Farmers Fayre bolster business growth by adopting app4 mobile ordering and payment solution

Based at the National Agricultural Exhibition Centre in Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, Farmers Fayre is a unique business combining a restaurant, event catering, farm shop, meeting rooms and online shop, all from one site. It is run by husband and wife, Michael and Nicola Reece, and their team of 52 people, who cater for some 350,000 customers every year.

COVID Impact

In 2020, the initial impact of COVID hit Farmers Fayre hard with the complete shutdown of the restaurant and events industry. However, due to their location at the National Agricultural Centre, and well-established supply chain, they realised they could quickly turn their facilities into a warehouse and began offering a click and collect shopping service to the local community. This service was initially managed via a spreadsheet,  before investing in the development of a new click and collect website.

With the subsequent re-opening of the food side of the business – taking pre-orders for freshly prepared meals ready for collection, Nicola  realised they needed a more sophisticated technical solution to help support the expansion of both revenue streams. She began researching online ordering apps that could help support order intake. This research would eventually lead them to App4.

The world begins to open up again.

Having adopted an initial, but restricted online ordering app, to support the click and collect services, the re-opening of events meant that Farmers Fayre needed something more sophisticated that was capable of handling pre-ordering for collection as well as table ordering, all from one user interface, and integrating with their existing website.

By now event goers, and their regular customers, were much more tech savvy and open to using such systems. Some diners wanted to pre-order lunch to takeaway, and others wanted to sit in but needed to remain at their tables.

It was important for Farmers Fayre to find an app that could cover both requirements so the App4 system was introduced. This offered a bespoke branded front-end online ordering system with automatic ticket printing directly to the kitchen.  Diners were encouraged to order via the app from their tables, which could be downloaded via a QR code.

This meant that Farmers Fayre could:

  • Manage queues better, thereby reducing waiting times, and increasing the number of covers.
  • Improve order delivery performance – Reduced order intake errors meant that fewer orders were late or missed. Multiple printers in and around the restaurant meant that orders could be processed quickly.
  • Integrate the app with the company’s own website for a seamless online ordering experience, providing their different customer groups with  a consistent and simple ordering  process across all key touch points.
  • Undertake targeted marketing campaigns to increase customer loyalty and drive sales. Farmers Fayre have increased their database from 3,000 to 10,000 active customers since using App4. It helps them to understand customer behaviour better, identifying those regular clients and their buying habits from the less frequent visitors who may only attend one or two events per year. They have now introduced a customer loyalty scheme and connected App4 with their preferred email marketing system.

Plans for the future.

Farmers Fayre continue to use the mobile app in their restaurant for inside and outside seating and find that customers are happy to continue using it as their behaviour has changed. The total number of users has doubled since App4 was initially introduced.

The company also caters for outside events on location and uses the App4 system for those too, making use of their mobile printers.

Working with App4, the Farmers Fayre website has also been adapted to include a direct link to the online ordering app.

Future plans include the addition of a meeting room booking facility which will be linked to the App4 system, allowing delegates to pre-order their refreshments and lunch when booking a meeting room via the website, and the introduction of App4 self-service ordering kiosks in the restaurant.

Says Nicola, “Everything is possible with the App4 solution. Our business is quite unique with a real mix of different customer types across our main areas of restaurant, shop and hospitality. It is a dream for us to be able to find an app that caters for all of our needs so well.” “The team at App4 have been a pleasure to work with over the last two years. They are attentive, really understand our business and have a super can-do attitude. They have pretty much thought of everything when developing their online ordering system and we couldn’t be happier. “