to know the customer behind each payment. Connect transactions to individuals and build a deeper understanding of their behavior.
  • Track your performance across channels and regions and make informed business decisions such as where to open your next store.
  • Compare the value of online orders versus those made in store.

Lean on partners

“New Knowledge” is the seventh and final item of Drucker’s sources of innovation. It concerns the speed at which entrepreneurs are able to implement the latest innovations in their field. For both Bagels & Beans and Beets & Roots, working with a trusted partner on their payments set up is something they’ve both been able to cultivate by outsourcing the responsibility of their payments to a trusted partner. Both have teams that are more adept at running food & beverage business, than on optimizing payments processes.

We have a small team of 16 people, with whom we can easily set things up. We also make use of external parties where possible. Sometimes you just have to leave things to people who are good at it. You don't always have to solve everything yourself.

Lieke Wesselius Bagels & Beans

Working with us has allowed them both to free up more time to dedicate to areas of the business that they can influence most, while we take care of their payments.

“We want to keep developing and that often depends on speed. Adyen's support system helps us enormously and thanks to the fast processing of our questions, our development processes are never slowed down. Compared to other providers, Adyen's service is a great unique selling point and perfectly supports us in our agile development style.” Max Kochen CEO, Beets & Roots

The agility afforded to them by having a knowledgeable payments partner is a particular advantage in our current uncertain times. Rather than deploying resources on managing their payments systems, both of these Innovation Heroes benefit from having an agile payment solution that allows them to grow their business at speed without administrative and technical complexities.

And the same holds true for you, if you think your food & beverage business would benefit from working with a partner that can help them be quicker, more efficient, and assist in placing your customer at the heart of everything you do then get in touch.

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