How CUPP used digital ordering to bust queues and drive customer loyalty

CUPP began in 2009 when the founders lived in Taiwan after falling in love with the country, food, people and the national drink: bubble tea.  After launching CUPP in 2012 in a converted van called Pearl, they now have multiple stores in Bristol and Cardiff with ambitious growth plans for the rest of the UK in the coming months, including several franchised sites. 

The Challenge

With the growing popularity of CUPP’s bubble tea, the brand found its customers would have to queue during peak times such as the morning or lunchtime rush.  The brand also has a young, digitally savvy customer base, typically between the ages of 13-30 years old and it believed digital ordering would be a perfect solution to serve its young customer demographic as well as bust queues during peak times.  CUPP’s stores are set-up for a ‘grab and go’ style operation with little or no in-store seating so enabling customers to order ahead for pick-up would help to streamline guests through the store.   CUPP was also keen to explore ways of using digital ordering to help drive customer loyalty. 

The Solution

In May 2020, CUPP launched both app and web ordering across its stores.  Lee Peacock, founder of CUPP explains, “It was really important for us as a brand to choose the right digital ordering solution.  We had clear goals we wanted to achieve such as minimising queues for our customers, encouraging return visits and making the digital ordering journey as slick as possible, in line with our modern, fuss-free brand experience. 

“We did our research and even considered an integrated solution from our POS provider, but QikServe stood out because the look, feel and usability of the app is incredible. Both the app and web experience look great, gives us plenty of branding opportunity, the ordering flow is slick and simple.  It’s everything we needed, set-up was quick and support were fantastic. We had much more control with QikServe than we would have done by going with an aggregator and we get to keep and analyse our customer data which really is invaluable as a growing business.” 

CUPP’s customers can now choose a store and order their bubble tea in advance for collection at a specific time. The flexibility of the solution has allowed CUPP to offer an extensive bubble tea menu complete with imagery, a wide range of modifiers including toppings, bubbles, ice amount and sugar levels as well as upsell features such as upgrading to a larger sizes and cross selling merchandise such as stainless steel straws, tote bags and bubble tea pins.  

Encouraging repeat visits by guests was an important goal for CUPP and they achieved this by offering QikServe’s loyalty stamp card on the app.  Customers receive £4 off their order for every 10 bubble teas they buy.  CUPP staff promoted the app-only loyalty card when customers visited the store and through QR codes printed on their in-store menus.  This encouraged significant app adoption almost 90% of customers signing up through mobile vs. web.  

The Results

Since launch, CUPP has grown its digital ordering revenue by 227%, its digital orders by 243% and is taking 93% of its digital revenue through the app. In the 12 months since June 2020, CUPP grew its loyalty 483% (6% returning customers vs. 35%).  

Lee Peacock adds, “By only having the digital stamp card on the app, customers are really encouraged to download it and that’s how we’ve managed to achieve such high adoption.  Our customers are rewarded for their loyalty, service for our staff is much easier and more productive as they don’t have to deal with physical stamp cards, discounting on the till and cashing up at the end of the day.  In fact, we’re completely cashless on our non-franchised sites which means our staff can concentrate on making orders quickly for our customers.  Service speed has improved so customers have a much better, faster experience. 

“Our new stores that are currently in development are actually being designed around the digital ordering journey.  There’ll be a dedicated collection point for online orders which will speed up the wait time for any walk-in customers.  All new franchised stores will also use QikServe’s online and app ordering so there’s seamless experience for guests across the brand.”

Next steps

The next step for CUPP is to integrate its digital ordering and point of sale system. Through this integration, any orders will come to one screen making operations and fulfillment simpler. With their ambitious nationwide growth plans, CUPP intends to continue driving app and web ordering adoption with every new store they open. Lee explains, “We’re really happy with the way app ordering is going at the moment, we want to concentrate on replicating its success across the new sites that we have planned to open in the coming months. It has been such a game changer in so many ways, from allowing our team to concentrate on fulfilling orders and serving walk-in customers, to speeding up queue times and encouraging loyalty, QikServe has really delivered for us.”