- 911 Delicious Company: How HubRise Helped The Franchise Through Its Digital Mutation
How did 911 Pizza become 911 Delicious Company, and how did this franchise network achieve its digital, IT, and technological mutation with the help of HubRise?
Abderrahim Baka, head of marketing and technology within the 911 Delicious Company network, delves into the steps and challenges of their transformative journey, which he fondly described as a "revolution". This change is already beneficial for him and his team today and promises a robust environment for upcoming franchisees.
911 Pizza is an independent chain of restaurants focused on burgers and pizza. It has four establishments, two in the hyper-center of Dijon and two in the outskirts, in Talant and Chenôve.
Azim Karym, Nasser Baka, and Abderrahim Baka are the co-founders. Although all three are from the Bourguignon region of France, they found their inspiration in New York: from the interior design to the branding and even the dish names, every aspect of 911 Pizza evokes this city for which they share a passion. At 911 Pizza, customers come not only for the artisanal pizzas or the burgers made with fresh ingredients but also to experience, to travel, and to escape in the urban, popular, and cosmopolitan world these three entrepreneurs have imagined.
Today, the brand is entering a new phase in its evolution. Indeed, within a few weeks, the four restaurants will transition from '911 Pizza' to '911 Delicious Company,' the new name selected by the three entrepreneurs to spearhead their franchise network. While the vision for franchising was there from day one, it wasn't until October 2019, twelve years after launching their first establishment in Talant, that they actively pursued this ambition.
This is when Abderrahim Baka officially joined the business venture with his brother and their childhood friend. As a digital enthusiast, Abderrahim had already been influential in molding the 911 Pizza brand, offering his expertise as an advisor and consultant. When Nasser and Aziz opened their first restaurant in 2007, Abderrahim was pursuing a solo career in the communications sphere but developped in parallel the brand's visual identity. In 2016, he joined Smart Traffik and helped major clients such as Bouygues Telecom, Axa, and Armani enhance their omnichannel strategies. Over 11 years, his expertise in marketing and digital arenas paralleled Nasser and Aziz's refinement of the original 911 Pizza brand, which matured and evolved to become the successful 911 Pizza concept we know today.
By the end of 2019, joined forces to move forward with the franchise project and co-founded 911 Delicious Company.
With his experiences, career path, and affinity for digital aspects of a business, Abderrahim naturally took on the head of marketing and technology manager hat. With this brand where digital takes a 'pole position'as he likes to say, there's never a shortage of projects. 911 Pizza, has always been a connected brand, present on multiple channels.
- Sit-in orders or orders at the counter, takeaway, or delivery, with its own dedicated fleet of delivery drivers.
- An online ordering website and dedicated ordering app.
- Self ordering kiosks on site.
- A srong presence in all major food ordering and delivery platforms.
- A dedicated phone reservation line for each location.
- The brand was also about to launch a table ordering solution with QR code as well as a drive-through service for certain locations.
"While these tools make life easier for customers, they also complicate matters for us. Customers and orders come from everywhere: from the kiosk, the mobile app, face to face, from food ordering platforms, from the website, and soon also from the table-ordering app and drive-through. Can you imagine the number of ordering channels? If nothing is connected, if you don't have an integrated computer system that consolidates, gathers, organises, and displays products to be prepared in a clear and simple way, it quickly becomes a nightmare in the kitchen!"
Abderrahim immediately identifies major pain points and the project to prioritise was clearly integration. Thanks to his experience at Smart Traffik, he knows that setting up an integrated computer system facilitates the team's work and provides a significant competitive advantage.
"When I joined in 2019, 911 Pizza had a lot sorted out already, like our processes, sourcing, and logistics. But what we were really missing was a tech setup that pulled everything together. You know, something to make things run smoother in the kitchen, streamline our deliveries, manage stock better, and get all our orders popping up on one screen. Back then, we had separate tablets for Uber Eats, for Deliveroo, for our own white label ordering website and our EPOS. We had to juggle all that manually, it was a nightmare, honestly!"
Although he is aware of having "a mountain to climb," he also knows that it must be climbed as soon as possible.
"I've seen my fair share of changes along the way, and I know they can end up costing an arm and a leg... It's not the same thing to change an EPOS or an online ordering solution when you have 4 restaurants or when you have 50. I wanted to act quickly and spare our teams and future franchisees that headache. The sooner we started our digital transformation, the sooner we would have a stable system to move on from where we are to where we wanted to be. Getting that sorted was on the very top of my list!".
The first step was to find an online ordering solution tailored to the brand's needs. After extensive research and some unsuccessful tests, Abderrahim discovers LivePepper.
"We first tested it on one restaurant. I was amased by the front office stability and ergonomics of the solution. Even in its standard version, the conversion rate was very good, it was stable, and it worked. So, we decided to roll out LivePepper across all our restaurants."
The next step was to change the EPOS, a crucial piece for any restaurant or retail. Abderrahim turned towards T.A.L.C, an IT consulting agency that developed an EPOS taylored to the needs of restaurants, with its own Delivery Management System.
Once equipped with a reliable and robust online ordering solution, and EPOS, the next step was to integrate these solutions. This is when Abderrahim called HubRise.
"HubRise acts as middleware, a discreet pass-through system that gets the job done in the background. It's not a front-facing interface that we show to restaurant managers – unlike the EPOS, for example – but it does save them a lot of time every day. A major task for Aziz, Nasser, and myself in recent months has been to train our managers for them to become more autonomous, allowing us to step back from the day-to-day operational management of the restaurants. HubRise has been a tremendous aid in this respect too."
For a monthly subscription of €25 per month and per location, 911 Pizza now enjoys streamlined integrations with the entire HubRise ecosystem, which currently includes nearly 100 applications and continues to grow every month.
"In addition to the EPOS, kiosks, our own branded online ordering website, and app, we use a bunch of other third-party solutions. These help us manage our delivery drivers,offer home delivery with Uber Eats and Deliveroo, keep track and synch inventory, build customer loyalty, push newsletter and SMS via MailChimp. Today, all these tools are either connected or getting integrated with HubRise."
Although the project initiated by Abderrahim nearly two years ago isn't fully complete, the four restaurants—soon to be rebranded as 911 Delicious Company—are already enjoying tangible benefits from it.
"Today, orders continue to come from everywhere, but the difference is that they all land in our EPOS, on a single screen. Thanks to HubRise, we benefit from a computer system that consolidates, gathers, organises, and displays products to be prepared in a clear and concise manner."
"The information is clearly displayed on receipts too. There are no longer any possible sources of error. We know where to place each bag depending on its destination: takeaway orders, Click & Collect, or delivery. This brings a lot of serenity on a daily basis and results in a colossal time saving!"
"When we launch a new product, in our new integrated working environment, I update our catalog once and the product is available across all channels: the EPOS for walk-in customers, the kiosk, our branded website, the app, as well as on delivery platforms like Deliveroo and Uber Eats. It also simplifies the management of recipes and ingredients for this new offering. With centralised data, the same item ref code is used across all platforms, which streamlines operations, helps with reporting, with inventory management and so on"
"Today in France, the primary avenue for improving company profitability is labour costs. If it takes twice as long to process orders, it naturally costs twice as much in labour, impacting profitability. It's essential to find ways to improve these processing times, which often involves implementing new solutions and integrating reliable software. Thanks to HubRise, we've clearly gained in efficiency, productivity, time, and therefore, profitability."
The integrated environment is invisible to clients, but they benefit from it too.
"We implement technical and technological solutions so that, in return, the end customer can enjoy a simplified and streamlined experience. In this sense, integration serves our omnichannel strategy, which aims to provide a seamless and frictionless experience no matter which solution clients decide to use to order. With an integrated system, clients can move from one contact point to another without difficulty, while always having access to their data and loyalty points."
In a few months, the independent restaurant chain 911 Pizza will give way to the 911 Delicious Company franchise network. While it's a chapter that's turning, and they readily admit that it has sometimes been a struggle, Nasser, Aziz, and Abderrahim are now ready and eager to write the next part of their story.
"We want our franchisees to rely on our experience, avoiding the time we lost in past years, so they can move forward with confidence. Today, we're confident in offering them this expertise, enthusiasm, and peace of mind."
"All this has taken a lot of work and a fair bit of time, energy, and money, but it's been absolutely worth it. Now, we're in a position to offer our future franchisees a fully integrated IT working environment that has proven to work, which delivers a strong conversion rate, and bring about more streamlined management and significant time savings every day... This really sets us apart, and we're proud to write about it and how it."
If you're looking to accelerate the digital transformation of your restaurants, or if you have a network ambition like Nasser, Aziz, and Abderrahim, then integration makes sense, and to use Abderrahim's words:
"You have to go for it!"
While a significant portion of HubRise's clientele today comes from the restaurant sector, HubRise is designed to meet the needs of a broader range of merchants and software publishers, regardless of their industry.
By facilitating technical integrations between disparate software solutions, HubRise brings you peace of mind, productivity, and profitability.
By facilitating the integration of your products into your clients working IT environment, HubRise allows you to better focus on your core business. Effortlessly, you give them the flexibility to choose the app combinations they want, an option that was not available to them before.
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