We're a tool for ambitious operators, and boy, is NUGS just that.
The handmade, hand-cut, love-filled nuggets found their humble beginnings amidst the pressures of lockdown when hospitality faced the pits of operational hell. NUGs was born 2 years ago in the back garden of Reis Esiroglu, founder and nugget aficionado.
With his background in festivals and event management, Reis had the vision of bringing the nostalgic taste of the humble chicken nugget to life. The business began in his back garden with two little friers and a man with a chicken dipping dream and has now expanded into its own commercial kitchen as well as a residency in the local pub, The Rising Sun (postcode).
NUGS now has a solid team of sixteen staff across Hornchurch and Wapping and caters for events and festivals. The business is going from strength to strength and is currently looking for new corners of London to serve their crispy creations.We sat down with Reis to hear all about how storekit helped NUGS get smoothly sailing.
Building and scaling an independent eatery is no easy feat. Small business owners have to compete against delivery giants charging colossal commission fees and not to mention the battle for customer acquisition.
'The giants are too big not to use them, they have taken over the market, but we need to try and take back control over the data. As a small business, sometimes you feel you have to be on all 3 of them to succeed'.
'When we started, we decided to do deliveries ourselves, using our drivers. We wanted to avoid paying up to 30% commission on the big apps'. Says Reis.
'We saw that there's a place for apps like Uber Eats, so we decided to use them as a marketing platform to get our message out and build our brand. The plan was to eventually acquire those clients and bring them back to us at NUGS.'
NUGS were paying their drivers a flat rate plus delivery free to service the surrounding areas, with some orders coming from locations over 30 minutes away.
'Year one, it wasn't cost-effective. Because there was a lot of downtime between orders, our drivers weren't busy enough, so it became a bit of a waste of money, and some weeks it was even a loss'.
"The storekit team were there every step of the way to support me as a new business owner. CS was on hand to answer any questions that I had. It's so helpful to have constant communication with our solution provider, and storekit took a lot of the heavy lifting off of my hands."
Storekit's integration with order management solutions like Deliverect means that Reis and the team can easily track and manage online orders from multiple channels on one screen. NUGs can easily tap into our marketplace of delivery drivers thanks to our integrations with solutions like Stuart and Orkestro. Meaning they have round-the-clock access to a fleet of independent delivery drivers. Simple-to-use integration means that NUGS can increase its operational efficiency and staff productivity to create more happy customers.
"It's super simple to set up custom discount codes or create reports on things like spend per head, end of day reports and so on, and we can easily deal with all of our menu stuff through deliverance because it plugs right into storekit." Says Reis.
Reis no longer has to worry about third-party apps nabbing NUGS' customers. 'Because our systems are now connected, we can easily use Stuart to manage our deliveries and at the same time maintain ownership of all our data. We use that to collect customer insights and retarget previous customers'.
"One of the big game-changers for us was the direct-to-consumer marketing. It's a huge benefit. We can now manage our own data through our own CRM.
"We can see our loyal customers and reach out to them via SMS & email with things like discount codes, personalised emails and deals! Storekit also gives customers the option to opt into marketing which is great. It's all of this at a massively reduced commission."
Our previous solutions were charging up to 10–15% commission per sale, and storekit only charges 1.9%+15p . Our average order value is around £35-40, which adds up. Every penny counts as a small business, so we can now learn from our mistakes, and it's not going to cost us a fortune.
"Now, when we're saving 28%+ on commission, we have that extra room to use that 10-15% to get new business."
Before using storekit, NUGS used another solution but found that the functionality wasn't as good as storekit for managing orders. With storekit, NUGS can now use pre-booked delivery slots and pre-orders to manage the workload in the kitchen, meaning no more chaos, just more chicken!
Pre-ordering slots are so helpful when you are tight for drivers/using your own drivers - we needed to manage the orders during busy times. So that was really really really helpful!!" Reis laughs.
NUGS are hand-cut, hand-breaded and hand-fried and homemade. Using reliably sourced, top-quality food in biodegradable packaging NUGS has huge care for the environment.
'I was here cooking chicken nuggets in my mum's garden during the lockdown, and the pub didn't have anyone in the kitchen, so it was just lying dormant. Now we're smashing our targets. The week before last was the busiest week we've ever had. Now we've got loads of marketing materials reaching customers directly."
NUGS are on the lookout for more residencies across London. If you want to check them out, you can find them at Hornchurch, Essex and Wapping, 60 The Highway, London E1W 2BF.