Powered by morning customers, Aro Cafe runs on breakfasts and coffees. Over the decades it’s become the ‘dining room’ of Wellington’s Aro Valley.
For Sous Chef Aakash, the most rewarding part of his job is dreaming up new dishes to keep its menu fresh for Aro’s loyal customers. But before jumping on board with Upstock, finding new suppliers was a constant struggle.
“Before Upstock, you'd have to go out and spend time searching for suppliers, or spend time meeting reps, or get a product list, which they may or may not be ready to give you.”
Now when inspiration strikes Aakash, he just picks up his mobile and easily finds what he needs, choosing from over sixty thousand food and bev products in the app. And he does it at his own pace – no sales pressure, no paperwork and sales patter interrupting his creative flow.
“Upstock makes it so much easier if you want to discover new suppliers or try out a new product. I can now easily check my current inventory to see what I already have and search the app for what’s new or what interests me.”
Aakash says none of the other hospitality apps he’s tried have such a huge number of suppliers listed. Having so much choice and everything in one place makes finding and choosing from suppliers so much quicker and easier.
“Upstock is the only app I’ve used which has so many suppliers that restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels use. It’s got that breadth of coverage – the number of companies you can get in touch with or look at what they have available through Upstock – I don’t know of any other app that has that kind of reach.”
Aakash originally switched to Upstock to save time on his daily round of 10 to 15 phone calls to various suppliers, leaving voicemails that may never be heard or where his accent was often misinterpreted, causing ordering errors. Now all that’s behind him – all his orders and every supplier and product he needs are just a click away in the Upstock app.
“Upstock’s so fast and simple - two click for eggs, two clicks for veg, two clicks for dairy and I’m done with my ordering.”
More from our chat with Aakash:
Describe your business and your brand
We are a daytime cafe and we specialise in breakfast, brunch, and good coffee. If we don't have good coffee, and we don't have a good breakfast, people aren't going to come. It's very, very locality-based because it's in a city-suburb. So the most influential customers for us are actually the local people who've been coming for 10 to 15 years, every single day. You see their faces all the time. And those are the people who keep the cafe running. It's a very old cafe and locals love it because it’s consistent and comforting.
How would you describe your customers?
We’re in an inner-city suburb so there are a lot of walkers and bikers. A lot of Uni kids and a lot of retired people around the area who come regularly. We definitely don’t see too many businessmen or people in suits with cars.
What are your key responsibilities?
Everything from opening the cafe, to ordering to making sure the kitchen runs smoothly. My primary responsibility is making sure everything, from food costing, to planning out specials, and ensuring quality of what goes out goes. Basically the role of a head chef, but there's two chefs. So it's both of us playing a similar role. Except I'm more in touch with our suppliers and customers.
What are the top 3 biggest benefits of using Upstock?
I think the top three benefits would probably be the ease and convenience of having all of your suppliers easily accessible from one app. The Upstock interface is very simple, which makes it easy to understand even if you're a first time user. And also Upstock is always there; if there is something you need, they will give you a hand immediately. It feels like a very personalised service.
Have there been any unexpected benefits?
Definitely the big thing about Upstock is customer service. If we've ever had a problem, somebody's always come up and addressed it. Upstock asked me about my ideas for improvements and what they can do better, and I'm like, this or that and they’ve done it. I don’t have to go through the entire machinery of a big organisation. I know I can just reach out and somebody will be able to get an answer straight away.