The back of house tool, which has been trialled in Crosstown, Hummingbird Bakery and Gelupo for the past two and a half years, became widely available last month.
Then came up with the idea for Slerp in 2016 after struggling with the “lack of control” he felt selling doughnuts through online marketplaces such as Deliveroo.
The platform integrates in to users' existing website and gives operators complete control over the order, delivery catchment area and customer data. It works with logistics company Stuarts, which links up businesses with independent couriers, to deliver goods on-demand.
Then insists Slerp can be used “in parallel” with other delivery partners. He says Crosstown still uses Deliveroo and UberEats across its 16 London sites, but now generates more revenue through orders on Slerp.
"The reality is online marketplaces work well for businesses that want to increase their reach and give customers choice, but for brands that already have a following there isn’t an option if they want to manage the customer relationship and offer on-demand themselves," he says.
Though some restaurants have reported paying commissions of up to 30% on Deliveroo, Then claims that Slerp can charge a lower rate, between 7.5% – 10% of the order value, as it saves on consumer marketing costs.
The courier fee is passed on to operators, who can decide whether to add it to the delivery price or absorb the costs.
Slerp's focus going forwards will be on retail rather than full-service restaurant brands, and Then also sees opportunity outside London.
The company recently secured a seven-figure investment from backers including Chris Griffin, former director of e-commerce at Superdry, who has been appointed chairman.
“There’s a big opportunity beyond food. The retail sector has a huge opportunity to evolve and offer on-demand delivery, selling their shop stock online," says Then.
“Our focus now is retail brands in London, but we could go throughout the UK as our delivery partner is nationwide.
“Crosstown is proof that once you invest in your brand and generating an online relationship with customers you can convert them directly. My gut instinct is a lot of other brands can do that as well.”
Necessary. If you can’t make it to one of our locations, you can buy online, on-demand direct from our website. Next-day delivery also available accepting orders until 11pm ✖️ #doughnutsondemand#crosstown#crosstowndoughnutspic.twitter.com/GNJRtE1bxO— Crosstown | Doughnuts & Coffee (@CrosstownDough) July 30, 2019