Customer Stories

Embra ‘takes the risk factor out of ordering’ – with digital ordering they have full traceability and know orders will arrive reliably

“It's made for chefs. For me running the restaurant, as well as being the chef, if I can cut down on ordering and have it all in one spot, it's just ideal.”

Waiting for that order that never actually got picked up off the answering machine, orders lost in translation, bad phone lines and bad handwriting – every chef has been there and would love to never go back.

Embra is the two-hat award winning restaurant owned by chef Phill Blackburne and his wife Nora, who brought their culinary vision for challenging, yet approachable food combinations to Taupō in 2022. With years behind them working in restaurants around the world, they’ve seen every imaginable ordering error. 

“Back in the day, I'd get five sheets of paper with orders from five different chefs, and then I'd have to write my list down. It had to be legible for one, then I’d phone through the orders, maybe to an answering machine. There’s so much risk though. Will it be picked up? Has anyone read the order? Has it been saved? You know, all of these worries, I can guarantee you I've had those situations.”

Now with Upstock mistakes are rare, even on the busiest of days.

“Being able to use Upstock any time, anywhere – if I’ve forgotten something I can whip my phone out, I just add it in seconds and it's ordered. I know it's ordered and I know it's going to arrive.”

Phill recalls many a time, getting to 10am, needing to start cooking and wondering “Where’s my vege order?” And he’s heard all the excuses, “It’s running late, the phone lines were down, we never got the order”.

“The traceability and accountability with the Upstock app is really helpful. I know old-school chefs like using a phone and speaking to someone, but they should give Upstock a try because it's really taken out that risk factor. With phone orders, if it doesn’t come, they go, ‘Oh, you never ordered that.’ There's no accountability for it.”

As both chef and owner, Phill’s plate is quite full, so anything that makes his job easier, simplifies his work, saves time and eliminates all those mistakes is a valuable aid in his kitchen. 

“From a chef's point of view, it's just super easy to use, super friendly, it's not complicated at all. It's made for chefs. For me running the restaurant, as well as being the chef, if I can cut down on ordering and have it all in one spot, it's just ideal.”

More from our chat with Embra’s chef, Phill Blackburne

You opened two years ago, how has your culinary style been received so far?

I want people to come to Embra and just trust us. I want them to try foods or combinations they're not used to, just give it a go. I can almost guarantee they'll enjoy it. So far that’s working. Every night we're having return customers. We've got a guest database, and we're constantly seeing people’s first, second, third, and fourth visits, every day. It’s what you want really, it says it all!

What’s your favourite Upstock feature?

Being able to use it anywhere. I can just tap away and if something's forgotten, I can whip my phone out and add it in seconds. It's ordered and I know it's going to arrive. I’m particularly a big fan of the messaging function. It's so handy. If something's not available, I can send a message. And, I'll get an almost immediate reply saying, ‘We can get that for you’. 

You're really focused on fresh, seasonal food and cutting out food waste, how does Upstock support those values?

We buy our fresh produce from Chef's Garden by Misfit Garden. So when they started using Upstock it was really great and it streamlined the whole process. Through the app, they can provide me with an up-to-date list of what's available. I love the little newsfeed updates. They can say ‘We've got X amount of this’ or a ‘short supply ingredient' or something super seasonal and you can get the information as up-to-date as possible.

See why so many other chefs across New Zealand and Australia love Upstock for their wholesale ordering

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