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Spice Nights

WooCommerce website & remote printing integration

The Challenge

Spice Nights is an Indian takeaway based in Horsham, West Sussex. They have a good local client base and were crowned the County Times Takeaway of the Year.

Spice Nights were selling online through services such as Just Eat & Hungry House. They wanted to gain control of their customer data and also avoid the commission they had to pay on every sale to these services. They found that a lot of their loyal customers were ordering through these services rather than calling up as they used to do in the past. This meant that they were paying a commission on every sale even though these were existing or repeat customers.

They also didn’t have easy access to all their customer data so they couldn’t market to their customers directly. They wanted more control over this whole process and commissioned us to design, build and maintain a WordPress/WooCommerce website for them. They also wanted to define their opening hours and to notify the customer when the takeaway was closed. Customers had to be able to specify their delivery & collection times. Delivery had to be restricted to certain postcode areas and also to a minimum order amount.

The takeaway gets very busy and they do not have time to use the admin panel or refer to order emails to process orders. The order had to be printed out in the takeaway automatically where they could accept/reject the order, and specify whether they accepted the requested delivery/collection time or if they wanted to specify it themselves.

Our Solution

We created a very simple and easy to use home page which displayed all the menu items in category order. Customers can easily scroll to their chosen category by clicking on the floating category selector. They can easily add items to the basket by clicking on the + icon. To add a quantity of more than one, they simply click on the + button again.

Spice Nights make changes to their menu and pricing from the intuitive admin panel and changes are reflected on the website immediately. They can add options to products if they wish, or just have simple products. They can change the display order of the products and categories too. They are able to create discount codes and promote them in the sidebar. They can also add other relevant information such as opening times and delivery areas into the sidebar.

When the takeaway is closed, a prominent bar is shown across the site to advise the customers of this. Customers can still place an order, but the delivery/collection time is automatically set as the next opening time plus X minutes (whatever Spice Nights set their standard delivery and collections as). Customers can also select ASAP as their desired delivery/collection time and Spice Nights see this on their receipt and then deliver as soon as they can.

To aid the checkout process, we have implemented an address auto complete feature. The customer only has to start typing in their address and they are then given suggestions to complete the address automatically. If the customer selects the order for delivery, then it is checked against the minimum order amount, and the postcode for delivery is also checked to make sure it is within the available delivery areas.

We used an Android thermal receipt printer from PrinterCo which connected to the internet via WiFi or with a SIM card. This printer uses WiFi as standard, but if there was a connectivity issue, it uses the SIM card so that any WiFi issues would not affect the ability to receive, print and process orders. We also used an MTM SIM card that could hop between carriers in case the signal from one carrier was not strong enough or was experiencing issues.

As soon as an order was placed on the website, it printed out in the takeaway automatically and played a notification ringtone. Spice Nights then used the printer to accept/reject the order, and also to set the accepted delivery/collection time. We then sent this information to the customer immediately so that they knew their order was accepted and also when the accepted delivery/collection time was.

The website started taking orders on the first day and has been busy ever since and is working really well for Spice Nights and saving them money on the commission they would have had to paid otherwise.

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