For its 20th anniversary, Degani prepares itself for a tech-driven future

In launching a new digital app, Degani aims to kickstart a new era of tech innovation for its business.

The rise of third-party aggregators and delivery platforms are showing many consumers the benefits of turning to digital platforms for fast and convenient food. The food delivery trend in Australia is booming as a result, and many QSRs are turning to these platforms, often at cost, in an effort to remain relevant.

(Also read: Food delivery now a ‘must have' for millennials and families, NPD says)

Others turn to mobile applications. Earlier this year, Melbourne-based cafe chain Degani became the latest brand to turn to mobile apps. Available on the Apple and Google Play stores, and powered by mobile ordering platform Boppl, Degani’s app comes with all the standard features a modern digital consumer would expect: a customisable menu, mobile ordering, and delivery tracking.

In an exclusive interview with QSR Media, Degani chief executive officer Darren Lane said they had two goals with the app: to make its customers happy, and to make its cafe owners happy. In other words, Degani wanted to provide a way for cafe owners offer convenient and efficient delivery services without giving them the financial strain of relying on online delivery platforms.

“To make customers happy, we need to be able to meet their changing expectations around convenience, delivery and connection with their local Degani café, without the financial burden that third party aggregators place on small businesses,” he said.

Degani is in good company. Many brands in Australia and all over the globe are launching their own mobile apps to cater to an increasingly digital market, as mobile apps are proven to be an effective way to build communication and engagement with their consumers as well as enhance in-store experience.

(Also read: Are mobile apps effective for every QSR?)

Lane believes that the mobile app can help their brand distinguish itself in the cafe scene, and achieve its goal of improving customer service and growing the business of their cafe owners.

“It’s all about making our customers lives better and helping our café owners grow their business. Degani was born out of the Melbourne café culture and embraces the individuality of every cafe. We’re not a cookie cutter business, as no two cafes have the same menu or the same design. So it was important that we create a solution that allowed us to achieve this,” he said.

Partnering with Boppl, the brand has been able to tailor a solution that can benefit its customers and its stores in unique ways. Currently, Degani operates over 60 cafes in Australia, serving more than 120,000 customers every week. The new app will allow this network access to an even broader customer base by allowing their stores to appear in the geographic searches of non-customers.

To build momentum on the app’s launch, Lane said that they are holding internal competitions for their team members to sign customers up while offering customers a $5 voucher for use on their first order. Degani customers who download the app will also be invited to participate in exclusive special offers through push notifications.

The brand will not stop there either, Lane pointed out, as Degani is making further investments into technology to assist in its operations.

“As Degani continues to grow we have looked to technology to assist in all areas of the business, from recruitment, operations, wholesale, finance and marketing,” he said.

Degani CEO Darren Lane (right) and his team. Photo: Supplied

The brand recently appointed its first Digital and Social Manager, Laura Orchard, to enhance its marketing team. In the role, Orchard is tasked with working with Degani’s business development managers, café owners and their baristas to create content that not only grows the brand, but also improves its relationships with its customers.

This builds on long-standing community programmes like its support of the Melbourne Triathlon series and its own Degani Otway Classic bike race.

“We see that our customers are our best marketers and we want to encourage and grow their voice,” Lane added.

As the brand celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, with more cafes on the way, Lane reaffirmed their commitment to continue pushing forward initiatives to adapt to the needs of the market and secure the future for its business.

“The last couple of years have been challenging times for our industry and our focus is on making sure that we are equipped to deal with change, to delight our customers and help our café owners grow,” he said. “I’m proud of the Degani team and the results they are achieving.”

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