By 2021, when flexible working had become standard practice, French food delivery startup Frichti saw an opportunity to expand its B2B offer: it could provide employers with on-site canteens that could scale up and down according to how many employees were in the office. It would mean taking in-person payments from customers, which needed to be as smooth and seamless as those online.
“We have customers who want to make a one-click purchase and go through the buying process very fast,” explains Martin Bricard, Product Manager, Frichti. “So our priorities are reliability and efficiency.”
Frichti Cafet launched in September 2021, with three Cafet outlets taking in-person orders and payments through a tablet provided by a third-party company. The company sent Frichti money every month, but Frichti had no oversight over payments taken or why some payments didn’t work.
“It was a black box,” says Bricard. “The menu wasn’t refreshed, or a payment didn’t go through, and we had no clue why. Customers were complaining. Salespeople were complaining. And we were unable to do anything about it.”
Frichti also needed to be able to deal with cancellations, and refund money if customers or its employees had to cancel an order. “We need to have reliable refunds,” adds Bricard. “That's a big challenge.”
Bricard and the Cafet team decided they needed an internal tool of their own, which they could debug and understand. The issue was resource: Frichti had recently been bought by German express delivery firm Gorillas, which has since been bought by Turkish company Getir, and the team only had two front-end developers at their disposal during the subsequent transition period.
Frichti was already using Stripe for online payments, so decided to add another of Stripe’s products, Terminal, as it required no back-end development. Stripe also provided the physical devices they needed to take card and mobile payments, so all the Frichti project team had to do was build their own front end and plug it into Stripe’s platform, just as they had with Payments. The whole new solution took just two months to launch, from mid-April until June 2022.
Frichti has now installed Stripe Terminal-powered in-person payments at 10 Cafet outlets in France, with the number of devices in operation expected to double by the end of the year.
No more payment issues
Whereas previously Frichti had been experiencing an incident per day in each outlet – as many as 30 per month across all three outlets – it has seen a significant reduction in such incidents across these 10 outlets. Refunds also are now much quicker and more reliable, with far fewer customer complaints.
A new product
Building an app in-house gives the Cafet project team a complete overview of revenue, how and when payments are made, and why they might have failed. So now, instead of buying a solution, Frichti has one it can sell to other companies.
When I thought about Stripe, trust and reliability came to mind, and working together has confirmed the vision that I had of the company.