Tropical Smoothie Cafe (TSC) has partnered with Flybuy, by Radius Networks, to help power its digital footprint by enhancing its off-premise solutions for curbside, in-cafe pickup, and same-day delivery. This necessary shift in technology and innovation has helped TSC’s franchisees maximize labor efficiency and streamline the guest experience. TSC had the foresight to invest early in a state-of-the-art solution, and off-premise sales have continued to grow. TSC has already deployed the Flybuy Technology Platform to more than 200 franchised cafes and has plans to continue to onboard cafes until Flybuy is live across the full system.

TSC uses Flybuy Pickup location technology to save time for guests, delivery drivers, and franchisee crew members. When guests place an order on the TSC mobile app or TSC website, Flybuy captures that order and communicates with both the guest and crew members simultaneously. Guests are sent timely instructions on how and where to pick up their order, which is configurable to each cafe. The cafe receives automated audible and visual alerts when the order has been confirmed, when the guest is five minutes away, the moment the guest has arrived on premise, and the second they pull into the curbside pickup spot — or enter the cafe. Communication to guests and crew members is customizable by location and pickup type (curbside, in-cafe, delivery, etc.). See video here.

Even more important, is for the cafe to understand where their Delivery Service Providers (DSPs) are along their journey to the cafe, along with their arrival time. Getting drivers in and out as fast as possible and getting the guest their food and smoothies in a timely manner is key. Having all off-premise orders managed in one place creates significant efficiencies inside the cafe, which is extremely important in today’s labor market. Additionally, ensuring a great on-and-off-premise guest experience is crucial for creating repeat business and increasing order volume for the cafes.

The results of the technology integration were clear for TSC almost immediately after implementing Flybuy. Guest and delivery driver wait times decreased, guest satisfaction improved, and off-premise sales have increased. “We have to adapt to what the guest wants, and studies show that consumers are demanding curbside,” says Charles Watson, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe, LLC. “We’ve seen our off-premise order volume increase by 20 percent and have had a substantial uptick in repeat guests since working with Flybuy.”

Food freshness (especially for cold smoothies and warm sandwiches!) is essential to the brand’s off-premise business. Flybuy enables crew members to time the order handoff perfectly, so a smoothie can go straight from the blender to the guest in seconds. By timing carryout orders perfectly, it replicates the in-cafe quality for off-premise orders.

“Labor shortages are at the forefront of every restaurant operator’s mind, so investing in a technology that enables staff to multitask is key for every type of order. Flybuy’s early alerts enable staff to be proactive when fulfilling off-premise orders. Most restaurant chains are still using reactive manual technology, which does not provide the customer with the speed they demand, and more importantly, the cafe crew with the information they need in order to prioritize every minute,” says Flybuy Chief Business Officer Jeff Baskin.

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