- SOS Soirée: How the Independent Brand Integrated with HubRise in Complete Autonomy
Who better than our technical partners to talk to you about integration? We turn to Théo Vandemeulebroucke, CEO and co-founder of SOS Soirée, who has just completed his integration with HubRise, in almost complete autonomy.
With the help of our open and public API, his computing skills, and our technical documentation, he swapped his CEO hat for that of a developer. Here's a look back at his experience.**
Founded in 2011 by three friends studying computer science, SOS Soirée has become a major player in aperitifs and spirits delivery in the areas of Annecy and Tignes, two French cities.
And if this "aperitif-focused Dark Kitchen" quickly won over the hearts of Annecy partygoers, it wasn't just due to its innovative concept (remember that in 2011, Uber Eats and Deliveroo did not yet exist); it's also thanks to the quality of its delivery service supported by a dedicated fleet, as well as the co-founders' background in computer science wisely used to create their own tools: an EPOS and an online ordering website.
Thanks to this same know-how Théo Vandemeulebroucke - the sole member of the trio to continue the adventure - has successfully integrated with HubRise, in almost total autonomy. Interview.
Several years ago, we made the decision to work with Uber Eats and Deliveroo. Each of them provided us with a tablet on which we receive orders. Back then, it worked fine for us.
However, in recent years, we've seen a significant increase in sales, which became a real problem: our drivers, needing to access these orders on their smartphones, forced us to manually re-enter them into our system, which is time-consuming and subject to a considerable risk of human error. The goal was to centralize all orders in one location by connecting our EPOS to these platforms.
We reached out to Uber Eats and Deliveroo, but neither was willing to open their APIs and integration tools, a service they reserve for large accounts only. We had to seek an alternative solution to create this link.
During my market research, I identified two companies: Deliverect and HubRise; after discussions with each, I quickly made my decision, and not just on cost. HubRise's approach immediately appealed to me: it's a French company founded by a computer engineer, which has remained small enough to be attentive and flexible. From the very start, I could tell that we were going to understand each other quickly and communicate effectively.
It went very well! Their documentation is clear and well written. I needed very little interaction with the team throughout the process. I won't say it was easy, as it involved transforming an order from one specific format - the HubRise format - to another specific format - the SOS Soirée format-, but in the end, the process was smooth and I encountered few obstacles.
HubRise has a well-thought-out and well-structured process: we can use their tools to push test order, and before going live, there's an audit phase, which I completed with one of their engineers - a very attentive and extremely sharp person.
From account creation to going live, it took a year, but I wasn't working on it full time! Summing up the actual time spent and considering it in man-days, I'd say it was about two weeks, excluding some back-and-forth for bug fixing. So, in the end, it was quite fast.
For now, only Uber Eats and Deliveroo, but it's exciting to know that with this integration, we can connect to many other solutions if we want to. In the end, the fact that these two platforms didn't open their APIs to us turned out to be a blessing in disguise, and we definitely came out ahead!
To start with, time-saving, a very tangible benefit we observed right from the start of our integration! Before, it took 2 to 3 minutes to manually re-enter each order, so over a night's work, the difference was immediately noticeable!
We also increased productivity: the time saved from not having to enter orders manually is time we can reallocate to more constructive, meaningful and profitable tasks.
By eliminating tablets that ring every time a new order arrives, we have also gained in comfort and workspace.
I am also convinced that in the long run, our accounting will be facilitated. Manual entry inevitably leads to errors, and we sometimes see discrepancies between what we charge and what the platforms pay us at week's end. By eliminating these sources of error, we will also eliminate these discrepancies.
At the end of the day, it's our client who benefits from it. All the time saved on order entry is time gained on preparation and delivery. By reducing the risk of errors, customers can be sure they will receive exactly what they ordered, which helps improve client satisfaction and long-term loyalty.
What advice would you give to those who are considering integrating with HubRise and, like you, would consider doing the integration themselves?
It all depends on the person's technical background. REST APIs are quite standard in computing, so, if you have experience integrating such systems and follow the documentation provided by HubRise, the process is straightforward. For those not familiar with REST API concepts, I would recommend taking time to become acquainted with them before getting started.
I would also advise reaching out to HubRise support without hesitation. The team is responsive and helpful, and you will benefit from a single point of contact throughout the process. This facilitates communication and simplifies things, as you're dealing with someone who understands your project and knows exactly what you are trying to achieve.