Change is inevitable. We can adapt to it, or let it sink in. Patty’s Cakes & Desserts is a prime example of a company that is perfectly suited to change and has thrived in the chaos of 2020 and early 2021 because of it.
Founded in 1985 by Patty Gomez, the Fullerton, California bakery has grown from a cooking hobby to a very successful brick and mortar business through ingenuity and a creative and tasty menu of cakes and of cupcakes. With the help of her son Philip Gomez, Patty opened her brick and mortar store in Fullerton in 2010 and expanded its offering to include made-to-order frozen cupcakes and freshly baked cookies and cake balls, as well as elegant Cakes.
Patty’s Cakes & Desserts has one of the most comprehensive cupcake menus in the country, with nearly 100 flavors available daily, each frozen to order. For many, it would be a logistical nightmare. But not for Patty’s Cakes & Desserts.
Because the old bakery storefront did not have a window, she was forced to find a new solution. The decision to frost every cupcake to order not only allowed the bakery to offer more flavors than most, but also made it more adaptable to consumer tastes.
“We were like, ‘Well, just put them on ice when people want it’ and that has become our thing,” says Philip Gomez. “People expect it from us. It allows us to offer 91 flavors every day in mini and large cupcakes. People can choose whatever they want and that makes it pretty easy. Our cooking is an easier flow and our customers (orders) are easy, so this is a win-win.
It also allowed them to weather the COVID-19 storm when the pandemic first struck, despite residing in the most devastated state in the country.
A new fleet is coming
Before the pandemic, Patty’s Cakes & Desserts had a third-party company handling its delivery. The bakery has problems with the unreliability of the company’s drivers. Once the pandemic hit full swing, the bakery faced an increase in delivery orders as customers looked for a new way to get their products.
“We previously relied on a third-party delivery company, but with the uncertainty of the California concert economy and our desire to provide top-notch customer service, I knew I had to act quickly and create a direct-to-consumer solution. to keep business growing, ”Gomez says.
The delivery company she used went bankrupt, giving Patty’s Cakes & Desserts the opportunity to research a more convenient method of handling hundreds of deliveries per month.
“By that point, we had gotten to where (delivery) was 15% of our business, and there’s no way I’m going to let 15% of my business stop running,” Gomez said.
The bakery contracted with a software publisher who provided it with an interface to manage its deliveries. Drivers are given an app and bakery orders are assigned to them, they see it on their phones and complete their routes. Once Philip understood the costs and management of this service, he said it was a no-brainer.
“Delivery is not going anywhere, this pandemic is going nowhere. It is actually more cost effective to do it in-house than to outsource it. We launched it and rocked before the deadline.
Additionally, the bakery made an adjustment a few years before the pandemic that helped its transition to delivery. Gomez had discovered that catering software had its limits for bakeries. Because many bakeries tend to look more like retail businesses than restaurants, the bakery has moved on to an e-commerce platform. This allowed him to increase his delivery orders from 5% to 15%.
This makes ordering more convenient for the bakery and its customers. Staff don’t spend time on the phone taking orders, and customers can place orders at any time.
“If you want to be delivered, you have to go through our website,” Gomez explains. “This is going to be paid in advance, they can personalize their order, they receive the confirmation by email and know exactly what they have ordered, they put the person’s information and their address so they know that it’s done right. It relieves our staff and puts it on the customer, but the customer likes it. It empowers the customer and empowers our staff. “
In May 2020, the bakery launched its own delivery fleet and a fully integrated ordering system, providing customers with real-time notifications on the status of their deliveries. Integrating the in-house delivery component has allowed Patty’s Cakes & Desserts to expand their delivery radius from 12 to 23 miles and increase revenue, while providing additional savings and peace of mind to customers. clients.
As a result of these moves, the bakery experienced a 350% increase in delivery orders. Gomez says that before the change, Patty’s Cakes & Desserts was receiving around 100 orders per month. The 23rd as of December alone, it received 63 deliveries.
Not only has this been beneficial for the business in general during the pandemic, but more specifically, it’s been eye-opening during the colder months when sales tend to decline.
Going forward, Gomez sees the trend in shipments continuing or perhaps increasing even after the company returns to relative normalcy. With the convenience of online ordering and efficient delivery through its fleet, Patty’s Cakes & Desserts has a much broader reach. Instead of opening a second location to serve a larger audience, the bakery is able to open up new areas with its deliveries.
Food delivery has become common and available thanks to third-party delivery companies such as DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, Postmates and more. The minds of consumers have opened up to the possibilities of obtaining food and other items in a more convenient way.
Gomez likens this service to the effect Uber and Lyft had on transportation. Instead of having to worry about calling a cab and waiting for it to arrive, you can have a driver on hand to pick you up in minutes (or even seconds in some cases). This convenience has led to an increase in third-party transportation, and likewise, the ease of food delivery has made it a regular activity for many.