Tradition goes beyond the plate at Cromars. Not only are the fish and chips prepared in a homemade style, owner Wendy Napthine Frame comes from a family with a history deeply embedded in the industry.
"I actually come from a fishing family in Peterhead...with uncles, great uncles and great granddads all going out on fishing boats. So as a child I was brought up with that. I guess it's kind of going home for me in a roundabout way."
Restaurant / takeaway
St Andrews, Scotland
Number of outlets
Fish and Chips
Wendy Napthine Frame
Started with Flipdish
Since 2013, the dine-in restaurant and takeaway has prided itself on serving food that is made with the best local ingredients, including fresh fish delivered daily by suppliers J K Thompson and Ivan Woods from the North Sea. Whether you prefer your fish battered, breaded or grilled, each serving sings with simplicity.
During early lockdowns, Cromars operated a phone-in collection service, which kept things going but wasn’t streamlined. A customer would phone to place their order, pay over the phone and wait for a staff member to call back when the food was ready. This was not only stressful for both customers and staff, it wasn’t the most efficient solution for the business. Unhappy with the customer experience and staff experience, Wendy needed something better.
In January 2021, Cromars began using technology powered by Flipdish to introduce online ordering systems. The objective was to streamline the order process for staff and customers alike and provide a premium service, which would in turn widen Cromars’ customer base and increase revenue.
“When Flipdish approached us, we knew that we had to do something different,” says Wendy. “It's the best thing we ever did. What a difference!”
Adapting to Flipdish technology was seamless
Flipdish solutions have far exceeded the benefits the Cromars team were aiming to achieve when first using the technology. In a 90 day period, Cromars saw a phenomenal 550% increase in order revenue, and a 600% increase in order amount. Cromars’ customer base has adapted quickly and easily to the new technology. Just a few months ago, 100% of orders were taken over the phone or in-person; today, 80% of orders come directly through their website or app, and the QR code on Cromars’ front door has been scanned over 2,000 times.
“A lot of people when they would try and order over the phone we would direct them to cromars.co.uk,” says Wendy. “We would explain to them that if they ordered there, they would receive a 10% discount to start with, and then be able to allocate a collection time.”
Cromars uses a broad range of Flipdish’s offerings: the restaurant has its own website and app powered by Flipdish, which have been integrated with the existing POS system for maximum efficiency. This is supported by QR codes that direct customers to the online ordering services.
This has in turn had a time-saving impact on the Cromars team. Online orders are automatically printed by the restaurant’s POS system as soon as the purchase is made, increasing business efficiency and reducing order time by freeing up the staff that used to take phone orders. The Flipdish data team estimates that the Cromars team has saved as much as 4,000 minutes in the last 30 days by customers ordering directly from the Cromars website and app.
Order Throttling has been especially useful
Being able to allocate a collection time for the customer when ordering or pre-ordering via the website or app has been a revelation. It has made the collection process more orderly, and crucially has enabled customers to be warmer and safer when collecting.
“Everyone's so happy with it,” gushes Wendy. “Everyone gets a time slot so nobody's having to hang around and bad weather, they know when they're coming to collect the food. So it's a very, very slick operation I must say.”
The pre-order feature has proven particularly popular with customers who visit St. Andrews to play golf. If they feel hungry half way through the course, they can seamlessly pre-order via the app and pick up a hot meal as soon as they finish.
Cromars effectively uses loyalty and marketing strategies
The fish and chip shop also began loyalty and marketing campaigns, run by the Flipdish team, to get the most out of the ordering technology. Since beginning this marketing activity, Cromars have seen a 660% return on their initial investment in the campaign, with click-through rates smashing industry averages.
The app has also been key in loyalty building. Some 30% of Cromars’ orders come through the restaurant’s own app as a significant number of the restaurant’s customers have the app downloaded and ready to use, and are kept updated through push notifications.
Flipdish’s loyalty and retention features have helped build on the returning customer base for Cromars, while still providing a significant return on investment. Customers that used loyalty vouchers ordered twelve more times compared to those who didn’t, and app users receive every tenth meal free.
Since Flipdish technology has freed up time for the Cromars team, they have been able to spend more time engaging with their customers, building up a loyal community and getting feedback on their services. So far, the team says they have only had positive comments on the online ordering system.