When Bryn Morrow and his wife Peggy Porschen launched Peggy Porschen Cakes in 2003, little did they know that it would later become one of the most talked about places in London on social media for those looking for a sweet treat.
The couple opened their first luxury retail café concept, the Peggy Porschen Parlour, in 2010, moving away from bespoke celebration cakes and focusing on seasonal collections of freshly baked cupcakes, cookies and layer cakes, all presented in a highly creative way.
“In recent years we have become increasingly focused on achieving not only the best in taste and service, but also ensuring that the visual appearance of the food and the surroundings tick all the boxes,” says Morrow.
“This is where we have really been at the forefront in creatively aligning our Parlour installations with our seasonal collections, and as such the business has been propelled by the popularity of social media sharing.”
An evolving business
The business continues to grow, with a second Parlour, Peggy Porschen Chelsea, opening on the King’s Road in March this year. At the Chelsea venue – which is much larger than the original site in Belgravia – the offering has evolved to include both sweet and savoury menus, zoned seating areas and a private event space.
As with any expanding hospitality business, having an EPoS system that can keep up with the pace of change is vital. Peggy Porschen definitely has that now – thanks to its Lightspeed EPoS system – but the journey to this point was a rocky one, as Morrow recalls.
“We initially tried a system that was great for retail PoS but switched to a tablet-based system when we moved from counter service to table service. It was a straightforward switch and something I was able to install myself. During this time, the Parlour became very popular and we were experiencing around 400 customers on a busy Saturday, which our staff were managing with six iPads, four roaming and two fixed. We experienced a lot of syncing issues and, at one point, staff went back to paper and pen,” explains Morrow.
“To try to resolve this, I employed a specialist PoS networking company which replaced our network in an attempt to fix the issue. However, the Parlour was experiencing such a high number of customers that our existing system wasn’t able to handle the volume, which resulted in syncing issues which ultimately slowed down our service. We decided it was time to move systems.”
After a visit to the provider to discuss the issue, Lightspeed was suggested as a good option for Peggy Porschen and the switch was made. Lightspeed installed five iPads at each Parlour, with a combination of fixed iPads for people ordering at the counter and floating iPad minis for taking orders from tables.
“This gives them the flexibility to turn over tables faster by letting customers order faster. They always have a queue outside, so the quicker they can move people, the better,” explains Lightspeed’s Andrew Longsden.
“Lightspeed’s integration with our payments provider works well for them as they integrate their payment processing in order to speed up their service as well.
“They also use the multi-location functionality – they create one product in the system and it gets pushed to their other location. It’s also very important to allocate the right VAT for eat-in versus takeaway, which Lightspeed allows.”
A reliable partner
Morrow confirms that the Lightspeed system offers everything his growing business needs.
“The best thing about the system by far is the reliability. Our staff had lost confidence in the old EPoS systems and a bit in our company as a result. It was so crucial that Lightspeed worked and I am glad to say it has been rock solid. We can now serve 500 customers in our Parlour on a single day with no lagging or lost tables.”
He adds: “I am now able to see all of the PoS data from my phone in real-time, anywhere, at any time, and from an accounting and managerial point of view it’s a big selling point for us that we also have integration with Xero and Marketman.
“EPoS is no longer a concern, meaning we can fully focus on our customers.”